“Loving yourself is the healthiest thing you can ever do.”
If you’re goal this year is to lose weight, chances are, it was your goal last year too. Am I right? But you probably didn’t lose it, or not enough of it, or you gained it all back. Right again? You keep falling off the stupid wagon! But why?
I’ve figured out exactly what’s been keeping the weight on for me and I want to share with you what we can do beyond eating better and exercising to get it off and keep it off.
Here’s the problem:
1. You’re Not Doing it for the Real Reasons
You need to get CLEAR on why you want to lose weight. Why do you really want to accomplish this? You may think you know, but do you really?
I’ve talked about this before (finding the why underneath your why) in my journal posts, but I want to really express the importance of finding your big MOFA. What’s a MOFA? It’s your Motivating Factors! It’s the deepest reason(s) you want to do something. Read my post to find out how to discover your deepest reasons.
I want to wear a bikini to the beach, might be your surface reason. But, I want to gain the most confidence to start my business, might be your deepest truth, or your big MOFA. Sometimes we don’t even know why we really want something until we do the above journaling exercise.
If you’re continuously seeking to accomplish a goal for superficial reasons, you may achieve that goal for a short time, but you will eventually sabotage yourself and end up where you started. I know this because I’ve done it over and over. Understanding your deepest reason(s) why will connect you to your truest self and help you to predict and prevent behavior patterns.
2. You’re Trying to Create Habits You Have No Interest in Maintaining
I’ve started so many diets by setting goals that are unrealistic for my long-term situation or that don’t really align with what I enjoy doing or who I enjoy being. I’m not going to eat a salad daily because I don’t love salads. I’m not going to work out at the gym for an hour 5 days a week because I don’t love going to the gym.
Don’t make yourself do anything you don’t love the idea of doing. I know this sounds a little crazy but stick with me.
Movement doesn’t have to mean running at the gym, lifting weights, or going to yoga three times per week. Find movement you enjoy and fit it into your schedule in a natural way. What about swimming, walking, stretching, exercising with your baby, playing basketball with your teenage son, or doing an exercise video with your husband? Find something you like to do and then fit it into your weekly schedule in a way that is not overwhelming. You can even do it with people you love if you need to feel like you’re not taking time away from them.
And eating shouldn’t be so restrictive. Maybe you don’t like salad but you do love to try new things. You could make it a goal to try a new healthy dish at a restaurant once per week. Or, maybe make one new recipe per week at home. Or, look for healthy recipes on Pinterest and make them with the kids one night a week. Mix it up and allow yourself time to learn and discover what you like.
This is not an all or nothing situation. Being healthy is always a journey and never a destination. Take it slow. When you find things you like…then you know it’s something you will always want to do and you can begin to replace your old habits with healthy ones. Celebrate that you made the decision to be healthy and take it day by day.
3. You’re Looking for a Quick Fix
Maybe you’re getting married soon, going on vacation, or getting ready for an event and you need to lose the weight yesterday. You’ve tried every magic pill and shake under the sun. Sometimes you lost the weight, but gain it back. You want to hurry up and get it done so you work hard…but then you burn out. What gives?
This is similar to what I talked about for number 2. You must realize that habit change doesn’t happen over night. You can force yourself to lose the weight and do it fairly quickly but it will come back and you’re not actually doing it in a healthy way. Health is more than eating right and exercising. It’s a shift in your thinking patterns and lifestyle choices. This shift can only happen over time with lots of practice!
Quick fixes might work quick, but their results will also go away quickly. Practice makes perfect.
4. You’re Eating in Guilt and Shame
A doughnut you eat in gratitude and pleasure is always better for your body than a doughnut you ate in guilt and shame.
If you love Oreos, eat Oreos. If you love fries, eat fries. Don’t deprive yourself of these sweets or treats some of the time if you love them. But, do it in love and appreciation for yourself and the food that is entering your body. Understand that it’s purpose may not be to nourish your body, but to give you pleasure and fulfillment in the moment. Be grateful for what it is. But do not hate it or yourself for eating it.
If you do this, you will begin training your brain to be grateful for this food, and train your body to accept it as nourishment.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying eating fries and Oreos will do the same for you as carrots and broccoli, but I am saying there is a spiritual aspect to it. Be grateful for it instead of ashamed of it and you’re winning half the battle.
5. You’re Measuring Your Success with the Wrong Tools
Please, please, please…stop checking the scale. If you must check it, do it only once per week but do not use it to measure your success. If you lost 5lbs this week, you may feel extremely excited. But if you lost that 5lbs because you skipped meals and were feeling stressed, it was not really a successful week. That 5 lbs will probably come right back.
How else can you measure your success? You might notice… my skin is clearer, my pants are looser, my attitude is better. You may begin to notice you’re not craving soda, or have gone a long time without eating fast food. Maybe you’re starting get compliments from family and friends. Look for any other positive affirmations to help you remember that your health is not measured by the number on your scale. The scale is not even an accurate measure of your hard work.
If you had a positive healthy week and lost weight, then the number on the scale is just perk! But it is not a measure of your worth or work effort.
Celebrate all the other signs that you’re headed in the right direction. The most important validation is how you feel about your personal health journey.
If you’re serious about losing weight, I can help. But I only take serious clients!
Read more about mindful eating here.
And here are some easy healthy living tips to get you started!
I would love to see your comments about this issue! What has worked for you to keep the weight off or to help keep you on the right path to health?