Archive for the tag - love

Lose Weight: Love the Unlovable You.

Today’s guest post is by my 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 wish that you could love your body completely? Even if it seems difficult, you can learn to do this. Loving what already feels good about your body inspires you. But loving what seems unlovable transforms you.

Love Releases Hate

When you want to lose weight but “hate” yourself and your “fat” body, it’s difficult to focus on having the body you really want. This is because the energy of hate emotionally binds you to your excess weight with a power stronger than steel. The more you hold disrespectful thoughts of your body, the more you stay stuck. Any progress you do make is potentially short-lived.

For example, in any hate-filled relationship, hate actually binds people together. Have you ever known some divorced couples so filled with venom that they continue to harbor resentment and anger for years? They can’t move on because their hatred keeps them emotionally tied to their former partner. But love allows release. Leaving a relationship with love liberates you to let go and create a more loving relationship with someone else.

And so it is with your body. Releasing weight from a body that you love and accept inspires you to focus on the thinner you just waiting to emerge.

Free Yourself

Learning to love your body isn’t just a “nice” idea. It’s vital to your health and happiness. Loving eyes see beyond the superficial. With all its excess weight and loose muscle and belly fat, loving your body completely inspires you to do what your body needs to be healthy and fit. As you embrace your body as the amazing gift it is, despite carrying excess weight, you’re naturally drawn towards nutritious foods and invigorating movement that is good for your body.

A Loving Affirmation

If you’ve never loved your body it may seem impossible to think your feelings will ever change. But feelings do change. Simply having the desire to love your body, and a willingness to change your beliefs, is a first step.

Love inspired thoughts create love directed action. Commit to sending your body daily loving thoughts with this powerful affirmation:

Even though my body carries excess weight, I totally and completely love and accept myself.

To deepen your experience of using this affirmation, connect with your heart energy. Get yourself in a comfortable position in a quiet place. Close your eyes. Place your hand over your heart and feel it beating. Keeping your hand on your heart, repeat the above phrase to yourself or out loud several times.

Saying this affirmation may initially seem strange and the words may not feel true. That’s OK. I invite you to do this anyway because over time it will help you soften your attitude towards your body. When practiced daily and with earnest intent, what seems unlovable becomes loved. And what now seems impossible becomes possible.

Have you learned to love your body? Let us know in the comments below.

The Gym: Gay Church?

This morning, I was eating breakfast with one of the yoga instructors from my Hawaiian retreat at Kalani. We were talking about exercise, and how people can really use their time at the gym to connect with their bodies, life and their inner radiance.

For some people, going to the gym can be frustrating. Their mantra might be, “I hate being fat, I hate being fat, I hate being fat.” And as they exercise, they marinate themselves and their bodies in this negative energy.

But going the gym can also be a much deeper, more glorious experience. Through the breath and present moment awareness, working out can be an expression of your glory. I often joke that the gym is “gay church” – but in some ways, it really can be a house of worship. It can be a time where we go within and connect and ground ourselves to the source. By seeing exercise in this new light, we infuse our entire body with positive energy.

The next time you honor your body with the gift of exercise, I invite you to make the experience more loving and more radiant through your thoughts, words and actions.

Exercise to Build Body Confidence.

I'd like to get more than my car serviced at this car wash...

If you exercise and eat right, it’s no secret that you’ll transform your body. You’ll be stronger, fitter and healthier – and it will certainly boost your confidence. But I think the reverse is true, too.

Hear me out.

Let’s pretend you get a new car. It’s your pride and your joy. Because you really enjoy this car, and because it’s something you value, you take care of it. You wash it regularly, clean it – and maybe even apply a few layers of wax. You change the oil and have it serviced regularly. You might even fill your car with premium fuel. Because it’s something that you appreciate, you invest time and energy into it.

I think the same is true for our bodies: As I learn to value and appreciate my body, it’s easier for me to make decisions that honor it. Because I value my body, I want to treat it right.

I’m grateful for my body and the functions it performs. As such, I want to keep it in prime condition. Fueling my body with candy or fried foods becomes less appealing; my body deserves so much more. And because our bodies crave to move and to stretch and to play, going to the gym is a wonderful way to honor it.

Yes, exercise and nutrition can make us feel better about our bodies. But feeling better about our bodies can also inspire us to exercise and eat right. In other words, it’s an incredible and empowering feedback loop that you can put to good use.

Taking the First Step to Fitness…

Dear Davey,

I’ve recently been trying to finally take that difficult first step, and start loosing weight and getting in shape. I’m 22, 5’8, and weight almost 190lbs… I really want to loose a few (like 5) inches off my waist, as I’ve gone from a size 30, to a size 36 in the last 3 years.

I really want to get into better shape, as I’ve felt incredibly unattractive for the last few years, and its really getting me down. I’ve seen so many infomercials for these “loose inches in weeks” and “burn fat in minutes a day” that my eyeballs are about to bleed. I don’t want a miracle, I just want something that will finally work for me, and get to a point where I WANT to take my shirt off, and shower with my boyfriend without feeling like dirt.

From,
Josh

Hey Josh,

I know that a lot of people can relate to your story. And yes, the first step is definitely the hardest step to take.

But let’s back this bus up. I don’t know you – and yet I’m completely sure that you are a unique and beautiful human being that is totally worthy of love and adoration. Our self-worth is intrinsic and you are a valuable human being by virtue of your existence.

You are not dirt; we are all gods and goddesses in embryo. Know that – and don’t let anyone take it away from you.

When you look at your body with kindness or gratitude instead of frustration, shame or resentment, it creates a more loving foundation. And as you learn to love your body a little bit more, it becomes easier to do those things that honor it – like engaging in regular exercise and following a proper diet. By giving your body the gift of movement and nourishing foods, you’ll transform the way you look.

There’s really no secret. Losing weight in a sustainable way requires exercise (both cardio and strength training), a healthy diet and a more loving relationship with your body. It’s not a magic pill or a quick fix; instead, it’s a process – and it takes time, energy and persistence. But it can work for you because it can work for everyone.

Obviously, you’ll have to fit exercise and nutrition into the parameters of your life, your time, your budget and your schedule – but it’s all totally doable.

Maybe you can take the first step right now. Maybe you can look yourself in the mirror and tell your body that you’re going to treat it differently. Today can be the start of the new you.

Enjoy the transformation.

Love,
Davey

11 Ways to Honor Your Body.

How will you honor your body today?

This world is full of amazing experiences, things to do, mountains to climb, people to meet and delicious foods to eat. But of all the things to do on this planet, just about all of them require the use of your body. Since we only get one body, it makes sense to be nice to it. If you’re abusive, hateful or unkind to your body, it will hinder your journey – or perhaps even worse.

It’s cliché to say that our bodies are temples. Most clichés are clichés because they contain a truth so powerful that it’s been spoken again and again (until we forget what it means). Your body is a temple of flesh and bones in which a great spirit dwells; no other space is more sacred.

Through your actions, words and thoughts, honor your body. Here are 11 ideas for doing just that:

  1. Give your body gifts. Schedule time with a masseuse or give yourself a massage with some lotion or oils. Don’t be stingy. Indulge. And feel love and gratitude instead of guilt.
  2. Do a check-in. While our bodies are our constant companion, we often neglect this special relationship. Take a few minutes to scan through your body, starting with your toes and ending at the tip of your head. Using your mind, tune into each section of your body – one at a time – and experience the sensations with awareness.
  3. Nourish your body with healthy foods. Don’t defile the temple that is your body with toxic food choices. Consume the foods that your body craves – such lean meats, fruits, water, nuts, berries and vegetables. Honor your body through each meal choice you make.
  4. Write an apology to your body. We don’t always honor our bodies with the things we do, say and think – but your body is willing to forgive. Write an apology to your body and then release any shame or guilt.
  5. Refocus your energy. Imagine if you used all the energy and effort that you expend criticizing your body’s appearance into something more productive? Free up this energy and use it to move your life forward rather than to hold you back.
  6. Express gratitude. Right now, write down 10 things that your body is doing for you. Express gratitude for the blessing that is your body.
  7. Move! There are more than 600 muscles in the human body; it is made to move! Honor your body with exercise. Walk in the park, jog with a friend, take a hike, download a yoga DVD or join a gym.
  8. Shift negative self-talk. Negativity begets more negativity, and it often expresses itself in unhealthy behavior; thoughts become actions – and these actions shape our lives. When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk (i.e., “I look fat today…”), simply become aware of the commentary and then shift it. Focus, instead, on something else – such as an inspiring quote or mantra. Breathe energy into what you want, rather than what you don’t.
  9. Build supportive relationships. Make the conscious choice to surround yourself with people that support you, your efforts and your body. If people in your criticize your body or the way you look, redefine that friendship or relationship.
  10. Morning thanks. When you wake up, thank your body for all that it does and all that it will do. This positive energy will infuse your day with vitality.
  11. Evening thanks. When you go to bed, thank your body for all that it does and has done. Let this positive energy carry your body to sleep as it revitalizes and rejuvenates for another day.

How will you honor your body today? Let me know in the comments below.

Dear Davey: I Want to Feel Loved.

Dear Davey,

I’m trying to lose weight and get in shape. So far, I’ve lost a few pounds and some of my friends think that I look great. Even so, I still overhear strangers snickering at my weight and kids pointing me out to their parents. I try to laugh it off but it kills me inside.

When I look in the mirror, I see a fat guy with a big heart but an even bigger belly… and I know that no one will give me a chance. I just want to feel loved and wanted, but I don’t think anyone will give me the time of day.

I’m hoping you can give me some advice so that I can see what my friends see in me.

From,
James

James,

I’ve always said that what other people think of me is none of my business. Some of your friends might have wonderful things to say about you as a person or your weight loss journey – and then some people might not. If you measure yourself through the eyes of others, you’ll always be at the mercy of the world around you and subject to the ups and downs that come with it.

To really feel good about yourself, you have to seek validation from within. I know that it sounds sappy and unhelpful, but hear me out.

Just last night, I was watching a great TED talk by Brené Brown, Ph.D. A while back, Brown decided she was going to study the differences between people who felt a tremendous sense of self worth, love and belonging and those who struggled. She committed a year to the research. One year became six and a common thread emerged from all the interviews, focus groups and data points. Brown discovered that there is one – and only one – difference between those individuals who felt self worth and those who don’t.

People who have a strong sense of self worth, love and belonging believe that they are deserving of those things. That’s it. They weren’t smarter, taller, prettier or skinnier.

Sometimes we use exercise or dieting to try and treat the symptoms of deeper issues. If you want to feel better about yourself, changing the way you look on the outside will have a limited effect on how you feel in the inside.

Through her research, Brown suggests that we learn to look at our so-called imperfections or vulnerabilities as things that make us beautiful, real and human. Whether it’s the beer gut, grey hairs or anything else, all of these things are part of you. It’s not even that in spite of these vulnerabilities that you are worthy so much as it is because of these things.

You are worthy; it’s your birthright.

Ironically, when you make this shift to be kinder and gentler to yourself, a new relationship is born. And from the more loving relationship, it’s easier to make healthier and wiser decisions – whether it’s going to the gym or making better food choices. As you become motivated to strengthen and nourish your body with movement, good food and love, your transformation comes from a place of true power.

James, you are enough. Know this.

Love,
Davey

Love Your Body and Lose Weight.

I’ve mentioned the importance of love when it comes to lasting fitness results. When you love yourself and your body, you’re more likely to make healthier decisions that benefit and nourish it – like following proper nutrition and honoring your body with movement. For many people, the whole concept may seem a bit too “out there” – but, thanks to a new study, you don’t have to take my word for it.

Researchers from the Technical University of Lisbon and Bangor University studied obese women over the course of a year. The women were divided into two groups. The first group was given general health and nutrition information. The second group attended weekly sessions where they discussed ways to improve body image, overcoming personal issues, emotional eating, etc.

Women in the second group reported an increase in positive feelings toward their bodies and reduced concerns about body shape and size. Moreover, women in this second group lost more than three times the amount of weight. While women in the control group lost 2% of their body weight, women in the second group were able to release 7%.

Dr. Teixeira, the study’s lead researcher, concluded as follows:

Body image problems are very common amongst overweight and obese people, often leading to comfort eating and more rigid eating patterns, and are obstacles to losing weight. Our results showed a strong correlation between improvements in body image, especially in reducing anxiety about other peoples’ opinions, and positive changes in eating behavior. From this we believe that learning to relate to your body in healthier ways is an important aspect of maintaining weight loss and should be addressed in every weight control program.

Turns out, a little love can go a long way – and true and lasting change occurs from the inside out. For further reading, check out 5 ways to honor your body.

Hugs Are Good For You! [Video]

As I’ve mentioned before, hugs are actually good for your health. After doing a free hugs event in Provincetown, MA, I’m now living proof and have first-hand experience! Check out the video below!

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.

The Secret to Losing Weight. [Video]

This exercise is a powerful and effective way to help you release weight. It’s simple, easy and doesn’t even require that you leave your computer check. Click below to watch the video.

A huge thank you to my friend and spiritual weight loss coach, Diane Petrella, for sharing this exercise with us.