Posts Tagged maintaining weight loss

The Scale: Tyrant Or Tool?

imagesSCE3MP10Remember it is your behavior that determines your weight, not the scale. Think about how you use your scale. Or, does it use you? Does it tell you how to feel, what to wear or what to eat? Do you weigh yourself as frequently as you floss your teeth? Standing on a cold scale is the second thing many women do every morning. Others haven’t been near a scale for years. You are too savvy to compete with an appliance but you may have become dependent on one. Please, don’t give up any of your power to a number.

If the anxiety of not weighing yourself at your usual frequency is too high, reduce your dependency on the scale by skipping a weigh-in” whenever you can. Deciding not to weigh yourself this morning may be the first step you take in healing your relationship with food.  Healthy weight loss involves reconnecting to your body and yourself in different ways.

The process of discovering a healthier weight can be a time for continual growth. You can’t rely solely on what the scale “says” when it comes to gauging your knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about what being healthy means for you. That the scale does not register an expected weight loss at a particular time does not reflect the beneficial changes taking place on a physical, emotional and spiritual level as you are making changes in how you eat to be healthier woman. Your best weight may be very different from the number in your head, on a chart or how much your best friend weighs.

I Would Be Happy If I Could Only lose Weight….”

410950321Diets fail because they are an offspring of control. They are disguised attempts at manipulating our external environment to achieve a change that must come from deep within ourselves. Following someone else’s rules and setting arbitrary limits about everything we put into our mouth cannot possibly harness the power of our own healing.

Most “diets” come to predictable ends. They are subject to boredom, disillusionment, impatience and lack of joy. They keep us hooked for a while on achieving an outcome that may have been unrealistic from the start. Any diet based on the common belief “I would be happy if I could only lose weight” leaves us feeling miserable, if not a little brokenhearted.

Even when we lose weight, if we still think about ourselves in the same, old ways our food issues continue to be a domineering force in our lives. We still think that “thinner is better.” We still talk about losing “five more pounds” even after we reach a more satisfactory weight range. We still stand in front of the mirror trying to decide if we are still fat.

Succeeding on a new diet or healing your relationship with food can both result in achieving an ideal weight. Whether the amount of weight lost is the same or quite different, it is only by their permanent outcomes can you tell them apart. When you go off the diet, if everything returns to the way it was and nothing else in your life has changed except the number on the scale, it’s very unlikely that number will remain where it is.

When you heal your relationship with food, your life is transformed. Weight loss is easily maintained because you have gained insight about your old behaviors and reframed your thinking about food and hunger.  Inspiration comes from the desire to be healthy, not wanting a smaller body. You have learned how to live a more satisfying life with a more enlightened relationship with yourself.

Before During and After: Successful Weight Loss After 40

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The problem with “Before and After” photos do not take into account the step by step process of committing to health, day by day, to achieve an outcome we’ve longed for. Maybe by including “During” in these images (the many ways we keep investing in our health) our “After” photo would truly be our very own “picture of health…”

 

One fallacy the weight loss industry continues to promote is that our lives will change once we lose 10, 20, or 120 pounds. One thing I know for sure from years of working with women who struggle with issues related to eating, food and weight: Changing our lives comes first. Sustained weight loss follows. Take time to define what good health means to you – what you are willing to do and what you are willing to change- to live the life you want. What one change can you make right now to live the life you want?

Hunger, Healing and Joy

 

We honor our hunger most not by offering food to our body right away, but by giving it a voice. Listen to what your hunger is telling you and where it is coming from. If your hunger is physical and persistent, by all means feed your body.  If it continues or reappears too soon, might you be confusing it with something else?images.jpg cccc

Try restoring your spirit with a breath of fresh air and a few moments in the sunlight. Give your mind a spontaneous treat and take out the latest photos of the children (again) or finish the insightful article you earmarked last week. When you stay engaged with your hunger just a little longer and give it a name, the promise of feeling full and whole is  within your reach.

Every hunger can be the next opportunity to heal your relationship with food and with yourself.  Your healing begins anew every time you break the old connection of feeding your body at the first sign of a hunger. Just by acknowledging the existence of another kind of hunger changes your perspective and gives you new choices. Keep in mind that besides all the healthy food available for your body, there are unlimited resources to nourish and satisfy every part of yourself.

Hunger connects us to life—not as a distraction, but a direction.  It directs us to be responsible for our health and feed our bodies consistently and intelligently. When we understand how often our hunger is holding the space for unlimited reserves of joy, we can anticipate the prospect for complete fulfillment in just one moment or over our entire lifetime.

How often do you think about reclaiming the joy in your life? How often do you experience hunger? Joy, like hunger, is not only for special occasions. Yet we are much more aware of needing food for our physical hunger as opposed to how woefully deprived our spirit is of joy. If it is easier to remember the last time our belly was stuffed rather than when our hearts were full of joy, perhaps the next time hunger taps us we can name it before we feed it. What Part of You Is Hungry?

The Reality of Weight Loss

The reality of a weight loss is often different than its promise. Generally, we are delighted to see different sides of ourselves emerge as we are in the process of losing weight or reach our “goal.” We feel livelier, move with greater ease and even breathe better. But living in a new physical space requires that we give ourselves enough time and constant support to adapt to a different physical, emotional and spiritual reality.

imagesAYYKH92QFor some, a change in body shape and dimensions is like learning to walk all over again, navigating through the world in a whole new way. Learning to trust and respect our body doesn’t happen automatically if we haven’t felt that way before. It takes time to see our bodies as truly sacred aspects of our being when we’ve rejected them for so long.

untitled.pngwwEven when we’ve become accustomed to a healthy diet, we still get hungry. We still get hungry when we are surrounded by temptation or dealing with too much stress. We still get hungry as our self-esteem and confidence (and dress size) is seeking new levels and our relationships change. When food has been our “default” for so long, we must remain vigilant of falling back into the habit of feeding our body when our hunger is coming from someplace else.

The proportions, symmetry and priorities of our lives keep changing and all the fine tuning is up to us. Weight loss is complex. Understanding our hungers and balancing the collective resources of our body, mind and spirit with our needs supports a truly healthy life. Our excesses and deficiencies are there to balance us, not diminish us.

imagesIRQ03P8MWhat challenges have you faced once you have been successful in losing weight? What insights can you share with someone else who is about to reach her goal weight?