Are you looking to find balance with your weight – but you just don’t want to diet? I hear ya.
Even the most stable minded person can feel all wobbly after a diet. Read this post to see how diets muck up our minds!
When it comes to weight balance – and feeling great in our bodies, both in terms of health, fitness, fitting into our clothes and feeling good about ourselves, we need to look at more than just the FOOD! Food, food, food. Everyone thinks the magic is in the food. But friend, I know that YOU know (pretty much) WHAT to eat. You know that more veg, less sugar and processed stuff, and some healthy fats make a great way to eat, right? And I know, that if you want to know where to get more nutritional info, that there are a billion websites out there and almost as many nutritionists that you could ask or read about.
So what do we need to look at? Well – it’s our behaviour around food.
In this list I’m going to give you 7 ways to find your ideal weight without dieting. Most of these tips will be to do with your mindset (as is the Eat Happy way) and some will be about the food. And that’s the sort of ratio that you need to take with you everyday!
1: Focus on When, not What.
If changing your food is not too easy right now, for whatever reason (erm, it’s too tasty?) then let yourself eat that stuff, but just gently tweak when you eat it. I’m not talking about 5:2 fasting or anything like that, but I’m talking about breaking some of our mindless activities around food. Try this. After you have eaten something, then give yourself a tiny break before you eat again. Like, 20 minutes, and then see how you feel. After 20 minutes, eat! Or… give yourself another time, like 2 hours. And eat then. Play about with this (no hard or fast rules here). Play and be curious!
Why? This stops too much snacking and impulse. It also brings your mind back from rules and the dieting ‘shoulds’ and puts the focus back on the most important thing – YOU. How do you feel?
2: Set an intention, not a goal.
What do you want out of how you eat? To answer that – can you find something that isn’t about your appearance? Sometimes, after eating junky stuff for a while, you may just get fed up of feeling like garbage and you are craving that bright feeling that you get from some nourishing grub. What is your intention with food? Set it in your mind. I find intentions are like resolutions, they are broader and more inspiring than small and narrow goals which really make you feel like pants if you don’t ‘achieve’ them. Intentions are like a light that you flutter towards.
Why? Sometimes our eating is like a wild beast. Come at it with a constrictive net and it will growl and show its teeth. Come at it with gentle persuasion and make it feel good, and it will likely comply and purr!
3: Your eating is in your worth.
Here’s the cycle: You eat junk, you feel like rubbish, you feel so lousy about yourself, you seek solace in junk, and then you feel worse about yourself. So tell me – what needs to change here? Your food, or your self-view?
Answer: Your self view. You need to make sure that you feel worthy and valuable. This isn’t some airy fairy mumbo jumbo. If you feel like a piece of crap will you feed yourself off gold plates with lace doilies to rest your lemon water on? No! You will sit on the sofa and scoff until you feel as pathetic as you think you are.
Ouch. Don’t change your food – change your self worth.
How? You may have to fake it until you make it. It will be hard to say “I want to feel good” if you don’t think your worthwhile caring about. If this is a big pattern for you, may I recommed a spot o’ therapy? Dig deep – why do you feel like a bug on the shoe of humanity? Start making some lists of what you have accomplished. Start realising that you are probably more decent and kind than most people. The fact you think you are lousy shows you actually care! I know, that’s a headscratcher. And last bit here – focus on others and stuff that needs your help. Plant some wildflowers, help at a shelter, or donate to charity.
4: Add, don’t subtract
Lose weight, quit smoking, eat less – all negative words! These words show that we are giving up and losing and letting go of… and you know, I just don’t think human beings like that. We want more, we want to have, to hold, to cherish.
When it comes to weight, food, exercise – you need to think in the positives. What will you get?
Get stronger, get fitter, feel better, feel good, feel bright, feel clear, buy delicious food, get nourished, get excited, walk to cool places, see more, do fun things.
Waw – are you getting excited? We forget that you’ll catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Stop getting rid of stuff, and think of all the exciting stuff instead!
Why? It’s our human disposition. So work with it, not against it.
5: Don’t label
Don’t label foods as naughty or bad or wrong, and also don’t label them as good, or healthy. The more you label, the more you create odd feelings about them and this can muck up your relationship to these foods.
Food is just food. Start to look at it a bit differently. See what it gives you. You become the scientist, and you will see the effects of these foods on you.
Also – don’t label yourself. You are not lazy, or weak willed, or greedy or have an addictive personality. The more you label, the more you will conform to that. Take each day as it comes, step by step. Allow food to be food, and you to be you.
Why? If you label yourself, you will feel worse about yourself.
6: Don’t weigh
So you want to feel good in your body. But has stepping on a scale ever made you feel really good, or made you feel better than what you were already feeling? If you were feeling fit, and you clothes felt loose, did you need to validate that with a number? Try to step off the scale, and stop measuring yourself.
You know if your clothes don’t fit, you know if you feel sluggish. These are more important factors that a number. Do you feel good? Do you feel healthy?
Why? Weighing yourself can become an unhealthy obsession, and put focus too much on weight and not how you feel. If you felt good before the scale, and rubbish afterwards – your mood will affect your food.
7: Trust your gut instincts
You know that some things will cause you to gain and you know what causes you to lose.
But this time, you’ll want to do those things without being extreme. Here are a few tips that can easily move yourself onto a path where you’ll feel happier with where your weight is at.
- move you body every day
- try to avoid late night eating
- lessen fast carbs
- fill up with nourishing foods
- get outdoors
- enjoy yourself
- if you want chocolate, eat it but know you’ll probably want more
And remember – you’ll do these things when you:
- Focus on being kind to yourself
- Accept yourself as you are
- Develop a sense of self-worth
- Enjoy stuff that happens to include movement, like outdoor photography or taking your kid swimming. You’ll enjoy the thing itself, movement will be secondary. I.e. Get a hobby that fills your passion!
- Self care and a good relationship with yourself should be number 1, and food will be second to that
I hope you found these interesting! I know that when I care about myself, get excited about life, and fill it with things I enjoy, I feel more whole and nourished in general. And when I feel lousy, and unmotivated and a bit flat – then my eating will reflect that too. (And that’s okay). Caring about myself will help me more than being mean. Do you find this is true for you? Let me know!