WARNING: Do not read this article if you are too sensitive and you are not ready to make a real and lasting change in your weight loss.
As we are nearing the winter solstice, and everyone is getting excited as we are turning back to summer, adverts and articles start appearing on how to get that perfect summer body.
Everywhere, people are talking about their winter “rolls”. It is an uhgg here and an uhgg there. People are constantly talking about food and warm drinks. Fires and curling up with a book. And you can see in their faces, the dread of what is lying ahead in another month or two. Summer will be on its way and we will be looking very critically at ourselves in the mirror.
And what starts building now already? Guilt. Anxiety. Self-loathing. Negative self-images. (May I just take a moment here, to remind you that we are in winter and we are suppose to “hibernate”.)
The problem with going on a diet is exactly that.
You are GOING ON a diet, much the same as going on an outing or a vacation. What happens at the end of it?
Life returns to normal. We are back to our daily routine, stress in the traffic and stress at work. Responsibilities and kids to get to school and homework to be done. Not enough hours in the day. And going on a diet, challenges our status quo – our comfort zone. Added stress and anxiety.
Most people who struggle with their weight, do so because they are emotional eaters. Be it stress, boredom, avoidance, procrastination, and many other. It is easier to put something in our mouth than to face the emotion and deal with the reason for it. It is easier to avoid the underlying negative belief and rather re-enforce it, than to face ourselves and work on the belief and the emotion. It is easier to stay stuck here than to find self-love.
We are what we eat.
No truer words. We eat far more than our bodies require to do the little physical work we do. And regularly, we read an article that tells us stress burns so-many calories. Brain activity burns so-many calories. And we love it, because it lets us off the hook. Great, my brain works all day, so I can relax.
If you want to get real about weight loss, and you are prepared to do the work, then start here:
1. Get off the couch. For starters, your heart can do with a little help. This is control center of the physical body. If it stops, your body stops. When you shift the weight, your heart does not have to work so hard to feed your body with oxygen. Oxygen needed for your brain to work. For your muscles to function. Your blood that needs to carry oxygen to the rest of your body to keep it all alive. The wonderful truth is, the less you want to get off the couch, the more you should. You moan because you do not have energy, but once you start moving the more energy you will have. It does not have to be a run in the park. It can be a dance class. It can be a self-defense class. Anything that is physical and grabs you, just get moving – anywhere, that is not near your couch.
2. What is at the root? What are you avoiding? Why are you procrastinating? What is “missing in you, that you are trying to fill or compensate for? Emotional eating is not because of the circumstances. The circumstances only push our suppressed “issues” to the surface. We are under stress, because we have limiting beliefs, or we are not living in the now, but always in the future. Or, we are constantly in competition with other people? (Other people are competing with you, want to be like you, do your realise that?) Find yourself, find your self-worth and love yourself. Get out of that comfort zone. It only sounds scary, it really is not. Plus, it is amazing once you are “in charge” of your emotions.
3. Understand food. Get to know what the different groups of food do for our nutrition. Why do you need protein? Why starch? Which vegetables should I eat in winter to fight off colds and flu’s? How much of each group does my body need? Forget about weighing it out, counting the calories, etc. Balance is the word. Keep it all in balance. Once you do that, you can enjoy that treat every now and then. Every now and then? Yes, because as you eat healthy, your body will have less cravings and you will find that you are not as obsessed with a “reward” at the end of the day.
4. Stop the Negative Self-Talk. Who can live in a body and mind where you are constantly in battle with yourself, because you do not have the will power to lose the weight? Number one – will power you do have, but it is a conscious choice you make every single time to not cut out a better life for yourself. Second, unless you resolve the emotional triggers, you will keep telling yourself that I cannot do this, whatever I try does not work, I like food and food likes me, I have no will-power. You can tell yourself anything you want, it is true. So why not tell yourself positive things. Start Positive Self-Talk. I can do this!
5. Be realistic. There is not enough hope on this earth to make you a super tall, blonde if you are a petit, short blonde. It is not possible for you to have an athletic, toned beauty if you do not like spending hours in the gym. Be realistic. Aim for what is possible. Those super slim, tall models? Do you know how much styling happened there? You are not a one-dimensional image on a page in a magazine. You are flesh and blood, you are body and soul, you are human. So what if you carry a little extra weight? As long as your health is good (nutrition and exercise) and your self-image is good.
6. Life-Style Change. You have to be ready to live your life like this in the future. No more “going on a diet” to return to “normality”. From here forward, normality is exercise, better eating habits, working on yourself and solving all those emotional triggers, loving yourself. If you are serious about your weight and your health, you cannot not be ready for a life-style change. How exciting! There is a whole new you on the way!
We all want quick fixes to our lives and our hardships. Unfortunately, there is no easy way.
It takes work and a commitment to ourselves.
You might drop the weight and be admired by all by “going on a diet”, but soon the weight will start creeping back and you will be despondent, depressed, have no self-worth - because you feel that you have failed. Fad diets are there to entice you to spend money. It is one of the biggest industries. You are set up to fail even before you start.
Change your life. Love who you are. Be happy in the here and now. The reward? A healthier, calmer you that will find joy and happiness in life.
Rather pack your suitcase and “go on a proper vacation”.
To maintain the slimmer, healthy you, you need a life-style change.
Transformation Life Coach
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