Between the age of thirteen and twenty-two, I was either starving myself or stuffing myself with food.
Living this exhausting cycle of constant dieting and putting the weight back on every single time for almost ten years led me to reach a point in my life when I was the heaviest I’d ever been.
I felt awful. My insides were aching because I felt so bad about myself. Of course, for the first time in my life, I’d felt there was no reason to look after myself. That made me eat even more!
This was nothing compared to feeling disapproved of by others. Yep somehow, I felt devalued because of my weight and my confidence was shattered.
I didn’t even trust myself anymore to lose the weight, because I’d been failing for so many years.
So, this was the turning point. I paused and felt that I wanted to do things differently this time. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I’d started to study everyone around me that had no weight issues. Not everyone was super skinny, but they had a healthy mindset when it came to food, their weight and self-image.
What I’d learned has helped me lose weight and keep it off for over fifteen years, even after two pregnancies. I have not been on any diets and there were times in this period when I didn’t exercise at all. Although exercise is very important to me now for many different reasons, it had nothing to do at the time with my weight loss. If you exercise too, that’s just a bonus!
I get the exact comments from people now that I used to say to people. “Oh, you’re so lucky, how do you do it, I just can’t get it right.”
Here is what I’d discovered.
People with a healthy mindset towards food don’t do diets – nope.
Do you know that self-talk that we do when we tell ourselves that from Monday/next week/ after Christmas we’ll get on it and start a whole new lifestyle?
When we do this our motivation is based on the expectation that within a month we’ll be able to put on that wonderful dress or shirt..and be able to like ourselves for about two or three weeks until we put the weight back on again. That’s it. That is what most of us do over and over again.
All we are doing is waiting for this big day when we can allow ourselves to eat whatever we want again.
People who don’t have weight issues, don’t do this. They don’t set themselves up for failures like this because they know they want to enjoy a variety of foods and that they have days when they eat whatever they want.
People who have a healthy mindset relative to food don’t obsessively think about food. They don’t talk about food and they don’t think about food much. But they like food, they eat food and they enjoy food. Some exercise, some don’t. They don’t obsessively exercise if they do.
Before I tell you the exact steps I’d like to let you know that you can’t approach this from a state of self-hatred or frustration. You have to find a way to do this for yourself because it is important to you and therefore you deserve to have it.
So don’t let anyone take the value that you have away from you – it is up to you to decide what you are worthy of and how much value you bring to people’s lives, your work’s life or, family life. If you are not valuing yourself – work on it! I mean, really! Work on it! Get a piece of paper out and start writing! I am valuable because; write down everything that you can think of, even the smallest things. Sit there for an hour if you have to and find those things about yourself that make you valuable.
You see, we often summarize who we are based on our weight and inability to lose it and keep it off. It’s painful and frustrating! It’s upsetting. What’s even more upsetting is how you speak to yourself. You also talk to yourself as if you don’t matter or that things don’t matter because of how bad you feel on the inside. The thing is you have to remember who you are! You are not just a big girl/boy, you’re so much more. Think about all of the amazing things about you that make up who you are. If you can’t think of any, ask your family or friends. If you don’t have family or friends, start digging deep! Do everything you can to find that worth. Who determines your worth and value anyway? Those abusive people from your past or the present? No! You do! Don’t give that power to someone else. You determine your worth and value. That’s your first step! If you’d like to listen to a video or two about how to value yourself, stop caring what other people think and more self-love nuggets, you can find them on my YouTube channel.
Now that we made it clear that you are a valuable human being and that you deserve to talk to yourself in a way you’d talk to your best friend, we can move on and talk about these secrets that annoyingly aren’t secrets at all, but to me as to many of you, they were things I’d never done in my life. If all this makes sense, at the end of this article if you wish, you can read more about the exact ways to control those cravings, emotions and bad habits and I’ve also added Cognitive Hypnosis audio that my clients use to reprogram their minds and change those annoying habits.
So here is what I do every day.
I decided to make conscious choices every single day and it’s been eighteen years now since. In the beginning it was a choice to pay attention and focus on what I was eating and building my confidence in being able to say no to myself. Now, it just happens automatically. I just say no to junk more often than not.
I pay attention to what I eat with ease and calm, I don’t obsess about food, I don’t think about food, I make conscious decisions every day but I don’t plan difficult meals or diets. I don’t just eat salads I eat everything in moderation.
So your first step is to slowly, hour by hour, day by day, start noticing everything that you eat and begin to make small changes every day. I can’t create a precise eating plan for you here, that’s not what this is about, but I’ll give you a hint. If for instance, you eat toast for breakfast with butter and jam, use half the butter and half the jam. Yep. That’s it. Can you do this forever or hopefully until you are ready to have something healthier for breakfast? That’s your first forever conscious choice.
Then next week perhaps, depending on what you have for lunch, replace one thing you eat with a healthier choice. So instead of having a chocolate bar after eating your lunch, have a cereal bar. Same for snacks. Instead of having crisps, have nuts.
After your dinner, if you have pudding or several snacks and you eat until late at night, start with having one less thing each night and perhaps stop eating an hour earlier. Is this something you could stick to forever?
I bet you actually can and you will be proud of yourself as a result. No matter the weight at this point.
Did that make a difference? If you can do this for the rest of your life, then it did make a difference! You ate fewer calories for a whole week. If you are thinking that it was pointless think again. Can you always do it? Can you return to eating less after a binge night? Can you say no to cake, donuts, sweets regularly every single day? That is the point. Making this approach to something that is your second nature that doesn’t require any effort. You’re creating who you are. Your new way of being, thinking, approaching food. Losing weight will become a bioproduct of your conscious choices. It won’t feel as you’re trying to lose weight, but you will be. Slowly, but forever. Want to speed it up? It’s only because you don’t want to take responsibility every single day, it’s only because you want to be slim right now. To be slim forever, you have to change the way you think about food and your habits. Don’t fall for quick-fix solutions, they don’t work.
Ready to get to the next level? Try changing that bread for a healthier option. (or obviously whatever it is that you are eating currently, into something better) Managing that for a week or two? Change all of your snacks for some yummy healthier snacks. Then try not to have a pudding once a week or any unhealthy snacks after dinner. Now try to stick to that as often as you can.
If you can just take your mind off the scales and your weight and finally learn to make better conscious choices you will see that you’ll start losing weight without you even noticing. If you don’t lose any, it doesn’t matter. Just step up again. Are you eating healthy food at least three, four times a week without unnecessary junk? Are you able to allow yourself to eat more on some days, and then trust yourself to go back to making conscious choices again? This is the place where you want to be! This is how you’ll be able to lose the weight and keep it off.
The point here is to stop living for food but use it as fuel so that you can focus on the rest of your life. To stop thinking about food all day long. To create this new way of living, you have to undo what you have been doing for so long. You have to be patient. You have to stop overeating 80% of the time and you will lose all the weight that you need forever.
Eventually, it becomes part of your everyday routine and part of who you are and want to be.
Now that I had been doing this for many years, I can feel the difference in my body and my mood when I eat something sugary or heavy. I still do it all the time! Sometimes I have a week where I’m too busy, too tired to focus and I don’t care. That’s when I’d eat the stupidest things. It leaves me feeling heavy, bloated and in all honesty, it’s never worth it. I learn my lessons as I go along. As we know sugar for example is addictive, so when I get my dose I have to discipline myself for a few days.
I realize where I never want to end up again. Being overweight and feeling unhealthy and self-conscious. Not for anyone else, just for myself.
I don’t feel guilty for having a cake. I take responsibility for eating that cake because I make a conscious choice. I had a choice, right? I also have a choice to eat clean every single day.
You don’t need a reminder not to touch fire, do you? It’s the same with food. You will have to learn to make conscious choices every hour of the day.
It shouldn’t feel like a diet. If it ever feels like a diet, you’re doing it again. You are hyping yourself up and rushing to get into that dress/shirt. You just want a quick fix again that will only last for a very short period. The only thing you need is to focus. Focus on what you’re actually trying to achieve here. Learn how to think like that healthy person and you will slowly but forever become one. You will have good days, bad days, good weeks, bad weeks but eventually you will eat only as much as you need to and foods that are healthy. If losing weight forever is important enough for you. Your whole life can change if you approach this slowly and with care. Always be kind to yourself while you’re doing this.
Believe me, it is not easy if you’re thinking about this long-term but it does make a lot of sense. This isn’t a quick-fix solution. You will be inpatient and you won’t see drastic results straight away. But over time you will forget to think about losing weight because you’ll be focusing on shopping for better foods and making conscious choices every time you see or, just think about food. This is how a lot of people with no weight issues think. I’m not saying every single human being on this planet. There are exceptions, of course. And many of them. Every day when someone offers you a cake, you can make a conscious choice to either eat that cake or don’t. Every day you can choose what you eat. Not for a week or a month. Every single day for the rest of your life.
Now, I make the right choices without much consideration and I can allow myself to eat whenever there’s an occasion. There’s always a pizza night or a birthday cake to be eaten, believe me, there is so much to avoid every day, but sometimes to enjoy, too!
Here are a few more things that can help you along the way:
What to do when you can’t control yourself. How to manage those conscious choices and things you need to do every day to change your habits.
Cognitive Hypnosis for Conscious weight loss to help your subconscious mind – Here:
I hope you found this helpful,
With Love and Care