Why food shouldn’t be your prime concern to lose weight

Being in the fitness industry now for over a decade I can confidently say that the large majority of people that I talk to would like to be at least a little leaner.

 

This is the result of so many different things including (but not limited to): how we are educated around health and wellness, the medical  system (not health) we have, the conflicting interests of ‘health’ and supplement companies, the time pressures we face in the 21st century and mainstream media to name a few.  

 

This epidemic of our populations being overweight may be contributed to by the above but then on an individual level it seems to always come back to the notion that what we are eating is the problem and is making us overweight and unhappy.   

 

Although I am not here to say that what we eat does not in fact have a physical and psychological effect on our bodies – I am here more to say that there’s a deeper rooted problem than just eating too much.  

 

Our problem isn’t food..

 

What we need to understand is that our beliefs affect our thoughts, which affect our emotions, which affect our actions.   

 

You can think of eating as the end of the chain – our actions.  This means our eating is affected by our emotions, which are affected by our thoughts, which are affected by our beliefs.

 

So if we go back one level to our emotions it becomes clear that what we eat (the actions we take) is affected by how we feel.  I’m sure you can connect to this notion.  Perhaps when you are feeling down you reach for something that makes you feel happy (quick serotonin hit).    On this level we should be looking at all the parts of who we are.  

 

We all spend a large amount of time working so it makes sense that if we are not happy with our work our emotions will lead us to eating not aligned with how we would like.   

 

This is the same with our relationships – intimate and not.  If these aren’t in order and making your life better than it is likely you won’t be eating well.  

It’s not just about food..

This also brings me to the point that although everything that affects our emotions are going to affect our actions, I believe that this lack – be it connection, fulfilment, alignment or any other disconnect with your life is actually going to play just as big a role in your overall health as the food itself anyway.   

 

If we want to go right back to the root problem (always a good idea) instead of just dealing with the superficial band aid of ‘eating better’ we come up against our beliefs.  Who am I? What am I worthy of? What is my place in the world?  

 

These existential questions that place us in the world are largely answered by our child selves.   The problem is they are often not updated to help us as adults.  

 

 A good place to start is to bring awareness to how you are feeling when you reach for the food.   Is it a void that you are trying to fill? Is it boredom? Sadness? Even happiness we celebrate with food and drink in our culture.   

 

Once you start getting some awareness then look for some patterns and look at the areas of your life that you could be more satisfied with and start taking some small steps to head towards a more positive place in these areas.  

 

We all know that the salad is probably better for us than the burger and chips so let’s work towards understanding ourselves on a deeper level.   

 

If this article resonates with you please share it to anyone that you think it may help.   We want to help more people feel their best in a sustainable manner.

 

Written by Luke Sharp, Owner of The Wild Movement.

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Are you getting in your own way?

So you really want to lose body fat. You know how to eat and live for this to happen, but for some reason you just can’t make yourself live this way consistently. You do it for a day, or even a week but can’t seem to string good weeks onto good weeks, let alone months. You know it is your big priority yet you keep getting in your own way. If this sounds like you then read on.

 

The above is a classic example of self sabotage. You want something wholeheartedly but you get in your own way before the goal is accomplished. In this instance, all the knowledge around nutrition, training and lifestyle isn’t going to necessarily help you get out of this cycle.

 

Before we look at what is actually going on it is important to get a basic grasp of some theory – In psychotherapy (I am currently studying a branch of this) according to Eric Berne people operate out of one of three ego states. Adult, Parent or Child.   These ego states are modelled from what we saw as a child. For example adult ego state means the person is being open, honest and straight up without any hidden agenda or games. Parent ego state is where the person is either nurturing someone or being critical.   Child ego state is where the person is essentially acting like a ‘child’. They may be in a state of spontaneity, fun or conforming.

 

So if we look at the above situation again we actually have an internal dialogue fight between 2 ego states of our selves. Our parent ego state is sending out messages that you can’t eat this or you can’t drink that. In other words, it’s being very restrictive and critical.   The internal dialogue is hitting our child ego state which just wants to have fun and be free.   For people that have a perfectionist streak within them this critical ego state is very powerful and dominant. The problem with this is that the ‘child’ is even more constrained and wants to come out even more.   This is where the battle is lost. The internal dialogue of “you can’t eat that, it’s bad” will eventually lose to the child ego state that says “stuff you mate, I want to be free”.   How long this battle goes on for with the parent winning depends on how strong that restrictive voice is and how many other stressors in your life you have.

 

So now we know what is going on at a basic level, what should we do about it?   We know with anything health and training the biggest, most important principle to ensure is carried out is consistency over a long period of time. You don’t get strong doing one four week program and you don’t go from fat to fit overnight.   With that awareness the best thing you can do for yourself is to give yourself permission to not be perfect all of the time. When you relax this perfect ‘driver’ you are relaxing the critical parent ego state and therefore not encouraging that inner dialogue battle where the child is going to win. It means you may not eat or live as ‘perfect’ as you would like but it means you will be much more consistent without the big extremes of on and off. We know that this is the recipe for success with your health and your body composition over a long period of time.

 

Imagine being able to eat some ice cream or have a wine without feeling guilty? This is possible when we relax that perfect driver because you won’t actually want it so often.   I hope this has helped you or someone you know. Please share and tag anyone you think this may help!

 

Thanks for reading! If you would like to know more about our training options at The Wild Movement then please go here.

 

 

 

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