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1500 Calories, or 1500 Moments of Kindness?

Are you beginning to think about your next new diet? Social media is as usual awash with offering you wonderful enticements to become slimmer, some you may be familiar with and others, even more, inviting because they appear to be offering you something different. They are not.

Before you make a decision, I invite you to stop, pause and reflect.  Haven’t you been here before? Thinking the same thing and about to make the same decision, did you know that Stroebe et al., (2013) suggest “dieters often fail to control their weight is nearly a truism”.

 “Be Kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world” P. Chodron

Imagine, I give you the choice of 2 different “diet” plans… you either have 1500 moments of kindness to use each day or 1500 calories, they both appear to offer the same thing… will result in you feeling happier, healthier and slimmer.

The latter is focused only on the food, and tells you to count what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat… it may even tell you foods never to eat because they are “bad” for you.

It also shows you pictures of those who have gone before you, looking happy in their new clothes and slimmer body and you also want to be like them.   All you have to do is follow the plan and you too will look and feel that way too.

The plan when followed, works, you let go of the weight and you “feel good” and if perchance the plan is not followed, will result in weight on, and you feel “……….” and I will leave that for you to fill in.  And what ensues is a journey of either feeling “good” or not with the focus on the food.

This plan may also invite you to have a better relationship with food and to be honest, I have been on many diets and am still unclear what that even means. Your focus whilst on the plan is what you have or haven’t eaten and what you will or won’t eat in the future.

Your goal weight is reached, you are very happy, you are now the one in the picture.  It’s not that kindness isn’t present, but the good feelings are often only connected with food, the scales and what you look like

The second one is focused on you, and offers you the opportunity to learn how to be with yourself as if you were your own best friend.  It shows you how to be kinder to yourself, to manage your feelings in ways that are resourceful and assertive.  You learn how to become more creative and nourish yourself showing worth and value.

Developing a deeper understanding of the purpose that stress plays in your life, how you create it and results in you being calmer more of the time and when stressed you are able to respond in more helpful and kinder ways than eating.

You do look happier in pictures, and not just because you are in new clothes and looking slimmer but because you are now more assertive, offering yourself the same kindness and care as you do others, nourishing yourself with foods you love and savouring the pleasure of being a much better friend to yourself.

  • What would it be like, if at the end of the day you reflected and noticed how many times you had responded to yourself with kindness instead of criticism?
  • What if your intention when you wake every morning, was not just random acts of kindness for others but also for yourself?

I invite you, just for today to focus not on counting calories or the food you eat, instead focus on being kind, count the 1500 moments of self-kindness and notice what you notice.

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