Do you ever find yourself craving foods that you don’t want to eat? Do you ever feel guilty after eating food you wished you hadn't? Do you find yourself in a constant struggle with your fluctuating weight and self esteem?
If you said yes to any of the questions above, there is one thing I want you to know: you can change your life for the better.
Why do I know this to be true?
Well, I spent most of my teenage years secretly tormented by my relationship with food, my excess weight and my ever-dwindling self confidence. Just days before turning 20, I was 60 pounds overweight and was suffering from a host of chronic ailments including eczema, asthma and adrenal exhaustion. It was at the precise moment that my body completely broke down, leaving me bedridden for months.
When my doctors offered me experimental medication, I just knew that there had to be another way. Despite not really knowing which way to turn, I was intuitively guided towards the path of healing. Over the course of the following two years, I consulted with healers and naturopaths, as well as many alternative books before uncovering the path that was right for me.
Not only did I heal all of my chronic conditions, I also managed to lose 60 pounds naturally and have kept it off for over 15 years now.
In this article I share three healing thoughts to inspire you along your own weight loss journey.
1. Allow food to nourish you.
Let me be frank. Food addictions are one of the most challenging addictions to overcome. Unlike addictions to drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex, where at times, under medical supervision, addicts can go cold turkey or participate in a program to wean themselves off of the substance over time to break the cycle of addiction, food addictions necessitate a completely different approach.
To break free of a food addiction, you need to transform your relationship with food. Allow yourself to see food as a source of nourishment rather than something you need to fight or struggle against. Using deprivation or restriction will only strengthen your addiction and is one of the big reasons most diets fail.
Treat your body with love and kindness. Give it what it needs so that you can create strength, flexibility and wellness. If you really want to lose your excess weight for good, let food be a source of vitality in your life. Let it fuel and energize you.
You don't need to radically change your diet overnight, either. All you need to do is keep taking baby steps towards improving your nutritional intake. The key here is progress not perfection.
2. Listen to your body.
If you are like most people, you're probably prone to being hard on your body, even when you know that you shouldn’t. I spent many years overburdening my own body until it finally broke down.
There are countless ways that people but excess strain on their bodies including working too hard, sleeping too little and overeating, drinking too much and exercising too much or too little.
As an alternative to over-extending yourself, give yourself permission to work within your natural limits. Start to listen to your body so that you can give it what it really wants.
The body has its own secret language and will tell you exactly what it needs if you create enough space to listen to it. A great way to begin attuning to your body is by gently reducing your intake of stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and television.
Reducing your intake of stimulants has the added benefit of creating space in your life for things that truly nurture your body like gentle stretching, yoga and breath work.
All of these factors contribute to building a deeper awareness and will help you to feel more at home in your body. When you do this, you will find that you naturally move in the direction of balance without pushing or straining.
3. Do the things that make you happy.
Doing what makes you happy is one of the most important keys to healing. To cope with our complex modern world, most people end up living the life that other people want them to lead rather than pursuing their own dreams.
When you push yourself to do things you don't want to do, you work against your natural self and create unnecessary mental, emotional and physical stress. This stress, if left unaddressed, can become chronic and result in many different forms of illness as well as weight gain.
A number of years ago I felt stuck in a career that didn't make me happy. I had graduated from college with an honors degree in marketing so I thought that it made sense to begin working professionally in the field.
It didn't take me long to figure out that not only did I not like working in a corporate environment, but I wasn't particularly good at it either. After a number of unsuccessful work experiences, it became obvious that I needed to do something different in order to reduce my stress levels and regain my natural happiness.
I quit my job, went to art school and life has been an amazing adventure ever since.
When you do the things that make you happy, you create an environment for a healthier life. This will not only help you on your weight loss healing journey, it will also help you to become a happier and more balanced person in the process.
If you'd like to learn more about healing your body, mind and emotions, download a free chapter of my book, Losing Weight is a Healing Journey, here. Good luck!