If you know me and know my blog you’re well aware that I have gained and lost over 150lbs since I was 12. Diet after diet for years I tried everything. Binge eating, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, and the Kashi Go Lean diet. None of them worked. The weight always came back.
So about four years ago I started seeing a mindful eating and living therapist. Learning to love my body just as it was. Learning to live in the moment instead of spending every waking hour thinking about food, when my next meal would be, counting calories, and trying to drag myself to another fitness class I hated.
In the past year I’ve probably lost 15lbs (I don’t know for sure because I threw my scale away and I don’t weigh myself) and now I’m asked all the time to spill my ‘weight loss’ secrets. When I tell people there is no secret and it took me 4yrs to get to this point they’re usually really disappointed. ‘4 yrs!’ Exclaimed a woman I spoke to last week…’who has 4yrs to be on a diet?’ HA…I thought that was pretty funny but also part of the problem.
Many people want a quick fix but the reality is anyone who tries to tell you that you can lose weight and keep it off long term by eating a certain way for 30 days is just trying to take your money. I thought I would share with you what has worked for me. No quick fixes…it took me four years to get to this point. I encourage you to create your own weight loss and exercise system. We all have different body types, DNAs, and health issues, so why in the world would one carb free diet work for us all? In my opinion it doesn’t.
My secret to weight loss and loving my body came from experimenting with food, exercise, and reading several mindful eating books. Take and try what you like from my 5 tips. Let me know what has worked for you. I would love to hear your journey and struggles with your weight and body image. Feel free to comment below.
PS – I am NOT a licensed therapist, nutritionist or doctor. These are just suggestions on what has worked for me not medical advice.
My 5 ways to lose weight and find positive body image
1) Keep a ‘Food Mood Journal‘ – Counting calories and writing down everything I ate didn’t work for me. I hated it and usually ended up lying to myself with my own food journal. Instead, I started writing down how food made me feel. After eating a medium pizza was I energized? Feeling light and happy or more bloated and tired? You begin to see patterns. Food should energize you and overall make you feel good. It shouldn’t cause mood swings, put you in a sleep coma or leave you with more cravings.
2) Throw Food away with Joy. No matter what your mother, aunt, or significant other has told you about wasting or throwing away food it will not save starving children in a third world country. It just won’t. Making a donation will. It took me years to learn this lesson but it’s ok to throw away food and feel good about it. Now I rarely finish anything. I take a to go bag or I leave it and don’t feel guilty. When you get to the point that you don’t have to finish everything watch your world and waistline change!
3) Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. This is hard and takes years if you’re a yo yo dieter like I was. I had no idea what my own hunger felt like. Stopping when I was full…no clue. But if you can begin to eat slowly, experiment, and go a couple hours without eating you’ll begin to feel it. Maybe you’re suddenly tired, you can’t concentrate, or your stomach starts to make noise. All signs. As for stopping when you’re full this is part of your food mood journal. Maybe you eat an entire sandwich you don’t feel full when it’s done but an hour later your pants are super tight. That’s a sign…next time try 2 or 3 bites less.
4) Find an Exercise that you love not that you feel you have to do. I spent years in extreme exercise classes I hated. When I wasn’t thinking about food all day I was thinking about dragging myself to a 5pm swim class or boot camp. Crazy. When you find an exercise you love you do it everyday. Now I only walk and left weights. I love both and it makes it easy for me to actually do it. You’ll rarely catch me in another boot camp:(
5) Forgive and LOVE yourself and your body every step of the way! This is most important. For the first 2 yrs I had to retrain my brain from I hate my body and telling myself I was fat and worthless to loving my body. When I would have a set back and overeat my first instinct would be to want to punish myself with a bootcamp class or just negative thoughts. This will take time but I would say to myself…’it’s okay, I have a great body. A body that is healthy with two legs that are strong, a good mind, good friends in my life.’ It feels strange at first but eventually the love will overtake the years of hating the way you look.