Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’
That’s a really good question—glad you asked. It’s probably the most important question we can ask ourselves in the Peaceful Weight Loss process. In the past, most of us have moved forward with “a program” whatever it was: a diet or an exercise system. At some point we hadn’t achieved our goals so we stopped. The real failure in this approach is the failure to ask ourselves the question is this working? The reason this might be a hard question to pose to ourselves is that we don’t have the metrics to assess if it’s true. What’s working? How would I know? How do I assess today, or this week, or this month if what I’m doing is a good idea?
In our approach we have some goals for our practice that aren’t directly tied to weight loss. Feeling more centered, calm, energized, clear, aware. These are some of the reasons we practice. We know our yoga practice is useful if it helps us experience these states more frequently. If we aren’t experiencing some shifts from our practice, we modify so that we do. A different yoga practice or switching/adding meditation, maybe a few days walking outside. We change our practice if it’s not working and then when it does we regularly check in to make sure it keeps working.
When our practice is going well in these ways, “working”, we can then make food choices that will move us toward the weight we need to be. In this, we are engaged in our own evolution. Always moving toward our goal of an ideal weight and a peaceful mind.
May we all find our practice today,
I thought I’d write something this month on supplements and their role in weight loss. As you may know, I don’t sell or recommend any supplements on our website or in workshops. This is for a few reasons.
1- Supplements don’t work in any way to change our habits or our relationship to food.
Some substances speed up metabolism. Some block fat absorption. Some make us feel a little less hungry. But none of them fundamentally help us with our main problem. Our relationship to food has been damaged and we need to heal that damage first if we are going to have long term success with our weight.
2- Supplements don’t usually have any science behind them.
If supplements work so well then why don’t the millions of people taking them lose weight? Ask yourself this question before buying. For most, the science is sketchy (at best). Even so, they still get promoted by doctors all of the time. Why?! Money. There is no supplement on the market today with solid scientific evidence behind it.
3- Any positive effect that supplements could have is mitigated by overeating.
In other words – any minor help we could get from supplements is cancelled out by overeating. When obese people drink green tea after meals, guess what happens? Nothing. When overeaters take Garcinia cambogia, guess what happens? Nothing. When someone suffering from bulimia takes green coffee extract, guess what happens? Nothing.
I say this because I want all of us to be reminded that there is a huge benefit to developing a practice that makes us happier, less stressed, and more energized. Not only will we meet our weight loss goals, but our day to day experience will improve dramatically.
We can’t get this in a pill. And if a pill does arrive that does all this, I will be the first in line.
Until then, may our practice bring us peace and stability.
Our mind’s obsession on the body. We are programed for it really. We are always evaluating ourselves and each other’s looks. It’s an evolutionary trait but it’s definitely annoying to put on a bathing suit and see every way in which we could look better. Our minds chide us for all of the dieting and working out that we didn’t do this year. Even if we did – it wasn’t enough. We don’t look the way we want to and it is not OK!!!!
So what do we do with this mind who is telling us that we have failed yet again? Do we tell ourselves we are beautiful? We can but secretly we still know we are displeased. Do we ignore our mind altogether and grab a bucket of fries and hit the beach? That probably won’t make us feel better either.
This is a job for some serious gratitude. Gratitude for everything we have that is good. Maybe our body isn’t perfect but what does it do well? Maybe our body isn’t perfect but we have friends or family that we love. Maybe our body isn’t perfect but it’s better than it was before. Maybe our body isn’t perfect but we still get to enjoy being outside in the summer by the waves in this bathing suit. The list goes on.
The practice of gratitude is the antidote to the upset judgmental mind. You can take this on at any time by closing your eyes and saying I am grateful for [fill in the blank].
This might feel odd because most of us spend a great deal of our time not being grateful. Tip the scales a bit and see what happens!
And a little yoga with breath wouldn’t hurt either 🙂
May we all be grateful right now today.
Every year I get the opportunity to teach at the Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham County, Virginia. As I sit in the airport to return home I’m amazed at how different I feel. It’s like my entire system has been reset to a more peaceful state. I’m particularly struck by how my food cravings have left me. I kinda feel just fine.
Then the question I ask myself is what was different there from my everyday life? I was working so that was still happening – I had places to be at certain times – I had an amazing view, but truth be told, I live in a picturesque New England town on a river. I didn’t have the kids with me – but I felt this way before I had children.
So what’s the difference? It’s the regulation – it’s the schedule – and it’s the massive release of stress that happens when it’s crystal clear that you are in the right place at the right time. I think for most of us even when we are on track and doing what we are supposed to be doing we often have a sneaking suspicion we are missing something. So we check our messages “just in case” we might miss something. This constant state of high alert is exhausting and stressful.
What do we do when we are tired and stressed? You can answer this question for yourself. For most of us we try to get out of it with food. Which of course doesn’t work.
So when I get home I’m going to make sure that I am properly scheduled and then I’m going to enjoy the tiny minute areas of downtime in between all of those plans. I invite you to join me.
May we all find breath and peace today,
Thinking about what to eat all of the time is a constant grind. Ugh! Many of us want out. If we didn’t have to deal with the food thing life would seemingly be easier. Trying to lose weight makes this matter even worse. It often feels like a small misstep or two can derail the entire process and and all of our hard work is lost.
This perception is both true and false all at the same time. On one hand, if this is our experience we must acknowledge it. It’s not good to pretend that the challenges around food don’t exist. On the other hand, we have many stories we tell ourselves about our bodies, food and weight loss. When our thinking is present centered we simply say, “what’s for lunch?” and when we are stuck in our storyline we say, “I have to eat well for lunch”, or “I need to figure out what to eat that’s healthy, even though I want something else”, or “I can never just eat what I want”.
If this sounds familiar, I humbly suggest finding a practice that allows you to stay more present in your thinking. Whether it’s doing yoga in the morning, finding some calming breaths several times a day, walking your dog after work or all of these things. It is important that we find practices that allow us to not get caught up in stories that ruin our experience. By staying present we see what is right before us with our relationship to food and simply act from that place, rather than the big stories of what has been or what is yet to be.
May we all find presence today,
Everyone wants to change – to transform – to have things different than they are. It’s human nature to desire life to be better. For many of us this includes losing weight. We often attach our happiness with health and physical beauty to this one change of weight loss. Of course this is a bit misguided. There are many things that we can shift to become and feel healthier, happier, and better looking. We can reduce our stress levels, get outside more, get a spa treatment or an updated haircut (not that I know much about this one!) to achieve much of what we are looking for.
Weight loss itself requires some focus because it’s a longish process. Longish as in more than a week. It certainly does not provide instant gratification. It is often a good idea to find at least some of the other things you desire first and not think that losing weight will make all these other things magically appear.
That said, I always ask my clients this one question: Is this your time? If it is – do it! If it is your time for weight loss, the thought of shifting your diet won’t be overwhelming. Most likely because you’ve found your groove in other ways and you have created the space to do the weight loss dance. If it’s not your time, that’s fine too. Knowing this will help you do other things that bring you happiness. Practice yoga, go outside, do whatever is right for you, and watch your life feel just a bit better each day, every week.
Is this your time? Food for thought.
May we open to transformation today.
At some point in our weight loss journey it will be become clear that certain foods are probably not the best idea. It will become obvious because they leave us feeling tired, or we can’t stop eating them, or the reality of the nutritional benefits of our snickers bar become too much to take.
At the same time we won’t want to let them go. When we ask ourselves why we often hear, “Because I like it!!!”. But what does that really mean? What are our reasons and thoughts?
Do we like the taste – the way it makes us feel? – The temporary release from suffering it represents? Maybe we like the stop at the store itself to get it? Or maybe we just don’t like the idea of giving things up?
The reality is that it is probably a mix of things that we mean when we say that we like something. And they are all true in some way but we don’t have to attach ourselves to all of these reasons/thoughts. If the time is right to let something go we will be able to hone in on the thought that is most useful to us and see the others for what they are. We will find spaciousness around the tangled web of “I like it” and become aware of all of the little pieces that make up that statement. With this clarity we are are able to choose to give something up – or decide that it’s not the time. Our practice supports this awareness – part of our practice is the knowledge that we change when it is possible to change and when it isn’t possible, we keep finding our practice until it is.
Enjoy your practice,
We eat with other people.
We watch other people eat.
We read about what other people eat.
We talk to other people about food.
We feed other people.
And they feed us.
That’s a lot of input on a subject that gives us a bit of trouble. We live in a culture that has so many food influences – so many ways of eating – and so many eating disordered people – how are we to decide what information to listen to? When we are in a difficult place with our own eating we are often more likely to listen to our partner, friends, parents. It all sounds so reasonable – it’s working for them, right? Maybe I should try that?
So what do we need to remember in order to navigate the world of eating influences successfully? The most important thing is that we don’t have to be anyone but ourselves. Our personal path has many components and how we eat is just one of them. As we look at the paths of others, we can draw much inspiration. We can get new ideas and try them out for ourselves to see if they apply to us. But in the end it’s our own combination of food, movement, perspective, and rest that will lead us towards peace on all levels.
So next time someone offers you advice on weight loss, make sure to take it in as their personal story. Let it inspire you to go deeper on your own path. In this way we all benefit from each other’s experience, without confusing it with our own.
May we all find inspiration today.
Weight loss can come fast or slow depending on the person. In this work, I have seen people drop 20 pounds in the first 2 months and I have also seen clients not lose one pound for an entire year before they start losing weight. In the end, we are all the same. With weight loss, we are either headed in a positive direction or not. The best way to think about it is to ask yourself – Am I getting healthier? Do I have more energy? Is the direction I’m heading in my life beneficial? If you answer yes, then you are on a path to permanent change which includes your weight. The only pounds that matter are the ones that you keep off. The Peaceful Weight Loss process is designed with this in mind. Find your practice – breathe and eat foods that help you feel calm and more energized. If you do this, your weight loss goals will be in reach. More importantly, you will be in a position to live a balanced life where food and body are not constant issues.
So take your time. Be the turtle and win the race. smile
We are constantly being innundated by nutritional and weight loss information. Hardly a product exists in the grocery store anymore that doesn’t make some sort of health or weight loss claim. This triggers our mind to start spinning—digesting and evaluating the information coming in.
This mental process, however, is the actual problem. It takes us away from our deeper self. It occupies and distracts us from our intuition.
If we pause, feel our feet on the floor, and return to our breath, we have the ability to see this outside information for what it is—distraction. It is from this place that we can participate in deep listening. As we center ourselves, we get the information we need to remain present.
What activities does this body/mind need to feel good? What food do I need to feel more energized? What do I need to do to find and/or maintain a state of relaxation and heightened awareness? These questions are often answered when we move inward.
Find your breath, feel your feet on the floor, and ask yourself what you need. The answers are often simple. Take a ten minute walk. Go to yoga class. Eat a banana. Ignore the external signals and find your own voice today. Do it now. Your mind body spirit will thank you.
May we all find ourselves today.