Emotional Freedom and Weight Loss
To lose weight, be kind to yourself
It's that time of year again. Time to start planning your weight loss resolutions. The end of the year is a time when the pounds seem to pile on. The average weight gain from Thanksgiving to the New Year is five pounds per person. That equals a lot of holiday binging.
For most Americans, holiday eating and celebrating is a mixed bag. We over-indulge, then berate oursleves for our lack of control and bad behavior. We love holiday snacking, but we hate how it makes us feel, both physically and emotionally. Many of us tend to overindulge with rich holiday food, too many sweets and too much alcohol. Although, at the time, we can justify it by saying that it's the holiday season, and we are allowed to enjoy ourselves, we often feel regret and shame once the holiday's are past. We berate ourselves for our lack of self control, and we wish that we could do it differently.
The holidays do not have to bring such turmoil. We can choose to have a more peaceful experience. We can choose a healthy lifestyle everyday without sacrificing enjoyment of holiday festivities. Without sounding preachy or confrontational, I hope to encourage you to experience a more peaceful and healthy holiday season, New Year, and moving into future celebrations.
Rather than punish yourself physically or emotionally, today is a great day to start fresh, mentally, emotionally and physically. There is no time like now, to be kind to yourself, to love yourself, and to experience peace and health.
How much weight did you gain over the holiday season?
The Culture of Victimization
Many of us coast through life, unaware that we have become unwitting victims of our own perception. How many times have you blamed your life on your circumstances?
How many of these sound familiar:
- I can't lose weight because I have bad genes
- I am fat because my family is fat
- I am overweight because I've had so many children
- I can't control myself around the holidays
- I'm not giving up what I love just to be healthy
- I just can't help myself
- It's not my fault that I'm... (overweight, angry, lonely, sad, depressed, fat, hungry...)
- I have no control over... (food, my children, myself, my weight, my family, you...)
We have been trained most of our lives to be victims. It takes a conscious effort for most people to rise above feeling victimized by life, and most people don't ever try. It has become such second nature for us, that we often don't realize we are doing it.
People are not only victims of their weight, but their childhood, a bad upbringing, a bad marriage, a mean person, the list could go on forever of the ways we let others victimize us. The good news is, we can make it stop.
The first step is to realize that you are blaming someone else for your outcome. The second step is to consciously decide not to be a victim any longer. We can't control other people, but we can control ourselves and our perception of the world around us. We have complete control over our own experience, whether it is with food, or in relationships, at work or at home.
The biggest block to weight loss (besides too much fast food, and an addiction to sugar and fat) and emotional and physical health is our victimization mode. When we feel victimized, we feel powerless to change. It is time to take back your own power and regain control of your own life.
The Victim Mentality
How to get more out of your life
What does this have to do with weight loss?
The secret to losing weight is the same secret to gaining control over other aspects of your life. First, stop looking to blame someone. Take charge of what you put into your mouth, and what you allow into your life. If you don't like it, it's ok to spit it out.
You can spit all kinds of things out of your life, if they aren't good for you. Rather than coasting through life, mindlessly consuming food, emotional baggage, television that makes your brain vomit, you can spit it out. Just because you've always done something one way, or just because you've always eaten a certain food, or just because you've always watched a particular program, or just because someone has always been mean to you, doesn't mean you have to endure it one more second. Spit it out. Even babies are smart enough to spit out what they don't like. We could follow that lead, both figuratively and literally by spitting out what is not beneficial to us.
The first key is to realize that you are valuable, you deserve good things in your life, and you are loved. As victims, we have often talked ourselves into believing that we deserve second best, or that we deserve bad treatment, or that we deserve to be fat or unhealthy. Not True! You deserve a life of peace, abundance and health just as much as anyone else. Before you can have it though, you must first agree that you deserve it, and be willing to work to achieve it.
You deserve to be healthy, and because of that you are free to make choices that positively impact your health. Once you agree that you don't have to be a victim of your body shape, you free yourself up to change, to metamorphosize into a beautiful and shapely butterfly. You can choose your shape. You can choose your perception of the world around you, and you can choose to be free from victimization.
Yeah, but I thought you were going to tell me how to lose weight...
Ok. On to the practical application of choosing freedom over victimization, and how you can use that freedom to lose weight, stop drinking, stop smoking, or loose yourself from whatever chains may bind you to less than your optimum life.
First, make a choice that in this moment, you will be healthy. Think about the principle of "Be, Do, Have". If you want to lose weight, or be healthy, or stop drinking, or whatever, then think about what a person would do, who were already thin or healthy or not an alcoholic. What would they do in a moment? What would they eat for lunch? What would they drink in the afternoon? What habits would they practice in any given moment? Do those things. If you are clear on what you want to "BE", then "Do" those things that are conducive to being that. Finally, you will "HAVE" what you desire.
I don't mean to make it sound like weight loss is as simple as all that, but it kind of is. Once we decide to have a different perception about ourselves, about our bodies, and about our own health, the hard part is over. Most of our battles with food come from internal battles with ourselves. The effects of any decision stay in place until you make a different choice.
If you choose to eat too much candy, you will face the effects of that decision. If you choose to bottle up your anger, fear, hurt and other emotional issues, you will pay for that decision with poor health.
If you choose unhealthy habits, relationships, or circumstances, you will suffer the consequences of those choices. Once you change your mind, you can change your entire life. The first step to change is a mental one. Decide that you want things to be different. Once you have decided, then you can begin stepping forward, making changes that reflect your new identity.
It takes courage to change your mind, but once you do, you will find all sorts of emotional freedom. And when you feel that tightening in the middle of your stomach or chest, take a moment. Before you put something in your mouth to mask that pain, take a deep breath. Think about what it is that you are actually feeling. It is ok to feel angry, scared, sad or lonely. Allow yourself the freedom to feel your emotions. Once you identify that feeling, take a moment and actually feel it. Acknowledge how you feel, and think about what set it off, then take another deep breath and let it go. Let the anger, fear, rejection or whatever else go, and choose not to be a victim of circumstances.
Weight loss and emotional freedom
But how do I lose weight?
Ultimately of course, losing weight has a lot to do with taking in fewer calories than you burn. Recent studies indicated that it may be easier to lose weight by eating less, than by trying to burn more calories. While exercise is important for cardiovasuclar health, muscle tone, and general fitness, to really lose weight, you must eat less.
Having said that, there are some emotional reasons behind why we eat what we do. There are psychological reasons, and sometimes we just feel hungry. The best way to lose weight is to eat less food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, and drink LOTS of water. When you have a lot of weight to lose, it may seem daunting, but you only have to lose one pound at a time. You only have to choose differently this time. The next moment will take care of itself.
Making more good choices than bad choices will utlimately result in weight loss. Try to make a good choice at your next meal. Don't beat yourself up for what you ate yesterday, or even this morning. Just be kind to yourself, and make a good choice the next time you open your mouth. The good choices will add up, even if it takes a little time.
Stop. Before you eat, drink a glass of water. Often we mistake dehydration for hunger. Drink some water, relax and wait. If you are still hungry, then make a healthy food choice. Make a good choice in this moment. Don't worry about the past or the future. Be present now.
Before you eat something, first bring your attention to your body. Breathe. Feel your body. Feel the emotions that you are experiencing. Give yourself the attention you need. Address what is happening in your emotional body. Five deep breaths before you begin eating will bring your awareness into your body, will help you focus on what you are about to eat, and will help you remember to express gratitude for your health, for your body, and for the food you are about to eat.
Remember, be kind to yourself. Make good choices. Be patient. Slowly, the weight will come off, and you will find that you are happier overall, for setting yourself free.
Namaste, my friends.