Two Happy Ways to Lose Weight Through the Holidays

Weight loss should not feel like drudgery. If it does, stop and regroup. See how you can bring fun into it. Here are a couple of ideas:

1. Bring Your Slender Self to the Table

The idea here is to connect with your ideal weight self and the happy feelings associated with it and bring that to the table, especially at holiday events.

Relax, close your eyes and visualize yourself having the body you want. It is already in you, afterall. See yourself going through your day: work, home life, hobbies, relationships, . . . being at your best weight. What are you wearing? What are you feeling? Joy, gratitude, personal power, pride, self-assurance…? Be here now.

Now, stand up and walk with this feeling of being in your best body. Adjust your posture and your carriage. Notice your body language and movement quality. Turn up the volume on the feeling of being here. Turn it up so high that your heart might burst from elation and gratitude. Feel that it is true.

The brain does not know the difference between real and imagined. The same centers of the brain light up whether we actually go through something or visualize it. Visualizing something makes it real to the brain. Concurrently, feeling is the language of the subconscious mind. And, the subconscious mind runs the show. So, visualize and get yourself into the feeling of being at your best weight to embed into your brain and subconscious mind that this is the reality, this is who you are. You will be compelled to do the actions that create it.

What clothing do you have or can you buy that promotes you feeling this way? This holiday season, wear clothing that fits well, you feel fabulous in and represents the authentic and slim you. Especially for a holiday party or event when you will be eating, put something on that will show off your best features and give you the image of yourself that you enjoy.

Wear these clothes and this body language, this knowledge of who you really are, this victorious feeling of having your ideal weight body at holiday occasions.

Remember to get back into the feeling of your ideal body self before you eat. If you forget about your ideal body self being right here, let your clothes remind you. You could even wear a symbol such as a prominent ring to flash the message to your brain and your heart and bring you back.

Now, how do you eat, being your authentic and proud self in your ideal weight body? Probably more present, tuned-in to yourself, honoring the signals of your body . . . ? Perhaps, more slowly and purposefully for the sake of utmost pleasure like a connoisseur?

Notice and praise yourself. Have a little internal celebration to send the message to your subconscious that you are being successful and that this is the program now. And, praising yourself keeps things feeling light and fun.

2. Be a Connoisseur

You can have a culinary extravaganza and finish feeling a just right fullness. You can have it all!

Have you ever gone wine tasting? It’s about being a connoisseur. The wino guzzles, not for pleasure, but to go numb and not be here. The dieter restricts and doesn’t get to have it. But, as a connoisseur, you get to have a quality experience with worthwhile food! The idea is to be so present that you expand your experience and receive every iota of pleasure so you are happy to stop at enough. As one client said, “I don’t need a lot to experience abundance.”

So look at your food, appreciate the colors and shapes of nature’s art work. Smell your food to know its secrets. Receive the flavors as they announce themselves. Linger over the ending notes to see what will be the next most wonderful bite to follow. Choose and curate each bite. You might choose to taste just the potato. Now, a mushroom and parsley with the potato. Now, just the sauce to see what it’s all about.

Notice your enthusiasm and how bright the flavors are when you start so you can notice the difference as you’re getting full. The goal is pleasure, so when you are no longer receiving utmost true, pure pleasure, probably around when your tummy is full, you can stop. You can take some home and eat it later when you’re hungry and it will be pleasurable again.

Every time you walk away feeling you’ve had a feast and landed at a just right fullness, praise yourself and feel your happiness over it to anchor that this is what you do.

Belly Speaks

Here is a writing from one of my lovely Soul Sisters from Sera Beaks’s SoulFire retreat the previous summer. There, we endeavored to connect and listen to our soul. She recently shared with us this beautiful reframe she got upon listening to her stomach. She graciously let me share it with you:

I feel like I’m on the verge of letting my Soul breathe through my body in a whole new way. It’s scaring me. And thrilling. Everything seems to be expanding. Yesterday I came across this from last year’s journal … and felt moved to share it with you….

Belly Speaks:

Silly girl! Looking for your Mama everywhere but here, and me just waitin’ for you.
You think I am part of you but let me tell you a little secret to blow your mind. You are a part of me. You live and breathe and take your nourishment through me. And if you let me I can take you places girl!

Yes, I puff out like a big old helium balloon. “Four months pregnant” you say, eyeing me in the mirror with that pinched mouth and worried brow. “Who’s going to love this?” you think. Oh how you clutch me, suck me in, pull meet tight, cover me over, try to hide!

I love when you let that go. When you let me be pillow belly, jello belly, jiggly dancing belly, sunshine belly, moon glow belly, call-of-the-ocean-tides belly, rock-you-to-sleep belly. You so careful about sugar, how it messes with your mind. But it’s this “belly’s too big” lie that cuts off your life breath.

Oh girl! Let me rise and fall like a whale and sing my deep belly song. Let me take you all the way into “too big” and “too round”. How you gonna birth anything for real without that?

Oooh you so scared! I can feel it. What will your family think? Those eyes, those disapproving eyes that haunt you every day of your life.

My sweet sweet girl! Let me Mama you, let me grow and feed and birth your dreams. Let me dance you into the life you’re really here for… not the one “They” will approve of.

I love soft clothes and wiggle room and the touch of your hands, but even more I love loving you my girl. Take that in, Baby. I hold the love you’ve been searching for all your life. Can you feel it?

Cultivating Self-Esteem

Because it is Valentine’s Day and I believe we are each first our own precious eternal Valentine, I find it fitting to post something about raising self-esteem.

“Self-esteem – warm personal regard from within.” Pia Mellody

Low self-esteem underlies most of our reasons for unhealthy eating, weight gain and unhappiness. Raising self-esteem is one of the greatest antidotes to achieving natural weight and more ease in flowing with life.

Self-esteem is at the heart of personal growth; the center of our psychological state; the core of our spiritual state. It’s a predominant element in our inner world that affects almost every aspect of the way we roll. Self-esteem is based on how we feel about ourself; our self-image and encompasses self-confidence and self-acceptance – our approval of who we are in general.

High self-esteem gives us true confidence, a humble awe toward ourselves, a silently empowered elegant spirit that says, “I know who I am.” With healthy self-esteem, we know that we belong and that it’s important for us to be who we are. Self-esteem gives us a radiant presence that quietly, powerfully says, “I am here.” Self-esteem makes us resilient and unstoppable.

In growing my self-esteem over 5 decades and witnessing many people raise their self-esteem along their weight loss journey, I put together this list of what I learned that it takes.

The elements of cultivating self-esteem:

• Honor your truth. Be yourself and be loyal to yourself. Eating is a great forum to practice this several times a day by eating what your body wants and precisely how much it wants.

• Ask yourself what you need. You can practice this by listening to your body for how hungry it is, what it wants to eat and what else it needs.

• Be present to your feelings and see what messages they bring. Be intimate with yourself, listening to your concerns and desires.

• Speak kindly and upliftingly to yourself with respect and dignity. Be your own best friend, providing inner wisdom and comfort.

• Speak up for yourself; be an advocate for yourself. Speak directly, not behind the scenes or beating around the bush. Take a stand. You can do it gracefully.

• Experience and acknowledge your personal power, not power over someone, but your own inner sturdy power.

• Follow your intuition. Muster the courage to do so.

• Act with integrity toward yourself and others. Honor your values and priorities.

• Let go of shame; owning your story and letting it be just fine, feeling good about yourself anyway.

• Notice your good, the good you are and good you have and praise it.

• Keep your word to yourself, following through with what you said you want to do, so you can trust yourself.

• Do something hard that scares you and be crazy proud of yourself.

• Be a good receiver, knowing you deserve every good coming your way.

• Take responsibility for yourself instead of blaming someone else for your plight and being a victim. Be a victor by finding other options and knowing there is always a way.

• Steadily work on your personal growth, developing new true empowering beliefs about yourself and your relationship to the world.

• Fall in love with yourself.

In short, be Loyal to your Royal Self.

Eating Mindfully is an ideal avenue to raise self-esteem because when we tune-in to ourselves, ask ourselves what we want, honor our truth … we feel cared for and important. This in turn, makes us want to eat mindfully because it is congruent to being treated well – something we’ve gotten used to – and the body follows.

Self-esteem is a verb that requires action in order to flourish. And, as your self-esteem goes up, your body fat will come down.

The Value of the Present Moment

Living in the present moment gives us the gift of simplicity. Of unclutteredness. It has no baggage from the past nor worries of the future.

What’s great about the present is that it’s the only time you can do something about your health.

When you’re making efforts to lose weight, you don’t have to get overwhelmed trying to do everything, just do what you’re able to act on right now. If you live in the future, you can say, “It doesn’t matter how I eat now. It’ll take too long to get to my goal. I’ll just go for it now and eat better tomorrow.” You can procrastinate and stack up all your true desires for later. But, that later never comes.

Little positive choices in the moment make you feel better about yourself rather than planning grand positive choices in the future.

Actually, you can even take weight loss efforts out of the equation. Just live in the present where you can access your Truth and eat from there. “Now, it’s tasting amazing and I’m stimulated. Now, I want this particular piece. Now, the flavor is diminishing slightly. Now, I’m getting bored. Now, I want a bite of that instead. Now, I’m getting full…”

All you want to do is live a healthy moment right now.

As too much orientation on the future can make you a procrastinator, too much importance on the past makes you a victim. Living in the past blocks your creativity. Ideas spring up in the ‘right now’, they are spontaneous. From the now, you can experience more and take in more, living a bigger life.

Addictions take you away from living in the present moment. The way to treat addictions is to practice staying present in the moment.

When you live in the present moment, you are available for yourself. Instead of procrastinating difficult emotions, you can face them with your loving presence and receive the (inner) support you’ve always wanted. Little bits of self-esteem start happening when you begin experiencing yourself being here for yourself.

Living in the present moment is underrated. The happiest people are fully present in the moment. Their heads are not someplace else, they’re right here. Dogs are happy because they live only in the moment. They’re whole-heartedly engaged in play when playing or fully focused on eating while eating.

It’s a lifestyle choice to live in the present. A simple exercise to bring you into the present is to pause, place your focus on your breathing and be here now.

“Most people eat but don’t quite taste. Most people miss the moment. They’re always someplace else.”
John Daido Loori

Daring to Do It

Today is my 10th anniversary of being in business! I blended my knowledge of nutrition and weight loss from my bachelors in nutrition and years in the field with my new learnings from coaching school on how to get to root causes and reorient toward higher visions. My process began to evolve with help from classmates who wanted to lose weight. I came up with the name Weight Loss Coach (now it’s a common title), got my business license and began to learn from every client.

Although I enjoy partnering with all people who are ready for weight loss coaching, my most favorite are those with heavy duty life-long food/weight struggles who have failed with diets many times. So, I get to see the qualities and fortitude in people who finally succeed.

Those who succeed, have tremendous courage to stay in the game when it gets uncomfortable. It’s a dirty messy process that they dare to see through.

Here is an excerpt of a recent follow-up e-mail I received from such a warrior:

“On my end, well, eating is good, slowing down is ok, exercise is excellent!!! I feel I am dealing with a little fear of letting go of old thoughts and patterns, but I love that I see this and always try to talk gently to myself. I get frustrated going back again and again to places where I doubt, fear or talk negatively… then I remember: one day at a time. And even if I get it wrong, this just makes room for me to get it right the next moment: this moment. I feel I’m fighting with myself a lot. I wonder if there’s a part of me that is really scared to be WELL? (This was ammunition for a breakthrough on our next call!)
I do feel, besides getting stuck at what feels like the same pothole over and over again, that I am much gentler with myself and more open to look and see what’s going on, and moving out of that pothole. But I must admit, I feel I want to make leaps and bounds! Move faster!”

This woman lost 2.2 lbs* in the week she wrote this. She dares to stay in the dirty messy process, seeing the mess and applying cleaning solutions to it in a bit by bit manner. On our call she said, “Nothing of this has been easy, but very step I have taken has been fun. I don’t mind having to do it again and again. I’m on the right track, I feel it and know it.”*

She’s an example of a particularly tough case with stubborn old patterns who chooses to stay in and create her best body and life. Most people I work with achieve their weight goal and the personal growth that’s attached to it. They hear their gremlins and are willing to be uncomfortable. They learn to be gentle, tender and compassionate with themselves to soften what’s hard. They become a loving, supportive presence for themselves so that they can feel their feelings and can go to those places that want to be addressed and healed.

Another warrior just celebrated her 26th wedding anniversary which she is proud about. As she changed, her husband’s response to her changed and their marriage dynamics improved. Those who stay in the process have tremendous rewards that affect their selfhood which touches every aspect of their lifes.

One woman’s body releases fat slowly because of her borderline low thyroid function. When I complimented her on her dedication for coming a long way she said:

“Well if you don’t fully invest yourself in it, how would you know if you really could succeed? . . . I’m a lot happier having lost 25 lbs* 6 months later than someone else would have, than if I got discouraged and gave up because I didn’t meet my expectations. I have patience because I can affect this. . . I hoped for behavior modification but didn’t know how hard it was going to be. Now, they manifest naturally every day. All those discussions about it’s OK to not be perfect. I now can have an ounce of chocolate cake and go off and do something else.”*

She pointed out that 25 lbs ago, she was someone who had a glass of wine when she came home from work and another 1-2 with dinner and often a high fat dinner. Now, she works out before coming home and feels like eating more nutritiously.*

If you dare, the rewards to your personhood are beyond tremendous!

“Bravery never goes out of style.” William M. Thackeray
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