Posts Tagged weight gain

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.

Just Where Is the Dysfunction in “Dysfunctional Eating?”

shutterstock_165652964Our body weight does not define the degree of dysfunction in our eating. Anytime we use food to ease our despair rather than nourish our bodies and support our well-being, our eating is dysfunctional.

It may appear more obvious that someone needing to lose one-hundred pounds suffers with eating and food issues more than someone needing to lose fifteen, but body weight hardly defines the degree of despair we hold about our lives.

When food and despair become entwined, we lose sight of feeding ourselves and try to feed the despair, instead. Feeding despair is often a driving force behind our misuse of food and becoming entrapped in harmful eating patterns. Eating is “dysfunctional” when it leaves us on the other side of good health and loving our lives.

Using food in an effort to hide anguish from ourselves or others does not eliminate ease  pain or heal it. Understanding and accepting our vulnerabilities and difficulties as valid and endearing aspects of who we are is the foundation for true healing. Everyone comes face- to- face with all kinds of seemingly external obstacles that stand in the way of self-discovery. If yours are about your relationship with food, these obstacles are your calls for healing your life. They represent the turmoil within to know and accept everything about yourself, even the parts you don’t yet understand.

It may be sobering to admit the psychological, emotional and spiritual burdens that our body and food issues can impose on our lives. For some of us, decisions about food and eating are so layered and complicated that they become a source of on-going tension that never lets up. We become so caught up in the daily struggle that we don’t fully grasp that our lives don’t have to be this way. Before we know it, tomorrow is already upon us and the struggle begins again. A different paradigm for thinking about food can free you from thoughts about being or becoming fat, and all the other related issues that have taken a stranglehold on your life. What Part of You Is Hungry?

 

Dilemma: Distraction or Decision?

imagesFYQPDYOBIt is nine o’clock on a Friday night. You’ve just come home from having a great dinner with friends from work.  After a long and intense week of pouring your highly developed talents into finalizing a critical project, all you want to do is crawl into bed and watch a movie on TV. In the bed with you are some chips and leftover guacamole, bean and cheese dip. On your night table, a can of soda and a handful of grapes wait. More food wasn’t in your plan or was it?

You decide to turn off the television (great decision) and right away, all the resentment you ignored this week while scrambling to meet your boss’s demands settles in your throat. The unforgiving belief that nothing you do is ever good enough takes hold as the aching for recognition pulses in your stomach. The satisfying dinner and the food within your reach notwithstanding, your hunger from a tremendous sense of lack has followed you home.

When we are heart-hungry, heartsick or heartbroken, it is not our body that needs nourishment. We have the choice of distracting ourselves from our pain with food or making the decision to love ourselves. Self-compassion is the antidote for merciless self-judgment; it stops us from relentlessly finding fault and beating ourselves up. A little bit of compassion for ourselves is a bridge to our spirit when we fail, feel isolated in our imperfections and are about to give up on ourselves.

Our relationship with food is complicated.  It can become entwined with important emotional and spiritual issues and the direction our lives are taking. It is important to examine if we are comforting or numbing ourselves with how and what we eat. Taking a closer look at our unhealthy eating patterns can help us see if we are using food in ways that starve our spirit or help it thrive. What Part of You Is hungry?

 

 

Don’t Feed A Starving Spirit Bread

images9TADCVNWSpiritual starvation is often self-inflicted. It has different degrees of severity as can all forms of mal-nourishment. When our spirit is starving, the symptoms are the same as when our mind or body is starving; lethargy, weakness, confusion and irritability. When we are not in touch with our heart to remind us we are enough and have enough, the quality of our lives diminish. Spiritual lethargy clouds over all aspects of our being and we are vulnerable to feelings of emptiness and loss.

A starving spirit can affect our immune system, making our bodies more susceptible to illness. When we cannot access the love in our hearts, we can be very hungry, indeed. Traipsing around, outside our hearts, makes it difficult to retrieve enough of the spiritual resources we need to overcome our most powerful urges to eat that are not biological in nature.

There is no “quick fix” to developing a healthy relationship with food or with yourself. The ultimate solution is a matter of maturity, introspection and spiritual discernment. It is a lifetime endeavor. We learn better ways to take care of ourselves over time. Fortunately, there is enough love and deep appreciation in our heart’s pantry for how we chose to live our life. We have enough courage to get through our physical and emotional problems and our soul’s struggles with feelings of worthlessness, shame, loss and grief—and all the accompanying pain. We find enough wisdom to know the truth and strive for wholeness.

For the spirit….. “Enough is a feast.”     Buddhist Proverb

 

One More Time…Why Do Diets Fail?

Going on a diet based on the common belief “I would be happy if I could only lose this weight” is often a set up for failure. Gaining everything back after our most valiant efforts to shed extra pounds leaves us feeling miserable, if not a little brokenhearted.

Diets 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 us. They keep us hooked for a while on achieving an outcome that may be incomplete or unrealistic and make little room for real healing.

imagesG9U578DK.jpgYO YoThe “next, new diet” is embraced  because so many of us keep thinking that our happiness is relative to the size of our backsides. If a new diet is our only tool, the mindset we had while we were overweight can remain with us long after a weight loss has made good progress or is completed.

Some quotes from women you may envy because they lost weight:

Buying clothes is a not the fun I thought it would be. I try on something over and over again until I find something to fit me. It’s just the way it used to be, only the opposite. I still don’t like what I see in the mirror.

Losing the weight forces me to feel things I didn’t have to before.” I thought I’d be happier.

(After losing 60 pounds) My one dream has been taken away. I believed that losing weight would change everything that was wrong in my life but that did not happen. The pain of my childhood is still with me. I’m still lonely. And now, I no longer have getting thin to look forward to.

The only thing that has changed about me is the amount of space I take up….I’m still the same person but suddenly I have become visible to men , get more positive feedback for doing the same quality of work I’ve always done and receive more invitations from my friends. I’m having a hard time. I never would have imagined I’d feel resentment once I was slim.”

I don’t want to lose any more weight. There’s been enough loss in my life, already.

When only the number on the scale changes, even dramatically, we may still be living with the specter of hunger much of the time. An inexplicable unrest never seems far away. A feeling of unexplained loss, even grief, may linger. If food served as a constant, comforting companion or “best friend,” it is easy to understand feeling this way.

When a part of you is starving, being slimmer cannot feed you. What Part of You Is Hungry?