My husband and I were on a road trip to find a field of sunflowers. He is a photographer, so these fun adventures lead us to all kinds of stunning places where I can just sit, enjoy and bask in the beauty of the planet. As we passed a McDonald’s sign he said, “The Golden Arches sign makes me feel sick these days…”
This was an interesting statement as he was once a junk food king, devouring Maccas on the way home from work, pizza for dinner, Hungry Jacks as a legitimate lunch option and downing all matter of soft drinks as part of his normal diet. It didn’t make him overweight but there seemed to be an internal protest going on and slowly over time, it seemed his body couldn’t handle it any more. Call it age, call it just being overloaded with crap for too long, call it whatever you like but the stomach pains, gut pains, feeling nauseous, just generally feeling bad after this type of food led him to eat it less and less often to the point where now he doesn’t eat it at all.
So where once the thought of Maccas was a ‘happy, yum, I love this stuff’ kind of feeling, now it is an ‘errrrkk, no thanks, keep me away’ kind of feeling. And so from this mind shift and association of ‘Cheeseburger equals feeling like crap now’ mindset, the whole junk food option for him is not even a temptation. So it’s not like you have to hold yourself back from it and feel like you are missing out on anything, you actually don’t want it any more. Mind blowing stuff!
So it got me thinking about this idea because I too can pinpoint this mind shift in my journey and if you want to be successful in your weight loss efforts, this is a critical part of it. However I need to add a little happy twist to it as well which will ensure your success.
So I have a pretty healthy body and it could withstand most of rubbish I put it through over the years, so there was no specific excruciating pain that stopped me eating four donuts in a row or a whole block of chocolate, it was just a general feeling of being tired, overfull, a little bit queasy from eating so much, clothes not fitting and feeling like missing out on my life by being overweight, that really encouraged the slow shift over time.
This shift comprised of tiny changes for the better that happened over years and years, completely guided by feeling better each time a change was made.
And so for me too now the offer of bread, pasta, cake, pastries, junk food etc is so far from a temptation that it is almost an insult. I value feeling energetic, awake, alive, healthy, pain free and effortlessly the weight I want to be so much more, that these food options don’t even register with me at all. They represent all the things I don’t want to be, how I don’t want to feel and the continuous exhausting battle I don’t want to have with myself any more.
I can hear you say, “but I love the taste of pasta, and grandma’s fairy fluff cake etc.” And here is the happy the twist to make it all the more possible.
At this point your health, feeling fantastic and getting to your goal weight is not as important to you as the taste of these things. So the pleasure you are deriving from them is outweighing a future pleasure benefit of being your goal weight that you can’t fully feel yet, because you are not there. Also we have been programmed to believe that weight loss is hard, requires sacrifice, excludes anything worth eating and is a treacherous road that one must travel in order to get to the prize at the very end – after which time, only then it will feel good.
I’m here to tell you that this is baloney.
It requires two things:-
1. Change in mindset to: I want to feel good, healthy, happy and effortlessly be the weight I want to be and the choices I make with food are EVERYTHING!
2. Learn to make the healthy dessert options, healthy chocolate options or if you prefer savoury then find those options to make that will satisfy that for you and still get you to the weight you want to be.
Number 2 is just as crucial as number 1 in fact probably more important, do you know why? Because just changing your mindset in isolation still implies sacrifice, never being able to taste the amazing sweet dessert that gives you pleasure – ever again??
That doesn’t sound like pleasure to me! It sounds like hell.
And for me, even if my mindset was different and I really, really wanted to feel healthy and amazing, if that involved cutting out all sweet things forever and having to drink horrible kale juice all the time, I don’t think I would be as successful at maintaining my weight as I am now.
I saw a response in a blog post where the lady was saying, “chocolate is my weakness, I succumb to it every afternoon when my willpower is lacking and so now I am determined to cut it out altogether.” When I read things like that my mind starts screaming because when I tried to cut it out all together, I would lapse into binging episodes and eat a whole block.
Again I can hear people saying, “all in moderation, if you had a few pieces each day, then it would be fine.” Newsflash! I can’t do that either, sugar sets off a chain reaction in me that makes me go berserk until I am eating commercial chocolate before lunch, before dinner, even at breakfast. I am addicted to sugar, so this solution is all kinds of wrong for me.
So what is the answer?
For me the answer came in whole, real food. Commercial chocolate is just a manufactured, artificial, sugared up version of the real product. Raw cacao, which is the real chocolate, actually has a host of vitamins and minerals that your body is really craving when you reach for chocolate but can never be satisfied by the fake stuff.
When I make my Chocolate Tweets with raw cacao and rice malt syrup, I can have one or two and leave the rest in the fridge for the rest of the week. Unheard of with fake chocolate for me in the past.
So there are all manner of raw desserts and amazing treats that people are making with real ingredients that taste just as amazing but you can have the one and not feel like you have to hold yourself back from eating the whole batch. There are recipes for cheesecake made from avocado that taste like the real thing, there are biscuits that are all nuts and taste better than the flour/sugar version, slices made from nuts and seeds that taste ah-mazing, pasta sauce on zucchini noodles that still gives you the creamy, yummy taste and keeps you losing weight.
I could go on because it gets me very excited, this is it, this is the missing link. This is what can give you the body and freedom you crave, easily!
And yet millions will still go on measuring, weighing, counting calories, suffering at the gym, feeling bad when the scales go up, feeling like they are sacrificing or taking all the weight off and as soon as they ‘relax a bit’ it all comes piling back on and it’s all so unnecessary. It took me 15 years to work it out. Don’t you take that long, please!!!
Lemoni slice, here I come.