Taking The Yo-Yo Out Of Dieting
If endless chasing of your ideal self-image is a familiar story, read on!
Aussie summers are long and hot. If you’d rather suffer the heat than put on shorts and swimwear, you might be one of the many people thinking about going on yet another diet. So here are a few points to consider:
- Too often, diets are a reactive process. First consider if you’re really overweight or if you’re just comparing yourself to the 16-year-old waifs in Australia’s Next Top Model. Remember, women are supposed to have curves! Why not have a check up at your doctor to get an objective view about your weight in relation to your overall health.
- If you do need to lose weight, consider if you’re ready to change. Diets never work – a change in lifestyle and eating habits do. So if you want to improve your health and change your appearance, you may need to first change the way you think about food and exercise. For example, eating slowly and “mindfully” (ie being fully present and engaged in the act of eating) may help you to enjoy smaller portions of food. Engaging a Wellness Coach can help you find your motivation for change.
- Take the value judgements off your plate: there is no such thing as good food or bad food, just healthy or not. So it follows that you are not good or bad according to what you eat, you simply make choices about what you eat. Choose wisely when you can and don’t beat up on yourself if you occasionally make less than perfect choices. Exercise Mindful Self-Compassion.
- Be careful about eating for comfort or to fulfil some other need. If you eat more when you’re stressed or anxious, address these symptoms first. A meditation course or relaxation classes may help.
- Remember that a person is more than his or her shape. Consider what is right about you and about your life, not only what you want to change. Change is always easier when you feel good about yourself, so remind yourself what you do well and what you like about yourself and about your life.
- Even when you’re ready, change is never easy. Consider – Can I do this on my own or should I enlist the help of a professional? What are my support networks, who will help support my change process? Is there a friend after the same goal who would walk this road with me?
- Enlist the help of your unconscious mind. A positive attitude is important, and hypnotherapy may help you to reprogram the way you perceive food and exercise, helping you shed the psychological weight you may be carrying.
- Sustained change takes time. Set yourself short, medium and long-term goals. Write them down and aim to meet a single goal every day. You may consider enlisting the help of a Wellness Coach to guide you in setting and achieving your goals and to keep you motivated.