Sunday, August 2, 2009

‘Weight’ frame or ‘Healthy Me’ frame?

What do I mean by ‘weight frame’ or ‘Healthy me’ frame.

Well first let’s start with frames and filters.

Whatever happens, happens. It has no meaning until we ascribe it. The human being is a meaning making machine, we ascribe meaning to everything. However we do not always give the same event the same meaning. If my team loses I do not feel the same about it as a supporter of the other team!

In order to create this ‘personal reality’ we use what are called ‘filters’ or ‘frames’. That is we use the filter of our experience, beliefs, values and sense of self to ascribe meaning to everything that happens.Therefore the filters we use will have a massive effect on our experience of life.

If you have the belief that people are on the whole good and kind you will have a very different experience to life than if you believe that people are inherently nasty and out to do you harm.

On a more light hearted note have you ever noticed if you have bought a new car you suddenly notice how suddenly there are many of them there are on the road! Of course that is not true you are just filtering for them.What we focus on will tend to determine our experience of life.

So what does this mean in the context of becoming a 'healthy me'?

There are some who think in a ‘weight frame’. That is everything is focussed on what the scales tell them, and if the scales do not tell them the right thing it can have a very negative effect on their mood.

I am not saying this is wrong as such however I wonder if it gets people to where they really want to be.

If I were to ask anyone here ‘what would you get from being your goal weight’ the answer might be something along the lines of; ‘I would get a great deal of satisfaction’ or ‘I would feel I had achieved what I once thought impossible’ or even ’I would start to like myself again!’

What is for sure no one here is trying to lose weight just for the sheer fun of it.

We are all doing it for what it will give us and ultimately that will be an emotion.However the ‘weight frame’ is a very narrow frame. It means that someone using that frame will be ecstatic when the lose and often very down when they do not! But is this really the best frame to use?

An alternative would be the ‘Healthy me’ frame. This frame filters using the basic question ‘does whatever I am doing take me closer to being the ‘healthy me’ I want to be? This frame can prompt some very useful questions:

What really is a ‘healthy me’?

What would a ‘healthy me’ look like, sound like, feel like’

How would a ‘healthy me’ deal with setbacks and disappointments?

What sort of food choices would a ‘healthy me’ make.

What sort of exercise would a ‘healthy me’ do? And how often?

What sort of a relationship would a ‘healthy me’ have with myself? And with others?

What sort of weight range would a ‘healthy me’ live in?

There are plenty more but this gives just a flavour of the questions someone who lives in a ‘healthy me’ frame.

Of course I am not telling anyone how to think, everyone is free to live using whatever filters and frames they like. What I do know having used both is that narrow succeed/fail frames tend not to be conducive to a happy stress free life. In fact only this morning my wife told me that I am a much nicer person to know than I used to be. Whichever way anyone has been in the past does not mean that they cannot be different in the future.

If you are one of those who having being living in the weight frame and not enjoying it much, there are alternative ways to be that will make a life a good deal more enjoyable with fewer grey moods!

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