Isn’t it strange that we often associate relaxing and taking time out with a compulsion for food? When we are busy at work, looking after the family, doing shopping, paying bills etc, its all left brain logical activity. As soon as that stops, we feel this weird, uncomfortable emptiness.
We need stimulation but a great thing to do is to fill that space with right brain activity which is anything creative; drawing, painting, sewing, music, poetry. If you’ve ever wondered why hypnotherapists use a pendulum, its to balance the left and right brain activity which immediately makes us feel relaxed.
Learn how to deal with your emotions in a healing way. Here are some suggestions;
Write in a journal. You can simply use smiley face type entries or keep detail such as where you are / who you are with / what’s happening / what are you feeling. Over time you will recognise patterns.
Go for a 10 minute walk. When we are feeling emotionally distressed, we crave carbs (when did you last crave fish or vegetables?) because it takes 7 seconds for the effect to go from our mouth to our brain. Exercise is the only other thing that stimulates the feel good endorphins the same way.
Have a bubble bath and read a good book.
Talk about your feelings to an emotionally supportive person.
Sit with the feelings and do slow deep breathing.
Do something creative like a puzzle.
Listen to your favourite empowering song …. preferably very loud….and dance!
Some people sit for years at that point of “I really want to lose weight” to actually doing something about it.
I have found a really great way to cross that threshold is to write down everything you hate / dislike about being the weight you are. The physical, the medical, the emotional, the practical, the spiritual…be really brave and express it. For some it’s a simple 5 minute list, but for others its a long, painful but cathartic exercise. It brings us out of denial and forces us to uncomfortably face reality. I even urge people to take a front and side photo in their underwear and simply look at it for a few minutes and allow all the feelings to flow. Have a good cry, rant, temper tantrum and ok, eat cake!, but process those feelings and let them go.
The benefits; this frees you from all the self loathing that has been making you turn to food, in terms of Transactional Analysis, it brings you from a Child state to an Adult state (which is where we need to be to beneficially change), and your list becomes a projection of meaningful goals. Let me know if this helps you!
As human beings, we are comfortable with the status quo. Change of any sort increases anxiety which is often the adrenaline rush we need to get out of our comfort zone.
Most people who decide to lose weight have thought about it and planned it for days, weeks or sometimes years. The people closest to them often haven’t and are suddenly confronted with a positive, strong, independent person who they don’t really know. It forces a change in the dynamics of the relationship. Sadly this often results in husbands, mothers and best friends unconsciously sabotaging your efforts. Think of the parent who keeps telling you that you need to lose weight but then offers you cake when you cry. Or the best friend who tells you that you are no fun anymore because you don’t want to get drunk with her every weekend. Or the husband who feels jealous and threatened by his now very sexy wife who is dressing in close fitting dresses instead of baggy blacks.
You will need to be really strong, understanding and resilient to push past it all!
Think carefully about what kind of support is right for you and what will keep you motivated. The structure of a weekly weigh in with the right person is invaluable for motivation and accountability.
When it comes to support, if you go to a group where they clap for every pound lost, that implies that for that week you have been “good”. So what happens in the weeks when you have stuck to the program 100%, expect to have lost a couple of pounds but instead you’ve stayed the same or put on? Hmmmm. No Clap…. Does this mean you are “bad”. It certainly makes a lot of people feel that way and when added to their feelings of disappointment and confusion, often results in …. overeating! And so the cycle continues.
Perhaps a well trained counsellor who shows no reaction either way will benefit you more.