When talking about weight-loss we, the collective we, often only approach the subject from a left-brain masculine point of view. We discuss…
- Calories in vs. calories out
- Low carb/ high protein vs. high carb/ low protein
- Macronutrient ratios of carbohydrates, proteins and fats
- How much exercise is needed to burn a certain number of calories
- Measuring food
- Weighing our body and determining the success by the number on the scale
- Body fat measuring, taking our “measurements”
- Exercise repetitions
- Grams, ounces etc.
This is looking at weight-loss from a masculine paradigm. But, looking at weight-loss predominantly from this left brain perspective puts you at a disadvantage. Wouldn’t you want to use your whole brain and increase your weight-loss potential by 50%?
There’s nothing wrong with being “left-brained” or masculine. However, there is something wrong with being out of balance and having our culture slanted towards one side at the expense of the other. I want to help bridge the gap between left brain and right brian weight-loss approaches. Especially for women as women are traditionally more “right brained.”
Women tend to think less in details and numbers. Women are visionaries. Women are more emotional, sensual and creative. We feel, we intuit, we imagine, we visualize, we create, we desire, we flow and we nurture.
Trying to lose weight from this left brained, masculine, calorie-counting, step-by-step, “attack the fat!” mathematical paradigm doesn’t work for women because it goes against their nature. This “lose weight or else” school-yard-bully approach doesn’t feel good does it? And this causes stress.
Stress causes non-caloric weight gain. For women and for men.
The stress of not liking your job. The stress of being in an unfulfilling relationship. The stress of an unsatisfying sex life. The stress of unresolved conflicts with friends, family and loved ones.
The stress of not loving yourself and “bad-mouthing” your reflection. The stress of the numbers on the scale not “measuring” up to the male dominated paradigm and your worth being determined by those numbers.
The stress of not slowing down to cook food and nurture your body. The stress of always eating on the go. (It amazes me how many women eat in a rush and then wonder why thy can’t lose weight.) The stress of counting calories and measuring your food.
The stress of reading diet book, after diet book, but never taking the time to really feel and experience your own body.
The stress of not living your life purpose. Internal, emotional, soul-level, unconscious stress can cause weight gain.
So, lets bring in some left brain to help us understand why…
- causes stress chemistry in the body, stress chemistry signals the body to “protect” and store fat
- slows digestion and slow digestion impaires nutrient assimilation, having a ripple effect on our health
- slows metabolism, thyroid function and hormone synthesis
- can damage the gut, leading to inflammation, leading to weight gain
- increases cortisol and estrogen – both hormones cause weight gain
- leads to sweet cravings, creating unhealthy impulsive eating behaviors that lead to weight gain
The technical term would be chilax.
Relaxation tells the body it’s safe. Relaxation is pleasurable. Have fun. Laugh. Indulge in a bath in the middle of the day. Walk in nature. Put your bare feet on the earth.
Sink your feet into the sand. Take time to eat. Luxuriate in every drop of morning drowsiness.
Slow down. Slow down. Slow down.
Increase the amount of pleasure you experience in your daily life.
Stop counting, measuring and weighing. Stop trying to “attack the fat!”
Start listening and feeling. Find exercise your body enjoys.
Eat food that satiates your body and is palatable and pleasurable. Eat food that your body wants – your cravings are highly intelligent. Your body was designed to tell you what’s missing. Start to develop trust in your own body wisdom. (Many vegetarians will come to me with secret cravings for meat. And on the flip side, many high protein dieters will have secret cravings for ice-cream.)
Start believing that balance is sexy.
Ladies, let me give you a little tough love – attaching yourself to nutritional “dogma” doesn’t make you a crusader or a primal warrior or a savior of the planet. Hanging onto diet dogma at the expense of your own body is old paradigm.
It’s time to honor your body, listen to the signals of your body and give it what it needs. If you want to take a stand for something, if you need a cause to believe in – try yourself for a change. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you matter above everything else, that your desires matter, that your cravings mean something and that you know what’s best for your body – I dare you. This is a REVOLUTIONARY act.
Your body can not release weight if it doesn’t feel safe on both a physiological and emotional level.
If you want to lose weight – make a commitment to pleasure. Pleasure chemistry equals metabolic super powers!