Archive for the tag - a course in weight loss

Start a Love Affair With Food!

If you’re struggling to lose weight, the idea of starting a “love affair” with food might seem to fly in the face of logic. Loving food more, you may think, is the opposite of what you need.

But consider this: Obsessing about food isn’t loving food. Inhaling or devouring food isn’t about love. Abusing food – or trying to avoid it altogether – isn’t loving it.

If you really love food, you’d savor and enjoy it. You’d want to eat it slowly, chew each bite and consider the many ways in which your meal contributes to your overall health.

One of my favorite books is A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson. In fact, you’ll see many similarly-rooted philosophies in my Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. In Williamson’s book, she dedicates an entire chapter to loving food:

The solution to overeating is obviously not to deny yourself food altogether; the answer is not to deny yourself at all. You don’t need to forget food, run away from food, deny yourself food, or avoid food. And the last thing you need to do if you want to stop thinking about food is to tell yourself not to think about it! [The solution is putting] genuine love back into your relationship with food.

Truly infusing love into your relationship with food many implications. While mozzarella sticks, for example, may taste good, there’s nothing loving about them. And with tons of unsaturated fats, calories and grease, they certainly don’t love you back. If a food loves you, it contributes to your health. And if a food contributes to your health, it’s worth back.

Take time to love your food. Offer a prayer of thanks before eating. Make eating a meal sacred and ritualistic. Instead of eating in front of a television, create an altar for your meal at a dining room table. Honor your food and how its nutrients will nourish your body.

It’s time to start a real love affair with the food you eat.

How to Make Your Kitchen Sacred.

In a few hours, I’m heading out on a week-long pilates adventure in the south of France. My summer reading is (finally getting through) Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss. It’s a spiritual approach to weight loss, and one that resonates with me as someone that was once overweight. If losing weight was just a matter of nutrition and exercise, all of us would be at our ideal weights. Weight loss, for most people, is a spiritual issue.

In the book, Williamson recommends creating an altar to love in your home. According to Williamson, we already have an elaborate altar for fear: Our kitchens. And it’s filled with cabinets, pots, counters, foods, pans and appliances. For many people, the kitchen is the headquarters for some of our deepest fears. By creating an altar for love, we invite transformative energy and true power into our lives.

Interestingly, I already have a love altar in my home. I sits on a small shelf and contains a few candles, some quote books, a small Buddha and a jar containing wishes, dreams and hopes that I’ve written onto paper. It’s a very real way to make love more present in my life.

Moreover, Williamson asks her readers to make their kitchens sacred by reciting the following prayer:

Dear God,
I dedicate this room to You.
May only love prevail here.
May fear have power no more,
in my heart, in my body, or in my house.
Amen

While some of Williamson’s language is a bit too religious for my own belief set, I understand the concept. If we view our kitchens as a sacred space that is used to nourish our bodies, we’re less likely to stock its shelves with foods that poison on our bodies – like sugary snacks, chips, soda, etc.

Smudging, which involves burning sage over a bowl, is a technique used by Native Americans to purify a space of negative spirits or energy. For the more adventurous and open-minded, Williamson believes it’s a worthwhile strategy to employ in your kitchen.

It reminds me of a story that I once heard called called Anna’s Box. It went something like this:

Many years ago a young child grew up watching her mother prepare their family meals. And towards the end of her food preparation she noticed that her mother Anna would always reach up over the stove and bring down this beautifully carved old box. Anna would open the box and take a pinch of the ingredients out and add this to the food. The young child asked her mother, “What is in the box?” Her mother would always reply, “An old family recipe – a family secret.” She watched her mother repeat this ritual many times over the years that followed. When the young child was grown with a daughter of her own, she was given the carved box upon her mother’s death. She, too, performed the daily ritual of Anna’s box, and told her young daughter that it’s a family secret. The young daughter was very curious about the contents of this magical box and could hardly wait to find out its mysterious secrets. The years passed and she forgot about the special box.

Then one day, many years later, her mother passed on – and she inherited the carved box. She was so excited to finally receive this box; she held it gently almost afraid to finally discover its hidden secrets. With held breath she opened it only to find it empty. This can not be she exclaimed. She lovingly closed the lid and smiled. She now realized that the box did contain a secret recipe. It was a recipe for the love a person has for her family – a reminder to cook with love. It was the action of looking into the box and remembering to add a pinch of love to every dish prepared that created the magic of Anna’s box.

Replacing fear with love, for many people, really has everything to do with releasing extra body weight. It’s very easy to talk about diets, nutrition and exercise – but sometimes we treat the symptoms without addressing the true problem.

Does Williamson’s advice resonate with you? Or is it too “out there” or extreme? Let me know in the comments below.

7 Tips for Losing Weight in the New Year.

No surprise: Losing weight is the #1 most popular New Year’s resolution. So, here are seven strategies (that work) to help you shed the extra pounds:

  1. Recognize that weight loss is a spiritual issue. You can’t release weight with the same spiritual mindset that gained it. Read books like Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss. It shares 21 spiritual lessons for shedding your weight, forever. When you love your body, you make decisions that honor it. Embark on a path of self-love.
  2. Drink lots of water! Water has a boatload of great benefits for your body. Among other things, it helps boost your metabolism and curb your appetite. Drink at least 8 cups a day.
  3. Describe your body with words that lift it up. Avoid negative self-talk, or criticizing yourself – even when talking with others. “I am beautiful. I am releasing weight with ease,” is a healthier and more effective mantra than, “I look so fat today. I am disgusting.”
  4. Look long-term, and avoid fad diets. If you go on a diet, you will eventually come off it. Real change is longer term – don’t look to fad diets for answers.
  5. Replace emotional eating with a healthier alternative – like going for a walk. If you’re eating when you’re not hungry, and are unable to replace comfort foods with healthier alternatives or activity, then you may wish to seek professional help.
  6. Stock your home with healthy foods. Buy foods that a caveman would eat: berries, unsalted nuts, some lean meats, vegetables, etc. It’s much easier to eat healthier foods when that’s what is available. After you eat a healthy meal or snack, bring awareness to your body’s reaction. How does it make your body feel to eat nourishing meals?
  7. Understand the calorie deficit. Weight release occurs when the body burns more calories than it consumes. While the formula seems simple and straightforward, know that calorie deficits are most effectively achieved by working on both ends of the equation – eating healthier foods will result in fewer calories consumed, and regular exercise will result in more calories burned. Don’t try to release weight through starvation. It will slow down your metabolism, and likely result in long-term weight gain.

And, stay tuned for my brand-new fitness program which will launch tomorrow. I’m super excited to share it with you… Through my new program, I’ll help you use fitness to get the results you’ve always wanted. 🙂

Is weight release one of your New Year’s resolutions or goals? Which of these tips will help you in your journey?