Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sierra's Weight Loss Tips

If you are reading this, you are probably one of those people who are always struggling with their weight. Believe me, I understand. I have been yo-yoing with my weight my whole life. I understand what it is like to feel fat and unattractive, to not have any energy, and to feel helpless to do anything about it.  I have been there. I have lost 170 pounds.  Of course everyone wants to know what I did.  It was a journey of mind, body and spirit.  I believe addressing all aspects is the key to long term weight loss.

I have put together some tips that helped me achieve my long term weight loss.  My wish is that you find something here that helps you along on your weight loss journey.

·       Find your motivation to change your current eating habits and lifestyle. For each individual person, "the thing", the one thing that finally motivates you to go for it, is different. You have to find your thing; the person, or place, or photo, or health issue that motivates YOU. I recommend taking pictures of yourself so you can no longer avoid knowing what you look like to others. You have to be honest with yourself, even if you are not honest about your weight on your driver's license! Sometimes the photos alone are enough to motivate you. If that doesn't do it, maybe there is some hot guy you like (or some husband you want to keep!), or a trip you want to take, or a cute outfit that you want to look good in. Whatever your motivation is, post it on the fridge and all around your house and keep it in the forefront of your mind at all times. I kept several things in my mind during my weight loss. One was a photo of myself looking like the Goodyear Blimp's younger sister. The other was that my knees were starting to go and I thought about having to use a lift system to get up the stairs to my house. That one really motivated me.  The idea is to find something that gets you motivated and gets you started. 

·       I am a big believer in the power of affirmations and visualization. It is a very powerful message to the universe and to your sub-conscious mind when you write down your hopes and dreams as if you already have them. I used a journal and wrote things like: "I am healthy and thin", "I weigh 130 pounds", "I am a size 5". You get the idea. The trick is to write the sentences AS IF YOU ALREADY ARE AND ALREADY HAVE THE THINGS YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT. Do not write "I will be", or "I wish I was", or "I want". Once you have your affirmation list, LOOK AT IT EVERY DAY, best is in the morning before you start your day (while you are drinking your green tea!) and even better, all throughout the day and before you go to bed. To go with your written affirmations, VISUALIZE AND FEEL YOURSELF as the thin person you are. Sit up!! Hold your body like a thin person, walk like a thin person, talk like a thin person.  Visualize yourself in the clothes you want to wear, FEEL IT, BE IT! This is an important part of weight loss, do not skip this step, it really helps! One of the things I did is when I was huffing and puffing up the steps from the beach to my house was that I pictured myself bouncing and even running up those steps. Now it is true! Visualize yourself on vacation with lots of energy and cute clothes, visualize yourself buckling your seat belt without holding in your stomach, visualize yourself zipping up adorable Size 5 jeans with ease. The more you do this, the easier your weight loss will be. Trust me on this.

·       It is so important to do things that make you feel good about yourself during this time. Please take off those ugly sweats, cut them up and use them for cleaning the house and buy yourself some new clothes that you feel good in, no matter what size they are. NO FRUMPS!!!! eBay, and were a Godsend for me as I was able to buy really cute plus size clothing that made me feel great. Don't go crazy, because your new clothes wont fit you for long! Keep cleaning out your closet as clothes get too big on you. Donate them to your fat friends who will want to know what you are doing or even sell them on eBay. Don't keep around "fat clothes" just in case. You don't want to have that to fall back on. Don't create safety nets for yourself this time. Go for it or Go HOME! Get a manicure, get your hair done, treat yourself like the princess (or prince) that you are! The trick is to keep you feeling good about yourself and not fall back into self pity and overeating.  If looking in a mirror frustrates you, don’t look in the mirror until it feels good!

·       Raise your hand if you are a member of The Clean Plate Club. Yep, I thought so. I am the same way, there are starving children in Africa, you know. I have learned to ask for smaller portions because it is so hard for me to leave food on my plate. If you are still served too big portions, repeat after me, "It is okay to leave food on my plate. Worms and bugs need food too, it will get eaten by something eventually, it doesn't have to be me." Keep saying it. Stop eating when you are full. It is always good to drink green tea 10 minutes before you eat. You will feel fuller faster and will have that extra motivation and willpower that you need.

·       It is very important to identify and release the belief systems that keep you eating food to self sabotage your dreams.  If you are overweight, your beliefs are holding you there.  It is very possible to change these beliefs with your persistent new thoughts and emotions.  Read my ebook, Becoming Thin that teaches my I AM Diet Plan and use my Guided Visualization which helps to eliminate the limiting beliefs which keep you from your dreams. 

·       Don’t put off your life until you get thin.  Start doing the things you have been putting off.  Live NOW as you would if you were already thin.  Be thin now!

·       Find a long term eating plan that works for you and that you can stick to. What is important is that it is a program that you can stay on without feeling deprived and hungry (feeling deprived leads to overeating!) and that will support you after you have reached your goal.

·       Sorry, but you cannot get out of the exercise thing. It is essential not only for weight loss, but for your overall health. Start out slow, don't push yourself. Take a walk with a friend or your poor dog who never gets out.  Find fun things to do for exercise that you don’t dread.  As you lose weight, you will find that your energy level is higher and you will WANT TO EXERCISE. Really! I never thought it could be true, but as I got thinner, I actually wanted to exercise because I had so much energy. It just feels so good for so many reasons. There are also lots of great online workout programs too.

·       Stay conscious when you eat. If you are like me, you can go into a kind of food stupor and you don't even think or breath until everything on your plate is gone and then you wonder where it went! Put your fork down between every few bites, eat slowly, chew, chew, chew! I still have to remind myself to do this. It is a hard habit to break, but so important to do for your health and weight loss goals.\\

·       Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up if you really want to eat something.  If you are going to feel guilty before and after eating, you are not going to enjoy it and it will be even worse, body, mind and soul.  Enjoy your meal, enjoy every single bite, slowly.  Then just get right back on and continue. You deserve it and you are worth it. Be like thin people and when you overeat, compensate.  Get right back to listening to your body.  And if you are going to eat something that you consider bad, like a hamburger, be sure to eat it with leafy greens like a salad to help your body digest it.

·       Congratulate yourself on the big and small victories and successes. I threw a party when I was able to cross my legs again with ease (but of course I didn't tell anyone what the party really was celebrating!)

·       Do not let yourself get to the starving point as that can lead to a major overeating binge. It is always better to eat 6 small meals during the day, or at least have a snack between meals to keep your metabolism up. I usually snack on nuts (don't go overboard, but they are a good source of protein and very filling) or fruits or both.

·       One of the best things you can do for your overall health and weight loss is to stop eating processed foods. Fill your diet with whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Foods that are still in their original, natural form. Highly processed breads, pastas, meats, and other foods that no longer resemble what they once were will slow down your weight loss. Fried foods are out too, they are just horrible for your system. Become a lean, mean, greaseless machine!

·       Drink lots of water. This helps with weight loss but will also help to keep your skin hydrated to avoid stretch marks and hanging skin. Use lots of lotion too. Coconut oil is one of the best products for your skin!

·       Get yourself some support.  Hang with people with like minded goals.  Get a Life Coach, preferably ME, who will support you and keep you accountable. Join other groups that will support you in your dreams.

·       Look in the mirror everyday and say "Love You" and mean it, no matter where you are with your weight loss goals!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Is the Law of Attraction Yesterday's News?

Lately I have been hearing a lot of people saying that they are giving up on the Law of Attraction (LOA). They are tired of hearing about it, tired of the thousands of websites, seminars and self improvement programs promising the moon and the stars with the LOA because it just does not seem to work for them.

The truth is, the Law of Attraction is ALWAYS working, it is Universal Law, but if you are not vibrating in the energetic vicinity of what you desire, you are not going to get it. When people are not getting what they want, they think the Law of Attraction does not work. But sorry, folks, there is no getting out of Universal Law. It is working; you are just not allowing it to work in your favor.

Another reason people don’t want to hear about the Law of Attraction is because they don’t want to be responsible for their own lives. They find it easier to blame others for everything that happens to them or blame some cruel God who punishes us for our sins.

I also think the recent turn from focus on the Law of Attraction by many whom have been teaching it for a long time now is that the LOA just IS. It’s like gravity, and we don’t talk about gravity all day long trying to figure out how to use it to our advantage in our lives. We don’t go around trying to “invoke” gravity. We just KNOW it IS and act accordingly. Why keep talking about it and trying to get it to work for us? It already is working for us. People don’t have to know anything about gravity to stay planted on the ground, nor do they need to know of or believe in the Law of Attraction to attract like energy. It’s a given.
Before the term “Law of Attraction” became so popular, I learned it as the “Law of Love” or the “Law of Divine Orchestration”. It is only in recent years that Law of Attraction has become the buzz phrase for this Universal Law.

There is no doubt that like energy and vibration attracts like energy and vibration; that is the proven scientific explanation. But spiritually, the explanation is that Divine Super Intelligence loves us unconditionally and wants to give us what we want. So to make it easy, and not overwhelming like Jim Carey in Bruce Almighty, Source let us be our own self sufficient creators, each of us holding the power that creates worlds within us. Why would we ever think/feel/vibrate anything that we don’t want knowing that we are powerful creators who create our reality with our thoughts/feelings/vibration? Like duh!!! But there is a reason why we hold ourselves back.

For me the focus has more shifted from concentrating on the Law of Attraction to focusing on the beliefs we have acquired during our lifetime, some of them outdated and limiting, and re-wiring those to match what we truly want. Our beliefs filter our perception of life, how we see ourselves and others. Our beliefs are there to protect us and keep us safe; we created them early on when we observed something and made a decision about it. Or maybe we heard someone say something like “You will never amount to anything”, or “Don’t eat that, you will get fat,” or “You have to work hard to make money,” and boom, a belief is born. Our forming brains soaked it up like a sponge and made it true for us. But what we thought we needed to keep us safe as children is no longer valid as adults, especially as we evolve and expand. We need to learn to adjust and amend and re-wire until our beliefs match our desires so that we get what we desire by Divine Universal Law.

It doesn't take rocket science to figure out where you are vibrating on any given subject. Just look at your bank account, your relationships, your career. What you are getting is what you are vibrating. Every time. And if you are not getting what you want, you have beliefs that are keeping you where you are. Bust the limiting beliefs and you are free!

If you are saying positive affirmations, created a vision board, visualize and keep a lucky charm in your pocket but you are still not manifesting your desires, you have subconscious limiting beliefs that say “no you can’t, no you aren’t, it’s not going to happen,” that sabotage your positive actions. All the affirmations in the world are not going to work if your underlying core belief is that you are not worthy of your dreams.

Why do we ever not follow our dreams? Why do we limit ourselves and justify and settle? Sometimes beliefs are so ingrained and so a part of who we are, we don’t even realize they are there and that they are limiting us. But if you not living the life of your dreams, you definitely have limiting beliefs holding you back from being the unlimited being that you truly are. Let’s bust em up now!

There are many ways to bust your limiting beliefs:

It is helpful to first identify your limiting beliefs. One way to identify them is to become a conscious thinker. Become observant to your thoughts. Become present and in the moment to what you are thinking about. Notice and observe your thoughts instead of just letting them run on and on. Stop yourself and think about what you are thinking! The background running thoughts that we think without thinking are the subconscious mind running our core patterns and beliefs.

Our conscious mind says, “I am happy, wealthy and healthy, see I even wrote it one hundred times and cut out pictures about it!” And our subconscious mind says, “Oh, no, you’re not, remember that time they told you that you are stupid and would never amount to anything?” And the subconscious dominate belief wins.

Become a conscious thinker and notice when your mind chatter is saying “I’m not good enough, I can never do that, I’ll never have a lot of money.” When you notice those thoughts, don’t get upset with yourself. Just gently bring your thoughts to positive statements such as, “I am worthy, The Universe is loving and supports me, I am abundant in all ways.” With time and repetition, you will start to believe them.

The key here is focus and repetition. Repetition rewires. You can literally rewire the neurons in your brain to create a new path that connects to new core beliefs. Dr. Joe Dispenza of What the Bleep? fame says it takes seventeen days to rewire the neurons in your brain to create to new core beliefs and habits.

I love to use RAPs (Repetitive Audio Programs) for fast and efficient rewiring. RAPs are selected affirmations repeated over and over while you meditate or sleep. When you are in a theta brain wave state, your subconscious is open to receive new information without resistance, making for fast and easy reprogramming. I put on the mp3 before I go to sleep, and then all night the recorded statements are seeping into my subconscious, rewiring my beliefs while I dream. This is my kind of rewiring!

The only problem with repetitive programs is that some people don’t stick with them. They do it for a few days or a week, declare it doesn’t work and then go looking for the next speaker or seminar or book to give them the answer. The problem is, wherever you go, there your beliefs are.

People will also find that resistance can come up after a short while of using a repetitive program. As we are reprogramming our core beliefs, events or emotions come up that need to be released and it can become a bit uncomfortable, so we stop using them.

Be patient, give yourself a break, you have been running these patterns and beliefs for most of your life and the prize you get for releasing them and replacing them is well worth the effort. After all, it’s your life!

Another very effective method for releasing limiting beliefs and old emotional baggage is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT uses the energy meridian points on your body, the same ones used for acupuncture. You simply tap on these points in order while going through a sequence of statements that relate to your issue. I have seen miraculous results using EFT and have added it to my coaching practice because it is so quick and easy. EFT is becoming more and more popular as people discover its powerful and rapid belief release abilities.

While I have not yet explored it myself, I have heard great things from people I highly respect about using the Sedona Method for releasing limiting beliefs, so I mention it here.

Hypnotherapy is also great for easily getting to your core beliefs and replacing them with new ones. You can visit a qualified hypnotherapist or even find a self hypnosis program that will guide you into a relaxed theta state and then feed you some new beliefs to hang onto.

Do some research and follow your inner guidance and intuition to find which method will work best for you. It might be one or a combination of them. YOU will know what is best for you. Trust your guidance and what calls to you.

All these methods are great for helping you to release limiting beliefs that no longer serve you, however they are in addition to, and do not take the place of, becoming, right NOW, the person you want to be. Step right into who you really are, your true authentic self. Limitless. Free. Joyful. Abundant. Loving. Be happy now, appreciate what you have now, start to live out your dreams now!

How would you feel if you were living your dreams right now? What would you do? How would you walk, talk, be? Stop seeking and start BEING. Be it NOW, and be it consistently, and watch your limiting beliefs fall away fast! Talk about instant vibrational alignment!

Surround yourself with people who support you in your new beliefs. Get a life coach who will guide you into your dreams and be your cheerleader. Join or form a master mind group where you all support and hold each other in the vision of who you really are. Join positive groups that are aligned with your vision. There is big power in numbers. Take constant inspired action steps towards your dreams. Let go of blame, anger, old emotions and baggage that no longer serve you. Follow your heart and intuition. Take time each and every day for your enlightenment and expansion and health. Overcome the limiting beliefs that bind you and set yourself free!

When you align your core beliefs with your desires, there will be no stopping you. Like gravity, you will not have to think about the Law of Attraction working ever again. You will be too busy living your dreams!