How to Beat Emotional Weight Gain: Part One
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The weight battle is not one of just your weight but it is one of self esteem, body image and general self love. Language is very important and when everything else has failed, then you could look at your language as another tool to help you through. “Battle” is not an empowering or positive word, so I would rephrase it so that you turn your relationship with your weight from a “battle” to “love” or “harmony” - “I am in harmony with my body and I listen to it”. We all do have the power to change our weight and the important decision to make is “why do I want to lose weight” “what is the emotion behind this desire” “what do I think will change in my life”.
It is hard work and a lifetime commitment. It is not a project that will take a certain amount of time, but rather it is a lifestyle and attitude change. People who lose weight and then pile it on again have not accepted that it is a lifetime commitment.
Classic chicken and egg scenario, you have to think slim in order to become slim.
One of the most important things you can do which will help your psychology around your weight is to decide first if you want to live the lifestyle of a slimmer person. Please notice the choice of words. Choose the lifestyle of a slimmer person. Next, you have to be very clear about your reasons for wanting this. To help you with this, pick 3 strong reasons why you don’t want to weigh as much as you do now. For example: “I really don’t want to grow old never knowing what it would be like to dress fashionably in slimmer clothes”. “I don’t want my kids to think it is good to be overweight”, “I don’t want to feel this pain in my knees and legs from all this excess weight”. Or, “I don’t want to always feel frustrated about what to wear”. “I don’t want to see another photo of myself”.
Think of the frustration and pain you feel around being overweight. Once you have listed at least 3 reasons list 3 reasons for wanting to be slimmer.
These are usually simply the opposite of the above “don’t wants”.
Even Oprah Winfrey has always battled with weight. “My weight issue isn’t about eating less or working out harder, or even about a malfunctioning thyroid. It’s about my life being out of balance, with too much work and not enough play, not enough time to calm down. I don’t have a weight problem - I have a self-care problem that manifests through weight. When I stop and ask myself, ‘What am I really hungry for?’ the answer is always: ‘I’m hungry for balance.”
I had always been the biggest couch potato. Sitting in front of the TV with a bag of salt and vinegar chips, a huge bar of roast almond chocolate and a glass of wine. Most of my friends from decades ago would be able to tell you how I would feign sickness several times a week just to get away from doing any sports or physical fitness at school.
That was not just laziness, but it was because I felt clumsy and fat in my shorts and I also did not know how to play any sports well. My thighs would rub against each other and give me a rash. It was a self-perpetuating scenario. I did not participate in sports because I was shy of how I looked and in that way I remained fat because I was not physically active. In my school report cards, they declared me “Obese”.
I think a strong motivation for me was in having to walk the talk. I had to be authentic. I could not coach people into exercising and discipline if I did not practice it myself. How did I manage to beat emotional weight gain and ultimately realise my weight loss goals? Find out in part two of this two-part series on How to Beat Emotional Weight Gain.
Malti Bhojwani is the founder of Multi Coaching International, a Life Coach, an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practitioner, a workshop leader and an author. Her first published work is a Journal to encourage guided writing, Thankfulness, Appreciation, Gratitude – My Journal is available in all good book stores.