Sunday, July 22, 2012
Before I dive into this blog post, I would like to suggest two books to read if you are having trouble losing weight:
http://www.gabrielmethod.com/Ã??Ã?Â (The Gabriel Method)
http://geneenroth.com/women_food_and_god1.phpÃ??Ã?Â (Women FoodÃ??Ã?Â And God)
Why am I recommending these books? Because both books address the key ingredient to successful long-term weight loss and weight management: emotional eating. The majority of diet books tell you how many calories to eat, or what foods to eat or not eat, but these diet books fail to address any of the emotional triggers that are causing weight gain.
A few months ago I met a young woman who had gained 70lbs in the last few years. "WOW I said!" What do you attribute this weight gain to?" The woman quickly replied, "I just don't know. I have tried everything from acupuncture, to hypnotherapy, to different diets, but I can't lose this weight." As I spent more time with this woman, I realized she was totally disconnected from her body and was terrified of being alone. She went through life in a total flurry of activity and never paid attention to how she was feeling. As a result, the extra 70lbs she put on was a result of not allowing herself to really feel anything but numbness.
In order for weight loss to be successful, individuals must connect to their bodies, which means connecting to what they are feeling. When we embrace our feelings, a funny thing happens, we are no longer afraid of our feelings. As a result, we no longer mask our painful feelings with emotional feelings. Why? Our desire to overeat dissipates when we get in touch with what really is going on in our lives.
There is actual physical hunger and then there is emotional/spiritual hunger which both Geneen Roth and Jon Gabriel address in their books referenced above. When we are dealing with emotional/spiritual hunger, no amount of food will fill the voids we are experiencing in our lives. We are just eating and eating in order to stuff any painful feelings that are trying to surface within us.
In order to help anyone who may be struggling with weight issues, I would like to offer a few tips for you:
1. When the urge to overeat arises, take a moment to reflect on what is going on emotionally. What feelings are you trying to run from? Why are these feelings so scary? What would happen if you befriended these feelings and offered these feelings loving kindness?
2. What role is excess weight serving in your life? Jon Gabriel said we are overweight because we don't feel safe. This is such a pertinent point. As soon as you start feeling safe and secure in the world, the weight will start to melt.
3. Start eating whole foods that will nourish your body. What's interesting is that so many of us (especially in American considering 60% of the population is overweight) are overfed and undernourished. What does this mean? We are eating excess calories from processed foods that aren't providing adequate nutriens our bodies need to thrive. When we start eating whole foods from fruits, vegetables, and quality proteins, our desire for junk foods diminishes greatly or completely goes away.