I have worked with people of all ages and sizes and gender who are frustrated with their battle to lose weight. The truth is that a lot of people who are “trying” to lose weight have the same, let’s call it…philosophy, and all of the “skinny” people that I know and have worked with have a very different philosophy. So, today I would like to share with you the “secret” to how “skinny” people think. Because, it is not just your actions that determine your success, it’s also how you feel about food. You see, if you “don’t like” healthy food, if you “don’t like” to exercise, getting healthy and losing weight will always be a struggle. But you can change the way you “feel” about these two things, and your actions will follow, leading to success.
Many people I see who are having difficulty losing weight have the same self talk:
“Why can’t I stick to this?”
“Why do I have to punish myself by eating this way”
“Even when I do eat healthy, I still can’t lose weight”
“I can’t starve myself, I’m going to eat my arm off”
Yes, I have heard it all and then some. I encourage all of you reading this to post your comments, good or bad, with your own “story” you tell yourself. Your self talk is very important to your success in getting healthy. One thing is fact, getting healthy is a lifestyle and not a diet. “Skinny” people live a healthy lifestyle, they don’t diet. When they eat pizza or cheesecake they aren’t blowing their diet, and don’t beat themselves up about how much fat or calories they just ate, they just enjoy the “treat” because they know it’s a special treat and not part of their daily lifestyle, therefore it will not make them gain weight or get depressed. In fact, most people I know who are “skinny” do not COUNT CALORIES OR FAT GRAMS!!!! Very few people can be successful with counting calories and fat because it becomes and obsession, leaving you with very unhealthy feelings about eating healthy, which ultimately leads to self destruction.
One thing I say in my own head about a treat, or skipping the gym, or that extra glass of wine is: “Is it really worth it?” “How am I going to feel later?” Don’t get me wrong, if I am at cheesecake factory you bet I am going to get Tiramisu Cheesecake, and quite possibly I will finish the whole thing. I am very aware that after I do that, I am going to be bloated, tired, and if I’ve got to stay awake for more than 2 more hours, I am more than likely going to be cranky because who enjoys doing anything when they are tired an bloated. I associate more pain with that cheesecake than I do pleasure, but none the less, that once or twice a year I intentionally venture to cheesecake factory and inentionally indulge in that pain. I love New York Style Pizza! And I am not talking imitation new york style pizza I get in the mid-west! I know the one trip a year I take to New Jersey I am going to eat my face off. I am very aware that afterwards I am going to be laying on the couch like Al Bundy with my pants unbuttoned, but even though I associate the pain with it, it’s worth it. I can not possibly imagine living my life tired, bloated all the time and cranky. That is why I don’t eat these foods on a daily basis. I associate pure pleasure with my morning smoothie filled with protein, fresh fruits and often a vegetable. My mid-morning snack of raw nuts which keeps me going til lunch when I have a huge salad with a little lean protein. This fuels me to want to go to the gym, and enjoy the results. I seek pleasure in that. When I’m talking myself out of going to the gym because I’m tired or I just don’t feel like it, I don’t beat myself up about it, I simply think to myself, “Olivia, how is not going to the gym helping you reach your goals?” If I still don’t feel like going, then so what, but more times than not I feel it’s a huge contradiction to say I want to be healthy, say I want to be skinny, and not be willing to take the action steps to do so.
You need to set your goals. You need to be aware of what action steps are needed to achieve them, and you need to associate PLEASURE with taking action and achieving them and PAIN with not taking action and not reaching those goals. You have to be prepared. If my friend was an alcoholic I wouldn’t recommend that they work in a bar while they get over their addiction. So why would you self sabotage yourself by eating a salad while your friends are eating donuts, chocolate cake and french fries before your very eyes? You need to surround yourself with tools for success, and yes, this requires planning and preparation. I’ve never met a “skinny” person who just flies by the seat of their pants when it comes to eating. Usually they’ve got some raw nuts or a meal replacement bar in their purse or car, and a big fat jug of water. More times than not, they’ve even packed their own lunch. These are habits of success. Waiting until you are starving, then driving past 5 fast food places trying to figure out what you’re going to eat for lunch is self sabotage. Another secret is, DON’T GET HUNGRY! By the time you are hungry and then starving, it is less likely you are going to make a good choice or eat an acceptable portion size.
I am well aware some people do everything right and still can’t lose weight. These are the patients I work with on a daily basis. If that is you, then get help finding out what is truly wrong. It could be a hormone imbalance, it could be a food sensitivity, and it could even be your blood sugar. This article it to bring to light the thoughts and actions that healthy people choose. I know a lot of skinny fat people (people who are small, but have a very high fat mass), and I know a lot of people who eat all natural and organic and are still very over weight, and it all comes down to how you “feel” about food, not just your actions.
I encourage you to keep a diary or journal. Write everything you eat and drink, how you feel throughout the day and how you feel emotionally about your choices. Nothing tells the truth like looking in the mirror. Sometimes we hide from our choices and put things in our mouth blindly unaware of how much or what we are actually eating.
Wishing you good health…..naturally!