Last night my sister said to me, “Hey, you know what’s great? This week I got to a place where I’m not stressed out anymore about breastfeeding. I don’t feel compelled to nurse 100% of the time and I no longer have guilt or stress about it. I wish I could figure out what got me to this point so I can be ready for the next time something overwhelms me.”
I liked his answer. He said “you can be more than one thing”.
I had a different answer.
Can you remember the first time you used food to Feed Your Feelings?
Information is power. We need to understand when the habit of using food to feed our feelings first started. We need to understand why the habit started in order to break it.
This got me to thinking about my own childhood. I was trying to remember at what point I started turning to food for my main source of fun. I think it started when I hit puberty and started getting curves. Suddenly the major topic of conversation in my house was whether or not my clothing choices were “appropriate”. Modesty was a huge topic in my house and it became increasingly difficult to please my parents in this area with my ever changing, ever expanding body. So I started avoiding activities to reduce the number of conversations I had to have about what I was wearing. I didn’t want to worry about what to wear so I just stopped doing things like going to parties. But opting out of social engagements presented a new problem. Once I started eliminating activities because I was fat, I slowly had nothing in my life to turn to for relief from the hard stuff. I had no way to reward myself when I aced a test. When I got a bad grade or had a fight with someone, I didn’t have anything fun to do to take my mind off of it or put me in a better mood. So, I ate.
The secret to making exercise a daily habit is to incorporate more fun activities into your daily routine.
Top 10 limiting beliefs that are keeping you from having more fun and losing weight in the process:
Today as we sit and think about the wonderful dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. that we would all get along and celebrate each other’s differences instead of persecuting each other for them, I am left with a thought about my own dreams for each of us in regards to our weight loss journeys and our health.
My (Weight-Loss) Dream:
I have a dream that one day we will no longer judge each other for how much weight we carry around. We will no longer stereotype an overweight person as lazy or lacking self-control. We won’t idolize people simply because they are a size 2 and nothing more.
I have a dream that one day modeling will be a profession for women of all sizes, shapes and colors because the fashion industry will truly be selling to everyone and celebrating everyone no matter what size jeans they wear.
I dream of day when we speak of programs like Weight Watchers as a thing of the past, a thing our ancestors used to participate in and people will say, “oh, isn’t that a funny thing to think about – paying someone to make you stand in line and weigh yourself and count points for every morsel of food you put into your mouth.”
I dream of a day when scales are these antique artifacts left in our grandparents’ attics to discover and marvel at because we no longer use our weight as a measure of our self-worth. Continue reading
The one thing you can do right now to help you start losing weight fast is to find one thing that makes you feel good about the way you look that also has nothing to do with the number on the scale. For me that one thing was rolling my hair at night.For years my mother has been trying to get me to do this but I just blew her off because it seemed like it would just be one more thing I had to add to my to-do list. But this past summer, I finally took her advice and started rolling my hair at night. 4 months later its the single best thing I’ve done for my weight all year.For years my mother insisted that if I just rolled my hair at night it would give me a nice curl in the morning. At that time in my life I was spending a lot of time overexercising so my main hairstyle was a quick ponytail. It was very boring, understated and plain.Subconsciously what was really going on was that I was telling myself, “you are too fat to walk around with your hair looking special. What’s the point anyway? All people will see is how big you are. You’ll seem silly trying to keep your hair nice when everything else looks so bad so don’t bother.”So what’s changed?Why did I finally decide to listen to my mom and try rolling my hair? It certainly wasn’t because I had lost weight. In fact I had a baby in March so I was even bigger!Two years ago I changed the way I approached my weight loss journey. I made a deliberate effort to look as good as I possibly could at the current weight I was. No more waiting on the weight.As a result something incredible happened.
Over the past two years I’ve been noticing a correlation between my stuff and my weight. Over time I’ve also noticed the same correlation between other overweight people and their stuff.
We tend to hold onto extra stuff for no real reason. We say things like, “I might need it one day” or “what if I run out” or “what if someone asks me for a copy of that”.
How do we focus on food in a healthy way that serves us as opposed to focusing on food in a way that leads us astray and back to our addictive ways?
The wrong way to focus on food:
- Don’t focus on food as a way to have fun. When it’s time for you to think about something fun, you should not immediately go to food. As my LMWL coach, Sarah Jenks, says, “your life should be more interesting than your food”
- Don’t focus on food based on its calorie content. You should not make your eating decisions based on how many calories are in the meal. Ignoring your taste buds and your cravings will only make you rebel later in unhealthy ways
- Don’t focus on the next meal. So many times my obsession with food has left me unable to enjoy the meal I’m eating at the moment because I’m so focused on what’s next. Always what’s next, never what’s right in front of me right now.
- Don’t focus on the last mistake you made. You can not fix your last mistake by skipping a meal or ignoring what you really want and eating well below the caloric amount you know you need. The best thing you can do when you feel you’ve made a mistake with your eating or your exercise is simply to move on. Make better choices the very next opportunity you get but DO NOT try to make up for what has already transpired. Let it go. Trying to make up for it will leave you wanting more which will lead to sabotaging and “messing up” AGAIN and then you’re back to the same vicious cycle.
- Don’t focus on delayed gratification. So often I’ve skipped something I wanted in that moment because I was saving my calories for something else later. Unless that something later is truly unique or you only get it in a certain town or during the holiday, don’t save it. Have what you want now. No delays. If you delay you’ll probably eat more of the later food to compensate for what you missed out on earlier. If you watch what you want in the moment and you still want that other thing later, have it. I’ll bet you’ll end up eating a smaller portion and it’ll all shake out in the end . Or better yet, you’ll find it wasn’t all that important to you in the first to place and you let your imagination make it into something it wasn’t.