In 2005, Zain Jamal weighed 89 pounds. She suffered with anorexia. For a period following that incredibly low weight, she binged her way to 145 pounds. She knew, then and there, that it was time to commit to a consistent, healthy lifestyle and not one that bounces back and forth between two extremes.
“When I started practicing mindfulness, everything changed,” says Zain.
For Zain, spending time with herself was the first step toward healing. She realized that her body image was a mess and based on her desire to be accepted by other people. Using the mindfulness techniques that she had picked up through yoga and meditation, Zain made a conscious decision not to give in to her negative self-talk. Zain practiced deep breathing and began to boost her motivation by repeating mantras. She hired a personal trainer and educated herself on how to eat properly.
Knowing that emotional eating was a major trigger for her, Zain stopped allowing herself to eat while working, watching TV or chatting on the phone. “When I didn’t focus on the meal, I would get to the end and never feel satisfied,” she says which would propel her toward late night snacking.
“I faced my fears and worked through them,” says Zain. Having now lost 40 pounds through healthy methods, Zain teaches private workshops for women recovering from eating disorders. “Mindfulness has taught me to cultivate humility, maintain discipline and choose love rather than fear.”
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Zain credits a connection between her mind and body as being monumental in her healthy transformation. Here are her tips for you:
- During a meal, savor each bite, chewing slowly while admiring the colors, textures, aromas and flavors.
- Dine outdoors or near a window to calm your body and mind.
- Before your workouts, perform a mental “body scan.” Ask yourself, how are you feeling that day? Are you energetic? Tired? Stressed? Are any of your muscles sore? Are you carrying tension? Every time you scan your body, become familiar with its needs for that workout.
- While weight training, pay attention to your breathing.
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Source: Oxygen Magazine