Start a happier and healthier life right now!
Everyone Is Different.
No two people are exactly alike. Genetics, environment, experiences, health, education, association and luck all conspire to make us who we are. Somethings we can change and some things we cannot. So, when it comes to addressing emotional eating and/or food addictions, a one-size fits all solution does not suit everyone. How many diets have you tried and failed? Isn't it time you listened to your own inner wisdom? Isn't it time to take control of your own body? Isn't it time to stop letting your past control your present? Isn't it time to stop obeying the lies and coersion by the food conglomerates that are ruining your health and shortening your life? Isn't it time to start feeling good?
It truely is difficult to take better care of yourself if you cannot accept and love who you are now. Think about that for a moment. Take a deep breath and slowly let it out. Then ask yourself this question: Do you accept the real you, the person inside yourself, the person behind the layers of fat? Or do you feel angry, resentful, ashamed, judgemental, powerless or hopeless? The reason I ask this is because, if you cannot accept yourself as you are now, then you will always find a way to fail in caring for yourself, a way to sabotage your best efforts. It is only too easy, when the going gets rough, to say to hell with taking care of yourself when you don't like yourself. So the first step is to admit to yourself that you do matter - that you are worthy of self-love. That thought may make you feel uncomfortable, or nervous. It may make you feel like eating something. If so, I have an exercise to help get you started in the right direction. Click here.
Feed Your Body - Not Your Emotions Or Addictions.
Make a conscious decision to nourish your body. Find reasons to do so. This is also related to setting healthy goals for yourself. If you love yourself then it is easier to put wholesome foods in your stomach. If you love someone else, then do it for them. You can learn to distinguish true hunger from emotional hunger. I can tell you from experience that once you start down the road to feeding your body instead of your emotions that your taste buds will change. Healthy foods that you would never have considered delicious all of a sudden you will crave not only because they taste good, but also because they make you feel better. It is not as hard as you think to give up foods that are harming your health. Start today by substituting just one healthy food for a harmful one. More on that here.
Engage With Life - Be Passionate - Be Creative
Emotional eating and giving in to food addictions are basically ways of disconnecting from life. When we eat to fill an emotional void or to avoid unpleasant feelings we are trying to escape from ourselves and our lives. The more we enter the food trance the more dependent we become on using food to regulate our emotions, and the more food we need to consume to get the same food high. It is a viscious cycle similar to how a heroin junkie needs more and more drugs over time to get the same high. An antidote to being a food junkie is to enage with life, to be passionate about something, to allow your creative self to be free. More here.
Learn What Is Good For YOU!
When it comes to food, what may be good for one person may be poison to another. There are various ways to find out what foods will nourish your body and those that will harm you. Most factory-made foods contain ingredients that are harmful or addictive - I call them Frankenfoods. Some foods cause allergies, others may cause sensitivities which are more subtle but, in my opinion, are just as damaging to your health. For some people vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes can cause distress. You can learn to pay attention to cues from your body to determine which foods are best for you. Sugar, in it's many forms, is an ingredient that is completely out of control in our society and which is implicated in the epidemic of a variety of diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and various inflammatory diseases. Highly refined wheat is another culprit that is harming your health. For some people even whole grains can be a problem. Learn to pay attention to your body and avoid foods that are not good for YOU. More on that here.
This part takes some practice. Your goal is to eat in a mindful fashion, or in other words, in a conscious and aware way. We do so many things out of habit, without thinking, without paying attention. When it comes to eating food it is best to do so in a conscious fashion instead of a reactive or habitual fashion. Avoid eating in front of the TV set. Pay attention to what you eat, the experience of eating, the why of eating. Are you really hungry? Do you stop eating when you are full or do you overeat?
Stress And Other Triggers.
For many people stress is a trigger to eat comfort foods. However, sometimes just being with friends and having a good time will lead to eating badly. Some people eat when they are bored. We live in a stress-filled society where using food as a coping mechanism is an only too familiar scenario. For your own health and longevity it is important to learn how to deal with the stressors and temptations in your life. This part may not be easy, requires some effort, mindfulness and determination. But if you really want to be healthy, happy and live longer then it is worth the effort. The secret is to build more resilience into your life.
Be Kind To Yourself.
You are human. Humans are imperfect. We all make mistakes. You will make mistakes in trying to eat in a more healthy way. So be nice to yourself when that happens. Forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes.
Move, Wiggle, Dance, Walk
Exercise is important. Try to get some exercise at least 3 times per week, if not daily. Walking is the best way to get started. Get outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. If you can walk in nature you get even more benefits than if you walk on a treadmill in a gym. If you can add some weight training to your exercise regime you will be ahead of the game. Gardening, mowing the lawn and cleaning house are other ways of getting you moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If it is safe, park your car further from the entrances to stores and work. Play loud music and dance to it.
OK, this is going to sound contradictory but please bear with me. I am asking you to avoid most popular diets. Yes, I want you to eat healthy foods. Most of the popular diets are unsustainable and though you will lose weight on them, you will not maintain your weight loss. In fact you might have a rebound effect where you gain back more than you lost. The goal is not to lose weight quickly but to eat in a more healthy fashion, which will result in weight loss. Let me emphasize that it is health we are trying to achieve, not rapid weight loss. Any of the popular weight loss programs will help you to lose weight. Pick any one. How many have you tried? And tried again because you gained the weight back plus some? I want you to make life-long changes that you can LIVE with. I want you to have a long and healthy life. One which you can enjoy free of debiliating disease. One where you feel energetic and enjoy getting up in the morning. A life like I am living now, but unlike me didn't take until old age to discover.
Enjoy The Rewards.
This I can promise you. If you make the changes I suggest, the result will be a happier you. I will continue to offer suggestions and help through my blog. Please check back or subscribe to my email list. Regardless, I hope the best for you. I really want you to succeed in being a happier and healthier you who lives for a long time. And it is never too late to improve the quality of your life. It took a long time for me to get there, and I don't want it to take so long for you. Today in my 60's I have more energy, more sex drive and enjoyment, less pain, an appetite for more healthy foods and more joy than I have had, perhaps in all my earlier years. Please, don't take so long in your life to get to such a position. Enjoy your life now.