So today, I went back. It was a good appointment. I was able to articulate what I want in a way I don't think I had been able to do before. I talked to her at length about "the switch" that I seem to have in my mind, the one where I see myself differently and get into an imaginative space that translates thinking into doing. The example I used (and really the only one I have) is stopping smoking. Yes, I was a smoker for a while, which horrified and angered my parents intensely since I'd had underdeveloped bronchial tubes as a preemie and was in and out of the hospital for breathing-related problems. I tried to quit for years, for all the usual reasons. And, for all the usual reasons, it was difficult. Until the time I quit.
I had to perform an imaginative exercise that allowed me to see myself as a non-smoker. What would my life look like without cigarettes? What would I do while I drank my tea, commuted to work, talked on the phone, took a break from my desk? Where would I turn when I was stressed? How would I relax? How would I celebrate? How would I think? When I figured those things out, it truly was like a switch had been turned off. I didn't have any cravings for cigarettes, not even physical cravings. From that day this, I've started smoking two cigarettes -- one to be companionable with a friend I hadn't seen in long time, and one in reaction to a particularly stressful visit by a relative. But I didn't finish either one -- and didn't enjoy the one or two drags I had from each. I just wasn't a smoker any more.
So, I need to do that exercise with being a healthy person. What would my life look like as a healthy person who had a healthy relationship to food and to my body? What would I eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? What would I snack on? How would I deal with temptation? What would I choose in a restaurant? What kind of exercise would I do every day? How would it feel not to have pain? How would it be to not have to think about what I can't do or what I want to avoid because I feel awful? When I get into that imaginative space, I am confident that the rest will fall into place with work, of course.
The first concrete step I am taking is this:
A glass of water. 8 times a day. At least.
The second concrete step is this:
Doesn't that look like a healthy person's haircut?