1.Loving/accepting your body. I’m hopeful that one day society will talk about body acceptance, body confidence, celebrating the body you have, and that all different body types and shapes will be celebrated.
For example, I’m an endomorph. I have a strong solid body shape. Nothing will change my build. I can work to create the best body FOR ME. But I won’t ever be supermodel thin.
Since when is the only body type that is celebrated?
So many children are growing up thinking that insta bunny, ridiculous beauty standards are ‘normal’.
No wonder self loathing is running rampant!
Children are going on diets. Children are becoming bulimic or binge eaters and hating themselves for their appearance. Children are seeing what’s modelled to them by adults and think that this is a normal way to be.
It hurts me to think of this. In my daughter’s first year of school she came home one day and asked me what a diet was. I literally freaked the fuck out. I left the room, posted to my page and asked my followers how I should respond.
One suggested I explain a diet is what an animal eats, some animals eat plants, some meat, some both. So I went with that. She came home the next day and said “My friend said when you go on a diet you can never eat chocolate again! I told her if that’s the case I am NEVER going to diet” and inside I did a cartwheel! That’s my girl!
I honestly don’t know who the leaders in my industry are. If I look to the Health At Every Size movement (HAES) they seem to espouse the ‘you’re going to be fat forever so don’t even bother trying to change’ method.
I appreciate that they are trying to bring about body acceptance, but I don’t believe acceptance means you can’t change.
Yes it is harder for some people, but not impossible.
It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it’s how you feel on the inside.
Losing weight isn’t going to fix your self image.Genuine body love doesn’t depend on whether or not you ate a block of chocolate or skipped a workout. The main reason people should take this issue seriously is that – how much mental space is being taken up with thoughts of self loathing, guilt and shame? With planning their next diet? Their next binge? Weighing in?
Why do people let an inanimate object – the scales – determine their worth as a person? “How will I know I am making progress without weighing in?” Ummmm you feel better. You FEEL GOOD! YOU FEEL!!
They think losing weight will fix their self image. That how they feel on the inside is determined by how they look on the outside. So if they ‘fix’ the outside the inside will magically be fixed too.
I think they do this because in our society, success is often portrayed as being slim and rich. Society idolises thin rich people.
I don’t believe you can truly make lasting changes until you first accept the body you have.
Acceptance gives you freedom to change. You can’t hate yourself skinny or punish yourself healthy. You don’t take care of what you loathe.
So until you accept that your body is awesome, it puts up with everything you do to it, say about it, feed it, withhold from it and it still supports you day in and day out.
Your body is a powerhouse!
When you can see that, you can be free to change it.
People think if they accept their body they will lose all motivation to change, when infact the opposite is true, acceptance is required for lasting change.
2.Loving Your Resistance. Why are people resistant? Fear. The surface fear, the one they are aware of is fear of failure, what if this doesn’t work? I’ve tried so many times before, why will this be any different? It works for everyone else, not for me? I’m just going to be fat forever etc.
They have an archetypical inner judge or inner critic that’s so strong it’s almost deafening – and they don’t realise that, they think that’s just themselves. Underneath that, is usually fear of success. Because they’re used to failure, but they’ve not walked the path of success.
Who will I be without this excess weight? How will I live without my security blanket of fat? At the end of the day resistance is normal. Once we stop trying to ignore it, shout over it, push it down, or JFDI our way through it. And actually ACCEPT and BEFRIEND it – we get the job done!
3.Weight release is cyclical not linear – using the seasons analogy.
Invariably each of my clients at some stage will fall off. They will want to quit. Its too hard. The results aren’t coming fast enough. I’ve been doing everything you said, why aren’t I skinny yet?
They would go into a figurative ‘winter’. I knew it was part of the journey, but I didn’t know how to bring them back out of it. It was hard on them and hard on me.
What I’ve learnt is that we need to have a harvest. We need to create an autumn (or you may call it fall depending on your location). Where we harvest and celebrate ALL of their efforts thus far. Even the tiny little ones.
Because when they drop into winter ALL they see is the number on the scales. They forget their pain levels have improved, they’re sleeping better, they’re fitter, they can play with their kids now, they are recording vidoes, being visible, having pics taken etc etc.
It’s like they get their blinkers on and it’s the scale or nothing.
So in my coaching programs now I have regular celebrations and when I sense a winter is imminent, I introduce autumn.
The cycle goes –
- Spring – starting out
- Summer – consistent and persistent action
- Autumn – harvest your efforts
- Winter – Rest
So it’s not a once and done approach.
You haven’t ‘failed’ if (when) there are setbacks. You may just have moved into a winter phase.
It’s vital to have regular harvests and celebrate your efforts, not just your results.
So yes they can have that time to wallow. But wallow in full knowing of how far they’ve already come. And THEN when they come out of the winter, we re-vision. We start anew with new goals and a new vision.
Because perhaps the WHY they had at the start has changed.
4.Time and Space: long term / short term (time) & internal / external (space) grid
Most people who have ‘tried everything’ have done so in only 1 quadrant (the short term external approach quadrant). For sustainable weight release a balanced approach of short and long term, internal and external strategies are needed.
See graphic for examples. They make it ALL about the external (ie what they eat, drink and how they move) and they don’t address the internal (ie their thinking) at all. I think they do this because its marketed to us this way. We are a very treat the symptom type society and very rarely get to the root cause of the issue.
5.Top down, rather than bottom up approach. Most people try to change their environment or behaviours and then wonder why a few weeks or months down the track they end up in the same situation again (like a different movie but with the same characters).
An example of this would be joining a gym – you’re changing your environment. If you take the next step and actually attend the gym – you’re changing your behaviour. But if you still believe that this isn’t going to work for you, and that you’ll never maintain it, and you always do this, start strong and then throw in the towel, guess what? It’s only a matter of time before this comes to pass.
It’s not as simple as changing your environment and behaviours. If it were then eating less and moving more would have worked the first time you tried it. It’s not about diet and exercise, that’s just the surface stuff. If you spray paint a turd with glitter there is still a turd underneath! If you play around changing your diet and exercise and not addressing the core reasons you overeat, its like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic – and we all know how that ends, you eventually end up sinking!
That happens because they didn’t address their values and beliefs first and have a top down approach (see graphic).
When you start with the inner work of values and beliefs that filters down into all other areas of your life.
6.Consistent, Small Imperfect actions are better than no action.
7.Celebrate regularly (every small progress, not just the number on the scales)
9.How you lose the weight is how you keep it off. The journey is different from ‘maintenance’. Most programs have a weight loss phase and a maintenance phase. I call absolute utter BS on this. How you lose the weight is how you will keep it off! There is no point restricting heavily to get the weight off, because once you lift the restriction the weight will come back on!…………..
10.Getting a good support network / asking for help
11.It’s what you do in between sessions that matters. As an ex-personal trainer I made a killing putting up my before and after photos. I signed up 77 clients in my first week of business! But it’s not them smashing themselves once a week with me that brings the lasting results, it’s what they do BETWEEN our sessions, that’s where the real work is! The same goes for coaching.
12.Stop looking for the ‘right’ way and start SOMETHING today. Drink an extra glass of water. Go for a walk. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Do some stretches. Drink one less cup of coffee. Pick ONE thing. Start small but start. We tend to overlook the power of the easy thing because we want a dramatic result. But the power of compound interest over time WILL bring the dramatic result.
13.Let go of the ‘before and after’ mentality. Embrace the now (wow I sound like Eckhart Tolle). But seriously, there is only ever now. As soon as you put before and after categories on it, then you put pressure on yourself. If you think ‘after’ me will NEVER eat chocolate again then you will keep having food funerals and last hurrahs because subconsciously you never want to let this go.
Next article – Why Lose Weight?
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