How can I let my body eat what it wants and still be able to lose weight?
My client Elizabeth is working to heal from years of dieting, restriction, and 30-day programs that helped her lose weight but left her feeling like crap. To compound the situation, her parents went through a wicked divorce during her teenage years and she experienced hunger because she sometimes went without food. So, this week we spent an hour together talking about ways to close the gap between eating what you want and still lose weight with grace, ease, and glory.
Needless to say, we've been doing some beautiful work together and focusing on being present throughout meals. Sitting down while eating, tasting the food on your plate, staying checked in and wickedly present are all part of the roadmap. We've also spent a lot of time talking about learning to eat her your body wants. And she asked me, "How can I let my body eat what it wants and still be able to lose weight?"
It's a super important question, because if you've dieted most of your life, you probably stopped listening to your intuition and inner voice a loooooong time ago. All the external messages and rules you followed on your dieting plan trumped any actual needs of your real body. The hunger pangs, the lightheadedness, the bloating and fatigue all were shut down in hot pursuit of pounds to be lost and clothes to fit into.
How many times have you ignored what your body was telling in because you thought that hunger and suffering was a necessary piece of the weight loss equation?
Or thought that if you could just stay motivated through that pain the reward would be worth it?
But here's the thing: short-term suffering won't heal your mind or your body. Whether you've gone through physical hunger, emotional hunger, or spiritual hunger, the answer to satisfying those hungers goes way deeper than food. Putting chocolate on an open wound won't heal those scars. And as long as you're going for the quick fix over and over again, you will continue to set yourself up for failure, heartbreak, and disappointment.
The real answer to healing your relationship between food and your body has to come from a place of self-love.
That means you have to destroy and un-create old beliefs about whether or not you are worthy of feeding yourself nutritious foods in the first place--especially when food is a symbol of love. Whether or not you're feeling fat that day has nothing to do with the fact that you are still entitled to love the hell out of yourself by eating well. And you are indeed worthy of pleasure, health, and a beautiful life every single day, regardless of your squishy middle, cellulite on your thighs, or the numbers on the scale.
The pounds and your weight won't change overnight. You can't shame or hate yourself into weight loss. So why not love yourself along the way?
Why not remove the too-tight clothes that make you feel terrible about yourself from your closet? If or when they fit you again you can always come back to them. But to slap yourself with the shame stick every single morning is a craptastic way to start the day. Clear out your closet and get rid of the roadblocks that help you feel beautiful. Only wear clothes that leave you feeling good about yourself.
Why not buy foods that your BODY truly wants to eat? Your mind may want those chocolate chip cookies, but your body may need some homemade soup, steak and sautéed spinach. And to know how that feels, you've got to give it a try and see. Chew your food, taste the flavors, and put your fork down between bites. Check in to see if you feel satisfied or hungry for more. Respect the hell out of your appetite. And then if you still want those cookies, have them. Put them on a plate, warm them in the oven, and enjoy every sensual bite by sitting at the table, one bite at a time. Be present and dialed in to the pleasures of your food.
Why not decide that you look beautiful every day, muffin top notwithstanding?
Why not focus on the pounds that you can lift at the gym instead of the pounds on the scale? Or the fact that you are indeed healthy and perfect as you are, right this very minute?
You are worthy of love whether you eat those cookies or not. So go ahead and destroy those other voices that tell you anything otherwise. Listen to your body and learn what it needs from you. Eat what you like and stop when you are full. In time, you will lose the emotional attachment you have to food and foods that used to trigger you will no longer hold any power over you. Instead let permissiveness will build up your personal power and sense of worth. It will be the antidote to shame and the gateway to pleasure!
PSSSST! Oh, one more thing. I've had fantastic calls with a lovely group of you this past week, and I'm looking forward to connecting with those of you are ready to give the boot to your inner critic, love the hell out of your body, feel energized and strong throughout the day, and connect the dots between all the magical ways that the right foods can support your body. Interested? Let's talk--> click here to get started. XO