You might be afraid of dieting – even the word scares most of us. Why? Because we feel we will fail. You may not know this but 90% – 95% of Women’s Self Esteem is based on their body image. Surprising? Based on my nearly 20 years in practice I have seen, felt and heard the pain surrounding how we women feel about our bodies. It can be heartbreaking and yet so real. It affects everything in our lives. We care too much or we don’t care enough. I am not a big advocate for dieting, in general, because most diets are designed to fail and they do not take into account hormonal imbalance, improper sleep habits, stress and emotional eating patterns and physiological effects. But most importantly they don’t take into account the crucial thing – one crucial thing - our thoughts.
Most of us want the Perfect Body. So we decide to go on a diet and exercise. We essentially DO a Diet for a few weeks and then give up. Do you want to know the Real Secret to Weight Loss? You actually need to Become The Person who has a Perfect Body even before you have it otherwise your efforts will only be temporary…
You must change your thoughts in order to have what you want. It’s really not the diet that counts, it’s who you have to be to follow the diet. Millions look for the right diet and then focus on what they have to do rather than who they have to be. Total new concept for most of us I know. A diet will not help you if you don’t change your thoughts. That’s where the real work begins. It’s an inside job.
As I have been sharing with many of you lately “Your real work starts only after you lose your desired weight.” Usually we can lose weight – the real miracle, however, is in keeping it off. But even before the weight comes off you have to be ready to change on the inside. When thinking of changing your eating, improving your health and deciding to “diet” you may want to ask some questions.
6 Revealing Questions You can Ask Yourself before Embarking on a “Diet”:
1) Are you more committed to staying the same or to changing? This is a tough one because you say you want to change – but do you really? Are you willing to do what it takes – to stick to it no matter what? Or will you be led astray the first time you are tempted with the chocolate cake or chips and salsa? Sometimes it’s not the actual food but the addictive patterns that seem to develop after you take that first bite.
2) Does the pain of having more weight feel normal to you? I find sometimes we are very committed to our story – even though you say you don’t want to have the weight you presently have and feeling uncomfortable with the extra 10 + lbs. After all what would you have to complain about or beat yourself up about? I know this is perhaps harsh – these are the deeper questions you need to ask yourself. When you lose weight, as is often the case, you start seeing your life differently and the things that appeared “fine” may not be so fine and they require some changes to be made. Yet when one thing changes, expect other parts of your life to change – and not too worry it could be for the better and hopefully it is for the better.
3) Are you ready to make a change in your life? Change can be frightening. We get so comfortable in our discomfort that we can’t imagine anything different and better. We tolerate things when we needn’t tolerate them. It’s a big decision to actually start eating healthy and not relying on whatever happens to be in the fridge, grocery store or drive-through. We go to dinner and feel we must have everything on our plate and oh we must have that divine bread in that heavenly basket which is calling our name. Why would we want to give this up? It’s entertainment, social and rewarding. I can’t live without eating whatever I want you might say to yourself. But what is the price? When you stand in front of the mirror feeling hopeless when absolutely NOTHING fits you – are you ready to make a change then?
4) Are you letting distractions sabotage your efforts? Everything else takes priority – after all who am I you might ask? Tommy’s baseball game is more important than my silly diet – right? This work project needs to get done – after all it’s my job and it’s more important than getting to the store and stocking my kitchen with healthy foods. Oh, I’m having guests over this week and they’ll want to go out to dinner every night – I’ll just eat what they eat and not make a fuss. These are only a few examples of how sabotaging your efforts can de-rail you on an ongoing basis. There will always be something that comes up – always.
5) Are you wanting to lose weight for you or for someone else? Does someone in your life let you know they aren’t happy about your present body shape? They may not come out and say it (although some blatantly do) but you may hear some subtle and even hurtful clues and comments. The proverbial question (which never should be asked of a man – it’s just so unfair to ask them) “Do I look fat in this?” Is this really your perception or the observer’s? It is a no win set up question. But if someone in your life is making you feel less than because you may have put on a few lbs, make sure that it’s something you want to do and not just people please. That, again, is a no win situation. People pleasing will never get you what you want in life.
6) Are you unrealistic about your weight loss goals? I sometimes have clients come in wanting to lose weight quickly or want to be at a healthy weight they were at when they were 19 and now they are 50. If this is the case, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. Setting realistic and healthy goals is a must. You should never be losing more than 1-3 lbs per week. If you are it is mostly muscle mass which is very unhealthy. Yes, certainly the first week you will lose more, and most of that is water weight, but after that stick to a slow and steady weight loss pace. And expect a plateau – that is a natural phenomenon and will easily be remedied by tweaking a few things either in your diet or in your exercise regimen.
7) Are You 3 Feet From Gold? This is really about quitting – quitting just before you arrive. Don’t quit – you may be just at the point when you are about to make progress, whether it’s a plateau or you’ve lost all the weight you wanted to. Again, after the weight comes off the real work begins. Make sure you have a good maintenance strategy in place. This is the most vulnerable time after you’ve lost the weight. You may think you are safe and invincible and start eating “the weight gaining foods” – lots of starches, sugars, etc. Your portions sizes may start to increase. Or you may start eating late at night. These habits are so tricky – they seem to re-enter your life when you least expect them to. So prepare yourself and find a professional support system.
Most important – remember always Honor Your Body and Yourself and treat yourself like Gold.
Are You are 3 feet from your own Gold?