How I’m Escaping the Pleasure Trap (and losing weight!)

For a long time, I was trapped in a cycle of eating, overeating, dieting, losing weight, gaining the weight back, etc.

Sound familiar?

I thought there was something wrong with me, but as it turns out, I’m more than ok. There’s nothing wrong with me at all. 🙂

It’s the Pleasure Trap! (Learn about the book below).

Or more specifically, it’s the food produced by modern society that was keeping me in the pleasure trap (craving it and then going back for more).

Check out this video to learn how I’m losing weight and getting healthy by escaping this trap.

I learned all about the pleasure trap in the following book.

The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health and Happiness, written by Dr. Alan Goldhamer and Dr. Doug Lisle, is a detailed and science-based book that will open your eyes to what’s going on in the food around us today. Learn how it’s not your fault that you’re constantly drawn to calorie-dense, unhealthy foods, and discover how you can retrain your body to enjoy nature’s healthy foods.

Check out the Audible version.

If you’re struggling with your weight, give this book a try. It really opened my eyes.

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),

Welcome to my Journey to Health and an Ideal Weight

Like so many women, I’ve struggled with my weight and attempted to lose weight many times.

Guess what? I’ve been super successful! Losing weight over and over again. 🙂

The problem is…I keep gaining it back. 😦 Currently, I am about 40-50 lbs overweight.

Early in 2021, I found myself in a deep funk. One that lasted for weeks instead of just a few days. I was in a state of what I call an “almost depression”, combined with anxiety and overwhelm.

This month, I knew I needed a drastic shift to get my body and mind reset.

I wanted time to complete a water fast to:

  • reset my taste buds
  • get a head start on my weight loss, and ultimately,
  • to help me begin and maintain a healthier lifestyle that will lead to me feeling vibrant and comfortable in my own body

I know a water fast sounds crazy to most, but it is, in fact, the fastest way to heal your body. Since I had breast cancer in 2020, achieving a healthy weight and having strong health is more important to me than ever before.

Although I was hesitant and afraid at first, I’ve decided to share my journey with other women because I know it will help me, and it might help you.

At this point in my life, I realize I no longer need to be afraid of what others think. From now on, I choose to be free to be me.

Check out my video to learn more about my journey and to see where I am on Day 4 of my water fast.

Note: I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert on water fasting. You should not attempt a water fast without consulting your doctor. People with underlying conditions and/or who are on medications may not be suited to a water fast. The best way to water fast is to do a supervised water fast, under the care of an experienced physician (which I have done before). See True North Health Center to learn more about safe water fasting.

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),

OMG…THAT’s what I Look Like?

If you’re disgusted at your own body, you are basically hating yourself on a daily basis. Learn how living in the present could give you greater peace, less stress and ultimately, a better relationship with your body.

Do you cringe or berate yourself when you look in the mirror or catch a glance of yourself in a store window?

Sadly, you’re not alone.

Too many women, including myself, loathe and despise what they see when they stumble upon their full body image, while previously happily moving through their day.

Now that I’m over 50 and getting a bit wiser, I realize just how awful this ingrained habit is. 

Think about it: the place you live 24 hours a day and year after year is your body! You’re the only one who lives there. If you hate your body, or even parts of your body, you are basically hating you!

That’s just not right, and it certainly CANNOT be healthy!

How can you blossom into a healthier version of yourself if you hate you? It seems like oxymoronic thinking. I hate my body, but I want it to be better. 

Since my late 30’s, I’ve been working at losing weight at one time or another, just like so many other women. Hating my body and wanting it to be different hasn’t helped the process. 

So, what’s the alternative?

Accept your body today, as it is.

What? Sounds crazy. Why would you do that? You don’t want to accept your current body with rolls, cellulite, or other unwanted features, right? 

I’m not saying you have to accept your current body’s state forever; it makes sense to eat healthier foods and move your body more to become healthier. Absolutely, we should try to do that.

What I am saying is that you can learn to feel calmer, happier and less stressed by starting to learn to accept your body as it is. I’m discovering specific ways that are helping me to begin to accept and love my body, and therefore, feel better.

I would love to share all the tricks that are helping me, but for this post, I’d like to focus on just one helpful strategy.

Living in the Present

Most of us don’t fully live and enjoy the present moment. Physically, our bodies exist, but a lot of the time we’re mentally and emotionally somewhere else. 

Where? The past or the future.

Some people live in the past, dwelling on what happened, why it happened and draining their emotions (sadness, anger, resentment, bitterness, etc.) and hours of energy on things that no longer exist. While our earlier experiences affect who we are, they’re in the past.

Don’t get me wrong. Some people have been through a lot in their life and may need to address past events and situations. If you’ve had experiences that require you to work through them emotionally (neglect, abuse, etc.), doing so with a counselor is going to serve you better than dwelling on things that keep you stuck or blaming others for your life.

Most of my past stays there, but for me, it’s the future I seemed to be obsessed with. If I dedicate most of my thinking time to what’s happening later in the day, or next week, or next month, I’m smothered with unneeded emotions: worry, anxiety, doubt, fear, etc. 

Can you guess one of the things that dominates my future thinking? 

Food and Weight: When will I eat?, What will I eat?, What should I eat?, I should eat less, I should eat more greens and vegetables, I should stop eating crappy food etc. 

Past thinking slips in too: I ate too much, Why did I eat that? Why do I always overeat? Why didn’t I choose the salad? etc.

Future thinking is my normal, and it never occurred to me that it was negatively impacting me.

This whole idea of being fully present and not mentally jumping into the future is new to me, so I am, like all of us, a work in progress. Luckily, I made an amazing discovery while practicing living in the present: I feel calmer and less stressed!

Which way of living sounds better to you?

Past Living…sadness, anger, resentment, bitterness

Living in the past leads to energy-draining emotions like anger and resentment.

Future Living…worry, anxiety, doubt, fear

Living in the future creates more feelings of worry and axiety.

Present Living…calm, peace, joy, stress-free

Live in the present to feel more peace and less stress.

Clearly, the Present looks more appealing. I’ve applied living in the present to several aspects of my life to see how it would feel. Here are a few ways I’ve tried.

Falling asleep: I focus on the present by appreciating my warm bed and home. I focus on what my body needs to sleep, and I breathe deeply and slowly. If my mind wanders to the past or future, I refocus or I repeat affirmations like, “I am healthy and strong”, or “I will have a deep, restful sleep.” Plug in the words you need to feel presently calm and to avoid thinking about the past or future.

Eating: Instead of hurriedly putting food together and then, while eating, wondering what I will eat next, I now try to eat in the present. I plan and prepare a meal more thoughtfully. I sit down to eat and concentrate on being grateful for the food, chewing it at a leisurely rate (instead of the usual shoveling it into my mouth) and enjoying the tastes and textures, 

So, how can you live in the present with your body? How can you learn to accept your body where it is, for the moment, and stop beating yourself up about it? Let’s first compare some possible past, future and present thinking about our bodies.

Past: “I’m disgusting. I ate way too much pizza last night. I think I had 6 pieces. I’m such a pig. No wonder I’m so huge.”

Future: “When will I finally get serious about losing this weight? Look at yourself. I’m going to start my diet tomorrow for sure. Otherwise, I’m going to balloon up even more. Yikes!”

Present: “I’m healthy and have a good life. I see that my body could be at a healthier weight,  but that’s ok for today, for this present moment. Although I don’t look the way I want right, now, I’m learning to love myself just the way I am”.

I have done this, and guess what? I feel better. 

It doesn’t mean I accept my weight forever, and it doesn’t mean I’ll never live in the past or future again when I look at my body. It does mean I’m working at loving myself, which includes my overweight body, just as I am, because negative self-bashing is not good for the soul. 

Self-bashing, whether through past or future thinking hasn’t helped me lose and keep off the weight so far. It’s time to try something different.

Ultimately, what I’ve learned is that I can control my stress, and so can you. 

You ARE in control of whether you think about the past or future. Unless there’s something awful happening in the present, in an exact moment (and there rarely is), you can enjoy many peaceful, stress-free moments.

By changing our thinking, we can begin to accept our bodies in the present moment. By doing so, we can feel better, which can give us energy and motivation to make lifestyle changes that, with practice, can stick and ultimately lead to a healthier weight for our bodies.

If you haven’t considered the idea of accepting your body before, try living in the present and speaking kindly to yourself about where your body is right now. Give it some time and see how it feels.

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),

SignatureAli

Thank you to my daughter for drawing the images for this post. She pointed out that she made a mistake, which works beautifully because it’s a reminder that we don’t have to be perfect at our first try at something.