After struggling for inspiration this morning, for what to post on Facebook that would be of use to people, I suddenly realised it was Valentine's day and was suitably inspired for the whole day!! I had loads to say and all of it was so relevant to weight loss. When I work with clients, yes the focus is on weight loss, but what they often don't realise is how I go about helping them lose it, and more importantly keep it off.
My methods have often been described as "alternative" and are quite a surprise to some. However, I absolutely believe, through ten years of working with fantastic women, that food is the easiest part to fix. I can do that in a matter of weeks. The hardest part, yet the absolutely, most crucial to long term success, is fixing how these beautiful ladies have been destroyed inside by years of diet failures and feeling self conscious and miserable about what they see every single day. So, what's the key?
Very simply put, in the words of one of my favourite songs - IT MUST BE LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
Love is the purest, most powerful force that is seriously overlooked in the weight loss process. People think the focus always has to be on the food, because that's where the problem is, right? Well, kind of, but not entirely. Plus they think that the best way to motivate themselves to making better decisions with food is to tell themelves how fat and crap they are! What they often don't realise is that it's how they are feeling that drives the need to eat. This is mainly because the concept of someone who hates the way they look, feels like a complete failure, with no willpower or self control over food, actually being asked to like, let alone love themselves, seems like the most impossible thing in the world. It's just not even an idea that is vaguely considered.
But if you don't love yourself, how can you do nice things for yourself like nourish it and take care of it? If you don't love yourself, how can you take time out to think about what you're giving your body or take time to do things like exercise? If you don't love yourself how can you convince your sub-conscious mind that you deserve to lose weight and keep it off? You see (without getting too deep into the subject), your sub-conscious mind is the most powerful, unseen source driving everything you do. Whatever it believes will become your reality. If you believe you are fat and useless, you will be fat and useless - no matter how much effort you put into becoming the opposite. In order to change your reality, you must change how you feel. So, the next question is how do you change how you feel on the inside, when you hate what you see on the outside? Well, again the answer is LOVE!
There are so many things about you to love, that are completely separate from what you look like. They have just got lost somewhere amongst all the diet attempts and the self bashing that comes with it. They are also things that you overlook every day. Things that you do without thinking, loving and taking care of others, being honest, being loyal, being a good friend or family member, being thoughtful and reliable etc. etc. etc. They may seem normal and insignificant to you because you do them as a matter of course, but they are things that make you who you are. They are things that describe your personality and your make-up. They are wonderful things that exist inside of you that you display everyday. What's not to love about that? Remember, there are plenty of people out there who do none of those things!
What I try to do is help people reconnect with their "authentic" self. The real person that lives inside, who is the same regardless of what number appears on the scales. Losing weight doesn't suddenly change your core personality traits. You don't suddenly become more honest, more caring or a better friend. You don't suddenly become a better mum who is more thoughtful. Just as those traits don't disappear when you gain weight. This reconnection is, in my opinion, ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL! Recognising your true worth and value and treating yourself with love and kindness HAS to happen if you want to lose weight and change your life. It's not lying, it's not convincing yourself of something that's not true. It's reminding yourself of who you are, encouraging you to love who you are and fixing the out of date, inaccurate beliefs that linger in your mind preventing your happiness from really taking hold. It's showing your subconscious mind you are worthy and deserving of happiness - which in turn makes sensible food decisions sooooo much easier!
So, on this day of celebrating love, start to love who you are regardless of your weight. Just start with just a few things and when that feels ok, move onto some more, then some more and some more. Monitor your self-talk and if it doesn't come from a place of love and kindness do not say it - especially NOT to yourself! Treat yourself like you would your own best friend, comfort, support and appreciate yourself just as you would a good friend. Make a commitment to do all these things over a period of time, and I completely and utterly assure you, that your results will start to change.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!