Is self-love the key to losing weight?

I used to have a problem with food, having said that – I am not suggesting that I am out of the water yet – I anticipate that at some stage in the future, I may have a problem with food again. There have been times in my life when I have been overweight. My height is 168 centimetres, or 5 foot 6 and a half (don’t you dare forget to give me that half!) so the maximum I can weigh before being classed as ‘overweight’ is 71 kilos or 157 pounds. There have been times in my life when I have been that weight, or even higher.

I could never control my appetite

Food used to mystify me, as did my appetite. How could I ever learn to control it? There would be some days where I would feel driven compelled to eat, to eat too much, to not stop eating. At the same time, I would derive both comfort and pain from food. There were times I felt out of control, or controlled by food.

You cannot give food up like other substances or drugs – you have to learn to manage it.

Anorexia and Bulimia: Portis di Rossi talks

A while ago, I reviewed Portia di Rossi’s book Unbearable Lightness where she chronicles her experiences with anorexia, bulimia and recovery. I didn’t think I’d like it, but it was a truly awesome read. She lists all the foods she ate during a binge session as well as listing exactly what she was eating at the height of her anorexia. I do not recommend that anyone suffering from those conditions reads the book as it may be triggering.

On a happier note, she heals. She maintains that she had to ‘heal’ her relationship with food in order to achieve a healthy weight. How much should she eat? She says that it was only through listening to her body that she was able to control (naturally) the amount she ate. One anecdote she tells is that after eating a huge bag of potato chips/crisps in the afternoon, she found that she only needed a light dinner of salad, as she felt a bit ‘greasy’. She had learned to listen to her body’s cues.

Is there such a thing as ‘naturally thin’?

I have heard a theory that ‘naturally’ thin people do the same thing – they are simply better at regulating their food intake naturally. For me – Weight Watchers was the most useless, crappy program, because it’s so open to abuse. I would eat enormous amounts of the ‘free’ foods (carrot sticks, salsa, vegetable soup) and wonder why the diet wasn’t working, when I had followed the ‘rules’ to the letter. It has taken me 35 years to work out what works best for my body, and my own ‘rules’ that I try to stick to.

Therapeutic Hunger – a natural solution

I also co-authored a book with a fellow WordPress blogger, called Therapeutic Hunger. If you are having some troubles with overeating – I suggest that you check out this book. It contains lots of info on how to conquer emotional eating. I also wrote an article for one of Australia’s biggest publications, the Sydney Morning Herald: Are you too ashamed to lose weight?

If you want to try them, here are a few more tips below. Let me know if you think they will work for you:

Here’s what works for me (this may not work for you)

  1. I eat whatever I want, in small portions

  2. I focus on 3 meals a day

  3. I make sure the meals contain carbs, fat and protein, and lots of variety in taste and texture

  4. I avoid snacking as much as possible

  5. I don’t skip meals

  6. I don’t drink my calories (apart from wine) so I avoid milky coffees, juices, smoothies

  7. Butter, fat, oil, sugar, carbs? I LOVE them and eat them at every meal

  8. I weigh myself every day, at the same time

  9. If I gain weight, I bring it back under control, gently and slowly

  10. I try to be kind to myself

What have you learned on your weight loss journey? What’s the most important thing for you? Was self love something that made a difference?

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