It’s a common sentiment that we’ll start loving our bodies when we’ve lost weight, gotten toned and can finally give up the diets. However, it really works the other way around! Food Coach and Author Mel Wells, shares seven practical ways to ditch the diets, and start loving our bodies now…
1. Understand that diets just don’t work
As we started to cotton on to the idea that dieting was keeping us fat, the big diet plans started to claim that their way of eating was ‘healthy eating’ or a ‘lifestyle change’. Here’s the problem: most diets are still based in bad nutrition, and even though you might have ditched the calorie counting, you probably still have some kind of points system that tells you what you should be eating.
You’re not making choices based on what your body needs and how it feels. Diets make us feel like failures as soon as we start to bend then break the rules, which makes us punish our bodies through restriction or harsh exercise. Doesn’t sound very loving does it?
2. Stop the counting and restricting
So, what happens when we ditch the diets? Freedom! I always ask my clients to take a moment and imagine their ideal future selves, and how she relates to food and her body. Is she on a diet? Is she obsessively counting calories or macros? Not likely! I bet she’s too busy living her amazing vibrant life, and effortlessly nourishing her body with healthy foods.
When we stop the counting and restricting, we can take back our power around your food, and how you are fueling your body.
3. Eat for nourishment, not for weight loss
We all know what healthy eating looks like, you don’t need a diet book to tell you that your body needs more vegetables and fewer processed foods. If you’ve ever wondered how you can possibly still be hungry when you’ve been eating all day, it’s probably because your body is crying out for nutrients! Want a quick fix? Go for a pint of green juice! When you are nourishing your body properly, and it’s getting everything it needs from a beautiful rainbow variety of fresh fruits and vegetables you’ll be amazed at how quickly you have have more energy, more restful nights, clearer skin and a happier, lighter body.
4. Use your intuition and practice mindful eating
You might be thinking by now “If I don’t have any rules, I’d have NO IDEA what I should be eating, and will end up eating dessert for lunch every day, or I just won’t know when to stop and just keep on eating.” No darling, you won’t. This is where the mindful eating comes in. If you’ve spent years eating exact portion sizes, or grew up in a household where you had to clear your plate, even if you were stuffed, just so you could leave your table – it’s possible you’ve drowned out your body’s natural intuition that tells you exactly when you should stop eating. Practice eating slowly, and savouring each bite. Ask your body if she’s still hungry before continuing. Give your food some quality time, and don’t eat in from of your desk or the tv.
5. Confront emotional habits
If you find yourself suddenly running to the fridge after a stressful day, or an argument you’re likely emotional eating! The only way to deal with it? Confront the emotion that you’re trying to drown in that tub of ice cream. I am a big fan of journaling, and using free writing as a way to get all those frustrations out of your body and head so you can accept them and move on without turning to emotional eating. You can always tell the difference between emotional hunger and real hunger because they have a few distinctive differences. Emotional hunger arrives quickly, and usually for a specific type of food. Real hunger arrives gradually, and can be satisfied with good, healthy foods.
6. Make friends with your thighs
You can’t love your body, if you’re secretly bashing her in your head. Every time you insult yourself in the mirror, or practice negative self talk you’re holding yourself back, and keeping yourself stuck. Not to mention making yourself feel like crap!
Here’s a question for you: think about all the negative things you might say to your body in the course of a day. Would you call her fat, useless, ugly, gross, embarrassing? Now think of your best friend, your sister or your daughter. What would you say if you heard her calling herself those things? You’d be horrified, right?! So why are you treating yourself that way? The women in your life who love you, would never stand for it if they knew – so don’t tolerate it on behalf of your body. She deserves your love and compassion. She’s your home, and she’s the only body you’re going to get for this lifetime. If you’d like to know more about how we can shut up that inner voice, check out my blog here: http://www.thegreengoddesslife.com/your-inner-skinny-bitch/
7. Forgive yourself and move forward
Ready to embrace your new relationship with your food and your body? It can be a little difficult, especially at the start when perhaps your body still doesn’t like exactly the way you’d like it to – but that will come with time when you follow the process.
In the meantime, forgive your body for not looking the way you would like it to. Forgive yourself for all the times you bad poor food choices, and didn’t treat your body the way she deserves. Forgive yourself for all the weight loss methods you’ve tried in the past that didn’t work, and forgive yourself for hating on your body – at any time.
You can choose to have a fresh start at any moment, so why not this one?
To find out more, please visit Mel’s website at www.thegreengoddesslife.com for some amazing recipes, and more advice on how you can claim food and body freedom for life.