I want to explain to you a simple mind-set shift that will have a profound effect on the way you think about weight loss for the rest of your life.
As a weight loss coach and emotional eating expert, I have learned that women who learn to let "fun" fuel their weight loss feel more beautiful, sexy and confident, lose more weight than dieters AND have a life full of passion, romance, relaxation and purpose.
Sounds pretty amazing, right?
Most women believe that having too much fun is what has caused their "weight problem". The indulging in dessert, long dinners and nights on the town has slowly packed on the pounds and put them in body-jail.
When it comes time to start shedding for the wedding, women subscribe to a diet that not only restricts their food, but their lives as well -- taking all the fun out of the engagement. Women who crash-diet for their wedding end up being stressed and miserable for months -- a total bridezilla -- and if women lose any weight, they gain it back on their honeymoon.
The reality is the not having enough fun is the biggest cause of weight gain. Here's why...
Women have a tendency to shy away from 'fun' for these 3 reasons:
1. We do so much for other people and believe that taking time for ourselves is selfish.
2. We're so committed to doing well in our careers and taking time for ourselves during the day would make us seem like we don't take our jobs seriously.
3. We're embarrassed by our bodies so we hide and 'play small' until we can lose the weight and get out in the world. Here's a great article by Geneen Roth on how to make peace with your body.
As you probably know, chronic stress is the biggest contributor to weight gain, weight retention and pre-mature aging. Even if you have a "perfect" diet and work out constantly, if you're stressed, you will only continue to gain weight.
Here's why: Our brains don't know the difference between being chased by a wooly mammoth and having an impending deadline at work. So when we get stressed, regardless of the cause, our brains get our bodies right into survival mode: blood rushes to the arms, feet and brain for quick thinking and running, and as a result our bodies don't have the resources to digest or shed extra weight.
Our bodies also start storing energy by lowering our metabolism, holding onto body fat and getting rid of energy consuming muscle.
As you're probably experiencing, planning a wedding is incredibly stressful, and adding a restrictive diet is just doubling the stress and seriously hurting your chances at weight loss. The best way to reduce your stress and to turn your body into a fat burning machine is to make 'fun' the focal point of your life.
If that didn't convince you, take a look at your own eating habits. When we aren't making 'fun' the focal point of our lives, the only way we can get pleasure or a break from our busy schedules is to eat. How often do you crave sugar at 4pm even though you're not hungry? What we really need in the afternoon is a quick walk or 15-minute back massage. Since we don't allow ourselves that luxury, we eat. How often do you continue eating your gnocchi even though you're so stuffed? If meals are our only opportunity to chill, then no wonder you never want it to be over. Do you ever tell yourself you don't deserve to dress-up, let loose and indulge because you're too fat? That mentality just holds you in a place of constant punishment and captivity, and your only distraction from the pain is food. You're just perpetuating the cycle.
After dieting for over a decade with no lasting success, I vowed to ditch my diet and take a look at what was missing in my life. I realized I was starved of fun. I started bringing joy back into my life by going to dance class three times a week, leaving work early, nurturing my female friendships and re-lighting the fire in my relationship. Over time, I lost 40 pounds without counting a single calorie.
As you can see, the problem isn't always what you're eating, it's why you're eating. You can try to change your diet as much as you like, but until you address the underlying cause (a serious lack of fun), your subconscious will always find a way to get pleasure and excitement through food.
I'm currently offering a program for brides who are sick of restriction and failed diets and want weight loss to be a fun, life-changing experience. My Breathtaking Bride Booty Camp is a virtual 10-week program that is going to help brides create an engagement full of fun, romance and relaxation, so they can finally lose the weight AND have an incredible engagement. If you think this program might be exactly what you've been craving, click here to see if it's right for you.
Most women think that "when I'm thin, that's when I'll be happy." The most amazing part about fun-fueled weight loss is that after just a few days of making fun a priority, you feel so happy, in love and your stress melts away instantly. You realize that you don't need to wait until you're thin to start living your ideal life. Not only are you so wonderful to be around, but you lose your emotional craving for food and the weight effortlessly melts away.
The main challenge with this philosophy is that living one way is so engrained in us that it's hard to even know how to adjust our lifestyles to make our lives one big party. Plus, leaving behind the rules and structure of a diet is a little scary, how will you know that fun-fueled weight loss is actually going to work?
It's so important to reach out to a group of supportive women, get a coach or enroll in a program like the Breathtaking Bride Booty Camp if you want to get to the root cause of your over-eating and finally lose weight for your wedding. Long-term support is the only way to make your dreams for your body a reality.
You can't try the same weight loss strategies over and over and expect different results. "Willpower" is a made-up word in my world, and I promise you joy, adventure and relaxation if you give a whirl to partying your way into your wedding dress.