I have a confession to make.
I love sweets.
I don't think that will ever change and I am OK with that. In fact they make me QUITE happy. To me there is nothing better than grabbing a cozy hot drink and a chocolaty dessert while chatting with a good friend. If you don't know me or much about my story, I struggled a lot with body image and weight for most of my life. I would become really angry with myself after eating something I knew I "shouldn't" because of my self made list of lengthy restrictions and each day I felt like I had failed a little, or a lot. It was hard for me to enjoy those moments with friends when food was involved without allowing guilt to follow me for the next few days. I would constantly be thinking "I shouldn't be eating this" which totally ruins a good dessert, and makes for a pretty distracted listener (sorry friends!). What a shame. I become a holistic nutritionist and as I gained knowledge I thought that those desires for sweets would just simply fall away. Along with that, I thought that I would suddenly love myself more when I had hit that goal weight or that it would be an easy process to deny myself certain "trouble foods" to gain control of my eating habits.
The truth is.. that NONE of that was true.
I am going to be totally honest with you, the only thing that changes when you meet your weight loss goal is that you are a smaller person. Sure, there can be the aspect of relieving pain and symptoms and adding years to your life but I am talking about the emotional side of eating. If your mind and heart are not aligned with the changes you are making, you will not suddenly become happier. You will be unable to see your success because you will never feel like it is enough until your mind and heart change with your body. Whether we like it or not, we connect certain foods with memories and comfort, and denying that in our lives can feel like we are denying joy. We can transform those desires with simple foods swaps, or only choosing to have those favourite foods when you are in a positive mindset and not in a "I am failure" mindset. There is no way that food is enjoyed in a binge style situation. That's called numbing an emotion and in that mindset, digestion is shut down as. So eat those yummy treats when your body is ready to digest them, when you can be thankful for them and enjoy every bite. Just stop for a minute and realize that you do not have to stop the desire for the treats you love, isn't that refreshing!
There is no amount of self hate and body shaming that will make you lose the weight you desire to lose. You can ONLY do this out of a place of love. Hating yourself thin just won't happen. Well, OK maybe it can happen, but you won't be happy or healthy by doing so. Focusing on the things we dislike about our bodies won't motivate us to change them, it will allow us to play the victim to our own stories and comfort ourselves the best way we know how.... with food. That momentary place of pleasure followed quickly by more guilt. Welcome into the yo-yo diet world. It gets addictive and depressing all at once!
Habit change is one of the hardest things to take place and often not what we think about when we think about going on a diet or changing our lifestyles. We want the quick fix, and even what I offer my clients, a full plan, laid our for you with no guessing about what to eat or how much to eat. Even with those amazing tools.. it is not enough.
I think they say that 80% of abs are made in the kitchen and 20% in the gym. I want to encourage you to look at that with a different perspective and think of it as 80% mindset and 20% food instead. This will finally allow you to drop weight AND keep it off. If we will ourselves to lose weight with restrictions and no long term habit change, that weight will find it's way back and usually brings some friends! Taking that big step to face habits you have lived with for years can be hard to do alone, and I encourage you to find a weight loss coach, or a committed friend that you are willing to be confronted by and take advantage of habit change. Don't sit alone in it, step out and gain control by staying accountable.
Be willing to answer some tough questions! A good question to ask yourself or have your accountability partner ask you regularly is WHY are you eating? Is it to numb or cover up an emotion, or is it out of hunger? If it is to cover up an emotion, I suggest uncovering what emotion that is and getting to the root of that before going to the kitchen. It will take becoming uncomfortable to allow yourself to GROW. Old habits die hard, your body wants to keep you uncomfortable even if you are so incredibly ready for change. You will continuously be brought back to your current situation OR worse because your body is trying to keep you safe. The unknown is scary! This is why you need to surround yourself with support and take action with habit change to remind you to keep stepping forward.
OK back to where I started here.. I love sweets. The sweets that I love have definitely changed over time, but I am happy to enjoy something sweet and delicious with the right mindset. Through the process of loving myself more and being gracious to my myself on my own journey which takes its own time to unfold, my desire for sweets hasn't diminished. I am not craving them and I do not think about them constantly the way that use to, but what I have learned is that you do not have to give up everything you love or ban all your favorite foods to change your body. Often denying a certain food just makes us want it that much more. What you do have to give up and deny is the self hate, the negative self talk and the guilt and allow that to change how you eat. Have your cake and eat it too.. enjoying every bite!
Looking for support? Stop in at my website for more information about my story and if you think you might need a coach to help you along your journey, I would love to chat. You don't have to do it all alone. I would love to connect with you, especially if you have put all your effort into diet and fitness and continually come up short. I would love to proved guidance and support through to your personal transformation. Even if I may not be the one you call, I encourage you to actively seek out a support group! Don't try to do it alone, we are the best at making excuses and convincing ourselves to NOT follow through on our biggest dreams.