So Katie, I'm sick of all this dieting, punishing myself in the gym, feeling like a failure all the time, and so consumed with how I look that I am missing out on my family, my friends and my life. You say the only way to have the body and the life of my dreams is simply taking great care of myself ... but where do I start?The very first step on this amazing journey is to recognise that whatever you are doing now isn't working. It hasn't worked for you even though you've given it your very best shot. You've set goals, you've been motivated, you've put in the hard work, you wanted it more than anything in your life, and yet you end up falling in a heap over and over again.
You have been strong and committed to the traditional principals of weight loss for a long, long time and yet you still have to push yourself to get to the gym and the smell of hot chips or freshly baked bread makes you weak at the knees. Instead of it getting easier, it feels like it's getting harder.
Consider your daily thoughts and actions and ask yourself if you would wish this life on your best girlfriend or on your daughter. If you could swap yesterday with someone you loved, would you be giving them a gift or a day of misery? If you wouldn't want someone you care for to have to walk in your shoes for one day, then you are not taking great care of yourself.
If you want, more than anything else, for the torture to end then you are ready to change. You have to want it more than being lean, more than a number on the scale and more than feeling in control. You have to hold on to the belief that there is another way, and it will work if you give it a chance.
Then, the next time you are hungry, decide what you would like to eat, add up the calories, fat grams and carbs in your head (because you will) and then say the magic words "Fuck It" and eat it anyway. Then refuse to feel guilty -- repeat to yourself : even though I feel like I've been bad/weak/indulgent/undisciplined I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Tomorrow morning when you walk in the door of the gym with your pre-planned training schedule, say the magic words "Fuck this Shit" and go play on a piece of equipment while you read a trashy magazine, get a massage, or go for a slow walk while listening to your breath and the sounds of nature. Then refuse to feel guilty -- repeat to yourself : even though I feel like I've been bad/lazy/weak/undisciplined I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
It will feel like you have given up, that you have no discipline, that you will get fatter and fatter by the minute, but you won't. You have great habits and your body knows that good food and an active lifestyle makes you feel amazing. You have taught it well and it will not let you down.
It may be uncomfortable to take away all the rules and follow your instincts and sometimes things will seem to get worse before they get better [I binged more frequently at the beginning but my binges were less intense and didn't last as long], but I can guarantee that just when it seems like you're doing everything wrong you will find your miracle.
One day the emptiness inside will disappear, food will just be food, you'll pass on the chips because you honestly don't feel like them, and you will move your body because it makes you happier than sitting still.
And best of all, you will have all this extra time on your hands and space in your head to play with your kids, write a book, paint, sing, hug the cat, and marvel at the miracle of being alive and aware of your blessings. You will be happy, you will be at peace and the beauty you feel inside will manifest itself in your best body ever.