Welcome to the second Fat Chance! weight loss blog. Today’s blog is based on excerpts from Fat Chance! The no-going-back Weight Loss Workbook.
Last time we talked I introduced the idea that the only feasible alternative to dieting is sustainable and comprehensive lifestyle change. Let’s be honest: being overweight is a consequence of a poor lifestyle, especially the sheer volume of food we eat (well, calories actually). Let’s not make excuses (and you know what I mean by that): in the vast majority of cases, being overweight is caused by eating too much food.
In contrast, naturally slim people eat much less food (whether they admit it or not) and get more exercise. So it’s really quite simple: if we want to be slim then we must learn how to eat less food, just like slim people eat, not just for a time, but for the rest of our lives. It’s not about food combinations or not eating certain foods, it’s just about reducing the quantity of food we eat, using how slim people eat as our guide.
So how do naturally slim people eat? Here are four ways:
- They unconsciously eat the number of calories they need to maintain their slim weight
- They eat when they are hungry and use hunger as a cue to tell them when to eat
- They don’t give food a position of priority in their life
- They don’t use food to meet their emotional needs
And, one more thing: slim people don’t diet.
But slim people don’t just eat differently, they think differently. When my son was young it was very hard to get him to sit at the dinner table and eat, despite my best attempts. He always fidgeted and wriggled until he could be excused, anxious to be somewhere else, doing what he was really interested in. And he never changed. It wasn’t until years later that he put it in a nutshell for me when he explained that he couldn’t see the point of eating if he wasn’t hungry. I suddenly realised that he thought differently about food. (And, for the record, he has always been slim [but not skinny] and healthy – my attempts to force feed him were completely unnecessary.)
Louise described her light bulb moment: “Whenever I went to a coffee morning with my slim friends I used to help myself to the food without a second thought. One day I realised my friends only ate one muffin or biscuit and would then refuse any more with a polite “no thanks”. I was blown away. Why would they do that? I thought they were crazy. After all, the food was delicious and free. But it was a wake-up call for me. I realised they thought differently!”
This is the key. Slim people really think like this! I’d love to hear about your light bulb moment, like Louise. And the slim person I am now talking about is you, the real slim you hidden inside, just waiting to get out! You can be transformed into someone who thinks and eats like a slim person, in fact someone who is a slim person, for the rest of your life.
You don’t need to wait until you are slim. You can start to discover the slim person you were meant to be today. As impossible and as ridiculous as this may sound, you should begin to think of yourself as a slim person from this very moment! It will take practice and discipline (the only discipline the Fat Chance! approach requires) but this is the greatest change you must make.
It works like this: if you think of yourself as a slim person you will start to behave like a slim person, changing your attitudes and habits regarding food, eating, your priorities and your whole life. You will develop a completely new way of thinking and eating. And if you do this, adopting a new slim lifestyle, the weight loss will follow, slowly and gradually but it will be healthy and permanent.
So how do you feel about becoming such a person? Can you imagine yourself as a truly slim person? Close your eyes and believe you are slim. Imagine walking down the street. How do you feel? But here is the important question: how is your behaviour changed? How are you caring for your body? What are you eating? This is you from now on, slim on the inside in your thoughts and behaviour. The outside will follow.
Join me again in my next blog.
I wish you every success in your weight loss journey!
Susan Maiava PhD is the author of Fat Chance! The no-going-back Weight Loss Workbook, available from Paper Plus, Whitcoulls, independent bookshops and Online at www.fatchance.co.nz (free delivery in NZ). RRP $39.99. Fat Chance! is ideal for groups. Professional enquiries also welcome.