\ Joy Dieting, Part Two | Christina Brandt

My “Joy Dieters” book group is busy working on Chapter Two of The Joy Diet, by Martha Beck..  This week’s topic is TRUTH. If you’re like most people (me included), you believe that you’re basically an honest person.  Sure, there’s the occasional white lie to be polite, or maybe you’ll pay a compliment you don’t necessarily mean.

When you dig deeper, however, you’re likely to find that you’re often telling yourself some pretty big whoppers. Do any of these ring a bell?  “I’m not thin enough.”  “I don’t make enough money.”  “I’ll never find a job I love.”  “My husband should be neater.”  “She ought to stop criticizing me.”

Lies, every last one. How do I know?  Because they’re arguments about what should or shouldn’t be the case, rather than an acknowledgment of what is.  When we tell ourselves a story about our circumstances that isn’t true, we feel like crap.  If we lie often enough, we shut down our capacity to fully experience joy and harmony. Here’s how Martha suggests we begin to examine truth on a daily basis:

  • Sit quietly for 15 minutes and do nothing.
  • Ask yourself:  What am I feeling?
  • Ask yourself:  What hurts?
  • Ask yourself:  What is the painful story I’m telling?
  • Ask yourself:  Can I be sure my painful story is true?
  • Ask yourself:  Is my painful story working?
  • Ask yourself:  Can I think of another story that might work better?
  • Treat yourself with compassion

Learning to uncover the stories you tell yourself about your circumstances is the best way to find freedom and joy. On a MUCH lighter note, here’s what she had to say to the “joy dieters”:

Gotta love Martha; she’s a hoot!


  1. Gilda says:

    Wow, high praise, goddess.

    I practiced a truth out loud this week. A particular relationship has been causing me a little distraction (okay, maybe a tinge of pain too) and I decided to face it by taking a risk and speaking my truth with all of its underpinnings (read history). It felt good to be open and the truth was I did it for myself, not the other. I expressed a core truth about myself calmly, honestly, without expecting anything. I don’t believe anything has changed regarding the relationship except that it has become more honest for me. I felt so powerful afterwards, and still today.

  2. Christina Brandt says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you’ve spoken your truth, Gilda. The best reason to do so is to experience the power you described. It’s not really about changing anything at all, except the way we live our own lives. When we live our truth, we’re living our right lives. Others will either join us, or not, but we’re aligned with our essential selves, and that’s What Matters.

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