by Lucy Miller Robinson
When a new year dawns, we take advantage of it. We are ready to launch a better life, which often rests on better health. It’s not about how we look, it’s about how we feel. Every one of us deserves to feel good in our own skin; it’s a basic human need. If your body is weighing you down or holding you back in some way, it’s time to make a change.
I know how to lose weight, because I’ve done it more than once. I’ve lost baby weight, alcohol weight, college weight, comfort weight. I know what has worked for me (see below), and what has not (daily weigh-ins, counting calories, cutting carbs, not even food journals).
I struggled with my body image and my weight for a long time before I learned how to let go of the excess fat I was carrying. If I can do it, you can do it.
You’ve likely heard many of these before, and some may be new, but I promise that everyone will take you a baby step closer to that elusive goal weight. In no particular order:
1. Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Is food the only good thing in your life? Are you always planning your next meal? Do you look forward to going home so you can eat in private? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are probably living to eat. You are probably also not living for your highest self, you’ve probably lost track of your interests and passions. When I’m preoccupied with my “projects,” it’s easier for me to eat less. Not that I ever “forget” to eat, I am not one who enjoys a rumbling stomach, but when I have had enough, I am eager to get back to what I was doing rather than continuing to eat.
Likewise, if I am engaged in something that’s fascinating, I’m less likely to crave an afternoon sugar fix. Rediscover your interests and passions by asking yourself the following questions: what did I enjoy doing when I was a child? If I could do anything and make money doing it, what would it be? What am I doing when I lose track of time?
2. Eat more food from the earth(vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains) and less from the animals (meat, dairy,
3. Drink herbal tea. This is one of my best tricks. Tea is warming and satisfying. Tea can be sweet or savory. Tea provides nutrients and tea can even support weight loss. Drink tea instead of snacking, and you may find that tea is all you were craving, after all.
4. Turn each meal and snack into a ritual, which means: don’t eat standing up, don’t eat in front of the TV, don’t eat at your desk, don’t eat in your car. This might be the hardest one for me. If you have to, invest in pretty dishes, silverware, cloth napkins and placemats. Go to Ikea if you’re on a budget, go to Anthropologie if you’re not.
5. Listen to your body. Listen deeply, listen carefully. If you can do this, portion control will come naturally. How does your stomach feel after you eat that movie theatre popcorn or that custard or that McDonald’s hamburger? How does your body feel when you go for a run or play with a child or practice yoga? Is your body serving your greatest good? Or is your body in despair and in need of some nutritious food and peaceful sleep and good loving? You have all the tools and wisdom and capacity to live the life you want, it’s up to you to listen.
6. Don’t eat after 8 pm at night. Unless you’re truly hungry and you’re reaching for raw fruits and veggies. NEXT PAGE