Get a pen and paper, (or create a document on your computer) and write a bit. This won’t be a list of how many pounds you want to lose, or all the mistakes you’ve made to gain the weight. Really think about what your specific issues are. Do you overeat? Do you eat emotionally? (to make up for something that’s missing.) Do you sit on the couch all day, never seeing the light of day? What are your habits? Being aware of deeper and underlying issues, and making note of current habits will shed some light on your current situation and may help to bring ideas on the pressing issues that need change.
Always make a list before you go to the grocery store, and eat before you go. That sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s really true. If you go without a plan, you’ll end up buying things you don’t need and forgetting things you do need. If you go hungry, everything in the store will look appealing, and you’ll end up going home with food you really didn’t want or need. If you don’t buy something, you won’t have it in the cupboard as a choice the next time you go for the snack or the quick meal. This leads us to the next step.
Lots of times we’ll buy food, or eat food, that we don’t really want. Sometimes it’s for convenience, sometimes it’s out of hunger, and sometimes it’s because the thought of the food is actually more appealing than the food itself. Do you ever remember thinking about a chocolate cupcake, and building it up so high in your mind, and when you actually bite into the cupcake, it doesn’t taste as good as you had imagined? Of course, you eat it anyway. This is where you can change a habit. I find sometimes when grocery shopping, if I see something that looks really yummy, I can just imagine myself eating it, and the desire goes away. Try it! It sounds weird, but it works for me. I save a little bit of money that way, too. Same goes for midnight snacks. You know if you’re really hungry, or if you just want to eat something. Give your imagination a good workout! Close your eyes and picture yourself eating an entire chocolate cake. The great thing about imagination is you can overeat to your heart’s desire! Imagine the taste, the smell, the sweetness, and the richness. This process WILL do the trick.
How much do you love potato chips? If you said ‘ALOT’ then here’s another good trick to change your habits. Depending on what it is exactly that you love about potato chips, you can substitute them for something healthier. For me, the taste is great, but it’s more about the consistency of eating chips with say, a sandwich. You can substitute chips for carrot sticks, which have almost the same consistency. Raw carrots really aren’t that flavorful, so you get the same crunch for your munch, and a whole lot less grease, salt, and calories. What a healthy switch!
Do you like nuts? Cashews, almonds, walnuts…? Nuts are healthy with lots of fun stuff that can help lower cholesterol among other benefits. They may not be lower in calories, but they’ve got more of the good fats that the body needs to survive. Raisins might be another good choice. These are not on top of the health food list, however they have a more natural sugar, iron, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Definately better for you than a candy bar. And they are sweet and yummy! Another great and healthy treat is an apple. If you’re puffing out your upper lip right now, or crinkling up your nose, take a second to think about why. Apples are good. Everyone likes apples. Here’s a way to make an apple an easier pick for a snack. Get one of those apple slicers from the grocery store or Walmart. Get an apple out of the fridge and slice it with one fell swoop…bing, bang, boom. Apples are WAY more fun if they are sliced. You don’t have to be 7 years old to eat an apple this way! So, if you’re a snacker, reach for some nuts, slice an apple, or grab some raisins, or another goodie instead of junk food packed with unhealthy ingredients.
If you’re on any kind of medication, or strict diet from your doctor, you should always check before making any changes to your eating habits and food intake. Here are some things that you can do without asking permission from anyone but yourself. Love your body. Look in the mirror and check it out. It may be fat, overweight, lumpy or saggy, but it’s yours. It’s the one you’ve got, and it does so many things FOR you each and every day. Forget about Skinny Sue in the magazine. She thinks she’s fat too, because her best friend weighs one ounce less, or is one inch taller. Your body loves you and it’s high time you loved it back! It’s not perfect, but neither are you, and neither am I. What you focus on is what you’ll see in your life. Stop focusing on how fat you are, or lumpy, or saggy, and be thankful for the things that are going well. Once you’ve accepted yourself as what you are right now, the process of returning to a natural body weight will happen all on it’s own.
Switch to water. Ewww…you said. I don’t like water. Well…you might have to think twice about that. Water doesn’t have a taste, so it’s not really possible to dislike it. It’s just not as yummy as a soda pop, or juice filled with 10 pounds of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. It comes back to habit. I was able to break my Pepsi habit by pretending my water was Pepsi. Really. And I can’t drink water at room temperature, though if you can it’s supposed to be way better for your body. So I get those styrofoam cups from the convenience store, for around 10c each, and I keep them filled with ice, and pour my water straight from the jug. I have it with me all day and just drink, drink, drink. Figure out what actually works for you, and do it. Water is like magic. Your body loooooves water.
You might be over-eating to make up for something else in your life. I believe they call this ’emotional eating.’ Just get right down to business, and get serious with yourself. Are you eating as much as you do because you don’t get the love or attention you need? Do you overeat because you’re sad, and you think eating makes you feel better? Maybe you can’t control people’s bad behavior, but you can control how much food you eat, and so you control it right out of the fridge! Once you pinpoint the reasons behind your eating habits, delve into the real issue. Eating isn’t solving it, right? Turn to other methods to resolve the true issue.
Guilt is the worst emotion ever! It serves a purpose only on rare occasions, and only for severe conditions. This probably in no way applies to your life. Kick guilt right out the window. Guilt is holding you back, not to mention changing cells inside your body, and storing up energy blocks to create aches, pains and overall yuckiness. If you eat, you ate! That’s the end of it. Even if it’s an entire chocolate cake. Is guilt stopping you from doing it again? No. Is guilt changing anything about the way you perceive yourself, others, your weight, or your habits? No. Next time you feel guilty, tell yourself you’re aware that you’re feeling guilt, and that it’s not necessary or helpful. Recognize that thought of guilt and try this… Imagine the thought as a little cloud that just floats right by, never touching you, or affecting the way you feel. Guilt stinks and you have my permission to stop feeling it. Now give yourself permission to stop feeling it, and you’ll make rapid progress in many areas of your life.