That’s often the cry of the dieter. You’ve…we’ve been sold the idea of quick weight loss (not necessarily fat loss, mind, but weight loss). You know, all those diet book titles – six weeks to…, eight minutes a day…, seven pounds in seven days….two days…. four hours…. – marketing messages that promise quick results and sell a promise of “quick and easy”. What they don’t tell you is that 95% of dieters may well lose some weight, temporarily, that those results are not sustainable and the weight piles back on again plus more. Sound familiar?
Carrying extra weight is a symptom that your body isn’t in balance. It’s one of the outward manifestations of your body not being at its optimal health. We’re so focused on our weight that we don’t relate our diet to other symptoms – eczema, allergies, blotchy skin, a less than healthy colour, dry skin, fatigue, brain fog…. Often, we put some of these things down to age, without even stopping to think that if we tackled the source of the problem, then our body could heal, and all of these other issues would clear themselves up and we could have our body be at its ideal body composition. We look only for linear measurements by which we track progress.
What’s more, so many people have learned only to measure progress by the weight on the scale. We weigh ourselves and become upset and throw the diet out of the window when the scale doesn’t show that same 2 pounds a week loss. But what exactly is that loss? Fat? Water? Muscle? We become attached to the number on the scale, which then determines how good or bad we feel about ourselves and then how well we treat ourselves, especially through our eating for the rest of the day.
It’s time to let that go
It’s time to take a step back and take a bigger picture view on things, and to understand that our body will heal if we provide it with what it needs. That healing takes time.
That is the way of nature. Children grow in spurts; they don’t grow linearly. So it is too with our bodies. As the teachers in my Bikram Yoga class say, “Same class everyday, not the same body everyday”.
Our bodies are an amazing bio-chemical lab.
Within the course of a day, the body shifts in temperature, metabolic rate, brain wave patterns, hormone levels, energy output, respiratory function… Each second, millions of blood cells are born and die. Your stomach lining regenerates completely in a week. Your skin surface is replaced in a month and your liver cells turn over in six weeks. Scientists say that our entire body is replaced within seven years.
It isn’t a static “same everyday” organism; it is living universe that responds moment by moment to its environment. This includes its external environment as well as its internal environment. Guess what? The foods that we eat determine its internal environment.
[Tweet “So, have you ever wondered why your body seems to recreate the same body over and over again?”]
If your skin surface is replaced in a month, why does it still look the same as last month?
Well, if you’re eating the same as last month, they there’s your answer right there… because what your body gets to use to rebuild itself is the food you eat.
The quality of the food that you eat determines the quality of the building material that your body has, which in turn determines the state of your health and metabolism, and so ultimately your body composition.
The visual measurement of skinny or fat is not necessarily a reflection of health.
You need to be healthy first
As Dr Schwarzbein, author of The Schwarzbein Principle, says, “You need to be healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to be healthy. It is only when you have completely healed your metabolism that you are primed for losing all your excess storage fat.”
So what gives? The idea that weight loss in and of itself is the goal. It’s not; it’s just one of the outward symptoms of a body not being at its optimal best.
Next week, I’ll write about what foods to start adding into your diet. And I won’t be asking you to take anything away.
In the meantime, start listing out all the things that you’d like to see improve – better and clearer thinking, clearer skin, shinier hair, brighter eyes, more energy, better quality sleep, fit of clothes, self-confidence, improved mood… what else can you think of?
Oh, and if you can start weaning yourself off your scales, that would be good too.