UGH!! Another weight loss blog? It’s so confusing to know what to believe on the internet. I understand! And I’m writing this one anyway…PCOS Weight Loss: The Magic Emotion, to take a different approach to the first step of weight loss. Let’s get your emotions into the game instead of using food to stuff them. If you’re looking for specific food advice, grab my ebook, Unraveling the Mysteries of PCOS.
Fantasy Weight Loss:The Missing Ingredient
You’ve dreamed about it. You wished for it. NO! There is not a magic pill or wand that is just one cloaca away…sorry… Weight loss has to be an inside job. Let’s go on this weight loss journey from a new starting point. Let’s not even talk about the program, the diet, the supplements, when to eat, thinking about food all the time…dieting is exhausting! And seriously, can we have a little heart to heart here? If you HAD to eat right, most of you know what that means, it’s not a mystery that lean protein, veggies and a little fruit need to comprise most of your intake for a day. So, check in with how you feel about that information. You intellectually know what to do. But, sometimes you just don’t FEEL like it. What’s emotion got to do with weight loss? And why can’t you stick to a program for more than a few days or weeks?
Why is it so hard to stick to a new habit?
- Our brains are wired for comfort. Many of our habits are created when we were very young. Our parents/grandparents/guardians/significant adults in your life helped you create those before the age of eight! Food is necessary for to live. However, sometimes as kids we mix up messages of around food.
Hypothetically, your grandma always had candy at her house. You loved her and you loved going to her house, she was loving and wonderful. And she gave you candy. Now, you have a candy dish on your desk. That candy has come to represent good, happy feelings and memories of your grandma for you, and it may represent some sadness, now that your grandma passed away. That candy produces endorphins, the “feel-good” brain chemicals, every time you eat it! It makes you feel better about anything now.
- The same can be true if you mom gave you a bag of chips, or you found a bag of chips, right after you had, lets say, a fight with your sibling, you were frightened or a bad day at school. Your brain makes the connection that the bag of chips will fix the fear. This is how my addiction to popcorn started. You can read about that in my book. Now, food becomes comfort.
- Our brains are wired for safety. Once this pattern or association has been established it worms it’s way into our subconscious, where it is basically trapped. We are now on auto-pilot until we can release these emotions. About that later…We go on about our business, grow up and perpetuate the behaviors we learned when we were younger. Using food to snuf out emotion or to produce some good feelings has become our way of life. AND now we can also become numb to our emotions. We don’t want to feel anything so, we eat, instead of feel the emotions. Please note, food is NOT the only thing we use to “stay safe”. We use shopping, social media, alcohol, anything distraction that takes our mind away from feeling what we do not want to feel.This feels “safe”.
- We feel like we deserve some pleasure, comfort, safety in this life as a result of all of the programming I just mentioned. You now believe as an adult, that you are entitled to feel good. Okay, so now you see the loop of eating for comfort and safety.
Seven Steps to Breaking a Bad Habit: It’s All About Feelings
- Recognizing the patterns in your life is the first step. Paying attention to what you eat when you are stressed. Will give you a big clue. You even know you eat when you are stressed out, right?
- Get real. Let’s define where you are right now:
How much do weigh? I know you don’t want to look, let’s get real, its just DATA! The number on the scale doesn’t have to trigger you into anything about your self worth. It’s just a number.
What are you REALLY eating? How large are your portions? Are you eating the same amount as your husband? What is REALLY happening in the evenings?
What does your weight keep you from doing? Clothes? Activities? Career? Family?How is your confidence in your body?
- BREATHE! The emotions you are feeling around all of that could send you right to the bag of Oreos or potato chips! Just BREATHE! Count to 4 while you inhale, hold it for 4, exhale for 4-6. Three times. Okay…hang with me…
- Name the emotions. Sad, frustrated, angry with someone or yourself? Disappointed? Write them down, write out ALL of it. Get it out, cry, bang your fists on the bed or a pillow, get a dish towel and hit the wall with it. get all of it out.
- Here’s the truth about emotions, if you will allow yourself 90 seconds, yes a minute and a half, to actually FEEL and name the emotion, it will pass! REALLY! It’s when we stop the feeling with distraction or stuffing or ignoring that the emotion becomes toxic and stressful for our brain and our body. Start feeling and naming your emotions without food. It’s literally 90 seconds.
- Now, let’s define your new reality. Where do you want to be? Close your eyes. Can you remember a time when you were healthier? Maybe as a kid? Teen? If not, what would you do if you could do anything? If your weight wasn’t an issue. “I don’t know” isn’t an answer – make something up, use your imagination..write it down.
- Do you feel the excitement, the exhilaration of being the weight you want to be? Can you feel that spark of joy? Can you see yourself in new activities or a new style of dress? These emotions will open the door to the subconscious. All of those trapped habits can now be accessed and changed. You have to remember the positive feelings and let that be what drives your new habits. Just sit with those positive feelings every day. Think of those positive feeling right when you wake up. Close your eyes when you are faced with a food choice for 5 seconds and access the positive feelings about your new reality.
The subconscious is very powerful. It can literally keep you trapped in behavior patterns for your entire life. You think you can’t do anything about it. You think these things are “just part of your personality”, “it’s just the way you are”. This is not true! You CAN change these patterns.
Those old patterns will be so automatic it will take a little time to see them in your life. Once you start seeing them, its easy to shift your thoughts and feelings. This deeper motivation is called intrinsic motivation. You no longer have to rely on outside influences to keep you motivated, you can do it yourself. This will create the weight loss and transforms you for lasting change. If you want to yo-yo again, or feel like weight loss is sooo hard, you can fight with your subconscious OR you can learn to feel the feelings, knowing they will go away in 90 seconds, and stop stuffing them with food.
If you would like to experience Functional Medicine and coaching through this type of change, click on the 15-Minute Free Consultation. I can’t wait to meet you and coach you to successful PCOS Weight Loss: The Magic is Emotion!