How to Lose Weight with Forgiveness.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Forgive-yourselfIf you’ve struggled with your weight for a very long time, the solution probably lies not in finding the right diet or exercise. Been there, done that, right? Unless medical concerns affect your weight, chances are you’re using food to quell your feelings. If you can relate to this, have faith. Nourish your mind and body with a diet of forgiveness and release your pain along with the pounds.

Free Yourself

While seemingly unrelated on the surface, a lack of forgiveness for self and others is sometimes related to emotional eating and to achieving permanent weight loss. Here’s why:

When you’re struggling with energy draining emotions of guilt, shame, anger and resentment, it’s important to acknowledge these feelings and find ways to safely experience and release them. The problem comes from never letting them go and using food to cope. When they build up for a long time, they stay stored in your body. As you carry the weight of heavy feelings in your heart, you carry the weight of excess pounds on your body.

Forgiveness calms your emotions, releases anger from your mind and body, and transforms resentment into acceptance. You literally lighten your mind and body with a calming energy that sets you free. For example, when you forgive yourself for overeating, overeating claims less power over you. This helps you stop the cycle because self-forgiveness eliminates guilt and shame that perpetuate emotional eating. When you forgive others, you emotionally free yourself from them and their behavior. You no longer feel triggered because you stop ruminating about what hurt you.

Meet Charlene

Charlene struggled with emotional eating for many years. It intensified during her difficult divorce and she gained weight in the process. Filled with anger and resentment, contact with her ex-husband often prompted an impulsive urge to overeat. She felt guilty after binging and blamed him for her behavior, often saying, “He makes me so mad I can’t help myself!”

Charlene initially recoiled at my suggestion to forgive her ex-husband. While she knew there was a connection between reacting to her ex-husband and overeating, she wanted tools to stop her behavior. While coping strategies helped, they only addressed what was happening on the surface. Opening her heart to forgiveness helped Charlene on a deeper level and offered a lasting solution.

While Charlene still feels triggered at times, food no longer holds the power it once did. “I didn’t speak with my ex-husband directly, but after I forgave him in my heart, I felt free. I then realized I needed to forgive others from my past.  When I was a child, food was the only way I knew how to deal with anger and sadness. Now that I see the freedom in forgiveness, I want to be a more forgiving person and stop hurting myself with food. Living a healthy lifestyle is easier now. And I’m finally losing weight in the process.”

How to Forgive

Forgiveness doesn’t always come easily, especially in a society often intent on revenge. It may feel hard at first and it takes time, but you can become a more forgiving person simply by being willing to be so. It takes commitment and persistence. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you excuse others’ bad behavior or that you stop taking responsibility for your own. Forgiveness is about your state of mind and heart. It’s a gift to others, but mostly, it’s the gift of inner peace to yourself.

Here’s a simple release and forgiveness affirmation to help with emotional eating.

When you’re upset with someone and you feel the urge to eat, pause for a few moments, breathe and say to yourself or write down, “I release these feelings (or, this anger, resentment, etc.) and choose to no longer hold onto this pain. I release this for my highest good as I forgive _____(specific person) or, all involved in this situation, and allow the healing power of forgiveness to soothe my heart.” Even if it doesn’t seem to make a difference right away, you’re creating space between the urge to eat and eating. Adding forgiveness to this space helps liberate you to make a different choice.

Accepting Your Body = Weight Loss?

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

iambeautiful_kindovermatterDo you know how to make your weight loss journey easier?

Accept your body the way it is.

When you criticize and rebel against your body, you remain stuck. Losing weight feels draining and frustrating. When you accept your body the way it is, you paradoxically free yourself to release weight more easily.

Honor Your Body

Acceptance means honoring your body just the way it is right now, with no judgment. This concept may seem confusing at first. You may believe that accepting your body and current weight means you don’t want to be thinner. Perhaps you reject this idea and think, “I don’t want to accept my body – that‘s why I want to lose weight!” But it’s just the opposite. Accepting your body as it is today helps you become thinner in a more loving and easier way.

End the Battle

Remember this: What you resist persists. When you berate yourself for being overweight or feel embarrassed about your dress size, you battle with yourself. This stops you from making progress. Your thoughts and attention remain negatively focused on where you are, rather than eagerly anticipating where you want to go. Think of this car analogy. Losing weight while continuing to be upset with your body is like keeping your foot on both the gas and brake pedal. You’re not going anywhere. Release the brake and your attachment to self-punishing thinking and you move freely to your destination.

Whatever you focus your attention on grows. So when you condemn yourself and your body, your condemnation grows. This poisonous mind-set often results in self-sabotaging behaviors. For example, disappointment for not yet being a dress size smaller potentially leads to emotional eating. When you accept your body no matter what, you still may feel disappointment but with acceptance you quickly regain momentum.

Keep a Positive Mind-Set

What you weigh now is irrelevant. It carries no power over you unless you give it negative attention. Action follows thought. If you feel discouraged about being overweight, chances are your actions reflect thoughts of defeat rather than thoughts of success. When you steadfastly keep your attention on becoming thinner and accept your body the way it is, your thoughts remain positive. You keep moving forward.

Take Charge

Even if you understand the importance of acceptance, you may wonder, “But how do I get there?” It begins with making a conscious decision to take charge of your self-talk. Catch yourself when you’re critical of your body. Tell yourself to stop speaking that way. Each time critical thoughts enter your mind, apologize to your body (would you want someone to talk to you this way?) and shift to something positive, like the image of someone you love or a beautiful memory. Persistently do this as often as necessary. Practice makes permanent.

Here’s a fun and powerful exercise to help you get started:

Write a love letter to your body.

Give yourself quiet, reflective time in a comfortable space. While relaxed, write a loving letter of acceptance to your body. For example, tell your body you’re committed to take very good care of it. Thank your body for all the ways it serves you. Apologize to your body for times you may have neglected, abused or criticized it. If you love your body, say so. If it’s hard to love and accept your body right now, that’s OK. Tell your body you want to love and accept it. Your intention is very powerful and opens a pathway to inspire you to treat your body more lovingly. Write freely and from your heart. In closing, let your body know you’re doing the best you can to honor its needs.

On an energy level, your relationship with your body is as real as any relationship you have with a person. Writing a letter to your body helps you strengthen this relationship so you feel more connected with, and more accepting of, your body. The more you accept your body just the way it is today, the easier it is to release weight with greater confidence and self-love.

Lose Weight: How to Let Go of Limiting Beliefs?


Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do you ever wonder why it’s so hard to lose weight when you’ve tried everything to make it happen? You really, really want this, yet success eludes you. If it’s difficult to stay on track, even when you know what to do, dig deeper and discover what’s really holding you back.

Your Conscious vs Subconscious Beliefs

When there is something we consciously desire, but we can’t seem to make it happen, chances are that our subconscious, hidden beliefs are preventing us from having what we want. Let’s use an iceberg analogy. Our conscious mind is the tip of the iceberg. It’s visible and obvious. From this place our desires are pretty clear: “I want to lose weight.”

Your subconscious mind is the mass of ice below, hidden beneath the surface. It is much more powerful than the small tip above. For you to lose weight with ease, your conscious and subconscious minds must agree. If your subconscious mind also says, “I want to lose weight”, you most likely will. But if your subconscious mind holds fears, doubts, and apprehension about losing weight, chances are you will have a very difficult time.

What’s Stopping You?

To move beyond whatever subconscious blocks exist, you need to discover what they are. Be gentle with yourself. It’s not your fault if you’re having a hard time releasing weight if you don’t even know what hidden obstacles are blocking you. But if you truly want to lose weight, it’s your responsibility to find out.

Here are some common underlying beliefs that often sabotage weight loss efforts:

“I’m afraid to lose weight and become thin because men will find me attractive and take advantage of me.”

“I’m afraid to lose weight because if I’m thin and I still don’t meet anyone, then I’ll really feel like a failure.”

“If I’m thin then I won’t be like everyone else in my family and I don’t want to be disloyal and feel separate from them.”

“If I’m thin, my sister may feel sad because she isn’t.”

“If I lose weight, than who am I if I’m not a fat person?”

“If I lose weight, more may be expected of me and I don’t feel confident that I can handle more responsibility.”

“If I lose weight and my family no longer picks on me, then maybe they’ll gang up on my brother and I need to protect him”

“I want to lose weight but I just don’t believe I can be successful at this or anything.”

Acknowledge – Release – Reprogram

If you’ve struggled with weight loss for a long time, simply acknowledging that hidden, self-limiting beliefs exist is an important first step. This is not an excuse for why you’re unable to release weight;  it is a psychologically valid explanation.

The power of subconscious beliefs lessen when you know what they are. While insight alone isn’t necessarily enough to eliminate them, they begin to lose strength once revealed.

When you know what deeper beliefs exist, you can neutralize and release them. You then recreate in your mind new beliefs that support you in reaching your weight loss goals. For example, you can release the belief that you are a “failure” and create a new belief of confidence and strong self-worth. While you may think this is impossible, understand that “thinking it’s impossible” is just another belief that you can change.

Give yourself the gift of support and speak with either a psychotherapist or life coach. Visualization and hypnosis, as well as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are powerful tools that help you create new, positive beliefs to support you in reaching your weight loss goals.

This process takes time. It requires your patience. Understand that something deeper than finding the next quick fix  is your only solution to permanent weight loss.

What underlying beliefs are holding you back?

Ready to Lose Weight? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself!

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

It’s the New Year, a time that re-ignites the desire to lose weight and get in shape. Before you dive in, evaluate your readiness to stay the course. Without a solid foundation, starting too quickly can lead to frustrating results. When you’re emotionally prepared, however, your results become permanent. Use these five questions to decide if now’s the time to fully commit to your weight loss success.

1. Will you make your well-being a priority?

To lose weight successfully, your physical and emotional health must be your number one concern. This doesn’t mean you neglect personal responsibilities. It means you respond to those responsibilities through self-loving eyes. For example, you set boundaries on the demands of family and friends to create “Me” time. It also means you address life stressors that erode your confidence, such as a strained marriage or job dissatisfaction. Even if you delay focusing on weight loss, you’ll feel more confident to begin when your life feels stable.

2. Will you change your lifestyle?

To succeed with weight loss, you must replace old habits with new ones. Your willingness to exercise regularly and eat wholesome foods increases your chance for long term success. What lifestyle changes are you willing to make? For example, will you limit television time to make room for exercise? Will you take time for self-reflection to nurture your spirit? As you adopt new behaviors that support good health and well-being, you create a lifestyle that nurtures your long-term success.

3. Will you seek out support?

Losing weight sometimes feels frustrating and discouraging. Make it easy on yourself. Connect with others for support and professional guidance. Consult with a dietitian for nutrition advice, a personal trainer for exercise suggestions or a weight loss coach for inspiration. Besides professional assistance, join a weight loss support group or connect with others on-line through forums. If groups don’t work for you, talk to a trusted friend for support when discouraged and camaraderie to celebrate progress.

4. Will you look deeper if necessary?

If you struggle to lose weight, despite your best intentions, perhaps it’s time to dig deeper. For some people, excess weight offers protection and food equals comfort. Despite a conscious desire to be thinner, losing weight sometimes triggers subconscious fears that actually prevent progress. If success always eludes you, seek professional support to discover what’s holding you back. If you can relate to this, use the therapist finder tool at Psychology Today to find a counselor in your local area to help.

5. Will you be patient and persevere?

Permanent weight loss takes time. You need this time to not only release weight responsibly, but to release limiting beliefs and negative thoughts from your mind. If you lose weight too quickly, your self-concept doesn’t have time to change. Old beliefs then draw you back to old habits. Be willing to have patience and persevere. Doing so transforms discouragement into a determined belief that nothing will stop you from reaching your goal.

What if you don’t feel ready?

If after reading these questions you don’t feel ready, that’s OK. Give yourself permission to wait. Take time to discover what you need to fully commit. Use the above questions to guide you. You actually begin the weight loss process by creating a strong foundation first. When the timing is right, you’ll feel an inner trust that guides the rest of your journey with confidence and inspiration.

Are you ready to lose weight? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Overcome Trigger Foods.

Today’s guest post is by my good friend, Diane Petrella, MSW. Diane is a spiritual weight release coach and one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do leftover Halloween treats call out your name? Do candy bars compel you to snack when you’re not hungry? Do you welcome, or fear, holiday cookie platters soon coming our way?

How you relate to trigger foods helps you lose weight more easily or creates constant struggle. Take time to decide how you want to manage this before the abundance of holiday sweets appear.

What is a Trigger Food?

A trigger food is one that causes you to lose self-control once you begin eating it. You then overeat to the point of feeling physically uncomfortable, emotionally upset with yourself, or both. Common trigger foods include fat and sugary foods such as cookies and ice cream, or fat and salty foods such as potato chips.

A trigger food may prompt an overeating episode even when you’re not particularly stressed. You see the food, feel the urge, start to eat and can’t stop. Sometimes an emotional reaction prompts the urge to eat specific foods. For example, you feel frustrated and immediately react by grabbing potato chips.

There are two opposing approaches to manage trigger foods. One says avoid them; the other says give yourself permission to eat whatever you want. Let’s take a closer look at both.

Strategy 1: Avoid Trigger Foods

A traditional approach to addictions is to avoid addictive substances. While there is debate about whether certain foods, mainly sugars, are physiologically addictive, many people agree that a psychological addiction can occur. Avoiding trigger foods altogether is one way to deal with foods that you are unable to eat in moderation. For some, this is all or nothing; for others there’s flexibility. For example, you may not bring certain foods home but decide to eat them at a party.

If you choose this approach, reflect on these questions:

  • Will you feel a sense of deprivation if you don’t eat these foods?
  • If so, will that trigger a yearning to binge eat?
  • How will you handle it if family members bring these foods home?

There is great freedom in taking a stand against something that causes you harm. Those who use this approach successfully keep an empowered mind-set. Instead of thinking they “cannot” have these foods, they “choose” not to eat them. This approach works when it feels like a free choice.

Strategy 2: Allow Trigger Foods

A second approach is to give yourself permission to eat all foods. This helps you break free from a self-depriving notion that you “should not” or “cannot” eat certain foods. It is believed that by removing the restriction you feel liberated from the tension surrounding these foods.

If you choose this approach, reflect on these questions:

  • Will you be able to satisfy a taste craving with a reasonable portion?
  • Will you be tempted to binge eat on these foods when stressed?
  • If you eat for emotional reasons, have you successfully found other coping strategies?

It’s sometimes easier to set boundaries on our behavior when we feel we have choice. If you allow yourself to eat these foods, you may experience a freedom that, paradoxically, minimizes your desire.

A Conscious Choice

Take time to think this through, especially with holiday season approaching. Find what works best for you. As you improve your lifestyle habits, develop new coping strategies and maintain a confident mind-set, your relationship with trigger foods will change. You may not want to eat them, or you may still enjoy them, but there will be no tension around them. Your struggle will be over.

How do you handle trigger foods? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Signs of Weight Loss Success!

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

If you monitor your weight loss progress, you probably look to your bathroom scale for feedback. Or perhaps you gauge pounds lost by how your clothes feel. While these visible indicators show you’re releasing weight, they don’t reveal the whole story. As any yo-yo dieter knows, these progress markers can come and go. Some other signs of success, however, aren’t so obvious, but once you achieve them they’re with you forever. 

A missing element in many weight loss approaches is developing your inner strength. You’ll reach your weight loss goal more easily when you erase negativity and doubt from your mind. Here are five signs that prove you’ve done so.

1. You Have Patience

Many people feel discouraged when they hit a plateau or the pounds don’t come off fast enough. They then give up too quickly. Permanent weight loss takes time. When you feel defeated re-evaluate your nutrition and exercise plan, and have patience. The longer it takes to release weight, the more time you have to change old ways of thinking that contributed to gaining weight in the first place. Patience helps you do that. You not only lose weight responsibly, you become a more confident person in the process.

2. You Persevere Through Set-backs

As you develop new lifestyle habits, you may falter sometimes. We all do. It doesn’t matter that you slip; what matters is what you do about it. Use set-backs as a valuable opportunity to strengthen your strong side. For example, if you missed exercising for several weeks, tell yourself with no judgment, “Tomorrow is a new day to keep moving forward.” Each time you persevere, you develop confidence. You weaken that taunting inner voice that says, “See, you can’t do this.” Perseverance responds, “Yes, I can”.

3. You Accept Your Body

Accepting your body doesn’t mean you tolerate being overweight. It means you honor your body as it is, while helping it become the best it can be. If it’s a big leap right now to “love” or even “like” your body, that’s OK. What’s important is to respect it. That means speaking to your body with kind words. It means giving it nutritious foods and movement so it thrives. You’ll reach your weight loss goals when you stop rebelling against your body. As you accept your body as the treasured gift it is, taking good care of it becomes your only option.

4. You Focus on Your Goal

Focus on where you’re headed instead of obsessing about where you are. You can’t move forward if your mind dwells on self-critical thoughts about being overweight. What we focus our attention on grows. Shift negative attention away from your current weight and concentrate on the positive lifestyle changes you’re making. This inspires you to succeed. When your desire to look forward overshadows the tendency to complain about where you are, you’ll reach your goal more easily.

5. You Make Yourself a Priority

To achieve weight loss success, your well-being must be of prime importance. This means setting boundaries. For example, if you plan to exercise after work and your friend asks to go shopping, what do you do? Do you skip exercise or do you skip shopping? If breaking promises to yourself becomes a pattern, you’re either not committed to your goals or you make other people’s needs more important than your own. When you make yourself a priority, however, you’ll not only reach your weight loss goal, your success will last forever.

What are your signs of success? Let me know in the comments below.

Is Your Hunger Emotional or Physical?

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do you know the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger? The signs seem identical until you learn their unique characteristics. Understand the difference so you can take charge of emotional eating and lose weight in the process.

Here are five traits that differentiate emotional hunger from physical hunger. This knowledge and awareness helps you prevent emotional eating episodes.

1. Emotional hunger occurs in response to your feelings. Physical hunger occurs because your body needs fuel.

If you tend to eat for emotional reasons, it’s not only due to painful feelings. Any feeling that is difficult to regulate may trigger the urge to eat. For example, you feel sad and turn to food for comfort.  Or, you feel excited about something and react by eating. It’s not the feeling itself that triggers the urge to eat; it’s the inability to let the feeling be present without stimulating it or numbing it with food.

Physical hunger is biologically based and connected to blood sugar levels in your body. Your body responds with a grumbling in your belly, a light-headed feeling, fatigue or a headache. You also may feel irritable or have difficulty concentrating.

2. Emotional hunger tends to come on suddenly. Physical hunger emerges gradually.

When your emotions drive your craving, the impulse to eat feels sudden, intense and urgent. You confuse an emotional need with a physical one. It’s not about the food, but food is the only thing on your mind.

With physical hunger, the sensations in your body develop over time. If you’re attuned to your body, you notice cues that your body needs food. You feel in control of these cues. Food is something you desire, but it can wait.

Sometimes, however, physical hunger does come on suddenly due to blood sugar instability. Please seek medical guidance to determine if this applies to you.

3. With emotional hunger you crave certain foods. With physical hunger you’re open to many options.

When you eat for emotional reasons, you tend to want specific foods, such as cookies, chips or pizza. You believe nothing else will help so you’re not open to alternatives.

When you’re physically hungry, you’re open to many food choices. Even carrots and celery look appealing to your rumbling stomach.

4. Emotional hunger doesn’t notice signs of fullness. With physical hunger, you stop eating when full.

With emotional hunger, you generally stop eating when you become numb to the feeling that triggered the impulse to eat. You’re not as attuned to your body because you’re satisfying an emotional need not a physical one.

When you eat because you’re physically hungry, and you’re able to control your impulses, you decide when you’re going to stop eating. You feel in tune with your body and respond to the sensation of fullness. You make a conscious choice to stop because you’ve eaten enough.

5. Emotional eating induces feelings of guilt. Physical hunger is satisfied with no remorse.

Emotional eating episodes perpetuate a cycle of self-blame. You eat because you want to feel better. You feel better at first because food numbs your feelings. Then, guilt and shame replace the feeling that triggered the impulse to eat in the first place. The cycle continues.

When you eat to satisfy a physical hunger only, your body feels nourished and you feel content. There is no guilt because you know eating fulfills a necessary need.

It’s Not About the Food

If you struggle with emotional eating, understand it’s not about finding the right nutritional plan. It’s about allowing your feelings to be experienced and released in a safe, nurturing way. Practice the Stop-Breathe-Reflect-Choose technique to create space between the urge to eat and acting on that urge. Identify and name the feeling you’re experiencing. Develop a list of strategies to help soothe and comfort yourself. Learn to allow your feelings to flow through you rather than push them away with food.

Do you understand your hungers? In the comments below, let us know how you cope.

Weight Loss and Sexual Abuse.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

It is estimated that one in four girls and one in six boys will have experienced some form of sexual abuse by the age of eighteen. These exploitative behaviors range from exposure to more invasive forms of sexual assault. If you were sexually abused as a child, and have had difficulty releasing weight and keeping it off, you are not alone. Chances are your ongoing weight loss difficulties stem from your subconscious mind still wanting to protect that little girl, or that little boy, you once were.

I’ll call her Anna. She believes her weight gain started when she was in the fourth grade. That was the year she moved into her stepfather’s house and he began sexually abusing her. She remembers it was then because she loved the little purple flowers on the wall paper in her new bedroom. She methodically would count the purple petals hoping he would stop touching her by the time she reached one hundred. When I saw her in my office some thirty years later, she was depressed, overweight and didn’t realize her obesity had anything to do with being sexually abused. It was only when she realized her weight gain was her incredibly resourceful way of trying to protect herself that she understood. She then began to set herself free.”

On a subconscious level, gaining excess weight was the sexually abused child’s solution to the fear of unwanted sexual advances. Wearing layers of flannel pajamas to delay the inevitable transformed into layers of protective fat in adulthood. Compulsive overeating was the only way to self-soothe when no one was available for support.

Your attempts at losing weight may be fraught with repeated failures. Not because you lack willpower, but because on a deep level you are afraid. If this reflects your experience, here are three suggestions to help you release weight in a way that is emotionally safe and self-loving.

1.  Safety

Before beginning any weight loss plan, it is important that your current home environment is safe and secure. If you are in a difficult or abusive relationship, or in a strained family situation, deal with this first. Create for yourself an atmosphere of love and support. Before you can release excess weight, your inner child, and the adult that you are today, needs to be safe.

2.  Support

Make sure you have at least one trusted friend or family member that you can talk to about the sexual abuse you experienced. Let them know that this may emerge for you as you begin to release weight. Give yourself the gift of professional help. It is not unusual to feel anxious as you lose weight because you are letting go of something that on a deep level has served to emotionally protect you. It may feel very scary. A skilled therapist can help support you through this process and help you to manage overwhelming feelings that may emerge.

3.  Patience

Take your time. Have patience and realize that this process isn’t just about releasing weight. It’s about releasing your fears and your pain. The longer it takes to release weight the more you can trust that an inner shift is happening. You need that time to transform your thinking and your beliefs so you can develop an emotional readiness to release weight. And to feel safe. This reassures your inner child that the comfort and familiarity of excess weight will not be taken away from her before she is ready. Having patience will help you adjust to small, incremental weight loss shifts and the feelings that go along with that. Your developing inner strength then becomes the foundation that will help you release weight with confidence and self-love.

Do you know someone with a weight issue who was sexually abused? What helps them to feel safe as they release weight?

What Are You Waiting For to Lose Weight?

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Do you postpone buying special clothes because you’re not thin yet? Are you delaying that cruise until the weight comes off? Have you missed your high school reunions because you feel self-conscious about your body? If so, what are you waiting for? It’s time to reclaim your power and live your life now!

Life on-hold

When you give your weight too much importance or negative attention, you stop living your best life. You may feel crippled by shame and not value yourself enough to feel you deserve the best. Or, you may overvalue the opinions of others and allow those opinions to govern your decisions.

By letting your weight limit your choices, you give yourself a double whammy. You’re first distressed over how much you weigh and then distressed over how your weight stops you from doing what you want to do. This removes you from the fun in life. And by staying home you become vulnerable to emotional overeating which, like addictive behavior, intensifies with loneliness and isolation.  But when you take charge of your life, you are in control of your weight; your weight isn’t controlling you.

You deserve more

Commit to no longer letting self-consciousness run your life. Make a list of all the things you would do differently if you were thinner. Start with what’s easiest. Take baby steps. Then start doing those things now!

For example, my client Ellen wanted to take exercise classes at a local health club. Even though it was affordable and conveniently located, she resisted joining because she felt self-conscious about her body.  She wanted to lose more weight first. She understood the faulty logic behind this because she knew exercise would help her release more weight. And she really wanted to take those classes! But feelings of embarrassment controlled her. She broke free by making the commitment to no longer be controlled by the opinions of others. She soon developed the confidence to take charge of her life. She improved her self-talk and used visualization to mentally practice new behaviors. Little by little she developed the courage to attend one class. Then another. And another. Those baby steps helped her take the final step to join the health club.

As soon as you commit to taking charge of your life, trust that you will discover within yourself the resources to succeed.  Here’s a strategy to help:

Practice this:

  1. Think of one thing you stop yourself from doing because you feel self-conscious about your body.
  2. Now ask yourself, “If I were at my preferred weight, what would I do?” Or, another powerful question is: “If I felt totally confident, and loved myself unconditionally, what would I do?” From that place of confidence, then:
  3. Use visualization to picture yourself doing what you want to do while feeling confident and self-loving. Rehearse that scene in your mind. If this is difficult at first, that’s okay. Visualization takes repeated practice and commitment. Take your time and set the intention to reduce the power your weight has over your decisions.
  4. To support your efforts repeat the following affirmation: “Every day in every way I am more confident and in control of my life.”
    Positive affirmations plant in your mind the inner seeds of success. Repeat daily and frequently.

What would you do if you felt totally confident and self-loving? What are you waiting for?

5 Ways Dieters Sabotage Themselves.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

Weight loss is challenging enough without getting in your own way. Learn to stop self-sabotage and take charge! Here are five common pitfalls and how to overcome them.

Self-Sabotage #1: You disregard the power of your thoughts and think weight loss happens only through physical effort.

We’re conditioned to believe that releasing weight is only about diet and exercise. Of course, that’s important. But the thoughts in your mind are just as important as the calories you consume.

Solution: Discover what limiting beliefs hold you back. If you’re not sure, listen to your self-talk and how you speak to and react to others. Become aware of fears or doubts that hinder your progress. Learn new strategies to empower yourself with encouraging words.

Self-Sabotage #2: Instead of focusing on your goal, you dwell on being overweight.

Until you shift negative attention away from your current weight, and focus on where you’re going, you’ll remain stuck. Criticizing yourself keeps you attached to what you don’t want. It’s like trying to drive forward in your car while still in “park.” You’re not going anywhere.

Solution: To keep the image of your goal in mind, regularly practice visualization. This helps you create the feeling of excited anticipation of having the body you desire. This new mental model of success gently guides you towards your goal.

Self-Sabotage #3. You punish  yourself for setbacks instead of moving on.

Every path to dieting success has its ups and downs. What you perceive as a setback stops your progress only when you think it does.

Solution: Be gentle with yourself. You will make huge strides when you simply say “I’ll make a different choice next time” and let it go. Practice self-forgiveness. When you release shame and guilt, minor slips become meaningless.

Self-Sabotage #4: You want to change your body, but don’t accept it as it is now.

It may seem strange to think of accepting a body you want to change. But, ironically, what we resist, persists. Remaining at war with your body keeps you stuck and keeps weight on. Being at peace isn’t about accepting excess weight, it’s about accepting yourself.

Solution: Give your body a daily gift. In doing so you’re honoring yourself, and your body. Your gift could be a ten-minute walk, a glass of water, or lotion on your hands. By consciously offering your body daily devotion you’re creating a pathway to self-acceptance and self-love.

Self-Sabotage #5:  You become discouraged when you don’t see immediate results.

Permanent weight loss takes time. Patience is necessary to emotionally grow into the new person you’re becoming. Allow inner transformation to happen along with the outer change of reducing pounds. One reason yo-yo dieting is so common is that weight is released but self-sabotaging thoughts are not.

Solution: Even when you don’t see visible results, have faith. You are making progress. Recognize that your tendency to find evidence of failure is your fear-based mind trying to discourage you. Hold faith in your heart. Just because you haven’t reached your goal yet doesn’t mean you won’t. You will.

How will you stop sabotaging yourself and move forward?