The best way to decrease your appetite is to understand what increases it in the first place. When it comes to your appetite - don't fight it, fix it. It's the difference between putting a band-aid on something and actually remedying the source of the problem. So let's get to the source. Appetite, as defined by the dictionary, is simply, a desire for food or drink. It's real simple, so let's keep it simple. We are not psycho-analyzing anyone's deep dark secrets here. Follow me and read to the bottom on a specific way you can decrease your appetite.
If you have an increased appetite, you've probably said words like this - "I'm a stress eater" or "I'm an emotional eater." And my reaction to that is...so am I and everyone else; that doesn't mean anything is wrong with you. What that does mean is that you recognize your appetite is increased by anxiety and anxiety is indeed a source of an increased appetite. The source of your appetite comes from a message that the brain sends to the body to increase the desire for food or drink. Why would the brain do this to us? It wants to protect us. The brain knows from past experience that food and drink serve as a natural anti-anxiety for us.
First let me show you that your appetite is simply a message from the brain to the body. Do you know that it is possible to be under extreme stress and emotion, have an empty stomach, and even feel hungry, with NO appetite whatsoever... when you have the stomach flu. Ever think about that before? This is not a paradox, this is simply from a message your brain sent to your body to decrease your appetite to protect you during a time when you are unable to digest food. Your brain sent that message to your body to have no desire for food. It did this to protect you.
Understand the brain will send a message to your body, one way or another - to increase or decrease your appetite for your protection, always. It wants to help ease your anxiety, comfort your pain, and protect you from illness. Anxiety, along with pain and other experiences will cause the brain to send this message to increase your appetite. But let's just focus on anxiety, since it is so prevalent. One way that you can decrease your appetite is to decrease your anxiety.
Anxiety, as defined by the dictionary is "distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune." And did you know that your lack of confidence in your ability to lose weight is actually fear of misfortune. If you fear you won't be able to lose weight, you have fear of misfortune, which is anxiety. Your very fear that you will never be able to lose weight increases your appetite! It's a vicious cycle, very similar to worrying about not getting enough sleep causing insomnia.
The best way to decrease your appetite is to have full confidence that you CAN and WILL lose weight. This kind of confidence can only come from knowing the truth with a real and truthful weight loss plan with no gimmicks and no exceptions. Only then can you truly have this kind of confidence. This confidence will eliminate your anxiety and hence, you will not need the anti-anxiety effect that more food provides, and so the brain will decrease your appetite. I still marvel at this in my own experiences and am fascinated to see this play out each and every time for our clients. The effect of removing the anxiety about weight loss is a powerful way our clients experience a decreased appetite.
The power of a woman loving another woman is undeniable. I'm not talking about a sexual love, but an emotional, spiritual and life-giving love. Why is this kind of love the most powerful love of all? Because the love that creates, feeds, shields, protects, and covers you is the mother's love, a love that will heal you.
Let's metaphorically link a woman's love to that of a womb, the body part that only a woman has, the very origin of motherhood. The womb is life-giving. It creates a new life, feeds it, then shields, protects and covers it with unconditional love. And the woman cannot control what her body is automatically going to do, (unconditionally), for this embryo, then fetus inside of her. Her body is automatically going to nourish and grow the fetus growing inside of her until 9 months later, the birth of a baby occurs. That's just science.
Now with all that understood, imagine receiving that kind of unconditional love. Automatically. The power of a woman receiving this kind of "womb love" is going to give birth to a new life, let's call it her "Venus", a life living in love, relationship and beauty. Let me tell you how I received this unconditional love, birthed my Venus through my deepest wound, and how I was healed.
My greatest dream, heart's desire and life purpose to be a perfect mother was shattered when my womb failed to carry my first pregnancy to full-term. At only 6 and 1/2 months, I gave birth via emergency c-section to a premature, medically distressed baby that entered the world barely surviving because my womb rejected him. That really sums up the medical conditions that inflicted me (toxemia and the H.E.L.L.P. syndrome, the womb basically rejects the baby.) I gave birth to not only a premature baby, but a baby small-for-size because my womb failed to nourish him properly (Intrauterine growth restriction.) It failed to feed him and failed to carry him; my womb had completely failed. Technically, my womb almost killed my own child, the very thing I longed to create, feed, shield, protect and cover. Illness, disaster, trauma, and near-death destroyed all of these things. His life began on life-support. I had failed. I now had a very deep wound, not only physically cut through my core, but now emotionally and spiritually, cut to the core of my heart and soul.
Logically, my brain understood what the doctors and nurses told me, that it wasn't my fault. But you would never be able to convince my heart of that. A mother's heart will forever feel the shame, guilt and defeat of failure to protect her baby. I spent many hours, days, months, and years wondering what I had done wrong. With my baby's life at stake, and with the information, that even though he'll probably survive, he'll be at risk for many things, like sensory issues, disabilities, cardiac issues, and low intelligence; in other words, a difficult life, and my heart was overwhelmed with guilt. And sure enough, at 4 years old, he developed neurological issues that would make his life difficult and affect the rest of his life. For years, I continued to ask myself -Did I not eat nutritionally enough during my pregnancy? Was it because I had struggled with bulimia before? Was it because I was smoking before I got pregnant? Was it because I was fat? After all, I had "hogged" all the food I ate during my pregnancy and had not fed him enough in-utero. The self-judgment was endless.
Years later, after the birth of another premature baby, I was begging my doctor for a hysterectomy (take a knife, cut me open and take this uterus out.) I was now that embittered against my own womb. I no longer wanted this womb that was a disastrous excuse for a mother's unconditional love to be a part of me. He said I didn't medically need a hysterectomy; I insisted I had enough medical history and problems to justify it, and I successfully convinced him to do the surgery. I was only 34 years old and had a hysterectomy, the good ol' fashion kind, with a major abdominal incision, that left me with "hormones out of whack", a damaged nerve on my left leg, and fear I had just made another mistake that would affect the rest of my life. Afterwards, I gained even more weight. I was depressed. I was miserable.
At 35, and 220 Lbs, I hit my knees, in complete misery from my depression and weight gain, uttering the only words I could utter "God help me." It was perhaps at that moment, that what some understand as the "Holy Spirit interceding" occurred. When the anguish is so great, and you don't have the words, there is intercession on your behalf. I said, "God help me." And God received, "Send her an angel. Send her an angel that appears as a beautiful woman, a vision of the beautiful woman she will become, with a perfect womb. Restore what she has lost. Send her an angel of love that will create, feed, shield, protect and cover her."
This love, this beautiful angel came to me and gave me all the things a womb gives (new life, nourishment, protection, shielding, and covering) and I was able to give birth to my Venus - love, relationship and beauty. It was this love that created, fed, shielded, protected, and covered me that healed me. I lost 90 lbs. The Losing Coach coaches are these kind of angels that create a womb for all of our clients to birth their own Venus. This womb that gives unconditional love is what sets us apart from everything else. All you need to do is ask for help, intercession will be made on your behalf, and your angel will appear as a beautiful woman there to love you, because the power of a woman loving another woman is undeniable.
"Just tell me how to lose weight!" I love when I hear this, as though I can answer that in one sentence! Or yet alone, even one hour! Our first coaching session to get women started in the process is three hours long! And that's just to get them started! It takes at least 6 and 1/2 hours to get them through the entire Seven Step Process to Weight Loss Mastery.
But why can't I just answer the question? It's not that I'm trying to keep a secret from anyone; it's not that I'm "holding back" so you'll sign up for coaching. I'm not even trying to be "mysterious" (see photo. :)) to lure people in. It's that I can't answer that question without telling you everything involved in the process. It wasn't just one thing. And I know that disappoints people that I can't give them "the one answer", that magic bullet they so desperately want to hold onto. There is no magic bullet and I can't explain the process to you without leading you through it. And that is an investment of time and energy for both us.
So when people ask me how do you lose weight, I say "You know how to lose weight." They look at me like they really don't. I say "Oh, if you just really want to know HOW to lose weight, sure I can tell you that. I can tell you in one sentence. Even better, I can tell you in two words, then you can be on your way and please don't hire me." They look at me with eager anticipation of the magical answer they are about to receive and I say slowly for them... "Eat..... less!" They laugh, they smile and they nod their head yes. Then I say, "There you go... now go do it!" :) It's not that easy. And I know that. If it were that easy to "now go do it" then no one would be asking me how to do it.
Lovely ladies, it's really not difficult and it's not complicated. It is actually pretty easy to tell you the truth. It is indeed, an investment in time and energy for you to focus on this for yourself. I am more than happy to invest my time and energy leading you through. Come talk to me and find out more!
The Losing Coach likens the experience of a woman's weight struggle to a P.O.W. camp. And that is exactly what it is like. You feel like a prisoner, completely imprisoned and trapped inside a body you can't get out of. When I was 220 lbs, I intuitively knew, no matter, no way, no how, no matter what I did right now at this moment, I couldn't be thin tomorrow. And it was the overwhelming frustration of that truth that paralyzed me and kept me inside this prison. But I eventually took one leap of faith and got out, and I'm here to tell you "It's this way."
How did I get out? I'll be honest with you, I didn't know at the time, that's why it was a real leap of faith. When you are imprisoned in a camp for so long, you don't know where you are or what route will lead to freedom. I knew the risks and dangers in leaving the camp; I didn't know what was out there, what wild animals would attack, or what storms would hit. I would be completely alone to fend for myself, no guarantee of food, water, or shelter. But I knew if I stayed, I would die. I asked a friend to come with me. She refused. So, I waited till the right timing, it was "Do or Die!" and then all alone, secretly, and silently crawled beneath the fence to face the dark night alone. Then I bolted out of there like a bat out of hell and ran as fast as I could through the jungle.
I'm honestly telling you, I didn't know the route in such unfamiliar territory. I heard bullets flying overhead and voices calling me back. Yet as I continued to keep my eye on the freedom I longed for, I pressed forward; I stayed low, and the clearing got wider and wider, the voices dimmed, and darkness turned into light. I weathered a few storms and survived to making it to complete freedom and safety. I got out. Unknowingly to me at the time, I found the route to freedom! Some say I was a pioneer. Some say I got very lucky. Some say it was divinely inspired. But I got out and now I knew the way out, a safe way out, and held the map to this route. What happened next is the magic of The Losing Coach story.
When Erin came along, I asked her if she would like me to help her get out. She said "No. I'm fine." as she had tried so many times before to escape, and had come to accept her imprisonment as her lot in life. But then I promised her. "I can help you." See, I knew the way out, so I could promise her. She said no again. But I heard her heart screaming "YES!" and I said in a very quiet voice, "It's this way." Simply by hearing my voice "Trust me, it's this way", she too, crawled under the fence by herself onto the same escape route. The journey was similar and I was there to say, "Erin, stay low, the bullets won't hit you." "Erin, do not pay attention to the voices calling you back." "Erin, don't worry, the storm will pass." "Erin, the clearing gets wider, trust me, the light is coming soon." Erin followed and Erin found freedom. After she did, she looked at me and she said "Shelley, what you have done, what you have found, this is the path to freedom! This is the way! This path is one every woman can take to get out and get out safely. You have to go back and help as many women as we can! This is your calling."
Here at The Losing Coach, I will go back for ANY woman that wants out. Just listen to my voice, "It's this way..."
If I have in any way been able to explain to you how the brain controls your appetite, I would be remiss to not go deeper and talk about what fuels the brain. In our physical bodies, the heart pumps blood to the brain so the brain can make all the voluntary and involuntary decisions we need to live. The brain controls everything, but the heart fuels the brain. And so it is in this weight loss process. We respect the power of the brain, without neglecting the source of the heart.
Without the source of fuel from the heart, the brain dies. So your heart is the life-giving source for your brain in controlling your appetite. You must emotionally pump fuel to your brain/your brain's decisions. But what exactly does that mean and what is this fuel? That means in order for your brain to make the necessary decisions in controlling your appetite, you must emotionally support it. You must feel love. For yourself. The fuel is LOVE. I know, in words, this is so trite. In practice, this is the most powerful energy source of the entire universe that you can tap into. But how does one tap into it? Really? We can talk about it, preach about it, and read about it all day long, but how does one really tap into this all-encompassing, unconditional, saving grace of love?
In our first coaching session, we lead our clients through a very powerful exercise that leads them to the core essence of this love. They tap into it, they touch it, they feel it and it becomes real to them in a way that they were not aware of before. Call it weight loss redemption or salvation, it's the same principle. The heart is at the heart of this.
Lemon merengue pie in my refrigerator.
Temptation. The one thing, no perfect diet plan, routine, or good intentions can withstand,
if we succumb to our temptations. I'll paraphrase simply what temptation is when you're on a diet - an increased desire for food (appetite) that is outside of what you otherwise intend to eat. You know, when you see or smell something and your senses are stimulated, causing your desire to increase, you face temptation, a physical stimulation that is very difficult to resist (or so we believe.)
One day I was cleaning up the kitchen. I opened up the refrigerator to put something away, and to my surprise (my husband went to the grocery store the night before), I see a lemon merengue pie in the refrigerator. I thought nothing of it, as I don't like lemon merengue pie, and continued to clean up the kitchen. As I'm cleaning, I go to throw something away, look down in the trash can and see a box. A pie box. A pie box that said "Banana Cream Pie." And I thought to myself, "Now that's a horse of a different color!", because I love banana cream pie! All of a sudden, my mouth started watering and I had an appetite for that pie, the pie I had already seen, and felt no desire for two minutes ago. So I asked myself, where does this sudden increased appetite/temptation come from? What was causing me to desire this pie all of a sudden? It wasn't sight; I had seen it and didn't want it. It wasn't smell; my face was looking in a trash can. It wasn't even a simple desire to just eat pie. I realized the only thing that caused my appetite to increase at that moment was a memory. The memory that I think banana cream pie is delicious. And that's it. And that simple. My brain - all my thoughts, beliefs, knowledge, reactions, and memories - controls my desire for food (appetite.) My brain controls it all.
The only way to control your appetite is to control the brain. We train the brain to use mental strategies in our weight loss coaching. One of those strategies is higher awareness. When I became aware that my appetite was stimulated from memory and memory alone, I was able to talk to myself about that. Self-dialogue is another very effective strategy. "Yes, I do think banana cream pie is delicious. I have great memories of eating banana cream pie with my grandmother. I know what it tastes like. I don't need to eat it right now to remember the taste; it is delicious, I know it is. I've eaten it before, and I'll eat it again in the future, I am sure, so I don't have to eat it right now."
Look at your temptations square in the eye, don't run from them or resist them; over-power them. Your brain is more powerful in controlling your appetite than anything else. It is the only thing controlling your appetite.
We have been duped, by the diet industry, into believing there is no way we can lose weight on our own. The formula for weight loss is, of course, very complex. I mean, it has to be so complicated, otherwise, big companies wouldn't be spending millions of dollars researching and inventing ways to help "cure" America's obesity epidemic. Personally, I believe the only reason there is any research done on obesity is because there is BIG, I mean, BIG, HUGE money to be made in selling you a drug or a product. They really need you to believe that you, the average person, cannot do it on your own without help from a doctor, a pill, a supervised program, intense workout routine, etc.
If this is true, then I, Shelley Johnson, must have beat ALL the odds and been divinely blessed from angel dust that magically transformed my body in a 90 lb weight loss. However, I can tell you, it certainly wasn't magic dust. Listen carefully, I can tell you what I did. I used something, alright; I used the most powerful thing in the world. I bought not any product, I believed in not anyone else, and I used no routine. The only thing I used was my brain. And the first thing my brain did was tell the diet industry, "I'm not buying it."
Trust me, I hate to state the obvious; I just implore you to think about it. If any diet product you've ever bought really worked, why are you not thin already? It's not your fault. YOU have the power to lose weight. You are simply looking for where to plug into that power. It is NOT in a diet product. Don't buy it. Invest in yourself and yourself alone, because the power is in you. All you need is your brain.
Shelley Johnson is the Creator & Founder of The Losing Coach®.