She said she didn’t want to lose anything else since she’d already experienced multiple losses in her life. She decided that in order to be healthy, she’d be okay gaining. When I looked at her with concerned eyes, she said, “Don’t worry, Ellen, my goal is to gain thinness.” The concept stuck with me.
Of course to gain thinness she still had to eat healthy and exercise.
Her focus included finding ways to gain not only thinness, but health, confidence, vitality, self esteem, patience, control, and wholeness.
In her book dedicated to Oprah, “A Course in Weight Loss,” Marianne Williamson says that as with any relationship, the one with your body must be fed not just with healthy food, but with kindness, movement and love.
So, instead of restricting (we all get tired of that), how about adding some of these tools to your life:
- Take calming breaths when you’re anxious or need a break.
- Reprioritize when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Change your thoughts when they include harsh self judgement.
- Accept your imperfections—they make you more human.
- Learn from your mistakes—don’t drown them out with a pity party of your favorite junk foods.
- Take classes to stimulate your mind.
- Volunteer. Giving to others gets you outside of yourself and provides meaning.
- Celebrate even small occasions by enjoying healthy meals with your friends and family.
- Play with your children and/or grandchildren.
- Get adequate sleep. (Not doing so produces the hormone leptin that increases appetite.)
- Give yourself credit for your accomplishments.
- Acknowledge compliments, don’t dismiss them.
- Treat yourself as well as you treat those you love.
- Say the serenity prayer to help you to accept those things you cannot change.
Ellen is a psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco and
Redwood City, California. She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy and incorporates the use of mindfulness into the treatment of
depression, anxiety, and emotional overeating. She runs a holistic
weight loss program called Center for Thoughtful Weight Loss,
www.thoughtfulweightloss.com. You can email Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org
copyright © 2011 Ellen N. Resnick, LCSW