Sunday, November 18, 2007

Business Coach Reveals Revolutionary Way to Curb Holiday Overeating

The TLC Diet for the Swamped Working Woman

As an executive coach for women I am seeing a trend of working women putting their health at the bottom of their “To Do List”. I watch more and more executive women grumbling at prying themselves away from the office and toward greater health…during the holidays it gets even worse. I knew that there needed to be a better way. So I found that there were simple easy ways for busy women to release weight.

Leading nutritionists are concluding that cultivating a grateful attitude toward your body actually helps you assimilate your food better and have fewer cravings. As a life coach to Emmy, Grammy and Golden Globe winners and others in the Hollywood elite, I have seen that breaking the cycle of dieting and cheating goes beyond food.

The Cycle of Overeating

Self-nagging is one of the most fattening things on the planet. It’s what drives the cycle of overeating. Debra Waterhouse, R.N., reports that according to a Stanford University study, weight loss doesn’t necessarily improve body image. Rather, the reverse is true: body acceptance—a low-criticism diet—is the best weight-loss program. The women who were the most at peace with their body were twice as likely to lose weight than those who were wildly dissatisfied with the way they looked. That’s why beating yourself up after eating some chocolate cake often leads to eating the entire cake.

Thank you Is A Magic Word

One of the most revolutionary ways to release weight is to spend time each day thanking your body and appreciating it for the wonderful job it is doing.

Am I saying that loving acceptance, and its cousin, gentleness, can actually enhance my health? You bet. Believe it or not, deciding to love your body just as it is, right now, lumps, bumps, and all, is a crucial step in breaking the cycle of combat with your weight. Take it from one who knows.

If you have had a pattern of overfeeding or underappreciating that glorious body you are living in, The Low-Criticism Diet (TLC Diet) may be just the one for you. It’s tough to eat too many green leafy vegetables. It’s just as hard to give yourself too much kindness. What if you cut down on the Krispy Kremes of comparing yourself to someone else’s body shape? What if you went through the internal cupboards in your mind and got rid of all the junk-food berating of yourself? TLC can be the last weight release program you’ll ever need.


Step One: Get Real. Stop scanning the horizon for the newest fad diet. Stop comparing yourself to every female form the media presents to you. As Mayor of You-ville your very first responsibility is the health and well-being of your town. Pass a law banning the thought of going from a size 14 to a size 4 for at least a week. Give yourself a breather and let who you are be peachy-keen. Okay, you don’t look like a super model. Accept yourself as you are and watch your mood lift. Once you stop the war with your body, you are more open to listening to its innate wisdom.

And get real about what you can actually do—which means, take it in manageable steps. What small action can you take toward a healthier you? Maybe today you will have one less donut and spend 15 minutes walking. Maybe you will drink a Big Gulp of water instead of Coke. Try turning off the TV while you are eating dinner—paying attention to what you eat while you eat it is a big plus in feeling satiated. Writing down what you eat is another way to get real about what is going into your mouth. A great way to get real is to only eat while you are sitting. Another great idea is to only eat while you are eating. When you get conscious about what you are actually eating, it fills you up faster and you don’t need to eat as much.

Step Two: Get Full, Full, Full. Setting up an unattainable goal (say, losing sixty-seven pounds before your annual convention next month) based on what you can’t have (say, never eating sugar ever, ever, ever again) is a recipe for feeling famished. Remember what you focus on grows. When you focus on not eating any sweets, what do you crave? Cookies, cake, and cherry cobbler.

On the TLC Diet you zero in on what fills you up. Pay attention to what you do well and celebrate it. Prize yourself and your body unconditionally. Focus on the good in others as well—it’s the best dessert! Appreciation is one of the most satisfying things on the planet.

Step Three: Get Gentle. In the overeating cycle you scolded yourself for your slips and falls. On the Low-Criticism Plan you find ways of cherishing and being patient with yourself. It’s easy to get frustrated when you are changing a habit. It takes a bit of work at the beginning. Be gentle with yourself anyway. Start listening to your internal dialogue. If you are like me and have given yourself years of abusive self-talk, cut those voices off at the pass. Override them with statements like “I am patient and gentle with myself as I grow and learn,” “I love myself just the way I am,” “I love me no matter what I think or say or do.” That’s how affirmations work. There’s never a bad time to serve up some TLC for yourself or someone else.

Step Four: Get Grateful. The old model ended up with hopelessness and defeat. Instead, name your victories. Find three things to celebrate about yourself right now. Even if it is as simple as the fact that you brushed your hair this morning. (teeth in another example) Be grateful that you have hair and let that appreciation spread through your whole body. Take a few minutes to infuse your body with thankfulness—in the shower is a great time to do this.

There is no downside to being grateful. It’s hard to eat too many leafy green vegetables. It’s equally hard to give yourself too much kindness and loving appreciation. Life goes better with TLC.

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