Weight loss: The bigger picture

I started to struggle with my weight while experiencing huge fluctuations during my child-bearing years. Dealing with pregnancy weight, hormone imbalances, and postpartum depression, I couldn’t seem to find an internal balance. It was just over a year ago that I vowed to change the negative outlook I had on my body and my life. After going through a very difficult time, my life felt out of control. I had an unhealthy relationship with food which lead to an eating disorder. I was drinking alcohol to numb the grief I was experiencing and I felt lost under a blanket of depression. I knew this wasn’t the person I was deep down inside, nor was it the person I wanted to be. I made a promise to myself that I was going clean up the mess in my life. There were many valuable lessons I learned as I started to peel back the layers of pain I buried myself under. I learned that lasting change happens when we change our perception and live from a place of authenticity and personal truth. The more I pulled back these layers of personal heartache the more I could see a balanced and holistic way of living. I started to see that I had to change my lifestyle and it was going to take time and patience. These are the ways I found healing which lead to not only weight loss but to me finding my truth and releasing myself from old wounds that kept me trapped.

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1)STRESS- No one seems to talk about how much stress can prevent weight loss and actually cause weight gain. Stress hormones that are out of balance can throw any hopes of weight loss right out the window. Not only do we experience stress in our everyday lives, we then add unnecessary pressure to ourselves while we try so desperately to lose weight. We worry about counting calories, and calculating macros while struggling to figure out whether we should be high-carb, low-fat, or low-fat and high-carb. Well I’m here to say all that stressing only make things worse. I eventually threw out all the diet books, guidelines, scales and stopped worrying about whether I was doing this “weight loss thing” right. Finding ways to help me keep me stress levels low was so important while I was losing weight. I found stress relief in practing daily meditation and yoga. I know its hard but find healthy ways to relieve your stress and help you relax. Be patient and trust yourself in the journey you are on. Rememeber to take it one day at a time.

2)ALCOHOL- I loved my glass of wine at night so much so that I felt I needed it to wind down after a crazy day. I thought I could lose weight by eating healthy and exercising while still have my wine in the evenings. It didn’t take long to learn that it wasn’t possible to have both. Not only is there tons of sugar in alcohol, but it causes water weight retention, mood swings and imbalances in your hormones. I lost weight when I quit drinking. My mind became clearer, my moods and hormones balanced out and I became healthier.

3)HORMONES- Stress hormones, female hormones, hormones while breastfeeding or after having a baby. There are many ways of balancing hormones, but most important thing to remember is to be patient. It take time after having a baby or stopping breast feeding for things to settle. It took me two and half years after having each of my children to start to see my body balance out.

4)CLEANSING- Cleansing the mind of the garbage we tell ourselves about ourselves. Cleansing our bodies by exploring anything from a juicing cleanse, to raw food cleanse, to vegan cleanse, to just cutting out sugar and processed foods cleanse, whatever floats your boat. Cleansing is SO important. We live in a world where we are always absorbing toxins from the air we breathe to the junk food we eat. We have to take breaks and allow our bodies a chance to heal and rejuvenate.

5)CLEAN EATING- Enjoy your food and the process of creating new types of meals. Sometimes it can be hard to retrain your taste buds to crave vegetables and whole foods, especially when you may not be accustomed to them. But the more you eat this way the more you miss it when you have junk food. I still allow myself to eat foods that I wouldn’t consider “clean” from time to time but my body ALWAYS lets me know. For me, this is no longer worth it, especially when I have access to so many amazing whole foods recipes that taste just as yummy. I find the cleaner I eat the more my body craves and thrives on the high nutrition. There is no special diet to follow just eat what has been provided by mother earth for centuries. Make fruits, vegetables, nuts and seed your main focus.

6)FOOD SENSITIVITIES- Mine are, eggs, gluten, and dairy. When I eat them I retain water weight and my digestion is sluggish. I feel like poop quite literally. I’m not energized to exercise or doing anything. My mind just isn’t in it. If this is you, I would start with a food elimination diet to see if you are sensitive to certain food. When I stopped eating the foods that bothered me the weight fell off pretty effortlessly.

7)DIGESTION- If your digestion is not working like mine wasn’t your body can’t function at its best. Your immune system starts in your stomach so taking care of that is SO important for weight loss and overall health. Take probiotics, fermented foods, and lots of raw “living” fresh fruits and veggies. All of these things have natural enzymes, and fibre in them that can help regulate your digestion.

8)MINDSET-You have to heal the mind. You can’t succeed if your are constantly telling yourself that you are fat, you are lazy, you are ugly. ALL that negative self talk has got to go! Know and believe you are going to succeed and achieve your goals. Know that you are beautiful in the process. Don’t just focus on weight loss but focus on becoming healthier and changing the way you see and feel about yourself. Learn how to love yourself and enjoy the process of creating the person you want to be. Journaling, mediation, and daily affirmations are a few ways to help you work through your challenges and increase the amount positive energy into your daily life.

9)HEALING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD- This was a BIG one for me. As I healed my relationship with food, the less I felt a need to binge and purge. It has been a healing journey that has taken time but I am learning to see my weaknesses when they arise and catch them before they get out of control.

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Raw vegan tacos

Life is process of healing, growth, and self discovery. Weight loss shouldn’t be about the number on the scale. It should be about finding holistic health that is in perfect balance for YOU. As mentioned above, weight loss for me wasn’t a diet, it was about changing my mindset, my relationship with food, and dealing with pain that I was hiding from. When I started to heal from ALL those issues I naturally moved to a place of balance while finding a healthy weight that was right for me. Alway remember to love yourself in whatever part of your journey you are on. We are all beautiful beings. We are all divine creations of love. So love yourself through the whole journey and remember that health is the most important thing. A healthy mind, body and soul. All three need to be in balance to achieve holistic healing.

 

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