It's that time of year when so many women are making resolutions to lose weight and get fit. They are motivated and determined to 'eat healthily', stick to a diet and keep up an exercise routine. "2007 will be different" they promise, "this year I'm really going to crack it!" They won't give up or admit defeat. By this summer (but hopefully sooner) they'll be slim and toned and ready to dazzle on the beach.
They buy the latest miracle diet book, sign up to a slimming club, make appointments with the nutritionist, join the gym or create their own personal strategy. Gradually the resolve weakens, the determination is worn down by a slip up here and a bad day there and by mid February they are feeling bored and fed up. Disillusioned they cancel appointments with the nutritionists, go to the gym less and less often and feel like failures. Either that or they're keeping themselves firmly 'on track' which takes a great deal of effort, deprivation and sometimes a fair bit of cash too.
Over the weeks the new 'life style' loses its appeal and excitement and it becomes just plain hard work requiring an endless supply of motivation and willpower which sadly non of us posses! As I look forward to 2007, remembering all those years I spent making those ambitious new years resolutions I would like to offer you a ray of hope; it IS possible to step off that exhausting treadmill, to be FREE and relaxed around food, feel good about your body, lose weight and stay slim year after year. It's not even all that hard or expensive! All you need is a generous helping of curiosity and willingness and a pinch of courage.
The Beyond Chocolate Strategies are a good place to start changing the way you approach weight loss. Experiment, have fun and let us know what worked for you! Eat when you're hungry Wait until you are hungry before you eat - do it just once this week. Check how hungry you're getting at regular intervals so that you don't reach the famished stage. Eat what you really want When you know you're hungry ask yourself what you really fancy. If you could have anything in the world what would you have? Don't limit yourself to healthy options, allow yourself whatever you want. If it's available or you can get some, eat it and enjoy. If not ask yourself what will do instead.
FOCUS! While you're eating focus on the food. Switch off the telly and sit down at the table with the food on a plate. Eat it slowly and really taste it. STOP when you're satisfied How do you know when you've had enough? Pause every now and again to check how satisfied you feel. Do you want more or have you had enough? Do you need to finish what's on the plate? When you feel like eating and you know you're not hungry... PAUSE Tell yourself that you are going to wait for just a few minutes before you eat - not that you won't eat, just that you're going to wait. As you pause notice what's going on... are you bored, annoyed, putting something off, excited? Give yourself permission to eat if you want to and remind yourself that once you've eaten you'll probably still feel bored, annoyed, and your tasks will still await you! MOVE Decide to get moving just once this week for 20 minutes. Choose something that will fit into your schedule and make time to do it.
Make it enjoyable and easy. It could be as simple as a brisk walk or as adventurous as a belly dancing class. Be kind to yourself If you don't manage to do even one of the above even though you would like to and think you 'ought' to - be kind to yourself. Change takes time and patience. Begin with awareness: be curious about what you do now, how you resist change, what your patterns are... and you'll be half way there. Awareness is 50% of change! REMEMBER Aim to make small changes that feel good and work for you. Take one at a time instead of trying to change everything all at once. Discard what doesn't work. If it is doable, enjoyable and leaves you feeling good then make a commitment to yourself to do it again. Wishing you all a dynamic and transformative 2006! For more tips and food for thought, sign up for Beyond Chocolate's FREE newsletter at our website.
By Sophie & Audrey Boss Founders of Beyond Chocolate
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