How many times have you gone on a specific diet, lost weight, and gained it all back?
If you're involved in the stock market, I'm sure you've heard all about Weight Watchers soaring prices after Oprah took a 10% stake in the company buying 6.4 million shares and being awarded to buy 3.5 million more. The stock more than doubled in it's worth and she made an estimated 70 million dollars in just one day!
If you know anything about Oprah Winfrey though, you know all about how she struggles with her diet and rebound weight gain.
My question is why does someone with so much influence and so much power, who seems to have it all together, struggle so hard with her weight?
The reason Oprah Winfrey, and millions of other people struggle with rebound weight gain is that they are constantly fighting their bodies and fighting their natural desire for food, for pleasure, for nourishment, and they don't want to look at how other areas of their lives are affecting their diet and their body.
Many dieters are completely disengaged from themselves, they focus on the outside and totally neglect their inner world. They fight tooth and nail with their bodies natural appetite and fear any kind of pleasure with food. They take the focus off of what is really causing unwanted eating behaviours and place it solely on the food itself.
Weight gain and any kind of unwanted eating pattern always stems from deeper rooted issues. Rather than the way we consume food or the food itself as being the problem, it's actually the solution to a problem that's hidden within us. Dieting only places a bandaid over the issue, it doesn't address it directly.
No matter how successful any one diet can be, the results will not last if there hasn't been a monumental shift in our thinking and some kind of change in our lives. It's easy for the body to lose weight when we put it through strict calorie restriction and aggressive exercise programs, but the body will fight back when we can't sustain what we are doing, and rightly so.
Struggling with bulimia for so long and obsessing about what I "could" and "couldn't" eat led me to a path of yoyo dieting consisting of weight loss, but rebound weight gain to follow. Every diet I would try (and I've tried them all) would work initially causing me to lose weight but would result in me putting the weight I had lost back on, and then some.
I was completely missing the mark though. My focus was on everything outward and nothing inward. I would never be able to have seen a change in my body if I hadn't done some serious soul searching first as to why I ate the way I ate or why I looked at my body the way I did.
Diets fail because there is no revelation or inward change that happens to the eater. People simply follow a guideline for as long as they can, white-knuckling their way through it only to see their diet as something that will eventually end when their weight loss goal is met. They see the word diet as a verb and not a noun, there is no change on the inside, they embark on a plan that can never be sustained, and the cycle of yoyo dieting continues.
It is natural for your body to rebound after it's been calorie or macronutrient restricted for any period of time, it's actually healthy for it to, it's your bodies way of saving itself from starvation. If you think that a restrictive diet mixed with negativity towards yourself is going to change your body, think again. By doing so you will actually have the exact opposite effect of what you're trying to achieve.
By first accepting who you are, extra weight and all, and having a genuine love towards yourself is the first step to true body transformation. We have spent so much time hating our bodies and trying to force them into submission that our bodies naturally fight back. When we are under attack (self attack), the body will always fight back and will always be in some degree of stress response.
On a Physical Level
- Try to eat a minimal amount of sugar, processed foods, and anything that has been genetically modified, artificially created, or food that has added hormones, antibiotics, herbicides or pesticides.
- Exercise in ways that make you feel good, that you truly enjoy. Don't aim to just beat yourself up in a gym because someone told you that's the only way to lose weight.
On an Emotional Level
- Stress less. Anytime we are in a stress response, our bodies switch into fight or flight. Digestion is impaired, stress hormones are overly secreted, and nutrient assimilation is decreased. When we stress, it sets our metabolism up for failure and weight gain or inability to lose weight is inevitable.
- Negative thinking and speaking creates an environment of stress because you are under constant self attack.
On a Spiritual Level
- Be kind to yourself. Weight gain and weight loss is not a clear cut journey, it looks different for everyone and the answers are never black and white. Start to affirm yourself for who you are and not the size you are. Say things to yourself that you want to see change and be accepting throughout your journey. Love will heal, and love is the only thing that will truly help you change your body.
- Commit to excellence. Do the best with what you have and always aim to be better, do better, and love better than you did the day before.
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