It is my personal and professional opinion that restrictive diets are no bueno, especially if you want to lose weight, be healthier, and experience daily bliss.
I have stumbled on many reasons to eschew diets. Here are my Top 5.
- Put us in a stress-state that is counter-productive to weight loss AND sucks the fun out of life.
- Foster the on program/off program, good day/bad day, right choice/wrong choice dichotomies that contribute to binging behavior. I have a stomach ache just thinking about it.
- Promote the idea that there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed. Believe me, you are good enough right now, and only getting better!
- Presume that there is some outside expert who knows more about our bodies and what we should be eating than we do. We have the wisdom of the ages in our bodies, if we just slow down, get quiet, and listen. Trust yourself.
- And the big #5: Data collected by all types of data experts reveal that in the past ten years, the amount of money Americans spent on diets and weight loss programs doubled from $30 billion to $60 billion, while the obesity rate INCREASED from 31% to 35.7%
What’s the definition of insanity again?
I would like to propose a better approach, one that doesn’t involve any spreadsheets or weigh-ins. Here are three steps to get you in sync with your ideal weight.
Relax. Since stress is the enemy of weight loss, we can create a friendly environment for weight management by relaxing…both throughout the day and before and during meals. Start by sitting down to eat, without distractions, taking five slow, deep breaths, and saying a few words of thanks before every meal or snack.
Focus on quality. The quality of your food and the quality of your dining experiences will determine the quality of your body and health. Take a few minutes to consider where you rate: is the food you are eating First Class (makes me feel AMAZING, the best of the best, incredible quality, beautiful style, serves me above and beyond, my ultimate lifestyle, reflects my purpose in life) or Economy Class (Barely acceptable, not by choice, cheapest, not what I wanted, messy or embarrassing, making do)? Also consider the environment you are eating in. Is it peaceful or noisy? Beautiful or ugly? Clean or dirty?
If you are not First Class all the way, begin to make small upgrades. Consume more home cooked meals. Visit a local farmers’ market. Eat from your good china, even if it’s not Thanksgiving!
Take pleasure. Permanent, positive change is powered by love and pleasure. We should feel good about what we eat, and enjoy it thoroughly. Guilty pleasure is an oxymoron. When not relishing your meals, indulge your senses in other ways. Take a lavender-scented mineral bath, wear silky underwear, take a walk in the woods or along the ocean. Carve out time each and every day to do something pleasurable.
Slowing down, relaxing more, cooking your own food, and having more fun will not lead to rapid fat loss. I cannot promise that you will lose 20 pounds in time for your Caribbean vacation.
However, a relaxed and pleasurable approach to eating and to life does offer a permanent cure for weight loss woes and yo-yo dieting. I promise if you invest time and attention into HOW you are eating and whether your food and meals support your values and highest vision for yourself, your family and the world, you will one day have the body and life of your dreams.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
It took me a long time to realize that I am enough…just the way I am!
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I am a compassionate and loving person. I am blessed with a husband of 21 years who adores me, 2 awesome teenagers who still enjoy spending time with me, and the unconditional love and support of so many really cool family members and friends.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
On my dad’s side, I am first generation Mexican American and first generation to earn a college degree. I graduated cum laude from Princeton! One of my life’s goals is to own a home in Mexico and spend part of the year there.
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your identity?
I still battle mild anxiety nearly every day. I have a little voice in my head that never shuts up, and sometimes she is a negative Nellie. I have lots of tools in place to help me have an awesome life in spite of that voice! Something quirky about me is that I wear zip-up footie pajamas to bed year-round. I hate to be cold at night. It is very sexy.
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my life!