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Taking the Yo-Yo out of Dieting

Added on September 29, 2010

If endless chasing of your ideal self-image is a familiar story, read on!

The weather is getting warmer. Time to pack away the oversized jumpers and pull out the shorts and swimwear. If this idea fills you with dread and you’re thinking about going on yet another diet, here are a few points to consider:

  • Too often, diets are a reactive process. First consider if you’re really overweight or if you’re just comparing yourself to the 16 year old waifs in Australia’s Next Top Model. Remember, women are supposed to have curves! Unless you have underlying health issues, your Body Mass Index (BMI) is the best way to determine if you really need to lose weight and how much. Why not check your BMI at www.measureup.gov.au
  • If you do need to lose weight, consider if you’re ready to change. Diets never work – a change in lifestyle and eating habits do. So if you want to improve your health and change your appearance, you may need to first change the way you consider food and exercise. For example, eating “mindfully” (ie being in the moment, not multi-tasking while you eat) may help you to enjoy smaller portions of food.
  • Take the value judgements off your plate: there is no such thing as good food or bad food, just healthy or not. So it follows that you are not good or bad according to what you eat, you simply choose to eat healthy or unhealthy foods. It’s a choice you make.
  • Be careful about eating for comfort or to fulfil some other need. If you eat more when you’re stressed or anxious, address these symptoms first. A meditation course or relaxation classes may help.
    Remember that a person is more than his or her shape. Consider what is right about you and about your life, not only what you want to change. Change is always easier when you feel good about yourself, so remind yourself what you do well and what you like about yourself and about your life.
  • Even when you’re ready, change is never easy. Consider – Can I do this on my own or should I enlist the help of a professional? What are my support networks, who will help support my change process? Is there a friend after the same goal who would walk this road with me?
  • Enlist the help of your unconscious mind. A positive attitude is important and hypnotherapy, the original positive psychology, may help you to reprogram the way you perceive food and exercise, helping you shed the psychological weight you may be carrying.
  • Sustained change takes time. Set yourself short, medium and long term goals. Write them down and aim to meet a single goal every day. You may consider enlisting the help of a Wellness Coach to guide you in setting and achieving your goals and to keep you motivated.

About Judith Lissing

Judith Lissing is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Wellness Coach, with 15 years experience in teaching stress management and meditation. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Immunology and a Masters degree in Public Health, both from the University of NSW. She is also an Associate Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of NSW since 1999. Judith is trained in Wellness Coaching with Wellcoaches U.S. and holds a Diploma in Hypnotherapy. Prior to coaching professionally, Judith held a statewide management role with NSW Health working with all levels of staff across the health sector.

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