The actor Freeman Michaels MA, who played Drake Belson on The Young and the Restless in the mid-1990s, is now a nationally known weight-release coach and seminar leader, and author of a new book about his successful approach, called Weight Release: A Liberating Journey (Morgan James Publishing, $16.95).
Before we take those first bites of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, it might be useful to take a moment ot listen to Michaels’ approach to eating and weight loss, and how it can affect (for better or worse) our self image.
“If you’re like I was when my weight ballooned to 275 pounds a few years ago,” he shares, “you’re probably wondering if you’ll ever again have that healthy feeling of being light, quick, and carefree. For some, childhood may have been the last time you were at a size and weight that felt good. Take heart! You can begin to release weight by following my 10 New Year’s resolutions. I’m more than 70 pounds lighter now, thanks to a self-care practice I developed and that is helping hundreds of others do it too.”
Curious? Here are tips from his new book:
1. Stop thinking of weight in terms of “loss.” Food and eating behaviors have provided comfort to you. When we focus only on “losing” the weight without dealing with the underlying purpose those behaviors have served, we’re apt to “find” it again.
2. Replace self-judgment with self-compassion. Self-judgments–I’m fat, I’m unattractive, I’m undisciplined–are roadblocks to releasing weight. Learn to be compassionate toward the part of you that holds shame, blame, or guilt, and you’ll begin to release the weight of unresolved issues. Actual weight release will result.
3. Stay in the safe zone. Identify some “safe zones”–areas or people with whom you feel safe. Establish who might be allies in your weight release journey and find places where you feel comfortable being yourself.
4. Minimize bad days. For many of us, bad days can quickly translate into bad days of eating. Practice unplugging from negative people energetically in order to create your own positive reality.
5. See slips as teachers. When you catch yourself in a negative pattern around food, don’t slide into self-criticism. Instead, ask yourself what’s going on with you that wants to be addressed.
6. Change something–anything. Make a change, preferably something you have resistance to, that has nothing to do with food, diet, or exercise–e.g., rearrange your bedroom. Note how the mere act of changing something affects you emotionally.
7. Plan to “snack consciously.” Buy and prepare foods you can snack on throughout the day. Schedule in snacks twice or more per day; don’t wait until you’re starving.
8. Eat before you eat out. Before you go out to dinner, eat a healthy snack so you’re not impulsive and motivated by hunger when ordering.
9. Prepare “meal” affirmations. Before you eat, say a silent affirmation. Examples: “I choose to eat what my body needs,” or “I love my body, and I offer it sustenance.”
10. Embrace discomfort. “Comfort food” suggests the presence of discomfort. The goal is to embrace the discomfort and allow it to be your teacher and your guide. It will lead you to the unmet needs that are causing anxiety or distress–and influencing the way you eat and think about food.