Choose to lose_-_the_simplicity_of_weight_loss_and_understanding_emotional_eating
Source: www.fatfast.net/Article/1/597www.fatfast.netChoose to Lose - The Simplicity of Weight Loss and UnderstandingEmotional EatingPermanent Weight loss is not about Diet. If you are looking for the latest pill, magic potion orperhaps some celebritys amazing secrets, then youve come to the wrong page. However, atsome point you will be back because at some point you will realize that unless you addressthe cause and the truth about your eating habits you will end up on the merry-go-roundagain. There are many products and services promising fantastic results. Some are good,most are average, usually they cost more than they are worth, and some are outrightdangerous. Losing weight is a simple matter of either decreasing calorie intake or increasingenergy output. Most people combine both to achieve fast results.Most people have tried this method often enough to know that it works and I have found thatmost dieters know more about food than anyone else. My main aim is to address the manycauses of weight gain and focus on the creation of new habits in order to bring aboutpermanent weight loss maintenance.I once worked in a very innovative weight loss clinic. The programme focused on Nutrition,Relaxation Techniques, and Psychology. I was a counsellor at the time and worked there foralmost 10 years. Although I was working as an expert, I think I learned more from my clientsthan I did from my textbooks. I counselled thousands of people over the years and it becamevery obvious to me that they all had a lot in common. Almost without exception they all hadan emotional connection or response to food. Their eating habits had become an automaticresponse. They all knew a lot about food and calories and they all knew how to lose weight.They had all lost weight and regained it a number of times. This we referred to as the "yo-yosyndrome".If you happen to be one of the very few people who do not understand diet, I will lightly touchon it to give you a crash course in weight loss. The most important thing I learned about dietin relationship to losing weight is this:There is no such thing as a fattening food.No one food is either fattening or slimming. Its this simple: Food contains calories, caloriesare units of energy. There are no fat calories or thin calories, 2000 cake calories are exactlythe same as 2000 celery calories. Calories are burned by the body to produce energy. Justbeing alive burns calories. However, the more active the body the bigger the burn. If you burnthe same amount of calories as you eat then your weight will remain the same. If you eat3000 calories and burn 2000 then 1000 are stored. (as fat)Its the same as banking; if you put $100 in your account and only spend $80 then $20 issaved. If you did this for 10 weeks then $200 will be saved. Overweight people do notnecessarily eat a huge amount of food or a huge amount of, bad food, they simply consumemore calories than they need. The unused calories are then stored in the body as fat. If youput too few calories in, the body will take the stored calories (fat) and use that for energy,thereby, creating weight loss.I am not going to go to any great length to discuss food or diet on these pages. It is my
experience that overweight people know as much as I do about food and calories. If you wishto know more about food or nutrition there are many books available. (See the links page.)One point I do wish to make about food is this: Vitamins, Minerals, Protein, Carbohydrate,Fat, etc. are vital to maintaining health. Foods heal, build and repair. Foods balance yourmetabolism and produce energy and well-being. You will not get fat from eating cakes anddrinking soda, however, if you are putting in calories that have little or no nutritional content,you will become tired, depressed, unmotivated and ultimately, very sick.When you decide to use fat storage for energy you will lose weight. As in the bankinganalogy above, put less in and use more, then you will burn up the balance.Lets say your weight maintenance requires 2000 calories a day. You decide to put in 1000 aday; your body will then rob the fat stores of 1000. This is where food choices are mostimportant. Because you are reducing the calorie intake by 1000, you need to be very diligentabout getting the maximum amount of nutritional benefit from the food you eat.Most diets emphasis fresh fruit, salad, grilled or boiled fish or chicken etc; not because thesefoods are thinning, but because they have the most amount of food value (nutrition) for thecalories.High nutritional foods give you vitality and well-being. Low nutritional food will make you feeltired, grumpy, and unmotivated (making it more likely to binge eat).Reducing calories will get you to your ideal weight. The purpose of this page is not tomotivate a diet; this is about looking at long-term habits and changing those habits so thatyour future behaviour will become automatic, without conscious thought or will- power. Byfollowing the guidelines below you will lose weight, keep it off, and maintain health, vitality,and well-being.Your weight can be about many things or a combination of many things. Overeating may bepart of the problem, but what is the cause of overeating? Your reasons may be unique, butmany of the common causes are:Boredom, Depression, Fear, Tiredness, Loneliness, And Tension.Many facets are related to body image, self-esteem, and even sexual issues.You may, on a very logical level, desire a thinner body. However, subconsciously you mayassociate being normal or comfortable with the shape of your mother, siblings, or friends. Ifyou are a wife or mother yourself, you may subconsciously feel that your body image shouldnot suggest you are a single or available woman. Sometimes becoming a wife and mothercreates conflict with being sexually attractive to other men. Maybe being a good motherrequires a motherly look?Some people feel safer or stronger by being bigger and may panic or feel insecure when theyhave lost weight. Sometimes weight can be thought of as being Big. If you have a history ofbeing bullied or made to feel small in some way you may use this Being Big Image.Being overweight can often be used to repress sexuality. Teenage girls often find sexual
advances intimidating and sub-consciously put on weight as a barrier, which continuesthroughout life.If your sex life is unsatisfying you may unconsciously use your weight as a turn off. Maybeyou are so self-conscious about your weight that you deny yourself your sexuality. Somewomen who have experienced sexual abuse will use their weight as a sexual defence or apersonal barrier.Binge eating is usually about punishment; this is very common in high achievers. (Anorexicsand Bulimics are often in this category as well.) Bingeing is about trying to get it perfect andthen destroying all effort if there is a slight slip up. This is the All or None Approach.Binge eating is also very common with Pre-Menstrual-Syndrome. P.M.S. can cause womento be emotionally fragile. Their thinking can be fuzzy, their body may retain fluid meaningtheir body feels fatter or bloated. There is discomfort in the stomach area and sugar cravingsare common. If you are serious about long-term weight maintenance you must be preparedfor this. You must plan alternative actions; like being kind to yourself, more flexible, self-loving and forgiving. Keep a calendar and be prepared before you hit crisis point.Eating Emotions. Some people find they that have an emotional attachment to food. If you were rewarded withsweets for good behaviour or sent to your room without dinner for bad behaviour, you mayvery well be treating food as a reward or a punishment. Your eating habits may have becomeconfused with approval or disapproval.If your family was poor you may equate food with being prosperous or successful.For most people the stomach area is the emotional centre of the body. Stress, worry, fearand unhappiness will create tightness there. Often overeating is an automatic response toreleasing this tension.Observe yourself for a few weeks and you will notice how easy and common it is to pushfood down into the tightness of your stomach area when you are stressed.You may use food to release and stretch the area, this is particularly obvious in a bingeeating session.Food can nurture and food can provide comfort. By detached observation you learn a lotabout yourself and your food habits. Watch yourself without judging yourself for a few weeksand youll be amazed at how often you are feeding your emotionsI am only touching lightly on some of the issues here. I hope this information may lead you toconsidering some of the many facets that create a habit. Some of the issues will be commonto most people or at least make you start thinking about your own unique psychological makeup.By understanding your eating behaviour you will be in a better position to bring aboutpermanent changes and lose weight without great effort.There are some basic principles that need to be addressed and explored if you sincerelywish to lose weight and keep it off.Food Eating well means providing your body with the highest nutritional values. If your nutritionalneeds are not met, you will quickly become tired, unhappy and unwell. The right foods help torebuild and repair your body, increase energy, improve immune function, detoxify, build
muscle tissue and eliminate waste products. Most importantly, the food you eat can influencehow you feel. How you feel influences your behaviour. Within just a week or two you may behappier, more energised, more motivated and slimmer. From this point the food thingbecomes easier and easier.The foods you choose need to be enjoyable. There are many options and a huge variety ofchoices. Dont eat things you hate just because they are low-cal. The money you save onsome things can be put back into more expensive and enjoyable options.If you reduce the quantity then increase the quality; swap sausage for crayfish, biscuits formangoes. If you like seafood then buy oysters, prawns, smoked salmon and expensive fish.Dont just eat lettuce and carrots; explore all the fruits and vegetables.Make your food delicious and special; cook with herbs and spices; garlic, chilli, basil, orcoriander etc. Turn ordinary food into something special.Keep a good veggie soup in the kitchen for those times when you will be tired, cold andstarving. Soup is quick, hot, and filling.Eat less and more often. Large meals zap your energy. Too much food, particularly high inanimal fat or too many protein combinations, will almost put you to sleep. Remember thatbeing tired physically or mentally will be the biggest enemy to your success.Diet Fads. Dieting is the easiest thing in the world to understand. I have previously pointed out that youneed to put fewer calories in or more energy out. Eat high nutrition and eliminate or greatlyreduce empty calories.Eat 5 serves of vegetables a day and at least 2 pieces of fruit. Minimize or eliminate fat,sugar and flour. How simple is that?All diets will have this information within their content, but to sell a magazine, pill, potion,video or book you will be led into some spin on Scientific Research and some fancy talkjustifying its merit. This is not about you, this is about selling a product.For the Kids. You do not ever need to have Junk Food in your Home. If you make a conscious decisionto eat junk food, then at least make yourself go out of your way to get it. If you need to walkto the shop to get a chocolate then you may just have a little time to re-consider it. No one isso strong willed that they will not go reaching for ice cream on a stinking hot day. Whowouldnt be temped to grab a slice of cake if its sitting in the fridge every time you open it? Ifits in your home you will eat it by impulse.If you really want it, make a conscious decision to eat it, enjoy it and then forget it.But dont just grab stuff just because its there. Almost every dieter I have spoken to says, "Ineed to have it there for the kids".The eating habits of your children will become the eating habits they will carry throughouttheir lives. Do you really want your daughter going through what you have gone through? Areyou depriving your child of sweets or are you depriving your child of adult obesity?If you were giving up smoking or alcohol, would you leave cigarettes and a bottle of scotcharound just in case the kids might enjoy them? Would you reason that just because you aregiving up smoking its not fair to make your children go without something they may enjoy?The habits that kids learn in childhood are the habits they carry for life.
When your 25 yr old son is lying in the Coronary ward of the hospital, are you really going tosay, "I thought I was being kind by giving you treats?"When your 30 yr old Daughter is 100 lb overweight and wont leave the house any more, willyou convince her, you were being loving?Heart disease, Diabetes, Menopause, Obesity and Infertility are now being seen in veryyoung people through-out the Western World and most Doctors will point the finger at onecause: Diet.Habit. A habit is a behaviour that is repeated to such a degree that the sub-conscious mindcomputes the entirety of the information and creates an automatic behaviour. Eating habitsare usually formed in childhood and changes will require conscious awareness, alternativereactions, and repetition of new behaviours. Ultimately your new eating habits will becomeyour new automatic behaviour.The goal is to get to the point where you do not think about food at all. The amount of foodand the type of food you are used to are already set habits. The time of day you eat is also ahabit.What you may not have explored before are the emotional habits that drive your decisions.Food can pick you up when you are feeling tired or out of sorts, food can calm you downwhen stressed or anxious, food can replace boredom or loneliness. Food is used as acelebration, a reward, a comfort and an expression of friendship. Food can also be used as apunishment.Most people do not break their diets because they are hungry. Most diets are brokenbecause of the sense of losing an emotional crutch. In a way, food has become a lifelongfriend and quite often dieting feels like losing a friend.To successfully change and maintain a habit, you must know what your emotionalconnections are and have in place better alternatives. Food is a short-term diversion, andwithin an hour or two your stress or boredom will still be there plus the disappointment andremorse of having failed.Seriously, food does not reduce anxiety, it will mask it for a while, but unless you pin pointyour issues you will keep yourself in this cycle.Stress needs to be addressed at the onset not swallowed at the crisis point.Dont eat your anger! Consider this: Every pound of body fat could well be the weight andshape of last years disappointments.Body Image. Your body is the most valuable asset you have. It is smarter than any computer,there is no scientist, doctor or chemist able to heal, repair, or protect you like your own bodycan, it is your home and your vehicle. There is no person and no thing in this entire Universethat will serve or protect you like your own body. Your life, freedom, happiness, pleasure,vitality, and health are all gifts to you from your body.The most amazing thing to realize is that most people disrespect and sometimes even hatetheir bodies. Many people poison their own bodies. Certainly in our culture we havesomehow taken on big fat lies about our bodies.Stop for a moment right now and consider your attitude to your body. Is there a sense ofshame? When you think or speak about your body, is there respect and admiration or self-loathing, criticism and indifference?
If you apply truth and logic, you will know (or you will come to know) that your body is themost fascinating, intelligent, and valuable possession you have.You may spend most of your income on your houses and cars, yet neither will compare toyour own body. You probably design, renovate, and maintain your home with unlimitedcommitment and yet you wont consider how little your body asks and how much your bodydoes.Your body requires air, water, food, sleep and movement, and thats all!Think about what your body will do for you in return for these few simple requirements. Doyou fill your car with sugar? Is your house filled with toxic matter and garbage? How muchtime, effort, and thought go into the décor of your home compared to the consideration ofyour own body? Surely you can see the reality of what Im saying.How much body disrespect has your weight created? Think about the unloving thoughts andfeelings you have directed at your body.Weight is simply too much body fat kept in storage; its no big deal!Have you ever really stopped to consider the billions of wonderful processes within your bodyor do you simply focus on fat and divorce your body from yourself?Eating Lies. Lies, or BS as we affectionately refer to them, are the single most fatteningthings you ever swallow.In the past few decades BS has become fact and fact is no longer considered. We have allbeen conned into believing that our own self-worth is created by how we look, what we do fora living and how much we earn. Advertising, media and marketing have taken over truth andcommon sense. If there is a buck to be made, then the marketing people can convince us ofanything. Look at how bombarded we have become with the beauty myth. We starveourselves, surgically remove body parts, and practise acts of self-abuse in the great quest ofbeauty.Be Beautiful and you will be happy and valued. Rubbish! Take 2 minutes to think about the 5most important people in your life. Consider your reasons for their value, I am sure that beinggood looking or thin does not even come in to it.There is a lot of money to be made by others from your believing that you are unattractive,unacceptable or unlovable. Think about it, who in their right mind would buy a $500 bottle ofperfume simply to seduce a man? When was the last time you smelled aftershave and wereovertaken by sexual desire? We spend thousands of dollars on health spas and convinceourselves that rolling around in mud will make us beautiful. Look in your cosmetic cabinetand see the money spent on all those potions. Do you look like a movie star?Think about the books, pills, supplements, clubs memberships and machinery you havepurchased to lose weight.Dont allow your self-worth to be manipulated by propaganda and clever marketing.Stop getting caught up in one or two minor imperfections. Change only the things that youyourself decide to work on. Dont take on other peoples neurotic concepts about yourself. Ifyou lose weight for your own reasons, with your own values and within your own truth, it willbe easy.When losing weight becomes a gift you give yourself, because you love yourself, it will beachieved effortlessly and with pleasure. Copyright Sonya Green www.reinventingmyself.com
Sonya Green West Australian author and webmaster of http://www.reinventingmyself.comWeight loss consultant and personal growth course facilitator.