I have battled for many years with my weight and self-image, and over the years I have jumped around trying all different types of eating styles and methods looking for ways to get my body to respond to how I wanted it to.
What I have learnt is that I have had a love-hate relationship with food, and in actual fact, it wasn't about food at all, but about the way I was feeling about myself. Instead of loving my body and nourishing it, I would feed it a lot of negative talk and self-doubt which would manifest as stress, and therefore would not enable my body to work optimally.
More recently, and especially the past few months, I have tried to release all the negativity towards food and weight and so I wanted to share with you some of my tricks.
1) Don't beat yourself up for what you ate yesterday
No one eats perfectly... including me!! And really, what is the definition of perfect??? Take each meal as an opportunity to nourish your body and feed it with love. It's not serving your body to think about what you may not have eaten correctly and this will not assist you to reach your goals.
2) Practice mindful eating
Sit, chew and breathe with food! Try to remove any distractions, T.V's, phones, computers, iPads etc.... The more we use our senses and appreciate the food that we eat, the more our brain will be signalled that it's satisfied and therefore, we will be less likely to overeat.
3) Enjoy your food
Don't turn an enjoyable experience into a stressful one! Do not allow the negative thoughts of "I should not be eating this" or "I'm a failure and have no control over what I eat." This will increase the amount of stress your body will be experiencing, which in turn will increase your cortisol and potential fat storage.
4) Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations
Affirmations have a really powerful effect that can change your beliefs, behaviours and actions. They can help improve your relationship with food.
5) Stop comparing!
With social media these days we are surrounded by photos of beautiful women and perfect bodies but what you don't know is all the potential photoshopping that is happening in the background to create the image that you have seen.
Also remember, your body and nutritional needs are different from your friends, your sister and even your mother!! What works for one person may not necessarily work for you. Focus your energy on learning to understand your body and what works for you!
6) Are you hungry, or is there something emotional going on?
Learning to identify your hunger signs as compared to eating to satisfy your emotional needs can have a huge impact on your relationship with food.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to identify the differences:
Did you skip a meal or ‘forget to eat’?
What did I eat in my last meal and how long ago was it?
Do you use food as a reward mechanism?
What is going on for me right now?
Always stop and identify what it could be and if you realise that you are not actually hungry, then do something else that is pleasurable.
Go for a walk, massage, hot bath, manicure, watch your favourite TV show with a cuppa, read a book or have a chat with your bestie!
Remember, we only have ONE body. Feed it with the nutrients, love and care it deserves.
Treasure it, love it and it will love you back.