My dad has almost always had a very matter-of-fact way of looking at life. When I was growing up he was always invested in me and my sister, but rarely wrapped up in any emotional drama that we (okay, primarily I) brought to the table. I am forever grateful for the connected-but-separate way he has helped me navigate life… even if it was frustrating at times.
You see, sometimes I just wanted him to give me the answer. But he would say things like, “If you don’t know what choice to make, flip a coin. While it is in the air, you will know which way you hope it will land.” And sometimes even after the coin had landed, I still didn’t know!
And other times, I didn’t know what to do… and didn’t want to choose… so thought I would just wait and see. And my dad would say, “Not to decide is to decide.”
I have no idea when he said it to me the first time and I don’t remember the first time I really understood it. But I can tell you that it has profoundly affected my thinking during my entire adult life because it applies to e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
If I don’t decide to plan my meals for the week and go to the grocery store, then I have decided to either rummage through the pantry or go out to eat. (Because let’s face it, I’m not going to starve myself!)
If I don’t decide to workout, then I have decided to let myself get out of shape and lose muscle.
If I don’t decide to change jobs, then I have decided that I’m willing to do the same thing every day for the rest of my working life.
If I don’t decide to tell my husband that I love him, then I have decided it’s not important to remind him that I cherish him and can’t imagine life without him.
You see where I’m going with this? In every area of our lives, if we don’t decide to do something then we have specifically decided not to do it… and to live with the consequences of that decision.
But since I’m not a psychologist or a spiritual leader, let me bring it back to nutrition…
If you want to look and feel amazing, then you need to decide that you will do what it takes to make that happen. You have to decide that you will figure out which foods work for you and which ones don’t. You must decide that your health (and waistline!) are more important than any given cupcake, glass of wine, night out, croissant, or wheel of cheese. You need to decide to eat differently, if what you’ve been eating and the exercise you’ve been doing aren’t getting you the results you want.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be a gigantic or necessarily permanent change. You just have to decide to do something or else you will be deciding to stay exactly where you are right now.
And when you do decide to do what it takes, what a glorious gift you will be giving yourself. Because in that moment you will be deciding to use the power of food to help you become the most vibrant version of yourself. How amazing!
(For the record, I know other people say the Zen Master is Phil Jackson, but I think my dad is the original.)