May 6th was "International No Diet Day" , and it began in 1992 with a woman who decided to fight back. British feminist Mary Evans Young battled anorexia, body image issues, and bullying for years.
Young invited her friends to wear “Ditch That Diet” stickers and fully embrace their bodies for a day. She had no idea it would spark a global movement. May 6 became a day to put away your scales, wear your light blue ribbons, and simply enjoy who you are. But you don’t have to wait until next year to start changing the way you feel about yourself.
Why it's Important to Love You
I will often share with my weight loss clients that I love my body, in all of its transitions, its imperfections, and squishiness. I love it SO MUCH that I do something every day to make it better. I didn’t always feel that way. I hated my body - and a lot about myself - for a very long time.
I have struggled with self-worth, and soothed the hurt feelings with food. I got on board with the body-positive movement because I thought it meant that I had permission to not feel bad about my body. And it worked! I embraced my weight and ate whatever garbage I wanted. But I didn’t realize that the garbage I was putting in my body was making it feel worse, and that I ate the burgers, sugars, sweets, and carbs because I felt horrible to begin with.
I remember looking in the mirror with disgust, wondering how I had managed to get here. I didn’t recognize the body I was in. I was angry at myself for all the times I'd turned to food to ease my boredom and depression.
I have met hundreds of women who are stuck in the same vicious cycle. It starts by feeling bad , then following their natural urges to eat things that make them feel better, and then feeling worse about themselves because of it.
My own weight loss journey began in earnest after I found love for myself, and it all started with appreciating who I am, inside and out. When I started to recognize the amazing, accomplished woman that I am, I started to realize that I deserve better. I started seeing food as something to be enjoyed, to fuel my body, and get it to the shape and size I want it to be. In the end, doesn't loving your body mean making sure that it stays healthy and fit in order to live a long, full life?
And yes, the same “loving yourself so that you can be healthier” rule applies to those who struggle to gain weight. No one is immune to their inner dialogue or the feedback we get from others.
When it Goes Too Far
For some, the pressure put on us by others can lead to unhealthy weight loss. We are our own worst critics. I have said it before - you are the smartest person you know, and you believe everything you say. Your inner dialogue can influence your emotions to push you into action, and sometimes to extremes.
After letting her own drive to get the body she felt society expected her to have push her to 4 hour daily workouts and a strict diet, one woman found herself in the emergency room, with orders to rest or face serious medical complications. She shared “On some level, I knew I was taking it too far, but stepping on the scale and seeing smaller numbers kept me hooked on losing more and more weight. Family and friends who were unaware of the extent of my obsession praised how lean and muscular I looked. Instead of correcting what I saw in the mirror, these compliments fed my drive to keep going and get even smaller.”
The things that run through our heads, the self hate, can be overwhelming. For example, say you are sitting down to eat. You have a plate of your favorite food and, instead of enjoying it, you berate yourself for indulging. You may feel embarrassed that you are eating at all. Beating yourself up like that does nothing for your self worth. All this does is reinforce a bad self image, and it prevents you from loving yourself.
You Are Awesome!
You deserve happiness and the good feelings that come with knowing that you are okay the way you are. You may struggle with becoming the size and shape you want to be, but that doesn’t mean you cannot love yourself and enjoy your life. If you don’t learn to love yourself, no amount of weight loss or gain will make you happy.
Sometimes you need to hear that you have permission to like yourself. Give yourself a break. You deserve to be happy and feel good.
The Role of Hypnosis
Start with the stress. If you have ever been a client of mine, or have talked to someone who is, you will know we start almost everything by talking about stress. Stress does things to our mind and body that keeps us from being our physical and emotional best. So when we start by de-programming stress, we get a head start on everything else.
Let go of the garbage. We carry around a scrapbook of everything we have ever seen, done, and experienced. Some of it is good, some of it reinforces limiting beliefs and holds us back. Getting rid of the “extra weight” you don’t need to be carrying around anymore is a great way to get in shape.
Change the way you think. We think we know how to eat right, move right, and feel right. But most of us have made these simple things seem much more complicated in our minds. When we simplify nutrition, movement, and emotions, we gain a sense of control that lets us take charge.
Get to know how awesome you are. Building your self confidence through acceptance, emotional healing, and finding your inner strengths is easy when you have access to your subconscious mind. The result is a better sense of who you are and why you are so incredible.
Listening to your body. Knowing when you are truly hungry, when you are full, and when you are experiencing something else by listening to your body will help you stay on track. We all have this intuition, and you can learn to amplify and work with it.
Creating mindfulness. We’ve all done it - absentmindedly grabbing a snack or going through a bag of chips. When we eat without thinking we aren’t listening to our body signals. Being mindful of what you are eating makes the food taste better, and keeps you from overeating.
Motivation is the key. You have the motivation, it’s in there somewhere, and you can learn to harness it so that it works for you instead of against you. You can move aside or just get rid of the things that are standing between you and your motivation and take advantage of all that extra energy.
Hypnosis provides a safe, easy, tool for creating new, permanent, healthy habits and behaviors to start living your best life. Whether you are starting new activities, or you want more motivation for the things you used to enjoy, hypnosis can help.⬛
Karen Gray is a Certified Hypnotist, a Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (802) 566-0464.