Friday, March 16, 2012

3 Steps to Pain-Free Weight Loss and Healthy Body Image

Today's post is brought to you by Laura Fenamore. What’s more painful than chronic physical pain?
The pain that lives inside of us, that’s what. Can you imagine being 100 pounds overweight and living with all of the shame that goes along with that? Imagine the inability to buy a dress or the fear that goes with flying on an airplane at that size. Now, can you imagine losing all that weight and still coming up short? Still feeling deep inside that you are not good enough? Never believing for more than a few moments at a time, that you are beautiful and valuable?
Body image is how we see ourselves from the inside out, and losing weight doesn’t necessarily change this view in any real way. Interestingly, there are very few of us who don’t have a distortion in our “internal mirror.” Like the reflections in a funhouse, our image is out of whack. Obese people often live in eternal (and deadly) denial, and many times, thin people harm themselves with starvation, drug use, compulsive exercise, and purging. And there’s no easy fix to any of this. There’s no exiting the funhouse with a few laughs.
The simple truth is that getting out of that funhouse of distorted images starts with what we eat, how we live, and how we feel. It requires that we end our unhealthy love affair with self-criticism and create the room for self-care and self-esteem. And learn it and learn it and learn it some more. And if we cannot get it, we ask for help with that.
We can’t love ourselves and chastise ourselves at the same time. Well we can, and you tell me, how does that work for you? It’s got to be the whole shebang if we’re really going to change. And why not? Change is all around us. The world keeps revolving and WE need to move with it. Human beings are remarkable. We can survive. We have survived the most harmful of things. So, in honor of National Nutrition Month, why not tackle some of that pain inside of us?
Step 1: Start your day by remembering that you are both powerful and precious. On your knees, ask the power around you to remind you to love yourself today. Let every negative comment or thought simply float away. If you want peace, you must give up the idea of conflict entirely and all the time. This is now your new goal.
Step 2: Take the time to do loving things. How do you build self-esteem? You perform estimable acts. Let that materialize as loving actions toward yourself. We’re talking about the basics here – rest, good company, healthy food and nutrition, and physical movement. Those are the basics. How long since your day revolved around those things? Too long, I bet.
Step 3: Love is a two-way street. So treat yourself to time with those who love you. Cultivate a sense of childlike joy and run, skip, jump, climb, and play with those you love. Don’t deny yourself ice cream and other treats you enjoyed as a child. Just consider putting them in a fun Yum Yum Dish, so that you know you won’t overindulge.
The simple truth is that YOU have the right to be honored and comforted, fulfilled and LOVED today – from the inside AND the outside.
About the Author: Weight Release & Body Image Coach Laura Fenamore is on a mission to guide women around the world to love what they see in the mirror, one pinky at a time, so they can unlock the secrets to a healthy weight and start loving their lives as soon as possible. Laura is the author of the forthcoming book Weightless: 7 Tools to Love Your Body (and Lose Weight For Good) and a frequent contributor to local and national media – including First for Women, Ladies Home Journal, the Dr. Pat Show and blog contributor on Betty Confidential, Daily Love and Positively Positive. Laura believes that self-love and self-care is where the transformation begins. Learn more about her programs, invite her to speak or contribute to your program or conference at

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