Recently many of us will have seen the images of the journalist and influencer Danae Mercer, who has overseen showing cellulite, stretch marks or flaccidity without hindrance. Danae Merce has made Instagram her tool to normalize perfectly imperfect bodies and uncover the reality behind a pose that tries to hide or conceal those imperfections.
Society tends to sell you that you will be happier, more beautiful or popular if you are thin, even when you have to submit to extreme diets of up to 500 calories, hours in the gym, pills to control appetite, prolonged fasts and sometimes irresponsible , etc., which has caused people to have a dysfunctional relationship with food, self-esteem problems, anorexia, bulimia, etc.
Our body is the temple that we have until the last of our days we must take care of it; however, the weight does not behave as we want. Three years ago, I gained almost 12 kilos, then I resumed my eating and exercise habits and returned to my weight, and now I have almost 5 kilos more, resulting from the stress of being in an ERTE (suspension of employment), confinement, de-escalation, the immigration procedures that never end, etc., etc., etc.
I know all of you will think that 12 kilos or 5 kilos is not a weight problem … It all depends on the personal situation of each person, for example, when having hip problems and having an operated knee and with grafts, the weight can be a problem, in the case of the knee, according to kinesiology and physiatry studies, for each kilogram of body weight that is increased, it becomes 7 kilos for the knee. Also, I think that one should celebrate the kilos if they are gained consciously and not, because of anxiety.
In that sense, I decided to increase in my daily diet those foods that help me control anxiety (if you do not know what they are, I leave you some suggestions in my post https://butterflyespirit.com/2020/04/16/alimentos-para -depression-and-anxiety /); as well as, read a lot and learn about it to improve and help others.
In this time of study, I have also remembered friends, co-workers, even my own older sister, who have sometimes had a diffusion relationship with food as I mentioned at the beginning, but also, for example, in the case of My sister, I have seen her depressed, and I have heard her say, that I have no problems wearing any type of clothing, or to attract the attention of some boy, because I am skinny…
What do we think when we don’t feel good about our body weight?
- For more diet, exercise and things you do, you never seem to reach your weight.
- They are constantly on a diet.
- They try to control what they eat, and diets do not contain pleasant foods.
- They are afraid of gaining weight or feel fat all the time.
- If they ate something that could put on weight, they looked for ways to punish themselves to compensate, for example, my co-worker would see, then run 1 hour + 1 of swimming and stop eating dinner.
- They were never or almost never satisfied with the body they have.
- They believe that they must first have the ideal body so that later they can have confidence and live their lives fully.
- We don’t like how we look in the mirror (I include myself).
It is easy to talk about diets, green juices, the keto method, fasting, among others to lose weight, to speed up metabolism, etc., but no one talks about the fears, frustrations and emotions behind these behaviours.
And here I speak to you, from my experience, I realized that the more anxious I am, not only because of anxiety and not because of hunger, but that my body under stress finds it difficult to lose weight and tone the muscle. And your body also suffers from stress, when you have thoughts like the ones I listed above, and under that state our hormones get out of control, our cortisol and insulin levels rise and directly affect the thyroid, important for a healthy metabolism. Remember that our brain does not distinguish between real stress or self-induced stress.
What can we do then to change our thoughts and therefore, to lose weight?
1.- Know yourself (or):
There are no magic diets or pills, only you can figure out what to eat and what not. Only you know what you like to eat when you have anxiety, and then, try to eat foods that help you control it.
There are some kinds of foods that cause bloating and it might seem like you’re getting fat but that’s not necessarily true. For example, in my personal experience, by simply changing dairy milk for soja milk, I noticed my belly looks flatter and my digestion is much better. So, look out for those foods that cause you bloating and try to reduce their consumption.
How can you know? Pay attention if you are constipated; if you have headaches; if your hair falls out, if you have reflux, for example, when I ate melon or sideburns, I died of reflux, so no matter how hot it is now in summer, I don’t eat them, because the reflux is much worse. I also realized that, if I ate pasta or a lot of bread, I was constipated, and so, I have chosen to reduce the consumption of pasta and switch to gluten-free bread, and it has been better for me.
Obviously, when we talk about constipation, inflammation, reflux, we talk about digestion. If you suffer from constipation, inflammation, gas, reflux, diarrhoea, irritable colon, gastritis, and others, it will be very difficult for your body to function properly and under this state of stress it will be difficult for your body to maintain a good weight, because the brain tells the body to store fat and not build muscle.
So, learn to see what foods you like and what you dislike, because the latter generate discomfort; It uses the symptoms that the body gives you as a guide to detect where you must make changes. Obviously, if any problem is chronic, you should go to the corresponding specialist.
2.- Incorporate nutritious foods in your daily diet, and forget about having a diet plan:
Your body needs a whole host of nutrients to function optimally. You need good quality protein, fat and carbohydrates. If you do not receive them, you will not be able to repair muscle, tissue, organs, send energy to cells, regulate your hormones, metabolize vitamins, among others.
If you do not know what foods are nutritious, start researching, buy a good food book, look for healthy recipes that are full of nutrients and antioxidants (if you have not seen my recipe post, I invite you to see the three instalments and delicious and easy to cook, visit https://butterflyespirit.com/2020/05/13/recetas-para-el-alma-primera-entrega/, https://butterflyespirit.com/2020/05/16/recetas-para-el- alma-second-delivery / and https://butterflyespirit.com/2020/06/17/recetas-para-el-alma-tercera-entrega/)
Please avoid falling into the mistake of eating less carbohydrates or eliminating them entirely because you have read that they are fattening, it is not what you should or should not eat, but what does your body good or bad. It is true that we must consume a certain number of calories and burn as much, but we must listen to the body and know how it works. Carbohydrates are what carry protein to muscles, eliminating them is a huge mistake! In addition, the day you consume them again, what they call rebound will come, and I have seen it in co-workers for example who did the keto diet.
Another example that I ask you to please analyse before doing, is intermittent fasting, I have seen them for up to 18 hours. The fit people recommend it irresponsibly, because patients with neurological problems, migraines, anaemia, with certain pathologies cannot fast, so, before doing an irresponsible act for fashion or fitness, know if you have any health condition that can get worse as a result of this.
When you learn to eat healthy, it is a habit, and it is not diet. And if you want to do it is to make an eating or diet plan, in any diet, there are relaxing days, or cheat days 😊, so relax and enjoy when you eat (I detail it better in the next point).
3.- Enjoy what you eat:
My mom and grandmother used to tell me that if I have found a taste for food? Or if I realized what it tastes like? Because I usually eat extremely fast. I can’t help it! In the same way it is when we do it in automatic mode, when we are driving the car, while we watch TV, while we work on the laptop or computer, etc. This will make you always eat more than you need because your brain simply has not processed what it has eaten, and I do not lie to you, it is a stimulus of the cerebral cortex, and it is necessary for a healthy metabolism.
Eating consciously allows your body to naturally tell you what it needs and what not, you will no longer need to count calories or control portions. And this is where I link my practices such as breathing, before starting the day (and see that I usually get up, bathe and eat) practice 10 minutes of breathing or meditate for 20 minutes, relax my nervous system, so my body does not know It is in stress while I eat, and believe me, I usually feel satiety and I even enjoy the flavours and textures of my breakfast, therefore, this more efficiently absorbs the nutrients from what you eat.
If you have the opportunity, take 5 or 10 minutes a day for a break, remember that while you are under stress, your body will store fat and will not build muscle, and therefore, your metabolism slows down a lot. Additionally, combine this habit with more numbers of meals (incl. Snacks) and particularly, do not dine too late. I know that in Spain this is difficult, but to the people that I have recommended to make breakfast, lunch / lunch and dinner earlier. They have seen changes in their weight.
You can change the biochemistry of your body, just by learning to relax. This means that you can have a non-caloric weight decrease (without changing what you eat), if you manage to incorporate a relaxation practice into your daily life.
4.- Stop telling yourself (or thinking) that you are fat:
I have very beautiful friends, but only a minimum of them, they enjoy their body or what they eat. All the others, like my older sister, often say and think they are fat.
And let me tell you, it’s completely relative, because while they used to call themselves fat, for me as a friend, for their boyfriends, husbands, they were perfect. That is, if you constantly tell yourself that you are fat, your body will follow this pattern (law of attraction). Have you ever seen an athlete focus on their failures? Not! They often call themselves champions even before they leave the game, they focus on their victories rather than their defeats, this is how progress is made in achieving goals / results.
So, remember that within you there is incredible power and intelligence that constantly respond to your ideas and words. As we learn to control our minds by consciously choosing our thoughts, we will gain as an ally to that power.
Oh please, something I said to a co-worker, who was telling me what he weighed every day: throw the scale in the trash! Because a lot they get into the habit of giving themselves a prize or self-punishing themselves depending on the results (of course). Also, that if they see a number that they like they spend the day happy, they feel more confident and are happier that day; but when the opposite happens, they look fatter, it causes them frustration, anger, guilt, remorse (and all these emotions cause the body to go into stress) and they self-flagellate later with food, in the gym, etc.
5.- Arrange yourself as if you were at the weight you wanted, and don’t expect to have the perfect body to start living life or doing the things you like!
I have also lost count of the friends who hope to lose weight and then put on the dress they like so much, or their favourite jeans, etc. In order to get to the weight, you want, you first have to feel good. The feeling of well-being stimulates the production of dopamine in the body, on the contrary, a deficiency of dopamine slows down the metabolism, contributing to weight gain, low energy, fatigue and depression.
I tell you that even if you agree to buy a larger size it is not a failure, it is simply accepting reality, living the here and now.
That happens for the things you like, do not expect to have the perfect body to buy a bikini (swimsuit) to go to the beach and enjoy a sunny day.
Finally, appreciate your body. Your physical body is one of the most important tools that supports your divine mission of life. Remember that if you are healthy, and so are all the people in your life, feel this truth in your body and consciously seek the right weight for your body. Remember, don’t wait until you look good, have the perfect body, have more money, have more knowledge, because life is here and now. Do not wait to be 60 or 80 years old to realize that what was worth it was not to diet more, nor to be a smaller size. Live and enjoy your life now, start doing what you want today for later.
And even more holistic advice, perhaps it may even sound strong to you, being overweight has always meant protection. When you feel insecure or scared, you isolate yourself with that protection. So make yourself aware that you don’t spend your life angry with yourself for being fat, or feeling guilty every time you eat, because that excess weight has nothing to do with food, on the contrary, in your life it may be happening something that makes you feel insecure, and you can spend years fighting with the weight and not realizing the true cause.