Tapping for Self Love and Body Confidence
Hey Everyone! I’m so excited to be here on Alanna & Company.
Today, I’m talking about a subject that most of us are all too familiar with: issues around self love, body confidence, and weight loss. However, I’m addressing it from a slightly different perspective than you might normally hear about. As an Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) practitioner, I look at the effect that stress has on our body and on every aspect of our lives. It’s my belief that while proper nutrition and exercise play an important role in keeping you healthy and happy, true self love, body confidence, and healthy weight loss (or healthy weight gain) can only be achieved if we clear away the stress and limiting beliefs that many of us are holding onto.
Before we go deeper into that, let me give a quick run down on what EFT is all about. EFT, also known as Tapping, is a hands on technique that allows you to release limiting and negative beliefs that you are holding onto and to turn off the stress response, which for many of us is activated almost constantly due to the society that we live in.
By tapping on different acupressure points on our body and tuning into the negative/stressful/anxious feelings that we are experiencing, we are actually able to clear away these emotions and send a message to the amygdala in the brain, which controls fight or flight, telling it that it can turn off the stress response and return to a natural state of peace (often referred to as Rest and Digest- the opposite of Fight/Flight). If you’d like to know more about EFT and how both my clients and I have benefited from this powerful process, you can check out this video.
|The tapping points- Photo is from Tapping for Weight Loss and Body Confidence, by Jessica Ortner (amazing book!)|
So how does this relate to self-love, body confidence, and weight? Oh, it’s everything.
We live in an appearance-obsessed society, and looking the “right way” is given crazy high importance. We’re also wired to want to be fit and healthy because it both extends and improves the quality of our lives! So looking and feeling the right way is heavily emphasized, and this often leads to a lot of stress.
Most of us are all too familiar with that panicky feeling we get when we think we’ve gained a few pounds or when we compare ourselves to a “perfect body.” This is fight/flight kicking into action. You see, our well-meaning brains cannot differentiate between a real threat (ex. Being chased by a hungry animal) and a perceived threat (ex. not fitting into our dress the way we want to). Both events activate the stress response, and this can pose a major barrier to loving your body and losing weight.
How does the stress response affect your body confidence and weight?
+Stress hormones can actually make your body hold onto weight.
+Leads to emotional and overeating in an attempt to calm and soothe ourselves
+Similarly, causes us to crave comfort foods and sabotage healthy eating practices.
+Keeps us in panic mode, which leads to overreacting to minor events (ex. gaining weight thinking about wearing a bikini).
+Makes true relaxation impossible.
Eating healthy food and exercising are great, but they are only fully beneficial if we are doing them from a place of calm and happiness. If we are forcing ourselves into restrictive diets and punishing workouts that don’t feel good and nurturing to our bodies, we are actually activating the stress response because our body feels like it is under attack! It is often the people who implements strict diet and exercise rules who are the first to sneak or binge on “bad” foods. In fact, the very act of thinking of foods as “good” and “bad” triggers the stress response.
You know those people who look so comfortable and at home in their bodies and have no trouble maintain their ideal weight? They generally do not have any stress or negative associations around food. They respect their body, they eat when they’re hungry, and they stop when they’re full. They exercise because it feels good, not because they are trying to shed weight.
When I use EFT with my clients for issues around body confidence and weight loss, we look at the emotions that come up when they think about their body/weight/food/exercise/sexuality (yup that’s an important one- it’s difficult to feel really sexy when you’re judging your body), and more.
By tapping on and clearing these issues, we can release our drive to over eat, stress about our bodies, and judge and punish ourselves. We also clear the stress hormones, which lead to weight gain, like adrenaline and cortisol, out of our bodies.
We generally operate under the false premise that stress will actually help us lose weight. We think of it as healthy motivation, and tell ourselves that if we just “give up” and accept our bodies, we’ll never have the bodies we want. The internet is full of Fitspo quotes encouraging us to suffer for the perfect body (“No pain no gain,” “It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.”)
|“and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell|
Nothing could be further than the truth. When we relax and begin to enjoy our bodies and love and honour them for the amazing beings they really are (at any weight, shape, and size!), we begin to naturally come into balance. Sugar cravings fade away, exercise and movement become fun, and we begin to experience the simple joy of being in our body. And we start to realize that it was never really about the weight anyway. It was about loving ourselves.
I will never say that EFT if the ticket to body confidence and weight loss, and please don’t listen to anyone who tells you that their way is the only way. There are many paths to peace and self love (i.e. the basis of body confidence, a healthy weight, and basically everything)- EFT just happens to be one that works really well for me. For me it’s also walking, journaling, making tea, practicing presence, spending time with people I love, and saying nice things to myself! It’s simple things like brushing my hair, making facemasks, and doing my make up from a place of taking care of and decorating my body. And breathing- nothing beats a few deep breaths.
If you would like to learn more about the effects of stress on weight loss and body love, I highly recommend two books: Tapping for Weight Loss & Body Confidence and Pleasurable Weight Loss. And if you are interested in chatting with me more about EFT, please send me an email at [email protected]
Loving yourself and your body is your birthright! Don’t settle for anything less.
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