How long have you spent over the course of your life searching for the magic weight loss pill? How much money have you spent on miracle products which promised to make the weight drop off overnight – or at least not make the business of losing weight seem so tricky and beyond your reach?
If you are someone who has spent a significant amount of time and effort at slimming clubs, you have almost certainly been taught to eat the wrong things - and the community mindset often tends to be about finding ways to cheat the diet! So it is no wonder that people lose weight only to put it straight back on again. Needless to say, actually eating the right things will help you lose the weight naturally, without calorie counting, and eating a natural, healthy diet consistently results in the desire to eat the foods which support the body rather than the longing to seek solace in a bag of crisps or a box of chocolates.
What the slimming clubs miss out is the vital mindset element which is so crucial to losing weight: self-care. THAT is the real secret ingredient to losing weight, and it is important to understand why.
If you are an emotional eater, no ‘diet’ in the world is going to help you deal with what the REAL issue is: your ambiguous relationship with food. You need to rewire your food brain, because emotional eating or binge eating are major causes of diet failure and, unless you get to the actual root of the problem, you are destined to yo-yo diet … forever.
Self-care is the recognition that only YOU can make yourself happy and that, if you make sure you dedicate some time EVERY DAY purely to your own enjoyment, you will have more fun, you will be more fun to be around, and you will have far greater reserves to deal with the stresses of everyday life.
The miracle of self-care doesn’t end there. When you commit a small amount of time each day to your own happiness, the need to reach for the chocolate biscuits disappears. Having said this, I totally accept that you are probably so time-poor that rewarding yourself with treats like cakes and biscuits is the easiest way to show yourself some self-love.
I know from my experience as a nutritional therapist that WHY you eat what you eat has very little to do with nourishing your body. The far greater part is to do with how you feel about yourself and about life in general. Eating half a packet of chocolate biscuits is much easier than figuring out – not to mention getting – what you really need, which might be a way to de-stress, feel loved, get attention, kick back your heels and even sleep.
You undoubtedly get what I am saying conceptually, but this is not enough for the magic to work. Just understanding won’t provide the benefits. You have to be “in action”. So, are you doing AT LEAST three things EVERY DAY just because they make you happy? Probably not!
Self-care is a skill and a discipline. It is something that can be very easy to do – and that is why it is something you often probably don’t bother to do. So, here’s a challenge for you: make a list of at least 20 things, even really frivolous things, which you LOVE to do just because they delight you – and make a point to actually write them all down. I know from working with my clients that coming up with a list like this can feel difficult to start with so think of it as a self-care planner packed with ideas to get you started. And be sure to keep your list somewhere handy so you can easily turn to it for inspiration.
Make a commitment to yourself to include self-care in your everyday life and get ready to reap the rewards!