FEATURE COLUMN – What if someone told you that the key to weight loss was in your thoughts and emotions, not so much your diet? You would probably think they were crazy. Well, call me crazy I guess, because that’s exactly what I’m telling you!
“I’ve been on a constant diet for the last two decades,” Humorist Erma Bombeck said. “I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”
Society has taught us that losing weight is all about willpower and counting calories, so when somebody cheats on their diet, they are lacking self-control. This always ends with the person feeling guilty and disgusted, with the result being weight gain instead of loss. This also furthers a person’s tendency toward self-loathing, which is the opposite of the self-love and acceptance that is needed to lose weight successfully.
When I work with a client, I help find and release blocks that they are carrying around subconsciously. Many times these blocks are a hindrance to their weight loss goals. For example, if a person is holding on to feelings of their weight being a protection, then they will sabotage any diet they try. They won’t have a clue why they are doing it, and will chalk it up to a lack of willpower. They will then go from one diet to another, thinking that they will someday find the right one for them.
This frustrating cycle will repeat itself unless they come to the realization that there is something hidden within themselves that is keeping success at bay. I have personally experienced this awful cycle myself, and have learned the importance of self-love and its role in losing weight.
Thoughts affect our behaviors. These thoughts are provoked by emotions, which have a powerful impact on the choices we make. So if we are carrying the negative emotions of rejection, humiliation or abandonment, we will tend to eat accordingly: stuffing ourselves until we are ill, “inhaling” our food instead of chewing it or the complete opposite — starving ourselves thin.
You ask, so what now? The following are some empowering actions I have incorporated into my business to help my clients conquer the weight loss quest once and for all. Some of these ideas come from my SimplyHealed training and some I just recently found in a great book called “Just Listen to Your Body and Eat,” which fully addresses the concept of honoring our bodies.
- Trade all negative self-talk with uplifting affirmations. Instead of, “I never lose weight no matter what I do,” tell yourself: “My healthy body naturally aligns itself with its correct weight.”
- Address hormonal imbalances. These also have an emotional or subconscious origin, many times being an issue that runs in the family.
- Recognize when you are being too hard on yourself, and work every day to love who you are right now. By caring for yourself, you will naturally want to eat better because you will honor who you are and will want to nourish your body, not just feed it.
- Keep a food journal for a period of time in which you list what you have eaten that day. Just observe, don’t judge. This will help you correlate the emotions that are tied to the eating. Eventually you will be able to recognize what is driving you to eat when you are not hungry, or grabbing for the junk food instead of a nourishing meal. This is huge, because it will help you see the connection with every other aspect of your life, which is very empowering.
Life is short and precious. Learn to honor yourself so that your thoughts and feelings reflect this truth. Magical things will happen: You will enjoy healthier foods, desire physical activity and experience an abundance of energy. The weight will then take care of itself gracefully and effortlessly.
Written by Brigit Atkin for St. George Health and Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Atkin is a certified practitioner of the SimplyHealed Method, which blends the art of healing with cutting-edge research and clears negative emotions on a mental, emotional and physical level in an easy, non-invasive way. It can release stress of any kind, whether it be years of abuse or daily things that tend to overwhelm our emotional circuitry. She was trained by Carolyn Cooper and works as a healing practitioner within the St. George community.
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