My Journal: Reading The Weight Escape

March 17, 2015

9781611802276_1Last night, I started reading The Weight Escape: How to Stop Dieting and Start Living, a Shambhala publication by Joseph Ciarrochi, Ann Bailey, and Russ Harris. I thought I’d just be reading, but the book asks for some writing. So, I thought I’d do this here. I’m going to create a journal that I hope to publish, upon finishing the book. I’m carving out time, every night, to read this (instead of watching tv, which has become my habit before bed).

In “I. Identifying your Values and Goals” from “Part 1: Breaking Free,” the writers ask that you (I) think about and identify three values “that are most important to you right now” (22).  There is a list from which to choose, or I can choose my own. After choosing, I’m to write a paragraph about why these values are important.

I choose:

  1. being authentic
  2. engaging fully, being mindful
  3. being competent, effective

Now, really, I want to be everything on their list (and, hopefully more). But, I’m choosing these three for right now, with the understanding that they can change at any time. Right now, as I think about my future and choose the path for the next step in my career (pressing job offer decisions), I want to foster in myself those things that are going to make me a successful academic and a happy person.

For the last six years, I happily worked as a grad student, here in Nashville. My head down and with considerable tunnel vision, my world has nearly only been about my program. I have struggled with staying true to myself, being exhausted and stressed in new and largely self-induced ways, and separating from my self-care habits. I gave into my position as a grad student, with the understanding that I would find a way to recover, after. This is to say that I was aware of the choices I was making–or at least, I decided not to address certain behaviors, as a means of just. getting. it. done. That cannot be the way I walk into the career.

So, now I want to return to a self that I loved, or concentrate on those parts of myself that I neglected, while in school. To do this, I want to treat myself well, feel better in my skin, sleep better and be happier, be re-excited about my work and fall back in love with writing, and create good work. I think that the only way that I’ve been successful, especially lately, has been by being myself. When I am thinking less about what I think people are thinking of me (when I disengage with double-consciousness), I find myself open without feeling vulnerable. This non-vulnerable-vulnerableness ends, it seems always, in good ways. I would like good things to continue to happen, and I would like to walk through the world with less psychic baggage around what I think I’m projecting into the world. I’d like to trust myself–and trust an authentic, meaning unabashed, me.

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