Why are there bookshelves full of every diet and weight loss plan conceivable? What is the easiest way to navigate through all the ideas and beliefs on this subject?
Years ago, I used to put all my focus on the numbers on the scale. I tried every diet in the book. I lived on tuna and spinach, exercised for hours, starved and deprived my body and counted calories obsessively. You name it I did it.
As I started on my “conscious journey” to self discovery, I knew there had to be more to this than meets the eye. I began to notice the beliefs I had about my body and let go of the ones that didn’t serve me. Instead of trying to manipulate my body into a certain size or shape I started to examine all the judgments I had heard growing up about what a woman's body should look like. I practiced being present with my food instead of using it to numb out and slowed down enough to enjoy every bite. These steps were the launching pad to creating a new relationship with my body.
Loving myself at any weight began the transformation of my body. The fastest changes happened when I stepped away from this subject altogether. Instead of fixating on the size and number on the scale, I began to focus on creating joy in all areas of my life. Letting go of the judgment and everyone else’s opinion about what was right or wrong was key. If I thought of the extra 15 pounds I was carrying after the birth of my son, I would stop and ask,”And who is judging you?”
Here are a few questions to shed some light on your relationship with food and your body...
- Are you eating to stuff down emotions or to not face things? What if eating emotionally doesn’t soothe your emotions but actually only leaves you feeling sick?
- Do you eat like your family eats? Do you eat for other reasons than just being hungry? Is it your escape route, helping you to cope? Have you ever eaten too much food to cut of your awareness, like when you’re around family? How about allowing your family to be exactly who they are so you they don’t affect you?
- What's the value of the body image you have? If you felt you could choose any image, what would you create?
- Can you let go of all your points of views about what’s good or bad for your body? If you think that all chocolate is bad for your body and you eat it anyway, what emotions come up? If you feel guilty and bad about it before you even put it in your mouth, how much enjoyment will you experience? Get rid of all your conclusions and guilt about what you eat and start a conversation with your body from a clear space.
- What if your body knew what it needed to work and knew how to take care of itself, we just need to tune into that? Take a moment before you dive into the fridge and ask, “Is my body hungry or am I just bored?” Before you order off the menu, tune into your body and ask, “Body, what do you want to eat?”
- Do you unconsciously believe you still have to eat everything on your plate? Imagine eating your food aware of every bite... Feeling the textures on your tongue, the taste buds lighting up, all your senses fully involved and visualize yourself satisfied, stopping before you were overly full!
Perhaps it isn’t what you eat; it’s how you feel when you eat it. Focus on what makes you feel a little lighter in each moment. In this awareness you can begin to let go of any limiting beliefs of what you thought was possible for your body and cultivate a new relationship, filled with trust, joy and change.