I have a confession to make. It’s embarrassing, but I am going public with my story for the greater good of women everywhere who struggle with emotional eating, sugar addiction, and yo-yo dieting.  

 Once upon a time, I used to run to the local Wawa convenience store almost EVERY NIGHT for a little consolation from my secret lovers – Ben and Jerry.  I would eat a whole pint of ice cream, alone and sometimes hiding in my closet, because I was so ashamed.  

I felt constantly stressed and disgusted with myself for giving into those sugar cravings over and over and over again.  On the outside, my life looked great. I was happily married with two great kids. But on the inside, I found myself asking the same questions over and over again:

“Why do I feel so out-of-control?”

“How am I going to GET control of my eating habits?”

“How am I ever going to lose weight and feel good about myself?”

Well, it took me many years and many failed diet attempts – before I finally achieved the body of my dreams. Take a look at my before and after photo:

I’m often asked what the secret was to making such an amazing physical transformation.  People want to know what foods I ate, how much time I spent at the gym, and what exercises I did.  And yes, I did start eating more vegetables and clocking in more time at the gym.  But the truth is, I’d done that before and not gotten great results.  What finally set me free was discovering that…

The real secret to weight loss success has nothing to do with going to the gym, counting calories, or watching carbs.  It has everything to do with loving yourself and finding the joy in living again.

And here’s another secret:  You can’t hate the fat off. Being disgusted with your body and beating yourself up for falling off the wagon AGAIN, will NOT turn things around for you. These negative feelings will only serve to keep you stuck in a destructive cycle of “good weeks” and “bad weeks,” and endless starting-over-on-Mondays.

Here’s what does work:  embracing pleasure, fun, and self-love to effortlessly lose weight and live the life of your dreams. This is not something out of a magical fairy tale.  It is something you can start living today in order to gain freedom from compulsive eating, lose weight, and get into the best shape of your life.

Here are three steps to get started on this path to freedom:

Accept yourself.  Understand that you are not a problem to be solved and that you don’t need to be fixed.  Replace judgment with compassion and self-disgust with self-love.  Get in touch with your Inner Awesomeness (we ALL have it!)

Embrace pleasure. You deserve to feel good.  We need pleasure to thrive – from food, sensuality, beauty, and fun. Prioritize pleasure over duty and obligation. The world will not come to an end.  In fact, miraculous things can happen when you decide to feel good every day.

Don’t settle.  Give yourself the five-star treatment whenever you can.  Treat yourself to some all-natural body scrub and take a luxurious bath. Spring for the shoes that make you feel like the Duchess of Cambridge (or Lady Gaga, whatever suits you!).  Go organic.  Buy your cannolis at the best Italian bakery in the state, and eat them at home on your fine china.

Our patterns of overeating have only a little bit to do with food.  When you begin to change the way you think about yourself, your food drama will start to fade away and the pounds will melt off.  When I broke up with Ben and Jerry and fell in love with my life, I stopped obsessing about “forbidden” treats.

I’d love to hear what you are doing to embrace pleasure and love yourself!  Please share your experiences in the comments below.

~Elaine Morales

About Elaine:  Elaine Morales, Health and Lifestyle Transformation Coach, helps frazzled and frustrated women gain freedom from food drama, ditch yo-yo dieting and emotional overeating, and achieve their ideal weight in a way that is healthy and joyful. To learn more about Elaine’s pleasurable approach to realizing the body and life of your dreams, check out www.jumpstartwithelaine.com.

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