When embarking on a health 'kick' we are told to focus on the benefits of exercise, but I will admit that my biggest motivation when getting ‘into’ exercise was always to lose weight, health is fine but it was always about getting thinner..
So what if you knew that no matter what you did, you were going to have the same body for the rest of your life. You can get stronger, fitter, healthier and gain energy but physically you might never SEE a difference. Right now, the body you look at in the mirror is the one you will have for life. . .
For me, this took some thinking about. Once apon a time, I would have thrown my computer down, driven to the nearest italian restaurant and been back in three days!
Now, however, this is not the case at all. From learning to enjoy healthy eating, I now eat well, not because I have to but because I want to. Over and over I have been reminded of how I feel after a bowl of steamed greens compared to a bowl of hot chips. Of course I still eat hot chips, but less often and in balance with other foods.
Healthy eating has become a habit and a pleasure rather than a life sentence.
I had to ask myself.. Why fear a couple of months of self discovery (and potentially some weight gain) for a life of freedom around food? Personally, I felt that I needed to embrace the fear in order to get rid of it.
I am not scared of never losing weight like i was a while ago. I am not angry at myself for my lack of 'discipline' and 'willpower' because I have them for the aspects of my life that I need them… and I dont believe discipline needs to be in the same sentence as food.
So… what are some things that I found have been useful?
DITCHING THE DIET 'RULES' – As above, Imagine that no matter what you ate, drank or how much you exercise, you would not lose or gain any weight. What you see in the mirror, right now. TODAY is what you will see for the rest of your life.
How does that make you feel???
How does that make you think about what you want to eat for lunch?
I am SO interested in this question as its not something i had thought about before….
Please leave a comment below or email me HERE to let me know your answers to this.
THROW OUT EVERYTHING that you don’t feel good in. Every piece of clothing that is too big, too baggy, too tight or pinches under the arms. Anything that makes you feel frumpy or crappy. Leave only the basics or special pieces that you put on and feel great in – the old faithfuls.
Doesn’t matter if you are left with one dress and a pair of jeans – go out and buy a couple of things that make you feel great. Its better to have a few pieces that you feel sexy, strong and confident in, than a room FULL of clothes that make you feel like shit.
DEPRIVATION AND RULES make you rebel – you want to fight back from being told what you should do in a diet – and that fighting back usually ends in a BINGE. Therefore, eliminate the rules.
We all make and live by a series of CHOICES. You choose what to eat, what to wear and how to feel about yourself. You make a choice when eating to have something that will nourish your body or stimulate your tastebuds. This does not require an apology, shame or self hatred. Life is about balance and by ending the deprivation, you are able to make choices based on experience and education rather than being fuelled by emotion.
LIFT THE BAN – A tool for many, can be to buy more of the treats that you fear. I realised that a trigger food for me,is peanut butter, so instead of steering clear of it like before, I bought 3 jars and have them in the cupboard. This immediately took away my child like obsession with a forbidden or treat food.
By having an abundance of it, it removes that “eat – it – straight – away – so – its – out – of – my – life!”
Overstocking the pantry can be a valuable tool in teaching yourself that you can eat what you want. WHAT YOU CHOOSE and that food doesn’t actually have power over you!
Eat what you FEEL like and stop before your stuffed to the brim. If you feel like dinner for breakfast or muesli for dinner, have it. Eat what you feel like, not what you “should” for the time of day. Have a green smoothie for dinner if you feel like it.
Eat until satisfied – not stuffed. By throwing out the rules, you allow yourself to eat when you are truly hungry and therefore don’t feel the need to stuff yourself each time you eat.
This can be tough – to “allow” yourself to relax around food, to eat what you want and not see it as being bad or making a mistake.
You may gain a bit of weight in the beginning – the first couple of weeks you might eat all the food around you with the freedom of being “allowed” but over time this will settle. Knowing that you can eat when you want and also knowing that you are an adult that wants to be healthy, fit and strong will eventually lead to you finding balance and an ease around food.
You wont need willpower or discipline because you are just making a choice. You know that you don’t have to eat that chocolate cake at your cousins birthday if you don’t really feel like it because you can get chocolate cake whenever you want. And if you do want it, thats okay too.
If your life is long – which of course I hope it is. You can make the decision to enjoy food, enjoy good health and exercise with confidence and passion or you can choose to carry on with the battle.
Living in fear of anything, especially in fear of gaining weight or perhaps the fear of never losing it is no way to live. The only way to really move forward is to except your body right now, the way it is.
Constantly rewarding and punishing yourself with food and living in a vicious cycle of under eating, overeating, guilt, new diet, hope, failure, disappointment, depression and self loathing wont do you any good and most definitely wont get you the body or mindset that you want.
Slow and steady isn’t exciting. It isn’t instant or extreme. It doesn’t sell books or get on TV shows. It doesn’t mean you drop everything, buy a bunch of expensive supplements and run head first into a hard core training program. The thing is though, that progress is progress. Baby steps are far more successful in the long run that fast and furious “instant” results.
If only we could turn ourselves inside out occasionally and look, not at what we look like in clothes but have a poke around and see our gut flora, look at the health of our blood vessels and arteries, check out our lung capacity, our joints and our muscle fibres.
If we focused more on these integral aspects of health we might finally ditch the Isagenix and celebrity slim shakes and excessive exercise and relish in eating real foods that grew from trees, that bring life to our cells and enjoy a long leisurely walk around the neighbourhood.
If you have worked to overcome binge eating or have any tips or feedback leave a comment below and sign up for updates here