Weight is a Symptom, Not a Cause
I used to think weight was the cause of my problems. If I could just lose weight, everything would be better. I would look better. I would feel better. My clothes would fit. If I ate healthier, my health symptoms would go away. Which, all of that is true, of course, but the weight was not the main cause. I found out through my studies about nutrition and health coaching, plus my own health journey, that the real problem was not the weight. It was my mindset and my denial of emotions.
You see, at the time that I had gained the most weight, I was really struggling with grief after my mother’s passing, as well as relationship struggles within my family. My mother had been a buffer between me and other family members. She was the middle man, the peacemaker.
I guess I learned from her that I needed to make everyone happy. Somewhere deep inside I had decided that if people are not happy with you, they abandon you.
As I struggled with the emotional turmoil of trying to please everyone, an impossible task, my world was crashing down around me. My relationships were getting more tumultuous. My job was suffering. My kids were suffering. I got more exhausted and turned to easy, comfort foods to soothe me. Instead of taking the time to plan meals or cook healthy foods, I would stop by and grab a pizza for dinner or pick up fast food burgers after soccer practice for the boys. The weight crept up, but I couldn’t even muster the energy to care. I was too busy juggling the stress from my boss criticizing my classroom procedures, my husband complaining that I wasn’t making the kids clean their messes, and my kids complaining that my husband was too mean. Everyone else had an opinion too and had to chime in. (My dad, my ex, my ex in-laws, friends, and co-workers,)
After having awful digestive issues, I finally decided enough was enough. I began an elimination diet and the pounds started falling away as I took care of myself. I began a morning routine of yoga, prayer, reading inspirational materials and journaling. I started my certification for nutrition coaching the Institute of Transformational Nutrition. Their approach is a three pronged approach including physical, mental and spiritual nutrition.
The biggest surprise to me was how much my thoughts impacted my weight. The weight was just a symptom of my emotional turmoil. More willpower was not going to help me lose weight. It wasn’t until I took the time to put myself first, that I finally began losing weight. I kept the weight off for many years until I had another stressful event followed by another stressful family situation and guess what? The weight came back.
So, here’s what I’m doing to get the weight off again.
- Adding self-care
I’m making sure to meditate often, read inspirational books, journal and explore emotions.
2. Saying affirmations
I’m using affirmations like, “Everything always works out for me” to address the worry I feel, “I weigh ____” with my ideal weight to retrain my subconscious from repeating negative thoughts like, “I’m so fat” or “I keep gaining weight.”
3. Meal planning
I plan meals that are lower on the glycemic index and full of vegetables.
4. Getting more sleep
I make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep helps you control emotions, be more mindful and make better choices throughout the day.
5. Drinking more water
You should be drinking about half your body weight in ounces of water a day. It’s easy to let more coffee and tea take over your liquid consumption, as well as sugary drinks and alcohol. Try drinking a big glass of water before you drink another drink.
6. Tracking my progress
I have found it so much easier to follow a healthy plan when I track it. You can use an app like My Fitness Pal, or use a tracking sheet you make yourself. I like to have mine on my refrigerator. That just seems to keep it front and center for me. Every time I walk in my kitchen, I get a reminder.
Support and accountability from a group can help too. If you find that you are needing support and guidance on uncovering hidden emotions, join the waiting list for my upcoming Immunity Reboot program where we address the root cause of all your health symptoms and give you a plan to move through them, so you can find the peace and joy you have been wanting in your life.