Losing weight is a physical, mental, and emotional challenge, so today I want to talk about love and compassion or more specifically, self-love because loving yourself and truly believing that you are a worthy person, is the first step towards optimal health. So, here are some ideas that can help you shift your thoughts and actions:
Every Day is a New Beginning
No matter how bad things are, each new day brings an opportunity to start fresh; to push the reset button; to start off on a new path, or to get back on the path you were already on but lost for some time. When we start the morning with positive vibes, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. This can be the smallest of actions: drinking a glass of water first thing after you brush your teeth. Doing a 30-second plank. Taking 3 deep breaths. Making your bed. Declaring out loud “I’m going to have a great day today”. Any small act can help set you on the right path.
Focus on Positive Thoughts
It’s easy to fall into despair when we focus on what isn’t good in our life, or what isn’t working. Invite yourself to think about the good things in your life. Make a list. Grab a pen and paper and write them down. When you feel the negative thoughts creeping in, pull out your list and pick a fun, energizing item to dwell on.
Compare With Care
Humans come in all shapes and sizes. Models and celebrities in the media and on social networks are not a true representation of this (not to mention the amount of editing work done on their pictures). In real life, there will always be someone slimmer than you, and someone heavier than you. And that’s just a single dimension that doesn’t see the millions of different attributes we all possess. Comparing yourself to others can be a double-edged sword. If you use it as a motivator to take positive action (exercise, cooking a healthy meal for yourself), that’s great, but comparison that leads to self-loathing, will lead you nowhere.
When we are part of a community, we feel safer. We feel loved. We are stronger. We are motivated. We know we can rely on the togetherness to push us forward. When we help others, we feel good about ourselves. A community can be your family, your friends, a religious affiliation, a volunteer organization, or an online group.
Appreciate Your Body
Reflect on the wonderful things your body has done for you. It has brought you to this day, alive and breathing. Your everyday activities rely on your body. It may have taken you on hikes, perhaps even runs. It has given you sexual pleasure. It may have even given you the opportunity to grow another human inside of you. Your body is uniquely yours, so celebrate it.
Set Realistic Goals
When we decide on goals that are unattainable, we are setting ourselves up for failure. For example, it’s unreasonable to lose 20 pounds in a week. Setting such an expectation will lead to increased stress levels, which in turn will make it even harder to do good things for your body. You can divide your goals into milestones. For example, your first goal can be very modest – to lose 1 pound in the next 3 weeks. Furthermore, you don’t even need to set a weight goal. You can define goals that will help set you up for success. Examples: get 7 hours of sleep at night. Drink 2 cups of water before each meal. Have one piece of fruit every day. Achieving the more modest goals will provide you with a sense of ability and help propel you to success reaching your next milestones.
You don’t need to run a 5k race or lift weights for 30 minutes at the gym. You can start off with just putting on your sweatpants and sneakers. You can walk up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator or go for a walk around the block after lunch. Just do what works for you. Even 5 minutes counts, because being active releases hormones that give you an emotional boost and remember, slow and steady always wins the race.
Compliment Yourself Every Day
Sure, you want to lose weight, but that’s not the only thing that defines you. Remind yourself what your strengths are, and what you love about yourself. It sounds trivial, but it will put you in the right state of mind to nurture your body and it will help push away the negativity too.
Giving ourselves self-love and compassion will take us a long way to helping us not only loose weight, but also help us to become better people too and until next time, be happy, healthy, and beautiful!