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The Truth About Weight Loss

I have battled my weight for most of my life. Through those battles, I have come to realize some important factors about my body and my struggle.





Emotions

I am a big emotional eater and when I look back, I can see that my poor relationship with food began when I was young. I turned to food when I was going through tough times. Food was there for me when no one else was. I never learned how to regulate my emotions, so food became my coping mechanism. To this day, I turn to food when I am having a hard time handling my emotions. By recognizing this is a problem, I am able to think before I eat. When I have emotional days, I am able to stop and process those emotions in a more positive way.


Those positive ways include:

  1. Talking to someone I trust - This can be a therapist, spouse, friend, or family member. Once you get your feelings out and explain your feelings to someone else, you gain a new perspective on what is really happening. It allows you to see things for what they really are, and sometimes it may not be a bad as you think.

  2. Journaling - If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone, then journaling may be better. It's another way to get everything out. Writing it all down will clear your mind.

  3. Get Moving - Get up and get moving. Walking is a great way to increase serotonin and bring peace to your thoughts.

  4. Meditate - Sit down and breath. Let your thoughts come and go, without focusing on one feeling for too long.



Learning How to Eat Healthy

As I evaluated my relationship with food, I also realized that I didn't know how to eat healthy. In the past, I either lost weight by exercising all the time, or by eating a restrictive diet. Those methods weren't sustainable. I needed an entire lifestyle change. This is something I have been working on the past several years. I started by cutting out sugary drinks and learning how to cook so that I would eat out less. This helped me to lose and maintain a twenty-pound weight loss, but then I got stuck. In the years since, I have been cutting out processed foods and pre-packaged meals. I have found that by making changes over time, makes it easier to stick with and I get to the point where I no longer want to eat the unhealthy foods I used to.


I don't cut out any food groups, but I do try to add more fruits and vegetables to my meals. Moderation and portion sizes have been key. Everyone has different dietary needs so make sure you check with your doctor before making changes to your diet.


Learning How to Listen to Your Body

A few years ago, I did a mindfulness weight loss program. In that program, I learned a lot about feeling hungry and knowing when to eat. I realized that I never truly knew how to tell when I was hungry. I had been eating my feelings for so long that I wasn't eating to fuel my body.


I learned there is a difference between feeling hungry, and not being full. I have learned to listen to my body. I stop eating once I am satisfied, not full. I learned that my stomach shouldn't hurt when I am finished eating, this means I ate too much. I also got rid of the notion that my plate needed to be cleared, something I was told during my childhood.


As I mentioned there is a difference between not being full and being hungry. Just because I don't feel full doesn't mean I need to eat. I wait until my stomach growls a little to eat. I know that in order to lose weight I am changing my body, and a result, my body is fighting to get back to homeostasis. This means that my body is going to want me to eat in order to stay the same weight. With this in mind, I am able to listen to what my body really needs, not what it wants.


Learning How to Love Your Body

The biggest part of my weight loss journey has been learning to love my body. I used to say mean and hateful things about my body. I didn't appreciate it for everything it has done for me. My body grew a beautiful, healthy child inside of it and it has carried me through every phase of my life.


My body allows me to move and do the things I enjoy doing. It has been so strong and capable, and it deserves to be thanked, not berated. If I can't love and appreciate my body, then I can't expect anyone else to.


Your journey to weight loss is your own. Do what is best for your mind, body and soul. Most of all, do it for you, not anyone else. Just understand that weight loss takes time, and it often has more to do with past trauma than it does about food. There isn't a quick fix. Look inside to find out what is holding you back.

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