Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Listen to your body. It has all the ANSWERS.
Lately, I have been trying to really listen to my body. In the past when I have tried to lose weight, I would make diet plan after diet plan only to fail. Eventually, after 3 days, I would feel so stressed and restricted that I would binge, ultimately leading to me undoing all the work I had put in. This made me frustrated and angry, only to repeat the cycle, and cause a battle with the scale. These extra 10 pounds I have on my body are from not listening to my body. I struggle with emotional eating, but am starting to see that its possible to overcome. The first step is acknowledging how your feeling at that very moment and asking yourself what you really need. Will food really solve it? Sure, eating something decadent and unhealthy will make you feel good, but long term, that will not last. Wouldn't you rather put something in your body that will keep you fuller longer and make you feel better longer? In my own experience, I am finding that when I have a craving, the best thing for me to do is use alternative strategies. These strategies involve really listening to yourself and your natural tendencies. 1. For me, I know that if I have a box of cookies in the house, I will eat them. Knowing this about myself, I will not bring food into the house that temps me. In the past, I felt like a failure because I couldn't control myself around these foods. But I've begun to accept the fact that I enjoy sweets a little too much. I no longer feel bad about this, but I acknowledge it and move on. This ultimately saves me from binging uncontrollably. 2. Second, I exercise to release endorphins. In the past, I have said to myself, to go exercise when I felt like binging, but really, what would anyone want to do. Eating your favorite foods is much more enjoyable than exercising. I have found that when I exercise first thing in the morning I feel healthy both physically and mentally. It also really helps with my cravings and my appetite. I know how hard I work out in the morning and I don't want to mess that up with cookies. 3. Naturally, I am a very anxiety-ridden person. I get stressed by the littlest things. Often times, when I am the most stressed, I eat to preoccupy myself and to calm me down. In the moment it works GREAT. However, talk to me about 2 hours later, and I feel depressed that I turned to food and now I feel even worse. Lately, I have been craving meditation and yoga, not food. I admit, that its not as great as the piece of cake, but those great feelings last much longer long term. Try really listening to your body. At each meal really ask yourself, what am I hungry for (As Oprah would say!). Don't rely on the clock to tell you when your hungry. If its lunch time and your not hungry, don't feel obligated to eat. Food is not as enjoyable when your not really and truly hungry. For some people, planning meals helps them stay on track, but for me I find that what I may plan to eat for lunch the next day, is not really what I want when it comes time for it. This leaves me not feeling satisfied. Your body knows when your hungry. It tells you what it really wants. You just have to listen. Next time you eat a peice of cake, think hard at your next meal what you want. Most often times it will be something nutritious. If its not, then have that second peice of cake, just dont beat yourself up over it. *I would love to hear if any of you practice eating intuitively. Are there foods that you have trouble around? How do you deal with cravings?