The Weight Issue

Every time I open a magazine, particularly health magazines, or I get an update from some of the sites I subscribe to, their key message or articles are about how to lose weight.

How did we become so preoccupied with weight as a society?

It’s everywhere. Eat less of this, more of that. Don’t eat such and such, eat x every day.

Australian supermarkets have become like American supermarkets were 25 years ago. When food shopping whilst on a skiing holiday in the States back then, it was almost impossible to find basic foods that did not have something added or removed. All, supposedly, with the intention of making us healthier.

Since that time, America has become a nation of obese people, with 2 in 3 adults either overweight or obese (http://win.niddk.nih.gov/statistics – 2010). Australia is going the same way with 3 in 5 adults being overweight or obese (http://www.aihw.gov.au/overweight-and-obesity). We are potentially facing an obesity epidemic.

When searching the shelves in the supermarket, I really have to look for the unadulterated and non-modified standard foods, such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, breads, meats, etc.

We have developed a pre-occupation with fats. So many foods have the fat removed from them. But to make them palatable, they have sugar added. We need healthy fats and we don’t need added sugar. It’s best to eat sugar when it occurs naturally in foods.

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I consulted her again when I was diagnosed with early breast cancer 3 years ago, as I wanted to ensure that what I was eating was supporting my body to return to good health. I found her guidance enormously beneficial in assisting my road to recovery.

Post chemotherapy, I put on weight and was struggling to lose it, so I went to see Emma again. This time we looked at my overall lifestyle. I took on eating at least five vegetables a day and increasing my strength-building exercise. I also attended a workshop she was participating in at the Family Wellness Centre and was inspired by what Clinical Hypnotherapist and Master NLP Practitioner, Linda Funnell-Milner, had to say about attitude to food and how hypnotherapy can assist.

So I had a consultation with her and discovered that I had a deprivation mentality about food and felt guilty if I wasn’t eating for weight reduction. I was waiting until I was ravenous before eating and then eating too much. She did two trance sessions with me and suggested I try a new eating pattern:

1.    Eat when you are hungry
2.    Eat what you want to eat – (not what you think you should eat)
3.    Eat consciously, slowly, enjoy every mouthful
4.    Between each mouthful put your knife and fork down
5.    When you think you are full, stop eating

It is important to eat when you are between fairly hungry and full.

How will you know if you are hungry? If you feel a bit hungry, but aren’t sure, drink some water (or peppermint tea). If you are still hungry 15 minutes later, have something to eat. If you’re not hungry wait until you are.

I’ve been doing this for the last six months whilst following Emma’s tips on healthy eating. The results? My weight has stopped fluctuating. I have no guilt around food. I am enjoying everything I eat. Have a treat every now and then. I feel great and am told I look really good.

I have taken on accepting my body just the way it is – athletic with a little roundedness.

In the meantime I’ve started a new venture, The Vital You, healthy cooking workshops for wellness. Learn more about our philosophy, workshops and weekends.

Love your body

This week I had an epiphany. I was in my yoga class, moving gently from one position to another, listening to the teacher and imbibing the gentle music, my movements flowing. A thought entered my head, ‘I love this. I love what my body is doing. I love my body.’ I hadn’t had that thought for a long time.

MeditatingI’ve been reading books, having conversations, meditating and in the background has been a dissatisfaction with my body. Why you may ask? I didn’t like where my body went during and after chemotherapy nearly 3 years ago. It took a long time to heal. I developed mild lymphodaema in my left arm resulting in sleeves, drainage massage and taking a supplement over the last 2 years. My libido disappeared. I felt I had lost the me I knew.

Ever had that feeling or thought? ‘Where did the vital, energised, passionate me go?’ I’ve had it a few times in recent years.

This week I got that ‘I love my body, just how it is.’ It’s a fabulous body, because it’s mine and it looks after me every day. It enables me to do any exercise I want. It gives me the space to meditate every morning. It loves the healthy food I feed it and, if I indulge in eating something unhealthy, it tolerates it, but tells me to keep such indulgences to a minimum. It loves me when I look after it. So what was I doing not loving it?

What are you doing to love your body? Are you nourishing it with exercise? Are you feeding it with delicious fresh, natural, organic foods? Are you easing your mind when it starts to race, giving it a brief holiday to connect with what’s important to you?

Breathe croppedI get my epiphanies when I take time out of my day, whether it be momentary, taking time to breathe deeply, stop, listen, get present. Or for a little longer with a walk – without my phone or music – listening to nature, or with a 10-minute meditation or easing myself through a yoga class.

I get clarity in my time out – ideas, how to solve problems, what conversations I want to have with people. I love it. My body gives me all of this when I allow it to. As of today I have taken on loving my body moment by moment.

Are you loving your body? Are you interested in learning to love your body more and to get all the answers you need from it and your intuition?

The Vital You Weekends are perfect for connecting or reconnecting with YOU. Find out more about our 2-day retreats in Bundanoon.

Are you time poor? Why not start with a half-day workshop in Sydney on Fermenting, Happy Hormones or Feed Your Skin.