Eating to Feel Good

During the Intuitive Eating lecture at the Resort, I often tell guests that motivation is an effect, not a cause. You don’t usually start out motivated. Most guests upon returning home will have to go through the motions a bit. They will have to implement what they learned at the Resort because they know they need to if they want to meet their healthy lifestyle goals. While it might seem overwhelming at first, once they do this, they have the opportunity to notice a difference in how they feel. I say opportunity because all too often guests will implement the changes with only the goal of seeing a difference on the scale. However, if they only measure success by what the scale says, they will never be successful. But, if they take that opportunity and measure success by how much better they feel, then they will truly be successful.

Often guests say that sticking to the exercise at home is easy while nutrition is the hardest part. I think I have an answer for why. Immediately after exercising you get a reward. Not too many people ever say they regret having exercised. However, immediate rewards from food don’t usually happen. Some may have to stay the course for a few weeks in order to truly notice a difference in energy levels, less cravings, smoother skin, thicker hair, better sleep patterns, regulated appetite and hunger levels, clearer cognitive function…and the list goes on. But if you do stick it out, you will notice all these things. And that is what will keep you going. Even if the number on the scale has stopped moving down, you still know that you can’t turn back now. You have made too many changes, come too far and feel too good to ever go back to what you were before.
I really feel that the best approach to weight loss is to say, “I am going to treat my body the best way I know how. I am going to sleep well, I am going to eat well, stay hydrated, exercise…and I am going to see where my weight settles because I trust my body to find its healthy weight.” And it will! You may have a goal in mind, and that’s OK, but if you give your body a chance, it will find the best weight.
I also encourage guests to keep an open mind. For example, I know many people who have said that they could NEVER give up diet coke and artificial sweeteners. And many of these same people give it up and can’t imagine themselves ever going back. Take a good hard look at what you are currently doing and know that anything is possible. But if you always say never, you will never progress. The way you talk to yourself and about yourself plays into your feelings of self-efficacy. You have to feel like you CAN do it to be able to do it. If you start eating healthier, you have to believe that you can. And I want you to know that I believe you can. I can say it over and over but if you can’t say it, it will never happen. Keep a positive attitude and when thoughts of “I can’t” or “I’m a failure” or I’m not worth it” enter in, push them immediately out.
My number one goal for guests leaving the Resort is for them to develop a healthier relationship with food. Once that happens, the behaviors become the easy part. Too often we want to lose weight so we change behavior first but in reality we have to get to the root of the problem. And the problem usually is an unhealthy relationship with food brought on by years of dieting, being too restrictive or perhaps too lenient, viewing food as “bad”, confusion about what is healthy or perhaps using food to cover up bigger issues. Remember, excess in nothing, moderation in everything.
So your new mantra is: “I CAN BE HEALTHY!”
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD