The biggest and most common weight loss mistake is trying to lose weight by ONLY changing what you eat.
Don’t get me wrong, changing what you eat is a crucial part of weight loss and healthy living, but before you change what you eat, you need to change how you think.
You need to deal with the voice (the hurtful and critical and annoying voice) inside your head.
The voice that constantly criticizes, compares, and judges yourself and others.
The voice that incessantly chews over the past and frantically frets about the future.
The voice that tells you you’re not good enough, not smart enough, or not strong enough to succeed.
You know that voice I’m talking about, right? It’s the voice that keeps you locked in patterns of anxiety and fear. And it’s the voice that sends you running to the kitchen even when you’re not hungry.
But the good news is this: You absolutely have the power to train this voice. We all do. And meditation is one the most powerful tools you can use to help you do exactly that.
I resisted meditation for a really long time. I thought it was too weird, or new age-y, or “woo-woo” for me.
But as I continued to wake up to the destructive mental patterns that kept me stuck in self-sabotage, every teacher, mentor, and coach I trusted and loved suggested I try meditation. And thank goodness I did!
Meditating not only helped me deal with my harsh inner critic and look at my struggles through a new lens, it also did wonders for my anxiety. For years I suffered from panic attacks, and once I started meditating, even just a few minutes a day, they magically (and mercifully) stopped.
I love this video from ABC News Correspondent Dan Harris. Harris was also a reluctant mediator, but after having a live, on-air panic attack on Good Morning America, he started searching for stress solutions. He decided he needed to make some serious changes in his life.
If you’re still on the fence about meditation, please watch this video…
Changing your diet without also changing your mind is a huge (HUGE) weight loss mistake. In fact, breaking through resistance, shifting your mindset, and releasing limiting emotions is the critical first step of my Smaller Size Bigger Life weight loss program.
A few weeks ago I opened the doors toSmaller Size Bigger Life, an online training program for women who struggle with emotional eating, binge eating, overeating or body image issues, and the spots sold out in a just a few days!
But if for whatever reason you didn’t join Smaller Size Bigger Life, don’t worry. I’ll be opening enrollment again in early 2015 (you can jump on the waitlist HERE), and if you decide never to join, please know that there’s a TON you can do on your own.
Following is the Smaller Size Bigger Life reading list. These books are absolutely not about diets or deprivation.
Diets don’t help you understand why you overeat in the first place, so they don’t get to the root of the issue. Diets also don’t show you how to eat, or teach you how to form a healthy relationship with food and your body.
And without those CRITICAL missing pieces of the weight-loss puzzle, you’re going to struggle. Losing weight, improving your health, and living a happier and Bigger Life is all about…
1) Understanding WHY you overeat and treating yourself with love and kindness;
2) Learning HOW to eat intuitively and to trust and respect your body;
3) Discovering WHAT foods help you drop pounds, feel energized, and keep your soul-satisfied.
And the following books will help you do all of these. Start with the one (or two) that really resonate with you, and continue from there. Trust your heart to lead you to the next best step on your healing journey. (Pssst, by the way, if you’re reading this post, you’re already on a healing path toward health and happiness!)
During the dark days of my own life (you can read my story here), Louise Hay was my guiding light. With so much compassion and a simple how-to approach, she taught me how to stop being a victim and to start living (and eating) from a place of love. All of her books are life changing, truly, but The Power Is Within You and You Can Heal Your Life are my absolute favorites.
I’ve been working on this cookbook (I’m the Skinnytaste dietitian) with my dear friend Gina for the last few years, so I know just how awesome it is. Gina’s recipes are exactly what good food should be – clean, nutrient-loaded, and oh-so delicious!
“Eating doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food.” Yup, it sure does! If you only read one book about nutrition, THIS is the one to read, period.
I’m a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, and I’ve personally trained with dietitian Evelyn Tribole, so I know first-hand how powerful this approach is. Intuitive Eating teaches you to trust your hunger signals (the opposite of what diets do) and how to form a healthy relationship with food and your body.
This fabulous little book by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh combines intuitive eating, mindfulness, clean eating, and clear thinking all into one simple and fun read. With everyday practical solutions, this book will show you how to nourish yourself, inside and out.
Remember, no matter how long you’ve traveled in the wrong direction, you always have the choice to turn around. It is never, ever too late.
I’m a big book nerd and could recommend SO many more (check out the books in my picture above, and the ones on my Pinterest book board HERE), but theses five are a great place to start.