by Dietitian Jill Place AKA The Good Gut Queen
Want to change your eating FOREVER? It was EASY for me! I just started one day to do intermittent fasting and have done it religiously ever since.
And have lost 13 pounds so far! Today I just achieved my Fitbit goal of getting to 170 pounds. And am setting a new goal of 160.
I fit into pants I haven’t worn in YEARS! And my cheekbones are beginning to emerge again through a mountain of face-flesh.
How did I do it? Simple … I just decided to eat for a certain number of hours every day. I started with 8 … and now I’m pretty much down to six. But I sometimes have to broaden my eating window depending upon how hectic my always-hectic schedule becomes.
Or … like today … go to breakfast with friends and change my window from 9:30 to 3:30 (I usually eat between 12 noon and 6 pm as that makes sense to me). Breakfast isn’t my favorite meal … so giving it up was easy.
I know … I know … the experts say that breakfast is the most important meal. But … being a clinician, I was a lot more interested if experts say that intermittent fasting was backed by science … it IS … in spades! Read my article about it here.
So you might be interested in how I actually got to this easy place? Well … I’ll tell ya … it wasn’t so easy before. I had to do a bunch of stuff first to arrive here. And … if you’re interested in changing YOUR eating forever, here’s what I’d suggest …
Clean Up Your (Inner) Act
I started this whole journey fat and ugly by society’s standards. I didn’t like myself much. My parents weren’t encouraging. And I was chubby almost from birth.
So I entered life unsure of my status in it. I was told to be beautiful. But didn’t match the standards trumpeted daily by society in ads, movies, magazines, TV … you name it (we didn’t have internet then … or smart phones … which I think makes the slimness stigma even worse).
Either way … the message is clear … as a woman, you just CAN’T be fat or unattractive. I was one … so I thought I was both.
My self-loathing reached its peak as an actress. I had to be skinny and gorgeous … and even those who WERE didn’t believe it. The great Shelley Winters, who was once my coach, said in class one day that “when I read a script and it says, ‘She is beautiful’ I don’t believe it of myself”.
And, when young, she was. But beauty didn’t win her two Oscars … her acting did.
Instinctively, I knew there was more to life than being beautiful. And skinny … which my hips would never allow me to be anyway. Even when I starved myself. My journey had led me to a massive eating disorder
So I began instead to explore my inner self. I did therapy, spiritual disciplines, cured myself of panic attacks by breathing (later called mindfulness … check out my Micro-Mindfuls if you want to know how), Native American vision quests … crystals, Tibetan signing bowls, and even claimed my talent as an intuitive.
I also worked on my relationship with food … becoming an eating disorder counselor helped not only my clients but myself. Part of the journey was that I learned to eat to my hunger and teach others to do the same. As well as teaching mindfulness, soulwork, and how to find your own spirituality.
Change Your Mindset
All this healing people healed me too. Now I don’t expect you to do this journey in this order. Or do what I did. But I DO expect you to seek your own path … as it will help you buffet how society looks at weight and wellness. And make your own decisions about them.
So … it’s important that you change your mindset from finding the perfect magic pill to cure all your ills. Or depending solely upon doctors to puzzle it out for you.
I wrote about it in an article called Magic Pill Mindset BEGONE; it’s a great way start looking at your health in a different way … especially if you’re tired of diets not giving you the results you want. Or not feeling well with no answer.
The bottom line … you have to take responsibility for your own weight and well-being. Yes … consult a doctor if you want to go that way. Or an alternative practitioner too. But the choice is yours.
It does take work. But the rewards are huge. You feel so powerful and in touch with yourself that you can’t help but succeed in whatever you set out to do.
Identify Limiting Beliefs
Mario Martinez, in the book The MindBody Code, explains that cultural beliefs keep us from moving forward. And that we have to look beyond our limiting beliefs.
One way is to look at them square in the face. What do you constantly tell yourself that doesn’t serve you? This is called negative self-talk. And … according Rick Hansen, in his book Hardwiring Happiness, we’re really good at storing away negative things about ourselves.
It came out of the mists of our primal origins. And our tendency for fight-or-flight. We had to remember all the bad things that might attack us to survive.
So we’re not good at storing positive stuff. Or dwelling on it. We have to teach ourselves to do that. There are many ideas in these two books. But just becoming aware of your negative self-talk is a great start.
And then reframe it. Here’s a good exercise; write down some things you say to yourself about your weight. For example, I’ve always told myself that I had to struggle with my weight. And that I was fat, ugly, and a failure.
To reframe that, you might want to say to yourself … “Yes, I am overweight right now. But I’m doing some great work to change that. And I’ve already lost 13 pounds”. Put it on your phone, write it on a sticky note and put it all over your house and car. Keep saying it to yourself. It’s a start to destroy your limiting beliefs.
I’ve written a series of articles about health self-experiments; get them all by going to the first … Experiment Your Way to Health. And don’t forget to pick up the worksheet here …
Experiments are a really safe way to see if something works for you or not. With no judgement, you can say … as I did … “Let me try intermittent fasting for a month to see if it works for me”. I also set up some rules, which I describe in the articles.
You can do the same with anything … going Gluten Free, losing weight, taking supplements, eating more fruits and vegetables … Again … it’s a great way to do something to see if it works for you. Or not.
Hey … it took you a long time to get this way. Me … it took 74 years before I arrived at this “change your eating FOREVER” solution. And healed myself enough to give my whole heart to it.
And no … it shouldn’t take you nearly that long. We’ve made a ton of advancement since I started my quest to lose weight in a positive, committed way. And understand the way we tick much, much better now.
Remember that psychology is a relatively young science. And the landmark book about change, Changing for Good, was only published in 1994.
Also … if you’re one of those who suffer from leaky gut or autoimmune … it could take a long time to heal. It just does … we’re healing systems, not symptoms. I’m still working on mine.
So ditch the “I’ve gotta have it now!” mindset and get to work! Trust me … you’ll ultimately be the better for it. Oh … and if you want to set your healing in motion right now … from the heart …