Archive for the tag - weight release

Words that Stop Cravings.

Every now and then, I come across a study that really blows my skirt up. Today is one of those days. Marilyn Monroe, eat your heart out.

According to researchers at the University of Houston, there are two very effective words that can be used to stop cravings. When individuals said “I can’t eat that,” only 10% were able to stick to their healthy eating habits. On the other hand, when the phrase “I don’t eat that” was used, that number skyrocketed to 80%.

It’s the difference between “I can’t” and “I don’t” – and, according to Vanessa Patrick, PhD and co-author of the study:

Saying “I can’t” signals that you’re giving up something desirable. But saying “I don’t” gives you a sense of empowerment.

When I think of my own personal experience, saying “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t eat that” is almost like begging the other person to be an enabler. “Oh, but you deserve it” is the expected response. Saying “I don’t eat that” is much stronger – and much more authoritative. There’s no wiggle-room for enabling.

It’s a subtle but powerful difference – and I don’t think there’s an easier diet strategy out there. I love this study because it’s also an important reminder to choose our words carefully! Innocuous as they may seem, words have very real implications on our lives, our health and our waistlines.

Do you plan on making use of this tip? Are there any other words that you use or avoid? Let me know in the comments below!

Hopeless about Working Out.

Dear Davey,

I have been trying to write this for a while now. I just haven’t been able to find the correct wording I’ve wanted to use.

It is frustrating and intimidating when I go to the gym and see all of these muscular, fit guys. They all have been working out since they were in their teens and have >8% body fat. They know what they’re doing because it seems they’ve had years and years of instruction and their bodies have adapted to their fitness lifestyle.

Then I walk in.

Embarrassed to be even near them, I am in my late 20’s, 6’4”, 320lbs and approximately 25-28% body fat (by skin fold calipers). I am a self-conscious overweight gay man in a conservative Midwestern city and I’ve been single all my life and I don’t have a support system. I hate hearing “I’m sorry, I just don’t date fat guys.” I have never played a serious sport; I sat inside, read, played video games, and ate my feelings. I have been trying for years to get into an attractive shape.

I know I have an awesome personality, I just want a body to go with it, you know? I have a large frame and I could look wonderful if I could just get myself to do it. When I go to the gym, though I get jealous and annoyed at people who look like you do. I become hopeless that no matter how hard I work I just won’t look like they do because I haven’t been working out since I was 12. I just want results now, even though I know that obtaining what I want to achieve will not happen overnight or even in a year for that matter. How do I get over this fear and jealousy?

From,
Scott

Whatever your excuse is, it's time to stop believing it.

Dear Scott,

After reading and re-reading your email, I’m most struck not by your hopelessness, but by the many excuses you use to justify it.

When I was younger, I wanted to get into shape to look like the chiseled Abercrombie models plastered across my local mall. Like you, my motivation stemmed from a desire to look a certain way. But, as I worked out and transformed my body, I was surprised to discover that exercise is about more than the superficial changes. I suddenly had more energy, zest, confidence, better sleep habits and improved focus. Beyond transforming my body, exercise and proper nutrition transformed my life.

And like you, I had my excuses. Yours involve:

  1. A history of being sedentary,
  2. A lack of support,
  3. The need for instant results,
  4. Lack of fitness knowledge,
  5. And jealousy.

As a personal trainer, I can tell you that I’ve heard all these excuses before. You’re excuses all have one thing in common: They’re bullshit. And I know this because I’ve used many of them personally.

To your four excuses, I say this:

  1. Just because you haven’t exercised doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy fantastic results. In fact, since you’re new to exercise, you will notice huge changes fairly quickly.
  2. If you don’t have a support system, join the club or build a new one. Or be you own cheerleader in chief.
  3. Though you won’t have your dream body overnight, each day is a day closer to your goals. And a year from now, you’ll be glad you started today.
  4. If you feel like you don’t know what to do, educate yourself. There are a million resources, books and articles that will give you the information you need. In fact, I’m going to send you a free copy of Davey Wavey’s Ultimate Guide to Working Out to get you started.
  5. Don’t waste your energy cultivating anger or jealous – especially about the way another person looks. If anything, be happy for their success and tap into their wisdom. After all, habits are contagious!

You have the ability to shift the conversation in your mind, and I suggest you use the power of your thoughts and intentions in such a way that they support the changes you’re looking to make. Choose and cultivate those thoughts that bring you closer to your goals. Instead of sabotaging yourself before you begin, use the power of your words to your advantage – and be driven by the many, many improvements in the quality of your life that exercise will bring. Rather than make excuses why not, make reasons why.

Let the light that is your amazing personality (you yourself admitted you have an awesome one) burn so bright that it illuminates your pathway to success. I have no doubt that you can do this. I believe in you. The only question is, do you?

Love,
Davey Wavey

If you have an exercise question, ask Davey!

How to Flatten Your Midsection.

Hey Davey,

First of all, I want to thank you. You and your blog have helped me lose 20 pounds this summer.

However, I have a problem. Despite my weight loss, I still have a muffin top! I’ve even been trying lower back workouts but nothing seems to work. How can I lose it?

Thanks,
Guillermo

These tips are your ticket to a flatter midsection.

Hey Guillermo,

Congratulations on releasing all that extra weight. You must feel fantastic.

Believe it or not, I’ve become something of a muffin top expert. In fact, your “muffin top” question is probably one of the most common that I get asked.

First things first, “muffin top” is a slang term used to describe excess fat around the body’s midsection. When this fat overhangs an individual’s pants, it looks like a muffin spilling over its casing. Descriptive, I know.

For most of us, the midsection – and often stomach, in particular – is the first place we gain fat and the last place we lose it.

You email also touches upon a popular myth about body fat. You mentioned that your lower back workouts haven’t helped. Unfortunately, there’s no way to target weight loss in a particular part of your body. Though your lower back workouts are likely increasing the amount of muscle in your lower back, they won’t result in you losing weight specifically in your midsection. When you shed fat, it comes off according to its own agenda.

Back in May, I shared five tips for getting rid of muffin tops. In a nutshell, they included:

  1. Not skipping breakfast.
  2. Getting regular sleep.
  3. Cutting back on alcohol.
  4. Engaging in high intensity interval training.
  5. Eating smarter.

If you feel like you’ve really reached a weight loss plateau and are already taking advantage of the above tips and are eating wisely, then it’s time to consider changing other variables in your workout routine:

  1. Increase workout duration and frequency. Depending on your workout regimen and current schedule, you may need to increase your time commitments. For example, you can start working out 4 days a week instead of 3.
  2. Up the intensity. You’ll always get out of your workout what you put into your workout, so add some gusto by increasing your cardio speeds, adding an incline on the treadmill, adding more weights to your repetitions or decreasing rest times.
  3. Add new exercises. Our bodies can adjust to our workouts, so switch things up. You can even consider working with a personal trainer to learn a new routine.

With some hard work, time and dedication, you’ll certainly be able to see some great results and a much flatter midsection.

Enjoy – and congratulations on your weight loss.

Love,
Davey

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?

Feeling Fat Makes You Fat.

This morning, I came across an absolutely fascinating study by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. According to the study, normal weight teenagers who perceive themselves as fat are more likely to become overweight adults.

Back in the mid 1990s, researchers surveyed nearly 1200 teenage boys and girls with normal bodyweights. Roughly ten years later, the researchers followed up with the now-adult participants. While half of the participants still had normal bodyweights, the researchers found some interesting insights about the now-overweight individuals:

  • 59% of the girls and 65% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to their body mass index (BMI).
  • 78% of the girls and 55% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to the circumference of their waist.

In contrast:

  • 31% of the girls and 29% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to their body mass index (BMI).
  • 55% of the girls and 48% of the boys who perceived themselves to be fat as teenagers grew up to be overweight according to the circumference of their waist.

In other words, far more of the normal weight teens who felt fat (even though they weren’t) actually became overweight as adults. In fact, their BMI averaged .88 higher and their waistlines were 3.46 cm larger. But why?

Researchers speculate that teens who felt fat were more stressed than their counterparts. Since stress is associated with weight gain, this could offer one an explanation. Moreover, these teens may have tried to lose their perceived fat by skipping meals and starvation – a strategy that ultimately results in weight gain.

Personally, I think the answer could be a bit deeper. If we have a good, healthy relationship with our body, then we’re more likely to do things that honor it – like eat a healthy diet and engage in exercise. If, on the other hand, you don’t like your body and use negative words against it – like calling it fat – then that relationship can deteriorate and lead to unhealthy habits.

And let’s not forget the power of visualization. By visualizing something, you can help bring it into reality. If you see yourself winning the gold medal or lifting a certain amount of weight or just eating your vegetables, you can breath life into your thoughts. Perhaps, by seeing themselves as fat, these individuals subconsciously cultivated habits that made their belief an reality.

Obviously, it will take subsequent research and data to draw stronger conclusions – but, in the meantime, this study is great food for thought.

What do you think? Are you surprised by the results of this study?

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?

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 Use Visualization for 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.

Elite athletes routinely use visualization to improve their performance. But you don’t have to be an Olympic gold medalist to benefit from this proven, effective mind-power strategy. You, too, can create a confident mind-set and reach your weight loss goals more easily by practicing this powerful technique.

A recent study at McGill University reports that the best way to improve your eating habits is to not only create an action plan but to visualize yourself following through. Participants were asked to consume more fruit for one week. One group simply set the goal to eat more fruit. The other group set the same goal, wrote it down and also visualized carrying out the specific steps needed to eat more fruit. For example, they visualized themselves purchasing fruit and eating it at particular times. While both groups ate more fruit, the group that used visualization ate twice as much. This study supports the positive effects of visualization known for years by sport psychologists and peak performers.

What is Visualization?

We all visualize whether or not we’re aware of it. Anything you’ve wanted and received in your life first began with a picture in your mind. Think of other goals you’ve accomplished. You created the vision first. For example, you first held the image of seeing yourself in a particular job, or driving a certain car.

Visualization is the process of deliberately using your imagination to create a mental model in your mind. The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, so when you visualize your subconscious encodes this new picture as if it actually happened. This helps you build confidence, keeps your mind focused on your goal and pre-paves the way for you to intuitively move in the direction of what you want.

A Basic Formula

Follow these simple steps to begin using visualization to reach your weight loss goal:

  1. Sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply for several moments to relax.
  2. Now, picture yourself at your goal weight or a weight you can easily see yourself reaching.
  3. Notice the feelings and sensations associated with this image. For example, see yourself walking along a street feeling confident as you move your body with ease.
  4. After three to five minutes, gently open your eyes. Continue longer if you prefer.

It’s important to be in a quiet space with no distractions so you can calm your mind and relax your body. The more deeply relaxed you feel the greater your ability to internalize the images.

We all imagine in different ways. Some people are more visual, others more kinesthetic. If you’re unable to “see” a clear mental picture, that’s OK. Just get a sense of the experience in whatever way feels natural to you.

Connecting with your feelings as you visualize strengthens its effects. For example, feel that sense of confidence at reaching your goal weight. Commit to a daily practice, perhaps visualizing as you lie in bed in the morning or before falling asleep at night.

Uses of Visualization

Here’s the fun part. Following the basic formula above, use visualization to “mentally rehearse” your desired behaviors.  Here are some suggestions:

Create New Habits: As in the McGill study, visualize yourself eating more fruits and vegetables, or taking daily walks.

Problem Solving: See yourself confidently managing challenging situations. For example, visualize yourself focused on eating your healthy lunch and disinterested when offered sweets in the office lunch room.

Emotional Eating: Visualize yourself successfully using strategies other than food when feeling overwhelmed. For example, imagine calming yourself by breathing deeply and then writing in your journal to release your feelings.

Goal Setting: Visualize wearing smaller sized clothing, releasing the next five or ten pounds or walking one mile on the tread mill.

As you become comfortable with visualization, you’ll be able to use it to not only lose weight, but to improve all areas of your life as well.

Have you practiced visualization to lose weight? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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.

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