That's right, you heard me right. STOP trying to LOSE WEIGHT!
"But, wait, wait, wait....I AM HERE, the reader, TO LOSE WEIGHT! What are you saying?!"
Hear me out on this. If you've ever tried to lose weight before and failed, chances are your focus was on THE WEIGHT, the number on the scale, altering your body because suddenly it was deemed NOT ACCEPTABLE. If this focus failed you before, what makes you think it will work now? It's time to think about weight loss differently.
By focusing on LIFESTYLE CHANGE designed around NOURISHMENT, you may experience the following effects: Self love and appreciation, sustainable balance you're in alignment with, and you guessed it....weight loss.
Let weight loss be the by-product, not the focus, of your health journey.
So what SHOULD be at the center of your weight loss goal?
1) Whatever thoughts and actions harm your health or confidence, discard them immediately.
Everything, from habits like binge eating or obsessing about the scale to thoughts like telling yourself you're fat, hopeless, or anything in between, get in the habit of responding to them with, "we don't DO or SAY that anymore". Break UP with the old you that is dragging you down and poisoning your head. Fill it up with words and actions that BUILD your confidence. Create a SAFE space for you to grow into the person you know you're capable of being. Will it be perfect? NO! But the more you say this phrase, the easier the letting go of the old habit or thought will be.
2) Think "eating for nourishment" not "eating to lose weight".
Eating to lose weight and the thought pattern that comes with it feels like you are being punished for being something you are not. Ick! No wonder we rebel! Change that thinking to "eating for nourishment", learn to listen to your body and what it needs, and look at food as a SUPPORT MECHANISM, not something to be controlled. Not only does this thought pattern create more physical peace in the body, it removes the limitations and gives you the opportunity of choice in every setting and a much more empowering stand-point from which to do that from.
3) Think "all the time food" and "sometimes food", not "good food" or "bad food".
Food is NOT bad. You are not BAD or GOOD for eating a particular food. And no food is off limits. Every time you put a negative label on food, you're going to want it like that Jared Leto look-alike bad boy in your high school math class. We are smarter creatures than this! All foods have a place. We know certain ones in higher quantities will have a negative impact on our health, just like giving your dog the scraps off the table too often will affect theirs. Food is food. Period. It's not a food that's "bad", it's just a food you "don't have that often".....not anymore (wink...see #1).
4) Focus more on what feels good rather than what feels bad.
Some days the scale will lift you up, but MANY times it will make you feel AWFUL! For no reason that can be explained! ("What did I do to YOU, scale?!"). Focus MORE on what feels good and contributes to feelings that are good? What MOVEMENT feels good? What PEOPLE feel good? What BOOK, PODCAST, CLASS feels good and fosters the best parts of you? Focus on what RESONATES with YOUR BEST you. It will eventually CROWD OUT your worst.
5) Come from a place of self love, not self hate.
This one is KEY. Coming from a place of self loathing will burn you out. Coming from a place of self love on the other hand, not only will you want to stay in the game longer, but you'll also feel a lot less resistance along the way. If the scale makes you just want to quit, LET. IT. GO. Stop letting this number, or your pants size, or a measuring tape determine your worth on a given day.
Just because you are not where you want to be, doesn't mean there is anything wrong with where you are.
You've been placed in the skin you're in for a reason. You've been through some things, good and bad. Our bodies are merely just representations of our story, not our worth. Make peace with the YOU as you are right now, and every stage of the process. Make peace knowing you are now in a phase where you're transforming back into your best, and give thanks for SURVIVING to tell the tale, as well as to act on your awareness. There is no shame in your journey.
6) Focus on results 1 year from now or more.
That's right...stop RUSHING the process. Think back to all the times you put a deadline on your weight loss. Did it work? And if it did, did you keep it? Chances are the answer to one or both of those questions is "no". Every time you put a deadline on your results, you force yourself into a level of perfection that is not natural. Usually accompanying this is a "diet" and possibly a workout regiment that may guarantee a result, but does not resonate with your natural state of being. These periods of forcing yourself into a box ultimately trigger desire a break out even more than the time before it...your NATURAL VIBE is not in alignment with what you are doing and will make itself known.
Real change takes TIME. Focus on what you want your LIFESTYLE to be in a year from now, not what you want to look like in 3 months for that ONE event. The person that KEEPS those results you are after DOES NOT do the things you did before you decided to lose the weight. There IS no going back. So, yes, things will need to change. But asking yourself to become a different person overnight and sprint to the finish is never going to generate long-lasting change.
This forced effort will only build resistance. Extreme circumstances are only meant for temporary periods. Don't sell yourself that short. Focus instead on building SLOWLY to the ultimate goal...take the pressure off. And in that extra time, let yourself peacefully figure out how you like to move, who you like to be surrounded with, what foods you like to prepare, what social life now means to you. Give yourself the space to MESS UP! Because you will. But it's much better to lose 2-3 lbs. a month, be 20 lbs. down in 7 months, have enjoyed your life in that time, rather than have lost 20 lbs. in 3 months, and regained it in another 3-4.
Take a look at your own life, your own goal, your own history. What thought patterns, habits, and numbers do you need to break up with? If they haven't worked for you in the past, you've got nothing to lose by at least trying (pun intended).