Wednesday, March 21, 2012
One hundred pounds down, and what have I learned? First and foremost, “if hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution!” I also often repeat the following to myself: “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” And I can assure you of one thing. That is, calories don’t account for everything. Outlook counts too!
Imagine this: instead of waking up tomorrow feeling fat, sick, and depressed; we all wake up feeling proud, energetic, happy, and alive! How to do it? Move your body TODAY! I’m a big fan of joyful movement. Joyful movement can help you navigate the day with energy, vitality and aliveness.
And remember, when it comes to food, just because you can eat, doesn’t mean you should. Check in with yourself and allow yourself to feel stomach hunger before your meals or snacks. Then, listen to what your body is asking for and allow yourself to eat this without judgment. Eat consciously, approaching food with an awareness of your senses. Most importantly, stop eating when you are no longer hungry, before you are too full. Transition to another activity to help separate you from the food.
Take time to enjoy your food. Eat in a calm environment, preferably at a table and not in front of the computer or the TV...definitely not in the car while driving or at your desk or while on the phone. Plan your meal times so you can eat without distractions. The more you savor every bite, the less you’re likely to eat overall. Hunger is not an emergency. Practice choosing smaller portions, and then return again for more food should your physical hunger return.
And finally, respond to your body with kindness -- be compassionate toward yourself each day. Apart from your plate, read or do something each day to expand your vision of self. In essence, learn to feed your mind with knowledge, your heart with love, your soul with self and your body with food.
Self-care is not indulgence, narcissism, or self-absorption. True self-care is nurturing, balanced, realistic, and disciplined. This kind of care benefits everyone, radiating outward from individuals to their entire circle. Think of self compassion as you would oxygen in an airplane emergency. When you help yourself first, you're better able to take care of those in need. When self-care becomes both a mindset and a daily practice, it will change your life. It will free you to be the mother, wife, friend, daughter -- woman – you wish to be.
How to stay the course and stay committed? Recognize that there’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. If you don’t want to do it, one excuse is as good as another. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses. And you get, only results.
This is not to say there won’t be low times, weight plateaus or obstacles as you progress on your weight loss journey. Truly treat each obstacle as an opportunity. A plateau, for example is your body’s means of adjusting to its new size and shape. Your body is steadying itself. You’ve landed on the staircase to your goal. Maintenance is, in fact, a lifelong plateau, so a bit of rehearsal isn't the worst thing in the world.
Never minimize the loss of a single pound, bemoaning that you should have lost more. Perfection is not your destination on this journey. And, expecting perfection will spoil your trip. Recognize, instead, the ultimate truth in the Zen saying, “the obstacle is the path.” And, always, stay true to yourself and your goals. There are no shortcuts, but You CAN do this!!!