Weight Loss and Selective Restriction

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selective restriction

Whatever their reasons, people often like to give up something for Lent. They feel like better people if they can cut out all sweets from their diet, cut back to one pack of cigarettes per day or none at all, or give up their spot on the sofa to exercise on a regular basis.

Giving Up Chocolate for Lent

Often, people let go of something they hadn’t really wanted in the first place. Perhaps they choose to forgo all pie or cake for 40 days, when they actually wanted to lose weight in the first place.

Some brave souls will give up chocolate. However, the ambrosia from the cocoa bean has many medicinal benefits. Along with dark chocolate, it lowers LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and raises or elevates the mood, giving one a sense of well being. Maybe that’s not the best one to choose to give up.

Restricted Eating

Taken to an extreme, restricted eating can be part of a serious eating disorder. Some people restrict their intake to minimal calories each day. Their total intake is not even enough to promote health. The excessive food restriction can go along with a distorted body image in which they see themselves as fat when others see them as profoundly thin.

Feelings of control and anger can contribute to eating disorders. Food restriction is not even being suggested here. People can slip into over restriction if they feel a great deal of power from not eating. What one might give up for 40 days is something other than food.

Selective Restriction

The suggestion is to select one of the underlying emotions that contribute to weight gain and restrict it. Anger is the negative emotion that will be select. We know that it is one of the four basic emotions that children from all cultures display. Some people will deny that they get angry. They will admit to frustration but not anger. However, frustration is just a polite form of anger. In order to loss weight and maintain that weight loss, one needs to learn to control their anger.

For 40 days, it is being suggested that one restrict the amount of displayed anger they will permit themselves. Displayed anger is the term used, but internal anger is also visible to others.Overt anger is seen with hair-trigger explosions. Anger that is stuffed inside is made visible in a strained expression, negative outbursts of emotion, and added pounds with increased binge eating.

Relaxation Training for the Release From Anger

Anger can be released by practicing a simple relaxation technique. Look around for things that could distract you and attend to those items first.

The relaxation takes only a moment but concentration is best when focus is clear.
  • Lay or sit comfortably.
  • Imagine all your anger like the dark center of a golf ball.
  • Close your eyes and see the anger ball in your mind.
  • Imagine a blue-white light filling the ball and dissolving it.
  • See the radiance spread farther and farther outward while the anger ball gets smaller and smaller, until the light pops out through your finger tips, your hair, and every pore, filling your whole body and dissolving the ball at the same time.
  • Open your eyes and live the day as if anger were gone.
  • Practice this brief relaxation three times a day.

Before the end of the 40-day time of personal sacrifice, the feeling of anger will gradually grow less intense. Less anger will hep make healthy food choices easier. Healthy food choices will result in lost weight or maintained weight loss. This year, for Lent, try giving up anger.

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