(A guest post by Russel Brownlee)

Weight-loss and ecology? How on earth are the two linked?

Until a short while ago I’d never thought of putting the two together – but then I realised that ‘ecology’ covers not only the external surroundings in which we live, but also our emotional and physical states – our inner environments.

The green and eco movements have encouraged us to consider everything in the world as connected – every purchase we make, for example, has economic,  energy and chemical impacts far beyond our immediate lives. In the same way, we can now ask whether any change we want to make in our inner lives is sustainable and friendly to our entire being.

But surely a desire to lose weight is always ecologically sound?

Not necessarily. Quite often the thing that sabotages someone’s earnest attempt to lose weight is that the change they want to make  is not ecological – it conflicts with another part of themselves which they’re often unaware of. For example, if we just go on a diet and suddenly remove all sweets and ‘comfort foods’, we might find ourselves quite literally deprived of comfort. Unless we find a more healthy way to feel safe and comforted, the dilemma caused by this decision is bound to spill over into some kind of personal ecological disaster – like gaining even more weight or diving into a serious case of the blues.

The real solution is to bring more consciousness into our eating habits and to resolve the emotional stresses that cause us to reach for food as a comfort or a stress reliever.

5 things you can do to enjoy eco weight-loss:

  1. Throw out the diets and slimming potions: Yes, a radical proposition – but throw them out anyway. Diets are mostly just impositions and cause inner conflict, so they are not ecologically sound. Give yourself permission to be free of them now!
  2. Eat consciously: Weight gain is usually a result of unconscious eating – somehow we just get ‘taken over’ by the desire to eat. The first step in breaking the pattern is to become conscious of when and how we eat. Enjoy the ‘slow food’ revolution!
  3. Visit farmers’ markets: Get connected with the people who produce your food. Enjoy their enthusiasm and care. The effort you take will make you more conscious of the food you are eating and will break the spell of convenience food.
  4. Cook your own: Take the time to cook your own food rather than buying from restaurants and takeaways. Why? Because you get to control the ingredients and can make sure you’re not taking in chemicals or foods (like wheat or refined starch) that you might be sensitive to. Once again, it’s about conscious eating.
  5. Resolve inner conflicts: It’s not about the diets – it’s all about inner wellbeing and the resolution of core stresses and emotional blocks. Stress inhibits our natural responses to the body’s signals of hunger and satisfaction, and it causes us to confuse emotional hunger with physical hunger. Stress hormones can also cause weight retention.

The best thing about eco weight loss is that you get to enjoy the good life without all sorts of restrictions and evil diets. All you need to do is work with your inner mind to resolve the stresses that cause emotional eating and weight retention. When this happens, your body will naturally choose the foods that are just right for it and in the right proportions – so you won’t need to diet at all. This is true ecological weight loss.

About the Author
Russel Brownlee is a coach and therapist specialising in the no-diet approach to weight loss. Join him for a workshop on Saturday 2 June 2012 where you will get the chance to resolve the inner causes of weight and food issues. More at SlimWithin – permanent weight loss without diets (www.slimwithin.co.za)

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