My weight loss plan: nothing to do with dieting!

My weight loss plan: nothing to do with dieting!

My weight loss plan: nothing to do with dieting!

Yes, you read right, this article is about a weight loss plan that does not involve dieting, or a fitness regime for that matter. If you are thinking it is some new fad diet, or diet pill, tea or another scam I am trying to promote, it is not! It’s simply my experience of losing 26 kg in my early fifties after birthing 7 children, (when most women are experiencing menopausal weight gain), without going on a diet!

I imagine many of us can relate to being on the never-ending dieting cycle. This is not surprising with the endless bombardment in the media of what that perfect woman should look like. This leaves most of us in a constant state of striving to improve our bodies, as we always perceive that we simply don’t measure up.

Based on this striving for perfection many of us can probably relate to trying different diets, counting calories, eating low-fat, even joining weight loss programs that involve shakes, delivered meals and weigh-ins. A diet was always on my agenda after I gained a large amount of weight in my early 30’s after the birth of my 4th child.

Actually, the importance of dieting and looking a certain way had been on my agenda since I was a teenager as I had already bought into the idea that my body wasn’t attractive enough, which I had taken on from the magazines and from my mum who was not happy with her own body. At some level, I did not feel great about myself and I thought looking good would be a way to improve this.

No pain, no gain

With my obsession to look good on the outside, it is not surprising that I even once tried a 14-day fast where I lived on lemon juice and maple syrup water (I did lose some weight with this one). I know this sounds a little drastic but my level of confidence was at an all-time low. This allowed me to ignore being quite hungry at times as my desire to lose some pounds far outweighed any discomfort I was experiencing. I definitely had the ‘No pain, No gain’ mentality in full swing here.

Of course, nothing I tried was ever sustained and I always regained any lost weight. Not wanting to be accused of not trying at all, I added regular exercise programs at gyms and walking to the mix at times, but despite this my weight was not keen on budging. To be honest I had pretty much given up on ever being my ideal weight and accepted being fair, fat and fifty, especially as I was in menopause.

This all changed when someone was honest enough with me to share that my body did not reflect the love that I had in my heart.

This resonated with me like a ton of bricks, as I realised that what they said was true and that the many 'tons' (ok it wasn’t tons) I was carrying in extra weight was about me not letting out this love I could feel inside. In other words, my weight was my protection.

This was confirmed with the fact that a couple of years before hearing this, I started to embrace some self-care into my life which saw me changing my diet to no gluten, dairy or refined sugars and smaller meals (as I felt better eating like this) and began fairly regular exercise. Although my intention when making these changes wasn’t to lose weight, in the back of my mind I thought, “Surely I would.” I did lose some weight, but only four kilograms and my body didn’t feel that great.

So I embarked on a new weight loss plan that was not about diets, and I changed from accepting fair, fat and fifty to accepting that:

  • I was so much more than my body, and the love I felt from my heart was really who I was.

  • My body actually was a reflection of the choices I was making each day.

  • I was eating certain foods to cover the fact I was hurt, and when I did not like what was happening around me.

  • Despite the fact my choices had affected the way my body was, I didn’t need to judge myself so severely for the way it looked.

  • I needed to care for my body, as it is the vehicle that holds the love I feel in my heart.

In understanding these missing pieces around why I was still holding extra weight, even though I had changed how and what I ate and was exercising, I began to:

  • Eat to support the love in my heart, not to lose weight.

  • Address my hurts instead of eating to hide the fact that situations hurt me.

  • Take note of why and what I was eating (often when the food was already in my mouth).

  • Take note of how I felt after eating certain foods.

  • Take a moment to consider why I was choosing what to eat and how often to eat (which meant eating less than we have been taught to believe).

  • Stop judging myself as being less when I ate food that left me feeling not so great. For example, if I chose to eat something sweet, I would always be more emotional and not cope so well with life. When I still chose this sweetness, I would stop and look at why I wanted to eat it in the first place; was I tired, bored or looking for a reward for working hard?

With committing to all the above, for the first time in my dieting career what I was eating was not about a diet or the intention to lose weight because I didn’t like how my body was. In fact, I started to accept and appreciate my body for the first time in my life with the understanding it was my choices that resulted in the way it was, without the criticism of myself.

My excess weight just started to melt away without me even paying too much attention to it, as my focus was honouring the love in my heart and wanting it to come out.

This shows me that the key for us is connecting to the amazing quality of love that each of us holds within, but often hold back from expressing, because we have been hurt by others and by what we don’t like about the world. From this point of understanding my choices around what I ate were much easier, although there are still times when I react to certain situations or feel hurt and fall back into my old pattern to use food as not wanting to feel or deal with what I was feeling.

From what I have learnt and embraced, maybe a new weight loss plan to sweep the world would be, “Heart Connection: No more protection” that has nothing to do with diets, but everything to do with having a body that reflects this undeniable love inside us!

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  • By Sharon Gavioli, Registered Nurse, Adult Educator, Counsellor, Practitioner of Universal Medicine Therapies, EPA Recognised

  • Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.