“Happiness Question: If you could make significant progress in one aspect of your life by year’s end, what area would you choose?” – Gretchen Rubin

I am a fan of Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project website. Recently, I purchased her latest book, Happier at Home. She regularly shares questions on her Facebook page. Last month, I saved the above Facebook post. It fit this blog post perfectly.

I know the year is ending when Halloween candy and costumes give way to holiday décor and food. It seems like it was only yesterday when I posted my 2012 wellness vision. A year passes very quickly as I look back. The question I ask myself at this time of year is, “Did I live my wellness vision this year?”

I moved from New Year’s resolutions to a wellness vision a few years back. My resolutions had become a wish list of life changes that seemed to disappear around mid-February. By focusing on a wellness vision, I made myself more accountable to the goals I set. They support the vision and are essential in me achieving a happy healthy active life.

After giving Gretchen’s question some thought, I revisited my 2012 wellness vision. My calendar reminds me on the first Friday of the month to check my progress to date. I have been happy this year in achieving almost of everything I set out to do. However, there is one goal that I struggle with and that is why that goal is part of my wellness vision.

That problematic goal is “I will embrace a healthy eating mentality that focuses on bariatric dietary principles, proper nutrition, and satiety rather than relying on restriction signals from my Lapband.” Don‘t get me wrong, I have made great progress in changing my diet and eating habits after my weight loss surgery. However, I am not in complete control of my eating. At times, overeat and make poor food choices.

My initial response to Gretchen’s happiness question is, “I need to limit portion size and resist the temptations food brings to my life.” Many people struggle with this issue daily. I built up a lot of knowledge over the past five years on making good food choices and living a healthy life. At the same time, I learned how to manipulate my Lapband to my advantage.

This exposes a deeper behavioral shortcoming of surrendering control. It goes beyond limiting portion size and resisting temptations. I like to be in control of all aspects of my life. That includes my diet and eating. I worked hard to show my Lapband that I could control its effectiveness to a point.

Giving Gretchen’s question a second look, I realize my true response is, “Knowing when taking control of my behavior strengthens my wellness and knowing when to surrender control when it is destructive to my wellness.” This discernment is critical in allowing me to make significant progress with my problematic goal.

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