Regulated diet? Eat right? Tons of exercise? Where to from here?

Regulated diet? Eat right? Tons of exercise? Where to from here?

If you find yourself caught up in the decision of a regulated diet or exercise, eat right or give up… It may be time to assess where you are and what and why you need the answer. Wading waist-high in decisions can be the one reason why we do NOTHING.

If like me you have found yourself staring at the less than satisfactory reflection of yourself in a shop window, convincing yourself that your value is not directly proportional to your size, digging deep to be ok with your XXL pants size while smiling broadly as a perfect size 10 stands next to you asking to advise on crop top versus chiffon blouse eating a muffin simultaneously, continue reading.

If any of this rings a bell then the next actions may too. With an absolute realization that the fat pants are having a dent in your self-esteem regardless of learning to ‘love yourself regardless of your shape and size’, you surround yourself with your bevy of friends to have a REAL discussion on your dilemma. Here comes the challenge, half of them spend time convincing you that you ARE GREAT JUST AS YOU ARE [not] and the other half start advising on better health. Debbie, for example, has done the Keto diet plan and she shook 15kgs from her frame and can only highly recommend it. Sally says no way, exercise is the only way to go, yes watch what you eat but you need to get a personal trainer AND exercise like a beast [YOGA is maybe an effort for you so the idea of sweating every day is making you cringe inside]. Pam pipes up that she got hold of Garcinia, a ‘magic pill’ that fabulously fries fat and eats and drinks whatever comes her way [not that she has ever struggled with fat and generally only takes it to make her bikini fit better than the previous summer]. Level headed Anna stays quiet, so you prompt her on her opinion as she NEVER seems to discuss fighting the bulge and she NEVER seems to eat at gatherings anyway, she claims without a blink of an eyelid that she never thinks about food, eats what she wants when she wants without it affecting her… [kill me now… – yes, there are Anna’s out there]. More confused than ever, you find yourself in a quagmire of opinions about how YOU should go about slaying the fatty dragon wrapped around your body.  

Everyone may have the answer, but it may not be your answer.
Everyone may have the answer, but it may not be your answer.

No clearer on your direction to gain control of your thighs slapping together, you leave slightly demotivated. As you drive home, you try to convince yourself not to be ‘shallow’ and base a successful life on how you look, after all, everyone loves you regardless. Right here the devil and angel within start a full-blown battle… You are torn between handing over your thighs to fate versus acknowledging how you need to take control of the situation before your life span gets reduced or your size becomes unavailable in the shops. You end up leaving the arguing to the angel and devil and hit the bed to sleep on the way forward.

Morning comes, and you have decided now is the time to act. You realized that regardless of the love you feel from those around you, your self-esteem is teetering on broke and because you DO love yourself you are aware something needs to change. You also realize that YOU and only YOU can make a decision about what works best for you. Like a charging elephant [yes, the size of this beautiful beast was intentional] you decide to lean on our good friend GOOGLE to determine a direction. This IS where you WILL find the answer… [or not]. After typing out a string of searches regarding weight loss and fat loss and diet types and and and… you find yourself on a page about ‘cute puppy pictures’ and realize you lost the plot completely. Too many blogs later and countless email sign up landing pages later you throw your hands in the air… bugger it. Fat for life seems to be an easier answer, just then you get offered a muffin and you see it as a ‘sign’ that you should NOT GO ON DIET after all… 3 months down the road, 5kgs heavier, you sit through the same debate.

Now, this seems like a long sad story but I really wanted to paint the picture. If you are someone that struggles with weight, this story would resonate for sure. I would like to give some FURTHER advise to the hefty out there [this is not said in a nasty way, rather in a loving way as this IS familiar territory for me too!] for the roadmap to choosing a way forward.

THERE IS NO ON-OFF SWITCH

The world we live in allows us to live ‘easy’, as easy as it is for most people to switch a light on and off.  EVERYTHING is literally at our fingertips. Ask and you shall receive has never been as real as it is in our current day and age. With this immediate gratification in mind and foundation of expectation, we not only expect regulated diets to be easy but FAST as well! And if it isn’t, we blame the diet. Generally, if we find ourselves desperate for answers we may just reach for something which is portrayed as THE ANSWER but is not necessarily OUR ANSWER. We are pushed by the ‘miracle possibility’ sold to us, YES, THIS miracle pill WILL WORK! And it will work FAST. Herein lies the fault and flaw to the entire process of selecting a regulated diet, we lose our power by handing it over not to the diet industry but to our assumption that ‘fast and dirty’ could work. We spend fleeting moments ‘deciding or choosing’ our regulated diets, charge forward to using/doing the regulated diet to crash and burn 2 weeks after starting [if we get that far]. The most important items to succeeding at fighting the flab are:

An inspired DISSATISFACTION with how your body fits on YOU

A clear understanding of what you are ABLE to use as a regulated diet based on your CURRENT LIFESTYLE

The clarity in the realization that there are no QUICK FIXES, no on-off switches, it took months or years to pile on, it may take as long to drop.

It has little to do with the diet you chose, it has everything to do with you STICKING TO THE DIET YOU CHOSE.

Accept the fact that not only do you have to live on a regulated diet to attain success physically, you will also need to do work on your MIND to accept and embrace the transformation.

GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME

We spoke about instant gratification. Heres the thing, when it comes to fatty fatness, it likes sticking around, if you see adverts for fat melting away like ice cream on a hot day, take cognisance of the fact that the brain is also made up of fat, and your body will protect it as best it can… also ask is it fat burning or muscle disappearing. Your body will protect fat at all costs ESPECIALLY if it is out of balance (fight or flight is important here), threaten your ‘survival’ through extreme regulated diets and your body’s resources [that would be the fat slapping thighs] will be locked up in two ticks. Now I am not saying you won’t rid your body of fat fast, there ARE actually healthy ways of dropping the fat fast, but use the brain and do the research. Generally, you can trust the company that shows the ingredient list and has scientific studies to back the product. So too, there will be not 1 or 2 reviews but many, check them out. Basically, fast IS possible, but check the chatter first! Personally, I have used a diet that managed to drop fat fast off my body, it was sound science, fantastic reviews, and properly planned. Those regulated diets that arrive by post with no support claiming magical fat disappearance not disclosing ingredients are NOT the answer. In fact, all it will make you do is dent your already wavering self-esteem when the magical fat-burning doesn’t happen to you… ever felt alien before???

Searching for your dietary choices may be daunting...
Searching for your dietary choices may be daunting…

Now, if you are on the larger side of life, be PATIENT with yourself. Acknowledge where you are and realize you can make the difference, over time… Write down how you feel currently, why you have reached this point of inspired dissatisfaction, it may be not fitting into a favorite dress, not being able to tie your laces, not being able to walk upstairs without sounding like a wounded buffalo, no matter what it is, write it down. I find 10 key points are a great start, keep that list with you wherever you go because just like we sometimes need reminding about a hair appointment, we sometimes need reminding why we are saying no thank you to a muffin too. This will keep you on the journey of reaching your success. We forget how awful that reflection was in the shop window when a choc chip muffin gets waved in front of our noses. Besides writing it down, record it to your phone, on the way to or from anywhere, listen to it, keep reminding how sh*t it felt to be that buffalo. You may have heard this before, motivation is like brushing your teeth, you need to hear it daily. Our prime instinct is to move AWAY from pain TOWARDS pleasure and that list will keep you on your toes when it comes to critical decisions on your journey.  

Then take a look at the time it will take to lose the fat. If it is a long journey, let us say a year, it may seem forever, but we all know that obesity is the leading cause of illness, disease, and death. If we drop the fat we not only live longer but better too. Take that year and see how incredibly short it is in your lifetime. Zoom out and see your entire lifetime and realize that that year is over in a blink of an eye and with that, you can live a life filled with vitality to a ripe old age. If you have the tendency to worry about a birthday coming up that may interfere, know that you still have many more birthdays. A celebration? There will be many more IF you look after your health.

CHOICES MAKE US

This is not a willy nilly decision, a knee jerk reaction, it needs as much focus as deciding where and when you intend planning a vacation, how much you will spend, how you will get there. Choosing a regulated diet requires the same focus. This is where we get it all wrong, I will say this again, DIET’S ARE NOT TO BLAME it is our CHOICE of a regulated diet that is to blame. I have met with clients that loath a shake as a meal but opt-in on a shake diet, or that cannot stomach high fat but take on the keto plan OR someone who has a health issue but then decide to starve their bodies of essential vitamins and minerals which are key to healing themselves first. Point is, you need to sit down and firstly assess your daily processes, identify your strong points and work with those when choosing a diet. Let me elaborate, let us say you are incredibly busy and generally live on coffee and water during the day and the first meal down the pie hole is supper time. Would choosing a diet which requires planning, fresh-cooked meals 3 times a day preferably weighed out portions be the answer? If you said no to that option well done. Now it may seem simple but in pure desperation, people will attempt to move mountains and literally opt for the complete opposite of what they should in the hope that it will make some amazing difference. As a standard, it is human to stick to what is familiar and move away from the unfamiliar, you are possibly no different. Let us get back to the example above. The best possible regulated diet choice would be something that works within your strengths. As liquid is the primary input for the day, possibly a shake diet would be PERFECT for them, with a regulated meal in the evening. In that way, familiar stays fairly familiar and their strengths are worked with to lead to success.  

The same can be said of exercise. Now yes, there are people who succeed to do a 360-degree roundabout when they move from passivity to doing exercise but it comes with the correct understanding of your own capabilities. Personally, I am not a fitness fanatic, a good yoga session is adequate for me, a walk even better. For some people struggling with weight they know they thrive on exercise and always have but for some reason, office, work, excess fat has prevented them from getting active, these individuals can start incorporating exercise once again and chose a regulated diet that fits within those parameters, here my only advice is slow and steady wins the race. If you are carrying excess weight you could damage joints along the way, try to shift some weight before doing MAJOR EXERCISE, stick to swimming or an easy stroll and work your way back to the gym.

Exercise - Know what you are capable of.
Exercise – Know what you are capable of.

Closing off, choosing and taking on a regulated diet is not a form of punishment, it is a journey based on your strengths and endpoint requirement. If you are feeling deprived or ‘punished’ as a result of your regulated diet chances are you have chosen the wrong diet for YOU. Take your time, be truthful to yourself and your regulated diet journey may just become a lot simpler. Besides the journey to your success, if you chose the right diet it BECOMES A LIFESTYLE instead of a LIFE SENTENCE and you can steer clear of the ‘haters’ when it comes to diets knowledgeable of the fact that you can make the RIGHT choice for your journey.

Liar Liar, scale on fire…

Liar Liar, scale on fire…

My first question to anyone who is focused on weighing themselves is this, “When you walk into a room, do you carry the scale on your shoulder or your clothes?”.

Now generally, some people if not all people use the scale to gauge unhealthy weight removal, then the second thing done in my experience is the minute the scale does not edge towards what they require in goal weight, then the DIET they are on IS TO BLAME… In the years I have worked with people in coaching fat removal, the biggest block in the journey becomes the SCALE. For some, yes, it is beneficial in GETTING to a certain size as the journey becomes about chasing that ‘golden number’, the problem comes from our focus on that ‘golden number’, if we DO NOT get to it fast enough or not at all, it becomes the noose around our dietary journey.

Because these days most things in life are based on immediate gratification when that scale does not move, hell hath no fury… We also get this ‘immediate gratification’ from external sources, we have ‘out learned’ to let gratification come from internal, hence we blame the diet we are on, possibly forgetting the rights and wrongs we have done ON the diet.

Let us start with fat loss vs weight loss, a scale is never a good indicator of fat loss, considering fat mass is much lighter than muscle mass. The upside in this is that if you see your clothes fitting better but the scale seems to be moving slowly, chances are you are sending fat to the furnace whilst safeguarding your muscle. The more muscle you ‘save’ on a healthy diet the better as the more muscle, the more fat you will burn, it takes energy [aka FAT] to keep those muscles working!

In a world were obesity awareness is on the rise, unhealthy fat is topical in all circles. In the process diets get dissed due to ‘not working’, meanwhile, it is NOT a diet problem, I hear this all the time. The problem is firstly we use the scale to determine success and secondly we CHOOSE the INCORRECT diet… and finally, anyone looking at the low-quality nutritional value of a lot of the food ‘stuff’ out there not to mention lack of exercise and the stress we face daily? The argument could be that people ARE getting it right out there so there are no excuses, this to me is an oversimplification. True as pigs don’t fly, there were times and still are times where I wish I was born with a supergene of athletic ability, honed physique, and a drop-dead gorgeous smile, sometimes loving myself as is, trumps the wishes stated above by a mile and allows me to love my life a lot more. This then leads to my acknowledgment that the scale is not the key that unlocks my health but rather self-acceptance as a starting point to better health and wellness.

Weight loss and gain, good or bad? That is the question.

We touched on this topic above, but gaining weight could be as a result of many reasons just as losing weight could be.

Our body weight is made up of bone, tissue, muscle, blood, water, fat, and, that which we have eaten making its way downstream… We might have a day where we have high salt intake and all of a sudden that salt holds on to our water intake and whallla we are up 1 kilogram on the scale, devastated by our gain, we blame the diet and proceed to take our anger out on a muffin – oh dear. Or, we decide to go on some crash diet, now, here, your body is super intelligent, starve it and it will guard FAT like its best friend [maybe that is a good thing seeing that our brains are fat-based and needs safeguarding!?], so as we starve ourselves our body starts chewing on the fastest available energy, MUSCLE, 2 weeks into the ‘starvation plan’ [note I did not call it a diet now for a reason] we get on to a scale and again, whallla, we down 5kgs and ALL IS JUST DANDY… or is it? Chances are we have fried some muscle as our body protects our brain and hip fat storage to its utmost. Next time we find ourselves in a pickle, we resume starvation and slowly we start carving away at the muscle supply in our body, we leach our bodies [muscle, tissue, bone] of water and again loose that unwanted ‘weight’ on the SCALE. Problem is this cycle continues, we hit 40 and bemoan the fact that NO DIET WORKS FOR US meanwhile back at the ranch we look old and disheveled due to muscle loss and NOT fat loss, gaining weight happens in 2 ticks due to less muscle to burn the energy we supply and losing weight becomes TOUGH!

Let us add some CAKE to the mix…

Now, I do use cake as a substitute for sugar, but, sugar, when added, carries more than just glycogen, in fact, it acts like salt and its best friend’s name is water. We may bite down on a ‘healthy’ muffin but next day 100 grams of muffin turns into half a kilo to a kilo depending on the sugar content. Here again, we chose a diet, let us say a keto diet plan, carbs are cut and all seems to be going swimmingly well, a friend has a birthday and we decide one slice of cake will not make the difference, which in the greater scheme of things really won’t, but we get on the scale the next day guilt-ridden due to the delightfully decadent cake we wolfed down only to find we have ‘gained’ a kilogram, SHOCK, AND HORROR… now the keto diet does not work!?? Not true, our body just needs to process the sugar hit and it can only do that by transporting the purely white and deadly stuff in the water. Try not to be fooled… sometimes diets touting massive weight loss is, in fact, massive water loss and here comes the bigger problem, we are 70% water, and generally everything functions in some kind of watery liquid environment in our bodies, minus the water, we have health challenges knocking at our doors.

My first question to anyone who is focused on weighing themselves is this, "When you walk into a room, do you carry the scale on your shoulder or your clothes?".
Purely white and deadly – you may need some water…

One meal at a time, one kilo at a time.

Now let us start with when we weigh in a day. We decided to take on a diet, let us use Sally as our example, she takes it on seriously, regimented weigh-ins are important, so every morning, she wakes up bright and early, gets ablutions done and before getting dressed, [basically naked] she gets on the scale. Right there and then she has handed over the power of the day to a number, ON A SCALE! This is the thing, mornings we are ALWAYS lighter than EVENINGS in scale weight, BUT, we may not be lighter than the day before based on the birthday cake we put down the pie hole. It becomes a game of Russian Rolette, Sally peaks at the scale, [this is after the 2nd or 3rd time she got on to it after not being convinced first time round of course] dreading the number that will face us or feeling optimistic. Either way, I will paint both pictures. The first being, the scale goes down… HALLELUJAH the cake did not do major damage – Sally thinks… [‘that’ diet must be working after all!!!] She faces the day with glee – as if it is HER BIRTHDAY, and off she goes to work, our friend, [the birthday girl of course] decides to bring cake to work AS WELL just to make sure nobody feels left out… and the lower scale weight is still resonating in Sally’s mind, she feels GOOOOOOODDD…. So she decides, intellectually and logically [seeing as she beat this mornings scale and she IS DOWN in weight – not] that she dodged the bullet once with her cake from last night, she may as well give it another go. Down it goes, then her regulated diet lunch goes in, so too the mid-afternoon snack. Come supper time she has what is required to complete the day – a healthy regulated diet meal… Now, Sally knows after her day that it was not the greatest 24 hours and now she is curious to see what the scale has to say [oh dear]. At bedtime, she gets on to the scale and she weighs 2kgs more than her morning weight. Right there she gives up, maybe not totally but a little bit. Dazed and confused she realizes that the diet sucks [not really but it makes her feel better] and she decides she would make her decision after an evening’s sleep.

My first question to anyone who is focused on weighing themselves is this, "When you walk into a room, do you carry the scale on your shoulder or your clothes?".
Sally ain’t understanding this scale!

Herewith the second scenario. Sally wakes up, now she has had 2 pieces of cake in the previous 24 hours and was down in weight after the first slice, note she is on a keto diet plan. Now Sally goes through the same process as the previous morning, ablutions done, on the scale, before clothes of course. Now the scale is not friendly, certain parts of her evening meal, especially protein, is still making its way through her digestive system, now Sally is 2kgs heavier as well as with her limited carbohydrates on the keto plan, her body has celebrated by holding on to the carbohydrates she kindly supplied, and the water going with the purely white and deadly sugar on TOP OF THAT… Once again, Sally’s emotions and day ahead has been regulated by a NUMBER!!! Now she feels AWFUL!!!! And wants to burn the proverbial keto wagon after chopping it into tiny little pieces, “I am fat for life, bugger these “#@$&* diets!“. Off she stomps to work, most likely not kissing Tom [her partner who is patiently waiting for her to stop complaining about her weight], gets to work and mopes about for at least half the morning until someone brings another cake for Sally’s friend which they especially baked for her but decided they would wait especially for Fridays tea… What does Sally do??? Quite easily, she has said “#@$&* diets!” if you may recall, with her mood being set by the scale she now not only has a sliver of cake, she has 2 pieces for old times sake…

And so the SCALE has set the tone. So it has determined the direction of our waistline, be it on the increase or decrease.

The clock ticks… month by month

The last and certainly not the least, speaking one lady to another [men, please sit out on this discussion if needs be], when it is that time of the month, chances are you will feel bloated like a Sumi wrestler and retain water. I have seen it change scale weight from half a kilogram to 2 kilograms. Yes, it can be that much, and when you get on the scale feeling like a wounded buffalo, chances are emotional too, you may just want to end all thought of regulated dieting forever…. do be KIND to YOURSELF.

So here is the thing, by knowing these truths with regards to the scale you can, in essence, understand what is happening a lot easier when you get on the scale. If you use a scale to weigh, understand what you are weighing. Let us say you decide to have a cup of tea before weighing yourself, or a glass of water, the measurement of a liter of water to a kilogram is basically the same, lets us say you are REALLY thirsty and you have half a liter of water. Get on the scale and see the difference. It will be half a kilo and THAT IS NOT FAT, YOU ARE NOT GAINING WEIGHT!!!

Be kind, be logical, be honest with yourself. Then standing on a scale is beneficial. Besides using measurements and how your clothes fit, I find photographs work an absolute charm. Try to get full length, side profile, and face pictures as before and afters. These are the gems in seeing, understanding and accepting your weight loss journey emotionally.

If you have got the kahunas for a scale, great. Use them. Scales are good, they are not ALL bad. But understand your body and its cycles whether it is a short term diet or over a long period of time. Our bodies are like pendulums when it comes to your base weight and being up 2 down 2 is quite normal, don’t get shocked and starve yourself, or happy and overfeed yourself.

In search of a fat loss diet? Enter Google toilet…

In search of a fat loss diet? Enter Google toilet…

Ever attempted to ‘search’ for a fat loss diet on Google? Here are 3 easy tips on what-to-do and what-not-to-do.

We all reach critical milestones in our lives, where the desire to shed some unrequired bodily heat pads comes up. Fat loss diet to the rescue! At this very moment, we tend to ponder, for a BRIEF moment, on what ‘diet’ will work for me THIS TIME? ‘Ponder’ and ‘brief’ to be taken literally please, for I have found (and this includes myself) that the thought process could take anything form a split second (as we stare at ourselves in a mirror) to the time it takes us to force ourselves into a size 12 when for that matter it should be a size 16… It may be at this point where our ego blatantly fires at us; “You fat, you need to lose weight!” and the first thing we reach for in our minds is; what is the ‘latest diet’? And where would that be found? GOOGLE… the house of all-knowing, wisdom and clarity to help enforce the correct fat loss diet choice… after all, our friends may be tired of our dieting sprees and giving us advice which we DON’T FOLLOW

Let me explain the quagmire of the Google toilet and why this could be the exact action we should NOT TAKE.

The number of results that came up when I typed into Google; “Fat loss diet” on this very day was ‘About 281 000 000 results (0,51 seconds)’ and if we wanted to lose weight (regardless if it is water, bone, muscle or tissue) we could use a different broad search, which I did, I typed “Weight loss” and got ‘About 900 000 000 results (0,70 seconds)’.

Now yes, one of the tips I can give is to be specific about your search, decide if you want to find a diet which is keto, or juicing, or paleo before searching, common sense right? Maybe not so, you may be ‘that individual’ that prayerfully takes on Google hoping, wishing, wanting ‘it’ to find the right answer for you as you are PAST KNOWING WHAT TO DO!? If this sounds right, you are truly a seasoned dieter and would not have been put off by the zeros following 281 or 900 in your search on Google.

So, I have decided to help all the prayerful types out there, desperate to have direction in diet choices, with a couple of TIPS:

Diet time?
Diet time?

1. DO PAUSE, TAKE STOCK BEFORE YOU MAKE A DECISION

Reflect for a moment on yourself. AND get out a journal – preferably old fashioned handwritten!!! Answer these questions by WRITING DOWN THE ANSWERS, why? Trust me, when you are a week into your diet and weekend arrives you will need to remind yourself why you started in the first place… Ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers:

Has this been a gradual or sudden increase in weight?
If the rush for a fat loss diet seems extreme, assess if the weight gain was sudden, it may be a health issue that needs investigating, or it may be emotions like stress, anger, grief that need resolving (for once you have forced your body to lose the fat the stress may help you put it all back on again). It may be a lack of sleep, which can result in weight gain.

What diet will fit my lifestyle?
PLEASE refrain from overhauling your lifestyle to fit your diet, rather allow your diet to fit your lifestyle as best possible. I have seen people swear on a loved one (oh dear!!) that NOW is the time that their lifestyle WILL change!! 6 months down the line they are back to their previous lifestyle, this is like trying to change your fingerprint! A good example is if you LOVE a good healthy hearty breakfast and generally scale down on food intake through the day then why chose a diet that requires fasting at breakfast as the guideline?

What is my current health status?
Yes, it has a lot to do with it. If for example, you are obese, could you take on a diet that requires vast amounts of exercise daily that may damage joints? If you lack a gallbladder, would you take on a high-fat diet without consulting a doctor? What about hormones? If you are diabetic would you be limited by a diet in which you may only eat 3 times a day causing blood sugar to be thrown out?

Why do I want to COMMIT to a diet now?
Truly reflect, is it for yourself, your family, your son or daughter, for health improvement, for fitting into clothes, for confidence? WRITE YOUR REASONS DOWN to remind yourself why you stopped eating junk, why a week down the line when a friend offers you a glass of wine you can say no confidently, without the feeling of deprivation. You NEED to remind yourself! Carry this journal with you so when you do start your diet you can use it as a reminder – trust me you will need it. If you decide to skip this step, do think for a moment, how has NOT writing this down worked out for you in the past?

Identify your GOOD and BAD habits.
These are critical. Sometimes your weight gain can purely be you have stopped moving, you may be sitting for long stretches and all you need to really do (instead of scouring Google) is start moving again. Make the list. Focus on keeping good habits in place and decide which of the bad habits you would like to boot. DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF AND CRITICIZE! My only advice is to take them on one at a time, do not try to go on diet and stop smoking simultaneously… something or someone may suffer as a result. Look, this is YOUR journey of life, only you have the choice as to how you want to live it, if it is a vibrantly healthy life you want to commit to, ditch the bad habits one at a time. The place to start; acknowledge them by writing them down and commit to a timeline that allows you to scratch them off the list.

How and what do I LIKE to eat?
This is a VERY IMPORTANT question. And, please be reasonable, you cannot expect to lose weight on a junk food diet, if that is your favorite food, which got you in a tiss when forcing on the size 12’s in the first place.

It is human to stick to what is familiar, go and read up on the basics of the Pareto principle, we generally follow the same habits that cause the results we get, we eat the same food type (20% of the choice available) 80% of the time. So why on earth will you incorporate any choices in a diet which is not familiar to your everyday choices? A good example: let us say you love fruit, it currently forms part of your daily intake, the diet you chose eliminates fruit and allows it once a week, how will you cope? Some say dieting requires SACRIFICE – that is pure deprivation in my mind and the ‘skinny bitch’ (Yup, she is there) in me screams retribution when limitations are imposed – rightly so. Truly, there are enough choices (millions in fact) that will fit your current lifestyle. There will be limitations based on dietary guidelines to ensure you lose weight but none of these limitations should cause you tohate waking up in the morning! Life is too short to add further stress to it, dieting is NOT punishment.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH – CONFIDENTLY

After answering the questions mentioned in item 1 above, now it is time to open up Google and type in your relevant and SPECIFIC diet search.

You have spent the time understanding and clarifying why and how you need to diet besides the size 12’s. Now, after assessing that you do need to be on a diet, you can search Google for example, with the following self-determined parameters;

*limited exercise requirements (time may be an issue),

*balanced intake (gallbladder is missing and you generally eat from all food groups),

*no juicing and shakes please (I have to chew),

you can confidently start searching. You may, for example, enter the following into the search line:

‘Balanced diet’ – results: About 34 000 000 results (0,58 seconds)

Yes, it is still a massive amount to wade through, but you are now making an empowered choice, you have truly taken the power back, it is now YOU who set the parameters, these parameters can now be used to make your choice confidently, you know exactly what you LIKE and DISLIKE, what you can do to make a success of dieting rather than failing miserably.

3. YOU WERE BORN ALL KNOWING, MADE PERFECT BY PERFECT

Make perfect by perfect - no diet required?
Made perfect by perfect

Possibly my favorite thought process. My very best friend always says to me, “If you are fat, you know EXACTLY WHY you are fat, it is intuitive, you just KNOW“. And why is that? Well, I believe we are made perfect by perfect and the more we tune into our inner guidance system, the more chance we have of knowing EXACTLY the cause of our weight gain. So too, the more we tune in and draw close to our internal guidance system the more energy and love will flow UNCONDITIONALLY, not only to others but to OURSELVES!

Surprisingly, sometimes (most often) it is NOT JUST food or LACK OF EXERCISING or HEALTH issues that cause weight gain – sometimes it is purely our blocks in energy and love. Broad statement but let me explain.

Have you ever been in a stressful situation or an emotionally abusive situation or in an unloving situation? Oftentimes food is used as a protective measure OR to fill a void, for we have not necessarily learned how to love ourselves into wholeness. Sounds like oversimplification right? Not for me, the lack we feel in not ‘being enough is soul-destroying, a void is created and nature abhors a vacuum, she politely helps by filling it; food being the obvious choice. What mother has not offered a child a sweetie when the tears are flowing (yes, I know, moms these days know that is the incorrect approach, in my day however it was not so)?.

Besides lacking love, the energy blocks can hurt even more… created by unmet expectations, these little traumas are impactful. Ever needed to go for an injection and in the situation you find yourself flinching? That is an energy block explained right there… that hold, that expectation of the worst impact. Now the sad thing is, the more we hold on to that flinch status, the more we expect the worst – nothing changes and acceptance steps in. It now becomes familiar and then a reality, an energy block. How to deal with it? There are many ways, and sometimes it is a hit and miss along your personal life journey. Deepak Chopra is someone who addresses this and has an interesting article for you to start with – I will be blogging on this at some stage too. The other option is to work with your own personal ‘inner talk’ in self healing, try this link out with easy to use subliminals playing in the back ground, making use of science to do some of the work for you.

So, before you fly on to Google and search what is the best diet, decide to start loving yourself more. HOW is always a good question as many people would find that ‘selfish’, ‘self-absorbed’ or ‘egotistical’, I would say that you can only share from your own cup if it has something ‘in it’. In fact, do you recall (and I would really like to remind you!) the first time you were ‘in love’, maybe besotted with an individual, felt butterflies and confessed undying love to anyone? Or do you recall having and holding your children after they were born and feeling that ABSOLUTE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE flow through you?

YOU NEEDED NOTHING ELSE… let me say that again…

YOU NEEDED NOTHING ELSE!

My advice would be as follows, 2 tasks daily (in conjunction with your diet) to be done on your own and if you have a blessing called family, include them in one or both of the items for sure.

Firstly, start a gratitude diary – daily, write down 3 NEW gratitudes. Yes, do not repeat the same ones every day, LOOK carefully at your life, at you and note the blessings. This is something the family can get involved in. En route to school I ask both my children to verbalise their 3 gratitudes for the day and they love it. Eventually they remind me! If this seems like effort, never letting go of fat is more strenuous. Sometimes just embracing love and gratitude in your life can assist you in releasing fat!

Secondly, start FORGIVING, every day. Who must you forgive? Well, EVERYBODY, past present and future… really give this one some thought. When I started doing this, I felt there was not much forgiving to do, but there is. Look for one forgiveness a day and include YOURSELF every day.
You forgive PEOPLE and SITUATIONS past present and future – remove the bonds that exist, send them/it off to their good quickly and in peace. (Do you have to agree, approve, like the person or situation by forgiving them? Not at all, but LET THEM GO).
Forgive YOURSELF! And mean it. Now some may say that they are only kind to themselves and do not need forgiveness. Maybe so, sometimes however, when we ‘listen’ closely we will hear the negative thoughts we shower on ourselves daily – do forgive yourself regardless. You never know, you may have really hacked off someone in the traffic today!

What on earth has this got to do with our search on Google? Well, it allows us to approach a diet choice holistically, body, mind and soul. The reason why we are ONCE AGAIN searching Google for diets, IS because we possibly didn’t soul search before!!?

To end this off, a thought, I realize that sometimes we are so busy looking for the forest that we miss the trees. People worldwide are so busy searching for fat loss and weight loss, quick fixes, anything to ‘change’ [sic] ourselves that we sometimes miss the crucks of the issue. I believe that one of the primary reasons for weight gain IS self-esteem issues, lack of self-love, etc. Should we not rather start there? I decided to research it, the volume returned on the search term self-esteem: ‘About 64 700 000 results (0,64 seconds)’. This is close to 4 times fewer results than ‘fat loss’, maybe our Google search for diets should start with ‘how to love me’, embracing a healthier mind and then we can go about embracing a healthier body?

You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”- Yogi Berra

Start with love before the fat loss diet!
Start with love before the fat loss diet!

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