No doubt some of you have gone back to work with a few extra pounds, including me! It's that time of year when the diet industry just loves to cash in on people wanting to lose weight.
Remember that shedding weight is a very personal thing, and some find it easier than others. We all have personal programs and patterns running inside our subconscious mind, which make up our habits and behaviors.
Although there are many quick-fix solutions and diets, these rarely last in the long term if you don't do the work at the deeper level. It's important to be aware that your body and mind need time to adjust from old eating patterns to new ones.
The body and mind also needs time to feel OK about being a particular size and if it feels outside of its comfort zone (i.e. vulnerable to the all seeing eyes of those who may notice you). Eeek! It will often try to take you back to where it feels more comfortable, which could be with a nice padded shield attached. This could result in a feeling that you are missing out and a craving to make up for food that you haven't allowed yourself to eat.
Here are some tips for you, typed with love.....
1. Remember: everything in moderation.
You should avoid depriving yourself of the things you love because the more you do, the more you will crave them. This craving behavior happens to anyone who tries to lose weight by starving themselves of the things they enjoy, believe me!
Either way, it creates a feeling of lack in your subconscious mind and causes you to behave in ways you wouldn’t normally around food. It also causes you to see food as some kind of enemy, which it certainly isn’t because you need it to survive! It’s just about making the right choices for the healthy stuff.
2. Only do exercise that you enjoy.
Ideally it should make you feel good when you participate, and doesn't create a sense of dread or “I can’t be bothered.” It has been scientifically proven that the more you try to make yourself do something you don't find pleasure in, the more likely you are guaranteed to fail. Fact!
HOWEVER, if you are not used to a regular exercising regime, you need to allow your body and mind time to adjust to a new routine, so give it a few weeks and if you still don’t enjoy your exercise choice, try something different.
I remember walking out of a Legs, Bums and Tums class a few years ago, and decided I'd never go back. I hated it, but I kept pushing myself to go. For some reason, I've felt particularly amazing after the classes, so I decided to try Spinning after a friend raved about it.
After my first Spinning class, I came out feeling like I wanted to die, which was great! That is exactly how I like to feel after I have exercised and I have been going now for over 5 years, at least two to three times a week (give or take the odd holiday).
I now mix it up with walking, yoga and sometimes a small gym work out. I never beat myself up about not spending at least a whole hour in the gym. Go for as long as you feel you want to. Allowing just 30 minutes for a work-out is better than nothing. Also don’t presume that you HAVE to do something vigorous, if you prefer yoga or Pilates, they're just as effective and get you into the habit of caring about having a healthy body.
3. Avoid weighing yourself every day, or even every week.
It's unreasonable to put pressure on your body like that. Let it do its natural thing and adjust over the month. I suggest you throw away the scales – I can hear your doctor screaming at me! When I threw away my scales, it was the most liberating thing I ever did. (I haven’t weighed myself for over 5 years.)
I still went on to lose 14 pounds in two years, and I went by how my clothes felt. Give your body time to dissolve the weight. Avoid putting the pressure on as this can drive you to self sabotage if you don’t fulfil your desired weight (by the time you stamped yourself into having achieved it by).
4. Tune into your stomach.
If it’s crying out for food with hunger pains (not psychological/emotional hunger pains), let it have something to eat. You can still lose weight and be full-up, it just depends on what you eat. If you have to follow any eating regime, try to stick to foods low on the glycemic index, which fill you up, but are healthy at the same time.
5. Give yourself a chance to adjust to any new regime.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t lose a pound in a week, know that you are doing the best you know how. The most important thing is to notice any emotional eating patterns. If you find that you constantly crave food when you’re bored, lonely, depressed, happy, guilty then you are only eating away at your emotions, and the feeling will still be there after you’ve eaten the food.
It may numb any emotional pain for a brief half an hour but you could end up feeling worse after eating something which in your opinion is “baaaad” (no food is bad if it’s eaten in moderation).
When you beat yourself up with guilt you are making yourself feel much worse than you did before. Forgive yourself, let it go, DO NOT PUNISH YOURSELF! Instead sing a happy song and tell yourself that you are an amazing, fantastic person learning as you go (see self love affirmations and treat yourself to some positive self talk). We all make mistakes as that is how we learn.
6. Learn to be nice to yourself when you look in the mirror.
So many times people decide that if they lose weight they will be happier, feel more sexy, have more friends/relationships, be popular, get more respect. All these things you can have at any body shape or size if you can learn to find the balance first. If you learn to love what is on the inside, the rest falls into place.
This is a big challenge for so many people but it’s important to gain the quality that you are looking for first rather than decide to be happier, more popular, have respect, feel sexy after you lose weight.
Chances are these are just things you HOPE you will have when you eventually get there. However as I mentioned previously, if you are constantly putting the weight back on then you need to look deeper to find out what needs to change within you first.
7. Reach out.
Finally, if you still feel you would like some help in resolving self sabotage, integrating new patterns of behaviour and diminishing the old negative habits. Or you just want to offload, do get in touch with me for a chat.