Have you ever wished you could eat whatever you wanted and still feel and look great? Do you struggle with your weight, with your food, with fighting your own body? Maybe you have been able to follow a restrictive diet and have success for a time, only to revert to your original weight, or gain even more weight. Why does it seem like your body is resisting you? Here’s the answer: You started it.
There’s a reason diets don’t work. Fighting with your body increases stress chemicals that cause inflammation, illness and make you gain weight. When dieting is driven by a disdain for your body, a feeling of loathing, embarrassment or self-judgment, the diet actually makes your health worse. You are constantly igniting the stress response when you eat. Your body has no choice but to fight back.
As traditionally-trained-doctors turned healers, my husband and I have taught hundreds of thousands of patients how to heal themselves. We have had depressed patients get off their medications and feel great; patients with anxiety feel relaxed and at peace, and patients with diseases such as hypothyroid or inflammatory bowel disease be disease-free and healthy. How does this happen? It’s not a miracle pill. It’s done by activating your body’s ability to heal itself.
Your body wants to be healthy, feel great and be at your ideal weight. You can convert your body to your ally in achieving your goals. To do this, you must begin accepting your body exactly as it is right now. That’s right. Whatever size or shape you are, whatever your skin tone and texture is, and however much residence your nose takes up on your cute little face, accepting it fully is the only way to initiate change, create health and lose weight.
It may seem counterintuitive that to change something, you must accept it exactly as it is. After all, if you want slimmer thighs and a trimmer tummy, shouldn’t you refuse to accept anything less? Well, this may seem to work for other things in life, but it never will work (for the long term) when it comes to your body. The truth is, giving up the fight is the only way to truly win.
Here are three steps to surrender the war with your body, and become slim, fit and healthy in no time!
1. First, you must turn off the fight-or-flight response that causes inflammation and disease. This begins with changing your breathing. Most often we spend our day breathing shallowly into the chest. This fires up the part of your nervous system that increases your stress response, and prevents your body from healing and attaining your ideal weight.
To reverse this, take three deep belly breaths, letting your lower abdomen expand as you inhale. Then, slowly exhale and let your belly come back in. Repeat.
Extra credit: Doing this before you eat anything will ensure you eat consciously, digest and absorb nutrients optimally, and have your body release anything it does not need.
2. Second, conjure up the idea of what you DO want to create. Focusing on how much you hate your “fat thighs” is not the same as focusing your attention on having a slim, fit body that feels great. You want to create optimal emotional and chemical states so your body’s systems work as they are meant to and create ideal health. The negative thought about your body causes disease, weight gain and cellulite. The positive thought causes internal wellness and healing. You choose!
3. Eat! The third step is going about your day and your eating with an attitude of self-love, self-acceptance and self-nurturing.
It may seem that letting go of your “willpower” to fight your body will cause all kinds of havoc with your diet, but the opposite is true. When you are in a state of self-love and self- acceptance, while holding the images or thoughts about the body and health you DO want, the natural result will be choosing the foods that most nurture your body. You also will be compelled to avoid the foods toxic to your body.