I promise that if you give this Weight Loss Tip a good shot, you will experience important revelations about yourself! Would you be willing to share them with me? If so, you might make some mental notes about your experience like:
what are you thinking?
how do you feel?
what do you want?
And please be compassionate and non-judgmental with yourself! Whatever you experience is OK, and you are, too!
A confirmation will follow.
I am a Foodie. Always have been. As a child, I was enjoying stinky cheese, eggplant and anchovies long before my peers could abide the thought of eating them. It wasn't a contest. It wasn't the past-time of a food snob. It wasn't even cool. It was about a kid who really relished great food. Worry over weight didn't occur to me. I was naturally active and slender. And I was very sheltered. At age 18, I went away to college where I soon began navigating the unfamiliar terrain of dorm life and higher-ed classes with total strangers, all in a big city. It was both exciting and unsettling.
The cafeteria offered a bounty of self-serve food! I enjoyed meals, yes, but they were tinged with the nervous energy of my new situation. I started paying less attention to how full I was getting and began relying more on, simply, the comfort in the routine of eating. Adding to this the complicated relationships with new friends, I was also becoming a social eater. I had created a great recipe for overindulgence. You see where this is going, right?
At some point in the first quarter, I stepped on a friend's bathroom scale. I had gained 8 pounds! Yikes! Not ever having experienced this type of weight gain, my reaction was to take drastic measures and put myself on a strict diet.
This innocent diet soon morphed into a full-blown weight problem. Each successful day of denying myself the food that I loved was, inevitably, followed by a “crash and burn" day of out-of-control bingeing. The harder I worked at losing weight, the more weight I would gain on the rebound. Despite my own evidence to the contrary, I convinced myself that dieting and exercise was the answer to weight loss. After all, that was the conventional “wisdom" of the day. (For the most part, it still is.) So, I would pick myself up after each failure and start a new diet again and again. I whirled around for several years, stuck in a cycle of dieting, punishing exercise, bingeing, shame and fluctuating weight. I became a prisoner in my own body. When I saw myself in the mirror, I saw a stranger. Worst of all, food, one of my favorite things in life, had become my enemy. I still loved food, but food was not my friend. I was living the Foodie's version of Hell.
Most of the holiday celebrations were over and I had dieted and, then binged my way up to an all-time high. Finally, I just needed to quit. I felt as though I'd used all my resources and energy and had nothing to show for it. I went to bed exhausted and defeated. It was then that I experienced my “dark night of the soul". Here I was, an agnostic, asking the universe for help. Through some form of miracle, starting the very next morning, I found my way off the weight roller-coaster!
What happened during those dark hours? First, I remember finding some self-compassion. I realized that all my efforts with strict dieting, harsh exercising and, then bingeing, amounted to nothing more than self-abuse. Second, I admitted my truth. I admitted that I loved food and eating. I wanted food to be my friend, to nourish me, mind, body and spirit. Maybe if I paid close attention to the full experience of eating, I could feel nourished and satisfied instead of desperate and anxious about it. These ruminations produced in me a profound change in thinking about myself and food and eating. I decided I would, from then on, refrain from abuse and treat myself with dignity. I would honor myself as a “foodie". No more diets! I would, from then on, use food as it was intended. Furthermore, I would give the act of eating the dignity it deserved, as a ritual for nourishing the mind, body and spirit.
Within three weeks I knew that I was on a better track (pun intended). I planned and enjoyed my meals. I engaged all my senses as I ate. I allowed myself to experience my true hunger before the meal. I ate slowly so I could learn to recognize my gradual satiety without getting overly full. I came to embody the change in mind awakened during my dark night. I dropped weight steadily, replacing self-abuse with an exquisite self-awareness that was joyful and nourishing.I continued on my weight-loss journey. I practiced being “in the moment" with each step: planning, shopping, preparing and carefully serving my meals. I created a beautiful setting for the meals. I noted my progress on a calendar everyday. It felt like extra work in the beginning, like most new things do, but it wasn't painful, like dieting. I was developing new habits, so new wrinkles were forming in the brain, like laying down new tracks and replacing the old ones. Soon the new habits took on a momentum of their own. The work became lighter as the habits began carrying me, giving me more security and control. Being “present" was becoming automatic and it seemed my weight loss had "switched-on!Anxiety over my weight was ebbing. Though I still loved ice cream, the giant magnet that used to pull my car into the local Dairy Queen was losing its power. As a side benefit to becoming more present with food and eating, I was growing more intuitive about choosing great recipes and so, I could enjoy delicious, uncomplicated food without being the greatest cook. I enjoyed my journey knowing that eventually I would reach my weight loss destination. I looked up one day, nine months later, with the sudden realization that I'd left my “weight problem" far behind. Not long afterward, a friend who was meeting me at the airport almost walked passed me. She did not recognizing me until I began waving my now slender arms.
With very little effort I have maintained my weight over the course of my life. Once set in motion my new good habits continued to evolve until I had fully embodied what I now call “MindBody Presence" regarding food and eating. Even with years of perspective I still find the relative ease of my weight loss journey compelling. It is as if I jumped off a wild rollercoaster ride and onto the smooth luxury train where meals are savored and weight loss is sustainable and sure.
Are my results reproducible in others? Without a doubt! Largely, Western medicine has been resistant to holism and only began seriously studying the mind-body connection in the '1990s'. My research led me to these relatively new studies that measured the profound connection between the mind and the body, regarding digestion, metabolism, weight management and much more. I was heartened to learn that I had personally experienced the success described by Harvard doctor, Herbert Benson, nutritionist and psychologist, Marc David, and practitioners of Transcendental Meditation and Mindfulness, Jan Chozen Bays, MD and Jon Kabat-Zinn. This provided the clarity and motivation I needed to earn certifications in Whole Person Coaching and Food Psychology Coaching.
One of my clients said that at first she really didn't want to get on her journey. She didn't think she'd enjoy it because she thought it meant denying herself. She was pleasantly surprised when she finally began to pay close attention when she ate. She said, "I love to eat. I didn't like the idea of limiting myself, then I found out I didn't have to!" When nothing else worked, getting on her journey, and letting time and exquisite attention gently transform her, finally did.
It is my mission to empower others who struggle with their weight to enjoy their transformative MindBody Journey to their desired weight loss destination. It would be an honor to assist you on your own path. It is my firm belief that great joy is in your journey ahead.
Try This Easy Tip for 4 Days, then tell me about it.
» MindBody Tips for Weight Loss
» Living The Foodie Life
» Miracles of Mind-Body Science (It's All About You)
» What's Coaching About, If Not Sports?
You want to Look Your Best, Feel Your Best, and "Lose Weight for Life, While Loving Food".
You are naturally equipped with the resources you need to achieve your desired result. YOU CAN DO THIS!
As your coach I would be honored to help you "Enjoy Your Journey" to your your weight loss destination. Want to taste a little coaching before getting on board?
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