So, have you looked in the mirror lately and you don’t like what you see? There is some body loathing and some thoughts that may sound like …
‘I am out of control’,
‘I don’t feel attractive’ OR
‘I have no willpower’
Thinking like this makes you feel bad, sad, disappointed, misery or disgust, and you decide that it is time to get back into shape.
Getting back into shape happens two different ways – one way is that you decide that you need to make more time for you and that you are important. However, the more common version is… that you are disappointed in yourself for getting to this point, and you need to punish yourself by getting your butt kicked by a personal trainer, or starve yourself skinny.
Now, I have recently had an in depth conversation with a friend who is a nutritional therapist and personal trainer, and both of us agree that the best and most successful way to lose weight and maintain or sustain healthy weight loss (e.g. not eating disorder weight loss), is by improving the relationship that you have with yourself.
Let me explain.
When you choose to lose the weight because you are disappointed with yourself for getting to this point, or are experiencing some body shame or body loathing, you are more likely to deprive yourself. You may use sheer willpower to eat foods you don’t particularly enjoy and flog yourself at the gym repeating a mantra similar to ‘you fatty, you need to lose weight’ or something along those lines. You might even berate yourself for allowing your weight to get to this point.
The problem with this scenario is that willpower to maintain this regime is finite. You can deal with the punishment for only so long, before you revisit those old thoughts of ‘This is too hard’ ‘I’m not important’, or ‘I am not capable’. And you go back to old patterns of a person who does not think they are worthy of putting in effort for themselves.
This kind of thinking reinforces that you are bad, unworthy, a disappointment… you get the point. We think that willpower will enable us to eat ALL the lettuce and drink only shakes, but at some point, willpower runs out. And if your relationship with yourself is one of disgust or lack of trust to follow through on yourself, then guess what? You give up on yourself, it’s too hard, and you reinforce the thought ‘I am not capable’.
But weight loss does not have to be really hard, if you are coming from a place of taking care of yourself. My nutritional therapist friend and I both agreed that when clients start to improve the relationship they have with themselves through planning, making healthier choices, and choosing exercise that they enjoy, as opposed to exercise that will punish their butt, then weight loss is a by product of the improved relationship they have built with themselves.
So what can you do to lose weight in a way where you are taking care of yourself?
Take LOVING action for yourself. That looks like honouring yourself and your commitment to follow your plan. As tempting as it can be to ditch the gym if someone says ‘coffee?’, or, take the piece of cake that your friend offers you, don’t cancel on yourself. That coffee can be organised for another time, and leaving the cake means you are willing to do hard things for you and your health, because you are worth it.
Don’t plan food you hate. This is a punishment. Plan food that you love that you know feels good in your body and will give you an even energy throughout the day. Cut back on the sugar and flour but don’t do it in a way where you feel deprived. Make small changes that will lead to a new routine that will get you to lose weight.
Be honest with yourself as to why you are eating the sugary food. Is it to feel better? If it is maybe you need to work on your life, and not try to escape it by eating to feel better. In that case give me a shout. I can help you with this.
Have your own back. If you do fail, see it as a way to learn. Don't punish yourself. Don’t brush the incident under the carpet because you feel shame or embarrassed. Tell yourself the truth. What caused you to eat? What’s going on? What can you do next time?
If you are an emotional eater, want some help to decrease your desire for sugar or flour, or to improve the relationship with yourself so that you can sustain weight loss, then get in touch. One of my clients who completed the program said to me last week – “it really has changed my life”.
It can change your life too.
The new group program is available. Check out my website here for more details. Have a beautiful day.