Beyond DietsWritten by Debra Betterly, Ph.D., CLC
We can’t choose body we want, rather we have to accept body we are given. Our bodies are an amazing compilation of traits from all our ancestors. They are unique and allow us to have physical experience of life. They are vehicles of our soul. They are connected to our mind and spirit. Our thoughts and emotions can literally make us sick or heal us physically. However, if I asked 10 people if they liked their bodies, what do you think majority, if not all of them, would say? On top of most peoples list would be their dissatisfaction with their weight. Fact: Our current population is getting heavier even though as many as 40 percent of women and 24 percent of men are trying to lose weight at any given time. Unfortunately, our cultures expectation about body size has led to an unhealthy obsession with weight. The underlying cultural view and message given by media is that being thin will make us feel healthier, more beautiful and happier. The media images bombarding us today are unrealistic and seem to lead us on a mission for “ideal body”. Precious time and energy is being consumed by thinking about, talking about, worrying about, and trying to find magic cure for fixing our weight. Even so, statistics prove that there is no magic cure. People who go on “diets” typically gain back as much as one-third to two-thirds of weight within one year and almost all of it within five years. Our self-worth becomes entwined with these messages. Because of our cultures obsession with thinness, it is increasingly difficult for us to see beauty and diversity in different sizes and shapes. It is increasingly difficult for us to not judge ourselves and others by how we look rather than who we are. For, our true beauty is reflected in our soul, our passion, in what we do for others, and how we care for ourselves. Learning to take extremely good care of yourself is a vital part of coaching. Taking a non-dieting approach that focuses on acceptance, physical activity, and normalized eating frees you from “diet mentality” to do better, more important things with your time and energy. The non-dieting approach takes emphasis off calorie counting, counting exchanges, scales, fat gram counting, and “ideal body.” Accept Yourself: •Develop a positive image of yourself. Stop judging your self worth by number on scale, or your body shape or size. Work on remembering who you really are. You know, essence of your soul, you that is “brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous.” (See this quoted from Marianne Williamson’s Our Deepest Fear on my website, www.amazingjourneycoach.com on free writings and assessments page). Stop any negative self-talk in it’s tracks and change it to something positive about yourself. •Become more aware of media and cultural messages that promote an “ideal” body shape. Remind yourself that such expectations are unrealistic. The images appearing in magazines are often computer generated, computer altered and airbrushed! They are not real! •Put away your scale. It does not matter what you weigh. It only matters how healthy and fit you are. Also, weighing encourages weight obsession and measuring your self-worth by what scale says that day.
Before and After: It's Your TurnWritten by Steve Gillman
You've seen them a hundred times: "Before" and "After" pictures. Are you ready to be one in photos? Don't wait until you lose more weight. You can have an "after" picture today.
You've probably noticed that photos from before and after a diet don't always show a great weight loss. Oh, many times they do, but what do they show just as often? They show a slouching, frowning man or woman in first picture, followed by same person smiling, with hair done and make-up on in "after" picture.
Of course you are attracted to after photo! You want to be happy and attractive like that. That's point of this sales technique. The point of this article, though, is to remind you that those "after" photos demonstrate importance of attitude, posture, clothing and make-up as much as weight loss.