Someone who's taking the Big Change Program Test Drive commented that she dislikes having to use rules, lists, and checkboxes to manage her eating. It feels unnatural and inauthentic to her.
Why can't healthy eating be natural and effortless, the way it seems to be for all the other animals? Why is it necessary to impose rigid structures on our dietary behaviors?
Great question. And it got me thinking about the last time I felt unnatural and inauthentic. Here's what I wrote back:
As my friend Peter Bregman points out, the challenge with “authentic” is that we feel inauthentic when we try to change anything that's deep-seated. Let's say I'm gruff and dismissive with colleagues, and I hear about it in my performance review, so I try to be more caring and inclusive. That new way of being feels “inauthentic.”
I just learned how to drive manual transmission. I didn't like how incompetent I felt. How much I had to focus on clutch, what gear am I in, what are the RPMs, what's the slope I”m on, etc.
Compared to how naturally and effortlessly I drive automatic, it was exhausting – and I missed out on the wonderful scenery because I was concentrating so hard on an unnatural activity.
But once I got it – once I got through the “conscious incompetence” stage and mastered the stick shift – then I could enjoy driving again. Enjoy it even more, because stick shift is fun, and I can drive vehicles that were off limits to be before that.
Does that make sense?
You CAN Change Other People!
Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.
What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.
Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.
Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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