Dieting? (Book Review)
Finding Your Natural Weight While Loving Your Body
We often feel compelled to extreme diet when desperate for change. Unfortunately, these strict diets usually do more harm than good. Disgust and self-hatred often arise when we try to “starve the body to punish the mind” (Prakriti, 82). This creates an unstable foundation inhibiting positive and transformative change…or worse, spins us further into depression, anxiety and physical stress. When the grueling self-discipline is over, we often will regain the weight due to our body’s normal response to such shocking restrictions. We are then left feeling frustrated and deflated.
In the book Prakriti, Dr. Robert E. Svodboda offers an entirely different paradigm for loosing weight. I highly recommend reading his book to attain further understanding. Here are some of the principles he puts forth…
1) We have a natural fat ideal
Our body needs a certain level of fat to work at its best. This amount varies, but it’s probably safe to assume that the - I’m starving in France look – is not yours. Insufficient fat contributes significantly to fear and anxiety, among many other complications.
2) Don’t be in a hurry
Taking it slowly can be tricky because often we are working with compulsive energies when we are really keen to lose weight – but attaining a new body requires change to our psychology and lifestyle. These deep adjustments take time and are key in making weight loss permanent. As Svaboda suggests, “forget about fat; think about recreating yourself.”
3) Refuel and Burn off
Progressively adjust to a healthier diet. Be consistent with your sleep routine (don’t under or oversleep) and exercise at least three times a week. Extremes create inner rebellions that express as harmful behavior. Set goals that are realistic and you will be more likely to accomplish replenishing your stores of energy and finding your ideal natural body weight.
4) Decrease intake of cold food and drink
The body retains fat for insulation when it’s cold. Warm waters or hot herbal teas can help melt fat away.
5) Maintain awareness with what you eat
Thoroughly chew your food to savor the flavor and texture. This helps to satisfy food cravings. Pay attention to your food intake each day, including the tendency to get too rigid about it. This rigidity is dangerous for the body, mind and spirit and it is our challenge in life to find the balance between structure and flexibility.
6) Don’t give up and find a support system
We have a tendency to be harshly “black and white” with ourselves when dieting. If you slip here and there, that’s natural, expected and okay. Consistency and the willingness to dust ourselves off, free from guilt, and get back on our routines are the keys to success in any worthwhile endeavor. Lapses are inevitable and even necessary when we consider that the most powerful personal transformation occurs precisely when we choose to re-commit to life-affirming behavior.
7) Reward yourself
Praise your efforts via enjoyment. Discipline is a necessary aspect of healthy living, but without enjoyment its purpose is defeated. Try making a daily discipline of doing something sweet for yourself (not involving food). Treat yourself to a massage, listen to poetry or sit by the water…whatever makes you feel a sense of “ahh… this is nice.”
If you would like further information on healthier ways to diet, or have questions/comments about your own situation, feel free to contact us.
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