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(No diets, no calorie counting, no constantly feeling hungry or deprived, no willpower required)

Yoga at Home

1.  What do you want?  Just ask for it ...

What are you saying to yourself from the minute you wake up to the moment you go to bed?  I have asked this question of so many ladies I have worked with and most of the time the answer is something like this:

"I'm always hungry"
"I'm always thinking about food"
"I'm always on a diet"
"I have no confidence"
"I have low self-esteem"
"I can't stop eating"

Maybe it's something else.

Have you heard of the saying "You get more of what you focus on"?

Whatever we are saying to ourselves, every minute of every day, starts to become ingrained in our mind.  The thing with our subconscious mind (where all of our eating habits and behaviours are stored!) is that it takes what we say to ourselves as an instruction and replies with "Ok, as you wish".

And it will show you behaviours to carry out that instruction.

So, for example, if you're constantly saying to yourself "I'm always thinking about food".

Our subconscious mind will say "Ok, as you wish" and it will take that as an instruction, to believe this is what we want i.e. to always be thinking about food.

And, it will have us carry out behaviours to prove we're always thinking about food, and you can imagine what that means!

Do Weight Loss Differently: What do you want?  How do you want to feel?  What do you want to achieve?  

Here are some examples but the best ones will come from you:

"I find it easy to stop eating when I feel full and satisfied"
"I am able to stop at one biscuit" (because it's not good to completely deprive ourselves of sweet treats!)
"I can do this"

Start saying that.  In the morning when you wake up, during the day at home or at work.  On an evening before you go to bed.

Write it down and place it somewhere that you'll be reminded of it every day.

When the ladies in my group programmes do this, it changes things for them.

It lifts them out of that all consuming feeling of constantly being on a diet to feeling empowered, to giving them hoping and a positive mindset.

2.  No Willpower?  ... Here's why and it's not your fault!

Have you ever thought to yourself "If only I could have more willpower", or "why does everyone else seem to have more willpower than me!"?  The chances are you have done, more than once.

Before we go any further, let me release you from the pressure of needing willpower to achieve weight loss because Willpower doesn't work in weight loss, at least not for any length of time.

The reason is, willpower is a conscious process.  It comes from the logical part of our brain.  The part that rationally knows how to lose weight, knows that if we live on a diet of cake and fast foods we're not likely to achieve it.

All our habits and behaviours are stored in the subconscious part of our brain.  The part that's running the show basically. 

The part that is so many more times more powerful than the conscious part of our brain.  It's the part that is associated with imagination, we all know what it's like to imagine how good it would feel to put that sweet treat in our mouths when we're on a diet, don't we?

You can't change a subconscious habit or behaviour using a conscious process like willpower.

It's just not the way we're wired and we really must stop giving ourselves such a hard time about it.

Do Weight Loss Differently:  Give yourself permission to stop relying on willpower to lose weight.

3.  Out of Control Eating Habits ... Here's the reason why ...

It can often feel that, no matter how hard we try, some eating habits just seem to be able to control us rather than the other way around.

"Don't waste food, there's children starving in Africa"
"No pudding until you've eaten all of your dinner"
"You can't get down off the table until you've cleared your plate"

If, as a child, we can remember being told any of these, the chances are that we are still (unintentionally!) holding on to these beliefs.

These beliefs might result in us, as adults, not being able to scrape food into the bin because we don't like waste, having a sweet tooth because we're adults now, we're in charge of how many sweet treats we eat or eating past the point of fullness.

Do weight loss differently:  Take a few moments to think back to your childhood.  What messages were you given by adults or caregivers about food or mealtimes?

Even just recognising and becoming aware of this can make a difference.

4.  Why do you want to lose weight?  No, seriously ... WHY?

We all have our own reason for wanting to lose weight.  Whether this is to look better, to feel better, to have more energy, to be able to fit into our favourite pair of jeans.  Whatever it is, it will be personal to us. 

We might believe that it is a good enough reason and it probably is.

The question is, is it a good enough reason to sustain us when times get tough. 

For example, when we've had a difficult day at work or when we've had an argument with our partner.  When the weather is particularly cold or we're just feeling a bit rubbish.

All reasons that might cause us to reach for the biscuit tin or to grab a fast meal from the shop on the way home rather than eating the healthier option that's waiting for us in the freezer at home.

Do Weight Loss Differently: 1.  Think hard about your reason for wanting to achieve weight loss.  2.  When you have it, I want you to ask yourself "Why?".  3.  Repeat No. 2 at least another twice, more if you can.

Use this as an example of how you can reach a higher, more emotionally motivating WHY:

I want to lose weight because I want to have more energy.
Why do you want more energy?
Because I want to be able to run around with my toddler.
Why do you want to be able to run around with your toddler?
So I don't miss out on his younger years
Why is this so important?
"For him and I to make memories to share together"

You see how making memories to share with your toddler feels so much more powerful than simply saying "I want to have more energy"?

Of course, this is just an example and you can use it  but you can use this technique to find out your higher "why".

Creating a stronger a WHY and reminding yourself of this will help you to keep focussed.

5.  Eat Based On How You Want To Feel Afterwards

I love chocolate Cake!

I just choose not to eat it very often.

Because after I do, within about 30 minutes, I feel my mood plummet, feel weary to the bone and this makes me feel that I have no energy which results in me being cranky with the kids!

It's not a nice feeling.

Of course, I do still eat it on occasions but when I do it's with the acceptance that I'm going to feel like that so I usually save it for when I'm having an afternoon out with my friend and the kids are with my husband having fun.

Becoming aware of how different foods feel in our body and our response to them is so powerful in helping us to change our eating habits.

Do Weight Loss Differently: Before you choose whether to eat a certain food, think about how it's going to feel in your body for the rest of the day.  Do you want to feel like this?  If not, consider a different food and ask yourself the same question until you choose a food that is going to sit comfortably in your stomach.  (Credit:  Heart of the Mind, Andreas & Andreas)