Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought:
If - "I could just get rid of this cellulite / my tummy were a little flatter / my legs were longer / my hair was straighter / I could just lose a few pounds", I would be happier"?
I know I have!
The cruelty is, that even when you succeed, the likelihood is you will find some other perceived imperfection to focus on instead.
The hard part is learning to love yourself, to feel like you are enough just the way you are.
This is not easy, and I don't have a magic diet or eating plan that can deal with all the emotions and circumstances that cause self-doubt. However, I do know that emotions and food are very closely entwined. Most people who are looking to lose weight know what they should be doing and what foods they should avoid, so why is it so hard?
Well, our brains are working against us for one thing.
When we are feeling stressed, sad, under pressure, bored, tired, etc. we often turn to food for comfort. I'm not talking a plate of scrambled eggs here, the foods we seek out are the ones that stimulate the pleasure centres of the brain - highly palatable processed foods, usually. Similarly, when we are happy and want to celebrate, we also use food - just think birthday cake (also highly palatable)!!
The problem is that as cave-(wo)men we had to fill up on energy rich, sweet foods when we had the opportunity. We needed to store fuel in-case we didn't eat again for long periods of time. We would likely gorge on fruit and tubers (carbohydrates), if they were available, but this would be quite infrequent. These energy stores would then be drawn down, as needed, to keep us alive while we waited for the next animal kill. As there was no way to store it for later, we would eat all that was available – yes, that includes the brains and brawns!
Now, we have obviously evolved greatly since those days. We have invented technology way beyond my understanding and food is much more available. The problem is that our brains are still quite pre-historic and haven't really changed (got bigger maybe?!). We still seek out the energy rich foods and have a tendency to over-eat, it is a survival technique after all. The problem is that the highly processed foods available now are created and marketed by very clever scientists who know how to manipulate our taste receptors and brains!
I say this for two reasons:
1. The snack food companies are working against you, they know just the right combinations of fat and sugar to trigger the reward centres in your brain. They invest millions in food development, and not for your health. The diet industry is setting you up to fail in the long-term, that is how they stay in business.
2. When you reach your goal on the scales, will that be enough to make you happy? I fear not, for many people. For this reason, I encourage you to focus on food for your health; rather than weight loss (which is usually a positive side effect anyway!)
Food is such an important part of our daily lives, we have to eat to survive. What we choose to feed ourselves provides us with the basic building blocks for every process in our body - growing bones and muscles, digesting food, healing wounds, protecting from disease, learning, loving, living.
I want to help you to:
Love food - Love yourself - Love life