Posts Tagged ‘Frustration and Weight Loss’
I got back from vacation last night. On vacation I found my mat a little, but mostly I did vacationy things, relaxed (as much as you can with 2 kids), and ate foods I don’t usually eat. Don’t get me wrong, I ate things I often eat as well, but like most of you can relate, I also ate “vacation foods”.
So, what can we do after “falling off” our normal patterns that keep us balanced?
This morning, I reset. I woke up and practiced a little extra. As I approached my mat (feeling lethargic and a little dense) I set my intention. Alignment. I wanted to find alignment in my body, breath, mind, and soul. I rely on my practice to guide me toward my intention (sankalpa) whatever it might be on any given day. Today it would center me in my inquiry into alignment.
Our practice has the power to help get us back to where we need to be. No matter how long it’s been, If you’ve “lost touch” with your practices that leave you feeling better, all you have to do is find them today. Approach it with non-judgemental awareness. It’s a reset, not an arraignment. I could have muscled my way back to yoga today with lots of planks and physical fortitude, but instead, by way of a deeper connection to what yoga has to offer and what practice I needed, I realigned. My body feels less dense, my mind more clear, my heart more spacious, and I’m once again breathing deeply.
A client reached out to me this week needing some bolstering around this exact topic. I thought I would share this little antidote of my reset, as an inspiration to those of you looking to find your’s.
May we all find peace today,
Today I thought I would take a moment to talk about our social life and how it relates to weight loss. As we all know, weight and body and food can be difficult. But why is it that friends and social experiences, around food or not, are entwined in our process of change? Here are my two cents.
When we are in the Peaceful Weight Loss process two things happen. We are changing from the inside out and with this change, our externals (or everything that has always been) are no longer in complete alignment with our internal landscape. One thing I hear a lot in this work is how difficult it is to have the weight piece not match the internal shifting because explaining that you’re doing all this “weight loss” work when you’re not exactly losing weight makes zero sense to most. They, and we(!), want to see results to know change is happening. An intangible paradigm shift is NOT weight loss. At least not right away.
Within this same line of thinking, being able to articulate every minutia of change is impossible. So therein lies the rub. How do we stay intimate or connected to others, or more importantly, in our current life as we know it, when our process is so personal and subtle? Furthermore, we have relationships that may or may not be about/around/connected to food specifically, but often when we’ve made shifts with our relationship to food, they are not in complete alignment with how we interact socially: eating, drinking, types of food, food environments, who and how we spend our time with, etc.
This can be confusing for everyone involved. For example, when we have a drug buddy and stop using, where is our common ground now that drugs are out of the picture? More so, when we have a baby, we connect with others who are also going through the tender experience of newborn-dom, however, when our children become their own people, and we become more seasoned parents, we have all grown and changed, and may not have anything in common anymore and perhaps, upon reflection, never really did.
So we plug away to reach our weight-food-body goals with the acceptance that all things shift and change, not just the number on the scale. And if we continually do behaviors that we we don’t want to do because that is what is comfortable or socially acceptable, that’s what we’ll do until we no longer need to suffer in this way. So we can either change our behaviors, or shift our environment until the external matches the internal. As Thich Nat Hanh says, “Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible.”
May we all feel completely integrated in all aspects of the self.
There is a theme in the Peaceful Weight Loss process that is a microcosm of this day in age. It’s the feeling that you’re not doing enough or getting enough done. It’s the thought pattern that you’re not engaged fully in a [weight loss] process when you are, or as a Transformation participant articulated this week, feeling like you’re “avoiding” something, even when you’re not.
This happens all the time—this feeling of inadequacy or falling short in the effort you need to be successful. Often when we trace it back, or look more closely, my clients, and others involved in the Peaceful Weight Loss process, are in fact fully engaged and doing plenty.
So why do we think we’re underachieving, or not accomplishing enough and how much do we need to do in order to believe that we’re on our way to where we want to be?
With weight loss specifically, we are looking in the mirror, and not always seeing “results” from all the work we’re doing including the internal changes that we’re making. If we’ve had disordered thinking around food, our bodies, our weight, then there is much to be done to untangle, or unlearn what we don’t want to do anymore. We are also required to shift our reaction and change our nervous system through practices that help us feel better. And this takes time (and has nothing to do with food, at least to begin.)
When we plant bulbs in the Fall, we work hard to get them in the ground (acquire them, weed, dig, and plant) but we don’t see the beauty of their bloom for the time it takes for our planet to travel halfway around the sun. Their evident growth and beauty takes time, just like a sustainable shift in our body and weight. We may be disappointed when we don’t lose weight immediately or see a difference in the mirror or when we put clothes on, but we shouldn’t be. Working on our mind and body is a process that has many facets, all of which need watering and nourishment.
This is why practice is key. It helps us with our mind when it tells us that we’re not doing enough, that something has to happen now(!), even though something IS happening! Getting our thoughts to recognize this is an important practice. If you are making shifts and feeling better about choices you are making, wiring practice, drinking enough water, enjoying micro-practices including breath, eating regularly, shopping in a non reactionary way, getting enough sleep, [fill in the blank on whatever one thing that you’re working on today]—you are doing enough. Each step leads to the next. The flowers will only bloom if the bulbs are properly taken care of.
So when you wind up seeing the number go down on the scale, you’ll see that enough was truly enough. But for now, It’s our job to keep on keepin’ on and move in the direction of where we want to be. Inside and out. You are your beautiful landscape.
May we all know our true potential and find peace within ourselves at the same time,
Are you looking for your next step to do enough? Join us for our online course. You can call in every other week to connect with me and the rest of our Transformation community as a way to remember and know that you are heading in the right direction, one step at a time. [Here’s more info].
When most people think of losing weight they think of hitting the gym. Sweating a lot and watching how many calories are burning on their favorite (or least favorite machine). When they think of yoga they imagine slow movement – a glorious warrior 2 pose and inner peace. So why would yoga work well for weight loss? If you look at how many calories burn from yoga, it’s downright unimpressive.
For years we here at Peaceful Weight Loss we have been teaching slow, simple yoga practices to help with the weight loss process. It is an integral part of our overall weight loss plan. In fact, it is so much more important than hitting the gym that we favor it above all other forms of movement. Here’s why.
It Gets Stress Out Of The Body
Yoga practice done properly changes our nervous system response. This leaves us less stressed. Stress hormones are a key problem in weight reduction. Put simply – stress hormones = weight retention. Yoga is a great way to work with this.
Yoga Changes Our Mental State
Much overeating and binge eating can be attributed to anxiety, depression, or even big mental highs. Yoga practice helps us maintain a strong grounded mental state that translates into less emotional eating.
Yoga Is Empowering
Yoga teaches us to practice in a way that expands our body’s possibilities while deeply accepting its’ limitations. Unlike exercise where it’s constantly asking us to do more, yoga is about contentment. This creates a deep peace within us. Peace is true power. Change begins with this acceptance.
This is not to say that their aren’t great reasons to hit the gym, but when considering a long term movement plan to drop or keep weight off—yoga is an excellent choice.
Click here to learn more and register for Transformation. Our 9 month course in Peaceful Weight Loss will guide you through—step by step.
May we all find contentment today,
Eating for for optimal health is in many ways the same as eating for optimal weight. The way our bodies regulate our weight is really complex. A dance of hormones, gut bacteria, nutrient absorption, etc all happen every time we eat. And while the science of all this is still developing, one thing is clear. Whole natural foods are always superior than processed foods.
Our bodies of course can break down and use processed foods—we do it all the time. But these foods simply don’t work as well in our body. The end result is poorer health and more unneeded fat storage. There is no great way to get around this. There is, however, a great freedom within this. It can make it so much easier to choose what to eat! Whole foods, yes. Not whole foods (highly processed), no. Simple, right? In some ways.
We eat primarily fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, eggs, and meat. Of course, there are many variations within this. If we start here as a baseline, our food life can be easier. And our bodies will reward us with better health.
May we all find wholeness today,
Some call it a roller coaster. Others refer to it as a yo-yo. On the wagon, off the wagon. Whatever the metaphor, weight loss can be an up and down, in and out, and all around experience.
Here’s the catch. It doesn’t have to be so hard. Even if the struggle is decades old, there is another way, a different path, a new and sustainable outcome. Imagine being more peaceful and losing weight at the same time. What would this look like? What would the metaphor become? I’m going with peaceful ocean waves moving in and out of the shore.
I believe that we can make our experience less extreme if we truly want this to be so. When we apply our effort in the right direction, magic happens. So, let’s begin with food. This is usually the first thing we go after when we’re trying to take weight off. It’s also where we think we have the most control. But really, this is where the extreme states happen because we aren’t approaching food in a relaxed way. It’s intense. It’s baggage. It’s manic, frustrating, habitual, and confusing.
So, imagine focusing your effort and attention away from food and set a new “weight loss goal” of practicing daily, or as much as possible. We are now putting our energy towards yoga. But not just any yoga. Your “weight loss” practice should leave you feeling calmer and more energized. Got that? This might be a 15 or 30 minute breathing and moving practice on the mat or a 20 minute yoga nidra in bed…I’ve seen all sorts of practices tone the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest, digest, and heal part) which is what we want. This will lessen anxiety and tell our fight-or-flight part of the nervous system to chill out. We arrive in this state more of the time. Our clothes might not fit differently at first and the number on the scale (if you even decide you want to use one!) may not shift, but we feel better already.
It’s from this place that we can look at our food choices. And incrementally we approach the “food part of weight loss” (because it’s only a piece) with more clarity, compassion, and awareness. But really without the letting go on a daily basis part, we are agreeing to the up and downs that keep the body battle going. (via deprivation, via stress, via life)
If this resonates with you, try it. Forget about food for a minute. Practice daily and ask yourself if you are calmer and more energized afterwards. If the answer is no, tweak your practice, or find us to help you refine. And if this eludes you completely, join our 9 month course to help and prioritize how to stabilize rather than continue with extremes. If the answer is yes, ask yourself what one food thing you want to do today until you practice again tomorrow, and the next, and the next. Like (calm) ocean waves.
May we all be happy,
Remember that Saturday Night Live character who said “it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look!” (Thanks Billy Crystal aka Fernando.)
I‘m changing the saying to “it’s not what you weigh, its how you feel and look!”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that beholder is us. Often what we really deeply want is to look better. Not for others, but for ourselves. We are the ones that look in the mirror and say “I look great” or “not so much”.
The funny thing is that it’s not what we see that really determines our judgement of ourselves. It’s how we feel. When we are strong, have eaten well, and put on our favorite clothes—we look better. The scale number does not matter at that moment. So don’t step on it! It’s that mental state that allows us to move forward toward our goals of peace and ideal weight. Now I know that this isn’t everyone’s experience, but it’s my experience and enough of my client’s experience, that I thought I’d share with the rest of you.
So what do we need to do to have more days of positive self judgement?
- Put extra effort into eating meals that you love AND that seem satisfying and healthy to YOU. Shop for ingredients you love and cook or assemble your perfect meal more often.
- Practice in a way that makes you feel more embodied, empowered, and alive. That may be releasing tension with deep relaxation or a movement practice that embodies you. (Our videos are all online here if you need a place to start or join our 9 month course, Transformation)
- Wear clothes that you love. I know this is a tall order but find something that you like (comfort is key) and buy multiples if you need to. Help yourself love yourself.
By doing one or all of these things, we pave a way for more positive thinking around and through our process. We get to live a more pleasant experience and have less of those horrible, “I hate myself” days. And remember: “You look marvelous.”
May we all enjoy this embodiment today,
Here it is! New years again. A time for reckless abandon where we swear we will do things differently in the coming year so that we can eat whatever we want now.
What a perfect recipe for low self esteem. Waking up onJanuary 1st and saying to ourselves “I should not have done that”. “I really shouldn’t have eaten like that”. I’m going to humbly suggest that we look at this new year’s differently.
Let’s ask ourselves a question. What do we really want out of the new year’s holiday? Do we want to celebrate with friends? With family? Do we want to feel less alone in the world? Do we want to feel more alive? Do we want to skip it this year and go to bed early?
All of these are really legitimate ideas. There is probably a way for you to move towards any of these goals. Make dinner plans – go to a candlelight yoga class – go to church or temple – take a hot tub – invite someone over and watch a movie – go to the movies by ourselves – take a hike – you get the idea.
What we don’t need to do to move towards our goal is binge eat. It doesn’t take us anywhere. It doesn’t solve our problems, or connect us to the world around us. Wherever we are this new year’s eve, let us allow it to be pleasant. Whether that’s going out all night because it’s fun, curling up with a movie because it’s relaxing, or anything in between. We can eat what want but let’s not do that eating as celebration leading to despair thing this year.
That’s my plan—join me!
As always comments and intentions are welcomed. Share on our facebook page, or email me back!
May we all be held and happy this new year’s and in the coming year.
It’s not working!!!!
How often do we hear ourselves saying this. We get on that scale, or put on that old pair of pants and things are not better. We get frustrated, angry, sad, despondent or all of the above. Maybe we quit? Give up? What’s the point?
This last question is the only one that matters. What is the point? Are we trying to lose 30 pounds this week? Are we trying to eat as little as possible? What are we really trying to do here?
It’s important to regroup when we get frustrated. Numbers on the scale don’t always mean that we’re doing something wrong. Peaceful Weight Loss is the ongoing process of eating and LIVING in a way that brings us more mental contentment; shifting our body in beneficial ways.
We get frustrated when we are not losing weight even when we are not actually at a point where we are making changes that would facilitate weight loss. It’s important to recognize this and shift into a mental space where we are calm, centered, and most importantly clear.
This clarity often comes from practice. Asana with breath, yoga nidra, breathing, meditation. These practices are designed to shift us into a state that is more balanced. We can then ask ourselves “what is the point today?” What do we need to do this day that will bring us more peace and put us on a path to being less heavy?
If you are in our 9 month course then the answer will be to work on this month’s coursework. If you are dieting then find useful, pleasant ways to be on that diet. Let’s not let our frustration mind derail us from the contentment and joy that is available right now as we read this. Take a breath and find your practice.
May we all be happy,