- Goldilocks PROVES weight loss is not about willpower
- are you doing the Goldilocks pattern (that makes it hard to lose weight)?
- what a plate of food that unlocks your HAPPY weight actually looks like
Do you remember the story Goldilocks?
You know, the cheeky broad who broke into a house and tried all the porridge, chairs and beds while an unsuspecting family of bears went for a walk?
Ya, that chick.
(Doesn’t all good gossip start with an exasperated: “Well… ” that’s followed by a brief moment of pause—to build suspense, while the bear-er of said “news” rolls her eyes? …If memory serves me right, that’s how Rachel Lynde from Anne of Green Gables started every sentence.)
Well… there’s much to learn from Goldilocks, despite her criminal activity, that will help unlock your HAPPY weight.
(If you’ve read my book, you’ll recognize the baby bear!)
Goldilocks isn’t the only character who helps unlock your HAPPY weight
Quick shout-out to the bears.
EVERY single bear, without excuse, should go for a walk at least once a day, in:
And whether your porridge is hot, cold or juuuuuuuuuuuuust right.
Get your body moving once a day!
And twice a day is part of a GOLD Standard Routine. (I’ll tell you more about the GSR soon! Please note: It has NOTHING to do with our girl Goldi!)
Ok. Back to Goldilocks.
Goldilocks on the back of a postcard
When I was a primary school teacher I took a writing course. My original plan was to write a book about what I learned from my eating disorder (aka how I unlocked my HAPPY weight without dieting). And everything I wanted to say was going to be told:
by a made-up character,
in a fictional story,
penned by a pseudonym.
…Instead I started blogging here, with every post credited to the name of my cat.
Then eventually I un-(Wizard-of-)Oz-ed myself, to reveal that behind the beautiful, majestic, white and marmalade cat known as The Scaramoosh… was just me.
(Yes, Alex is a Queen fan).
Alex’s mom called Scaramoosh: “Tatty-Fa-lah!” because despite only having two half-ears and just a tiny bit of a tail (he was hit by a car in cold weather before we adopted him), he had a huge personality. Kinda like having a grandparent in the house; someone who loves you no matter what. And reminds you that everything will be ok. Mooshie is greatly missed. (That’s him in the faded picture below, that we keep on our fridge).
Instead of you-belong-with-me-rings, Alex and I have matching Scaramoosh cat tags.
Anyways, where was I with Goldilocks and how her story helps you unlock your HAPPY weight?
So during my evening writing class, we learned that prior to starting any writing project, you should be able to put the plot of your story – even a septology – on the back of a postcard.
(The Harry Potter series, which I’m still due to read, is a septology b/c it includes 7 books.)
So for those unfamiliar with the great G-Locks heist of 1837, let me give you the low-down.
I’ve done a little reverse-engineering to put Goldilocks and The Three Bears on the back of a postcard.
(See if you can catch the Goldilocks theme that aligns with my anti-diet approach to unlocking your HAPPY weight):
While a mom, dad and baby bear leave their home for a walk, a young woman breaks and enters. (People called her Goldilocks but word on the street was that her hair was rather brassy… turns out she neglected to apply a proper toner after brushing on the bleach—all in all the drugstore dye wreaked havoc on her hair, which legend has it, was once soft, golden tendrils.) Within the humble cottage belonging to the bears, Goldilocks carries out a quick succession of indictable crimes against private property.
Goldilocks tries each of the bear’s porridge, chairs and beds and for each act of vandalism, there is, what becomes a predictable pattern of it being “too hot”, “too cold” and then “just right”. Or “too hard”, “too soft” and then just right, and so on. Eventually Goldilocks ends up in the “just right” bed after doing criminal damage to the others. And it was there, after a morning of malicious trespass (that court documents show Goldilocks minimized to “simple gaiety” before the public gallery—honestly, the gall!) that Goldilocks fell asleep. The bears return home, find the effects of Goldilocks’ looting and then the brazen lassie with brassy hair runs out of the house and into the forest without so much as an apology. THE END
(This is the real story of Goldilocks. Robert Southey, who authored Goldilocks & The 3 Bears is an unreliable narrator.)
Goldilocks, more than a two-bit burglar
If we move this story along, past all the petty crime, and see Goldilocks and The 3 Bears through a teaching lens, there are BIG lessons to be learned; ones I would’ve l-o-v-e-d ❤️ to have known over the decade I struggled with my weight.
Let’s revisit the Goldilocks story with a new objective.
Goldilocks helps us spot unhealthy patterns
Harmful behavior that’s repeated, over and over again, signals a problem.
In Goldilocks and The 3 Bears it’s clear that a series of EXTREMES is played out in each act of willful destruction.
And in each case, when Goldilocks finally went for the “just right” H 🙂 PPY medium, she found happiness.
Everybody who’s ready to STOP dieting
& unlock their HAPPY weight,
needs to learn from Goldilocks.
…Which is what I thought when I found this record in a box at the edge of my neighbor’s footpath with a sign that said “TAKE ME”:
As I bent over to pull out G & the 3 B’s—a classic, a bell went off in my head.
Ding! Ding! And Ding!
(And I also wondered who the heck THE TWELVE BROTHERS were. I mean, 12 is a bit excessive, non?)
Goldilocks unlocks your HAPPY weight
Yes, Goldilocks can unlock more than your front door.
Her story reminded me of how I tried to lose weight for 10 years. And what so many of my clients are doing when we start working together.
I was all “feast” or “famine” and didn’t lose weight for good until I started eating and exercising with MODERATION.
What my Goldilocks eating looked like
Eventually I’d get so hungry I wouldn’t care about what I ate. And I’d eat way too much.
I actually didn’t even know the word “binge” at the time. Or even how to spell it! (Still don’t. Is it binging or bingeing?! Everyone writes it differently. And I wrote it the other way in this post.)
What I’d actually say is:
I’d wonder why I could be so disciplined for days and days… and then suddenly overeat.
Then I’d skip my next meal. Do extra exercise to try to make up for all the extra food I ate. And then restrict again.
It was exhausting!
And this self-defeating cycle took time away from my friends, family, our dog Casey and writing poems and doing water-paint artwork in my bedroom. (I loved closing my door and working on projects like that. Was I good at that stuff? Hell no! But I love turning a blank piece of paper into something.)
Extremes are the Goldilocks pattern!
I was either “on” my diet and scared to eat a banana—much less a healthy meal. OR I’d be eating tons of stuff I normally wouldn’t eat, like a 6-pack of bran muffins, donuts and anything else, because I was “off” my diet and told myself whatever I ate didn’t count.
(But every day counts.)
See why these choices are self-destructive?
…Not until I finally asked for help and someone pointed this pattern out to me.
Before that I just thought there were some days I was disciplined and some days I was weak and lacked willpower.
I had no idea I was whipping around the starve-binge-purge cycle:
For a full decade there was no HAPPY medium eating, moderate exercise or even sleeping in a bed that was “just right”.
(I was always up late changing my room around to mark a new start and then writing out a new and stricter diet believing with all my heart: this time will be different.)
Coming around just like Goldilocks
Eventually these extreme behaviors took over my life and I was willing to try something new.
(The previous line is a massive simplification for what actually happened! Which I detail in a project I’m working on right now.)
So I took a page out of the Goldilocks story and instead of eating something that was too big or too small, I began eating ROUGHLY balanced meals made MOSTLY of whole foods:
And it turned out the moderate-middle ground was just right!
I broke the starve-binge-purge cycle and lost 30 pounds for good by eating more and exercising less… CONSISTENTLY.
Going to extremes is a pattern you can break
that makes it sooo much easier to unlock your HAPPY weight.
Goldilocks teaches us to be kind to ourselves
For me, being kind to myself doesn’t come easily. But it’s MUCH easier to do when you accept you cannot trick your body. Or mess it around. Or treat it badly.The body never lies— Martha Graham, modern dancer & choreographer
You have to work with your body to unlock your HAPPY weight for good because your body needs energy and a BIG variety of nutrients to do all of it’s different life-saving jobs.
Remember, the key isn’t to eat less food.
It’s to eat BETTER food!
And make it balanced.
Ummm, ok. BUSTED! The Goldilocks brassy-hair bit was slightly anecdotal… But it looked so bad before, this is a big improvement!
I found that plate behind a building in a big box full of kitchenware. (We’ve found so much Le Creuset stuff behind that high-rise. It’s crazy!) Then I cashed in my Shoppers Drug Mart points and bought nail polish to color-in the food groups. Nail polish is perfect for small crafts like painting the buttons on your shirt, a zipper pull or detailing anything else to add a little pizazz! Plus, you get a strong and shiny enamel finish.
I don’t eat off that nail-polished plate. It’s just a teaching aid. And I usually fill my whole plate with salad (kale, romaine lettuce, spinach… whatever we have around) + a full-fat dressing, before adding the other food groups. You can’t eat too many veg! Fresh fruit and vegetables are the ONLY food group I eat out of proportion. They’re full of fiber, vitamins and minerals that take time to break down and your body LOVES them! And I love them right back.
Fill up on fiber!
Goldilocks extremes slow down your metabolism
Here’s a little “behind the scenes” of what’s going on in your body:
Restricting and then bingeing and then purging (via extra exercise or other) or any degree of these behaviors along the spectrum… puts your body into hibernation mode. Just like a bear in winter.
Or… 3 bears.
So the only way to rev it back up is to get into a healthy routine.
If you want real and lasting change, stop thinking about the pounds you want to lose and focus on the Goldilocks-HAPPY-Medium habits you want to build.
Don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to unlock your HAPPY weight without dieting.
Only Gangsta-Goldi would do that.
I mean, Goldilocks would probably nick these earrings… shoplift, steal, swipe—call it what you like—if I invited her for dinner:
…unless I took a Sharpie and wrote “NOT” before “FOR YOU”.
Some people just can’t be trusted!
The great thing about Goldilocks eating
Being in a healthy routine stops you from:
- walking around feeling hungry
- worrying about what to eat
- feeling guilty or deprived
Instead, a healthy routine gives you more energy and unlocks your HAPPY weight naturally so you have LONG TERM change.
Goldilocks wants to give you this key
A key to unlock your HAPPY weight.
(When you try to break in through the back door, aka dieting, it never works out.)
If you’ve been “on” and “off” diets for a while it might take a little time before your body starts to trust you again. But soon enough it will start to let go of the reserves it’s held onto tightly to keep you alive, in case you go back to eating and exercising with extremes. Your body is SUPER smart and adapts to your behavior. Be kind to your body and your body will thank you. xo
Make Today Count
The idea is to install an alarm system to prevent a Goldilocks-style Grand Theft.
Rather than wait until you can’t take dieting anymore and have a total rock-bottom experience like I did, start building healthy habits today. You’ll LOVE them. I never want all the stuff I used to crave once I met my body’s needs with balanced meals and snacks.
What’s your next meal today?
Make it ROUGHLY balanced and made MOSTLY of whole foods.
And you’ll live happily ever after.
…Just like Goldilocks & The 3 Bears
Apparently, the bears were able to settle their differences and forgive Goldi.
After a short stint of community service and 2 years on probation, Goldilocks convinced the bears to take part in a restorative justice program. It all went down in Hawaii. Which was a tidbit expensive, especially for the bears because bears don’t trade in cash. But our girl G, took up a part time job to raise the necessary funds for flights. And it was there, on the Islands of Aloha, that old axes to grind were finally put to rest. In fact, Goldi became a godmother to the baby bear. And they shared their secret family porridge recipe and how to make it “Goldilocks-right”.
Goldilocks NEVER exercised the 5 finger discount again.
WE CAN ALL REFORM.
Change. Is. Possible.
Get those balanced meals on your plate!
Or as one of my clients calls it: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, REPEAT!
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow.
When I was trying to lose weight I only thought about tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.
Starting a new diet was the only way I knew how to quell my anxiety.
…I never stopped and reflected; an activity that helps you learn.
Grab a piece of paper and write down 3 times you went to extremes last week. For instance, did you:
1. Skip any meals?
2. Exercise to make up for something you ate?
3. Ignore hunger pains?
Then write down the Goldilocks-approved choice that unlocks your HAPPY weight:
1. Don’t skip meals! Get back to your healthy routine as quickly as you can.
2. Don’t exercise to make up for what you ate. Get back to doing something fun. Get back to your healthy routine and living life in between.
3. You’re hungry between meals? Put a balanced snack on a plate and enjoy.
Please, please TRUST THE PROCESS and… WAIT NO MORE. xo
I’m a HUGE Scott Helman fan
He writes all his own music.
Do you keep thinking “life would be perfect if…”?
Stop thinking and analyzing… and take action!
Start building Goldilocks-HAPPY-medium-habits with your next eating or exercise choice.
What’s your biggest take-away in this post starring Goldilocks?
Did you see something old in a new way?
I’d love to know!
Let me know in the comments below.
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Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it