My 5 ways to lose weight naturally and find your positive body image

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.

Xo, Frase

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. 

 

Response (14)
  1. Ashley

    Hi Sarah! I know this is a late response to an old blog but I just came across it and #2 really hit home with me! I have always been a fan of ‘not wasting food’ and the whole “what about all the starving people in the world” kind of thinker, so usually I would just finish everything until I was stuffed 🙁 and if it was only a little bit left on my plate and I didn’t think it was enough to box up I would just force myself to finish it. I really didn’t like throwing away food and would judge or be mad (internally) at the people around me who did lol (it’s funny to say that). After reading this, I’m thinking ‘you know what, that is so true, eating all my food is NOT going to save starving children in third world countries… it just really isn’t’. haha so thank you for this! I know it sounds so simple but REALLY, it’s an eye opener to have read this along with your other blag, 5 Ways to Lose Weight Around the Holidays. Thank you, Sarah! I am definitely going to try this mindful eating concept and see where it takes me in my ‘no dieting’ path.

  2. Ashley

    YES! Your body knows what is and isn’t an acceptable food source…and it always attempts to communicate. Learning to listen is key. The same goes for cravings…there’s often a reason why your body cues you to eat a certain food; researching why can do wonders for your health…and your waistline 🙂

  3. Kate

    Sarah, thank you for being so open and candid about this! I am on a similar journey and have dramatically changed my relationship with food, exercise in my body over the past year after learning about intuitive/mindful eating. For any of your readers looking for more resources – Jamie Mendell’s blog is amazing, as well as the book "How to Have your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too" by Josie Spinardi and anything by Geneen Roth. It is definitely a process but I have come so far from where I used to be that I can’t wait to see where I am a year from now!

  4. Brittany

    Love this Sarah! I’ve struggled with my weight since I was a child. I’ve tried everything. These steps you’ve listed are actually what I follow now…no dieting…no more grueling workouts. Just living my life and doing what I love. Step 5 is the hardest for me, being a perfectionist. But I’ll never be perfect, and that’s OK. I had to realize I’m doing this for myself and not to be accepted by others!

  5. Thank you for sharing, Sarah. This has inspired me. 🙂

  6. Lauren Honeycutt

    Sarah, thank you so so so much! I’ve been struggling with my weight and get so frustrated when the popular diets don’t work so well. These are amazing tips, and I am going to do all that I can to love the body that I’m in even before I lose the weight!

  7. CherryCola

    I love this post of yours. I feel like I’ve always been fat all my life. Sad thing is, looking back I didn’t look so bad and looked normal/average. I know the problem was that I lacked loving myself and my body. I have a horrible mindset where I call my self every name in the book in hopes that soemthing will click and I start wanting to do something about my weight/image issues. I will try the food mood journal you mentioned. I’ve never heard of this approach before. I’m not a mood eater type but while I eat I don’t know how to stop and say "I’m full and it’s okay to throw this away". Thanks for reminding me that I am good enough and for reminding me that I’m not alone in this "love yourself journey".

  8. Debra winterrowd

    This is JUST what I needed!! Thank you!!

  9. Phillip Creech

    Sarah,

    You couldn’t be more right. Step 5 is the biggest and hardest step I think most people in their 20’s and early 30’s will need to realize instead of looking for that photoshopped physic that half of the models online, tv, and magazines don’t really have. Optimism on a day to day basis will always work. Just like in my group counseling, take it one day at a time.

    xo,

    Phil

  10. Tina Fringer

    I really like this post!!! I have never had the "full" feeling while eating. I love junk food and that’s always been my favorite food group. I’m going to try your food mood journal to see if that helps get me focused towards making healthier food choices. Breakfast is the toughest meal of the day. I love carbs & cereal. Eggs are boring. Any suggestions?

    1. Chelsea

      I like to make breakfast burritos. You’re getting they carbs and the eggs and they’re really tasty! You can put whatever you want in them (I usually put eggs, hash browns, peppers, chicken sausage and cheese) and they freeze really well! Happy eating 🙂

    2. Sarah Fraser

      Tina! Thanks for reading my blog girl. LOVE you. What about a shake or smoothie for breakfast? I love carbs too but I have to eat them in moderation because a lot of bread puts me to sleep. Experiment. Try the smoothie for two weeks…if you don’t like it something new. Cereal is great. I eat cereal everyday just very high fiber. Smart Bran is what I like with fruit and cinnamon. Takes awhile to like it because it’s not sweet but cereal can be great. Keep me posted. XOXO

  11. Cathy

    This is great!!! Thanks for sharing-

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