I was pretty impressed with my approach to weight loss a couple of years ago, so much so that I wrote a book about it.
One aspect of the diet I remember well is the discipline that came naturally, once I understood they underlying problem. It wasn’t easy, and there was a definite progression to it, but at least it wasn’t arbitrary discipline, or discipline for its own sake.
I remember realising that if I wanted to lose weight I couldn’t afford to eat mindlessly anymore. I couldn’t eat and lie to myself about why I was eating.
In every instance I was either eating because I needed sustenance, or eating for some other motive like pleasure or escapism. Being honest with myself about the motive was the essence of discipline.
I’m beginning to appreciate that the same kind of discipline is required for “positive thinking” work.
In parallel to the simple dichotomy of food that is either for sustenance or in excess of sustenance (and therefore contributing to weight gain), all thoughts can be categorised as either better-feeling or worse-feeling.
The thought of monitoring every single thought seemed excessively burdensome at first, but this sense of burden was, appropriately, indicative of a negative thought…
It turns out that monitoring every thought, paying attention to the thoughts I am thinking and the feelings that derive from them, is not easy but like a physical diet it instills a positive sense of control and direction.
If eating mindlessly perpetuates the status quo of body weight, so thinking mindlessly perpetuates an emotional set-point.
But if you only eat for sustenance, inevitably your body weight will return to normal. And if you only think thoughts that feel good, inevitably your emotional set-point will attain a net positive.