Thursday, March 26, 2009

3 Tips for Changing Your Mind in Order to Lose Weight and Gain Health

It feels like everywhere we look there’s another website, TV show, or life coach committed to helping others lose weight. You literally cannot turn on a news program or talk show and avoid the onslaught of weight loss experts, exercise regimens and “new” diets (can you say iVillage, O Magazine and Biggest Loser?). While the support of these programs (and the companionship and encouragement of the thousands who follow them – especially through the Internet) is phenomenal – it is NOT a magic bullet for obesity, eating disorders, and food addiction.

The REASONS we overeat, undereat, or otherwise hurt ourselves with food MUST be digested as well. We need to really look at WHY we hold onto our weight and not lose it, or lose it and immediately begin a quest to FIND it again. There are some great tips out there, but if you do not CHANGE YOUR MIND, you will, at the very least, face a very tough, uphill battle.

Like other professionals in my field, there are a million tips I can share about the mechanism of losing weight, but I have to tell you that the MOST important part of my personal weight loss story came AFTER I lost 100 pounds. It began when I had to acknowledge that I was still unhappy. I had lost 100 pounds, and then had to take an honest look at how I felt – and the lack of DECISIVENESS that still existed in my life. That was where my real healing began. For many (if not most) of us, that type of deep introspection must happen sooner, in order to clear away the clutter and begin (or continue) a great weight loss effort.

The truth is that NOT making decisions is a form of fear. (And in its own way, it is a decision to be paralyzed and avoid risk.) Decisions are scary; it’s that simple. It means that something will change. From the big things, like new jobs and new loves, to the small things, like redecorating – decisions mean that something will change. If you’re on a journey to release excess weight, either for the first time or the hundredth, that decision needs to begin and be empowered by changing your mind.

Tip #1 You are PERFECT. So how do we begin to fade indecisiveness and CHANGE OUR MINDS? We start with one simple and enormously powerful truth: You are wonderful, right now, exactly as you are. Yes, you may be on a journey to release excess weight (along with thousands of others), but RIGHT THIS MOMENT, you are perfect. How can that be true? How can I be perfect AND need to change? Well that, Virginia, is the miracle. We ALL need to change. It is the human condition. But we are all also perfect. The universe says so. Love says so. We only need to lay doubt and fear aside and see that simple truth to be empowered forward.

Tip #2 Choose and Rechoose. If you’re ready to choose and claim that perfect you and grab the power to move forward, you have to know that it’s a “choose and rechoose” decision. Life will get in your way. It’s that simple. You must be committed to choosing to lay indecision on the side every single morning (and maybe a hundred times a day). You must remove it like an old coat. You must be committed to that ONE action to begin changing your mind.

Use this meditation whenever you need to restart your commitment: Close your eyes and see yourself. You are standing in the room you are in. You are in a heavy old wool coat. It itches your skin. It smells old. It makes you sad. It seems to grow heavier by the moment – so heavy that you know you could not go very far in this coat. You see yourself from the outside and feel that coat around you from the inside. Now slowly, gently, take off the coat. Just lay it on the floor and step away from it. Stretch your arms wide and then toward the sky. Now stand up where you are, in real life, and stretch. You are freed from indecision EVERY time you do this exercise and do ONE thing to move forward (i.e., eat an apple, take a walk, call for support – remember, everything matters – every choice, every action).

Tip #3 Make a Decision to Get (and Give) Support – NO EXCUSES! Example A) Okay, not everyone can afford a personal body image mentor – but you MIGHT be able to afford a telecourse or a group seminar offered by such an expert. Example B) Maybe you can’t afford a gym – but you can probably afford a walking or hiking club (or START one!). Example C) Maybe you can’t find an hour a day to exercise – but you CAN steal three ten or fifteen minute breaks to do squats in the ladies’ room or walk really fast around your block three times. The point is that healing from the inside-out is definitely not one-size-fits-all, but there IS a perfect solution just for you – IF you will lay your fear and paralysis on the side and claim it.

So why the explosion in the weight loss arena? Because in our nation, right now, we have the highest level of overweight people in any place at any time in history. With all the abundance around us, we have made a decision (through indecision) to die. It’s that simple. To either drop dead from complications of obesity or choose to be trapped in the living death that food addiction and eating disorders cause. I do not share this with ANY judgment or arrogance. I have lived that way. And I have lived this way. Believe me, this way is better. Spend a few minutes today and just love yourself. Know that you are perfect and EMPOWERED to change. And then spend a few seconds and weigh your options.

I wish your lovable self a healthy, safe, fun, loving year!

Warm Wishes,


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