If one of your biggest challenges in life is losing weight, you should probably consider yourself lucky. Even though losing weight may seem impossible at times, it’s surely better than some of the serious health and life challenges others face.
That said, being overweight can cause a whole range of health issues – including PMS. While not all women who have PMS are overweight, PMS does occur more commonly in women who are overweight, also among women who gain or lose weight rapidly and frequently.
Even though there are countless weight loss programs out there (in fact weight loss is a $33 billion a year industry in America), the effective ones are few and far between. I couldn’t help but wonder why, and what it really took to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
First, I want to set the record straight. I’m not a weight loss expert. I’m someone who has maintained the same weight for over 15 years. The only time I had trouble with weight was when I was eighteen. It was a hell of a job trying to lose that baby fat (which in hindsight, I now know it was). I would starve myself and then collapse on sugar-loaded cookies, swinging between not eating and eating too much.
I was getting nowhere, and the harder I tried, the less successful I was. Then for some reason, I stopped worrying about weight. The result? My diet went back to normal – and so did my waistline. One of the paradoxes of life. Perhaps there’s a different way to approach the weight loss issue. Here are a few thoughts for your consideration:
Think Fitness Not Weight
Do you really need to be a size 2 to be happy? If you think about it, it’s only a number. Many gorgeous women in history, such as Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe, had substantial weights and sizes. So let go of the notion that you need to be a certain weight to be perfect. Instead focus on staying healthy and fit. It’s a much more worthwhile goal to be energetic, strong, and flexible than to be a perfect size 2.
It’s too obvious for words, but whatever you do, however or how often you do it, exercise is vital. The human body is designed for activity and movement. Movement promotes a healthy metabolism and proper digestion, keys to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. And no matter how much you have to drag yourself to do it, you almost always feel good after exercise. Plus, your body naturally craves something healthy after exercise. I haven’t heard many people saying that they can’t wait to shovel down a box of cookies after jogging.
Find Alterative Comfort
For many women, eating is a way of checking out from the pressures of daily life. Food provides a sense of security and comfort, especially those foods packed with refined carbohydrates and sugar, such as candies, soda, pastries, fries and chips. To overcome emotional eating, you need to change the role of food in your life from numbing your feelings to nourishing your body and mind. Perhaps you can find alternative ways to satisfy your need for security and comfort. How about improving the intimacy of your personal relationships, engaging in some creative endeavors, learning something new, or giving something back by way of community involvement?
Get in Touch with Your Body
Your body is super intelligent. An uncontaminated body knows what it needs and what’s required to nourish it. If you’ve lost touch with your body and its natural signals, you may want to do a mild fast, meditate, or practice mind-body exercises such as yoga or Tai Qi to re-establish a healthy relationship with your body.
Eat a Balanced Diet
You really don’t need to follow the latest diet trends to stay healthy and fit. Common sense is often enough. Eat a good combination of plant or animal proteins, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes and whole grains. Mix them up and go for balance and variety. Spread your meals. A pattern of five small meals a day instead of three larger ones keeps the metabolism going without storing up extra reserves. And eat slowly, chew well, and enjoy your food!
Oh, one more thing: Sometimes excess weight is a result of things we have a hard time letting go of in our lives. Does this ring a bell? Take a moment to reflect on your relationship with food, and ask yourself why you want to lose weight and what you really want to gain from losing the weight. Every time you’ve got an answer, ask the question again. Hopefully this process will help you get to the bottom of your issue with weight loss.
Perhaps you’ll realize what you really want is not weight loss after all. Perhaps you simply want to feel alive and feel loved. Hmm… It starts to get interesting!