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One of the most frequent laments I hear from clients is that, although they are finally starting to eat “normally,” they’re not losing weight. They understandably would like to shed pounds along with becoming healthier, yet recognize that focusing on weight loss per se might derail their improved eating. This is tricky business for troubled eaters.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight as long as it’s part of an entire regime toward health and fitness. The best approach is to follow the Health At Every Size protocol. Its health and fitness—rather than weight loss—goals, keep you focused on caring for your body. Using their protocol and continuing to eat “normally” should help you shed pounds.
If you want to lose weight because a lower weight feels better and because you’ll be able to do more activities, that’s fine. Be careful, however, about putting your attention on the scale. Avoid the habit of weighing yourself. You can tell by how your clothes fit what’s up (or down) with your weight. And please don’t make a slimmer body a determinant of your happiness or success. If you’re eating more “normally” and healthfully and become fitter, those are noteworthy achievements in themselves.
The best approach to use if you want to lose weight is to see what helps and what doesn’t. Try eating smaller portions or making more nutritious food choices. Up your activity level. Make sure you’re not eating emotionally or compulsively. Stop eating the minute you’re full or satisfied. I’ve pretty much found that disregulated eaters are surprised at how little they need to eat to feel satiated. Honor that feeling of enough.
Monitor your feelings about your food intake. You may feel deprived having smaller portions or not going for seconds. You may be filled with uncomfortable emotions because you’re no longer using food to manage them. You may feel highly stressed. If you start to lose weight, you may want to push yourself harder to lose more weight faster. You’ll want to be on the look out for any urges to binge or overeat in response to eating less than you’re used to. If you notice your feelings, they’ll give you information about how to proceed. The point is to stay curious about what’s going within and be compassionate about whatever happens. Stay objective about your weight and view the path to weight loss as an experiment. Don’t get into rigid patterns, but respond to what your mind and body need, with care of self always as your primary goal. It’s okay to wish to lose weight as long as you see it as a part of ongoing, overall self-care.
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