Sunday, August 23, 2009

Express your sensual self: Rule 22 To Control Your Appetite

Your sensuality can lead to weight loss. A lot of weight loss.

Sometimes in the hurry of being a mom, a wife, a person with a job, (ditto for men) you forget that there was a time when you felt sensual. You wanted to feel sensual. Certain people made you feel sensual. You were sensual.

Let me be clear about what I mean when I'm talking about sensual: Of course there is a sexual component to sensuality, but that is not the core of what I am talking about here.

Sensuality is enjoying the pleasure of your senses. All of them. It is the acknowledgment that your body was designed – created – to feel multiple kinds of pleasure. Whether tasting or smelling, whether touching or seeing, whether hearing or combining them all in unique ways (a glass of wine with your favorite music), your senses led you to explore, enjoy and seek new experiences.

The pleasure... of knowing what day it is
So, back to being so busy you don't know what day it is... a lot of that pleasure gets lost when you live that way. It is not that the stimulus for pleasure is lacking. You just don't "stop to smell the roses" any more. Right?

It's not that you designed your life to be so crowded that your needs get lost in the shuffle. And in part, it is not because you didn't see it coming. But the needs of so many others – bosses, friends, husbands, parents, kids – all needing, craving your attention to do something for them, you really do get lost.

As your needs get submerged in the daily grind, you not only lose sight of the day of the week, (is it Thursday? if so I need to get hubby to get the garbage out to the street. Oh, wait, that's tomorrow) you lose contact with your senses.

You eat on the run, you more often smell food to make sure you can serve leftovers to the family than to enjoy the aroma. No, your senses, doing things for the sheer pleasure of them, are on hold while you weave your way through the day.

Facebook and the hoped-for adventure waiting to be lived
Guilty pleasure? Facebook for an hour before you go to bed, while your bedroom partner is watching TV. You need that, that connection. Connection not just to old long-lost friends and distant family members. You need that contact to your old self, your "self" when life was an adventure waiting to be lived.

In sharing with your old friends, if you pay close attention, you are recalling the feelings, the pleasures, even the tastes and smells of those day long gone by. You use the words of pleasure describing old scenes (he smelled of Old Spice, those roses were wonderful, you wished you had grandma's great pie recipe).

Well, you are living that adventure now. What you didn't count on was it doesn't feel like much of an adventure, does it? Challenging. Stressful. Tiring. Satisfying. But, adventure? Nah.

Somewhere along the road to living your dreams you got sidetracked. Something got missed. Not that what you have now is bad. Just that it’s not entirely what you expected. Somehow along the way you dialed down your sensual self. No time for it. No energy for it. No space for it to enliven your day. Certainly no place for your sensual self to bloom and discover wonder in the ordinary, nor experience the extraordinary.

Gaining weight while missing your dreams
Over the years, while you were dialing down your sensuality, you probably were dialing up your weight. If you take some time to fully reflect (of course you may have to wait until late Tuesday evening before you get a break to be able to do so), your weight and your sensuality are connected. Moving in opposite directions. Perhaps you may not have thought about it that way. But, it's true.

Your body is a mirror to your accumulated life experiences, to be sure. But your body is also a projection of your future – what you expect from your next years. If you knew you were going to be running a marathon this time next year, wouldn't you change your body dynamics today?

If you knew you were going to be alone, partnerless, would you begin to focus more on your body now? If you know nothing big is likely to change in your life, what's the moving incentive to change your body today?

That is not to say that you neglect your body. Nor that it isn't important to you now.

Your body reflects your expectations
It's just the realization that your body reflects your future expectations more than you probably realize. And at this point of your life, your body has turned down its expectations of feeling sensual again. But that can be changed.

If you want to lose weight, and keep it off permanently, your sense of sensuality is going to change – has to change.

Why? Because you need to matter to yourself to lose significant weight and keep it off. You need to discover your sensual self, explore and expand it. Your body is more than just something that needs to drop a few pounds. You have to focus on the beauty that you may have ignored for too long. Because sensuality is the route to finding the deep motivation to stay on track to lose significant weight.

Gaining weight loss motivation
If your only pleasure in weight loss is seeing the scale move down a little at a time, you are going to suffer motivational set-backs. Especially if you are on one of those diets that make you eat like a rabbit and sacrifice your favorite treats (don't they all?). You are going to feel deprived. Denied. Restricted. Limited. And when you are feeling that way you need to balance it by increasing your pleasure along the way.

Losing significant weight is not as easy as just consuming fewer calories.

Losing a lot of weight, which can take months to do it and still be healthy, is a challenge to your will power to stay the course. No matter what program you are on, your emotional commitment is going to take a strong beating at times. And the ONLY way to get though that is to have already begun a path of rewarding yourself with pleasures each step along the way.

Find pleasure – lose weight
Otherwise, when the going gets tough (and it will at times) the pleasure you will most likely seek in those weak moments is to overeat – to binge on exactly the wrong foods (other than Bugs Bunny, no one gorges on carrots). Plus, you just set yourself back several weeks in your weight loss plan. With that blown, further discouragement sets in, and the cycle WILL repeat.

The preventive measure is to learn, re-learn, permit yourself to find pleasure in living, smelling, touching, tasting, seeing, and being loved again. And to do it now, to make it a habit BEFORE you experience the long haul of trying to lose significant weight.

You need to feed your body's senses, if you are going to be depriving your body of calories.

The emotional process of losing weight, the path to weight loss motivation, to losing a lot of weight, is going to have to go through you being willing to be sensual once again. Joyfully accepting your sensuality.

Your sensuality will lead you to weight loss. A lot of weight loss.

Don't believe me. Try to lose a lot of weight and keep it off without increasing your sensuality. Oh, yes, you've done that already. We all have. All of us. Now it is time to justify you taking the time, and effort, without guilt or apology, to smell the roses, eat great chocolate, to experience once more – to express once more – the perfect kiss.

How do you control your appetite?
Conclusion 22: Express Your Sensual Self

Next article...
How do you control your appetite:
Rule 23: Eat Grasshoppers with your Cereal

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Founder, – Satisfy Your Hunger
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