Mindful Weight loss
by Jordan Rubin in Extraordinary Health Magazine
The New Year has arrived, and it is a time when many people resolve to lose weight. However, the majority of these resolutions are abandoned after only a few weeks. We tell ourselves that we don’t have the time necessary to devote to an exercise program or eating plan, or we convince ourselves that it will just be too difficult, and we give up before we start! Most people set unrealistic goals for themselves and feel like failures when they don’t reach them. This is a cycle of negative self-talk that continues throughout the year until the next January when the whole process starts again.
Too often we don’t reach the goals we set for ourselves because of our attitude and approach toward these goals. We focus on our bodies and we neglect our minds, which play a very important role in successful weight loss. Many people don’t even realize the effect thinking has on overall health and subconsciously have an all or nothing mind-set. If they don’t have a perfect diet every single day they feel overwhelmed and discouraged, and often stop trying. There is no such thing as a quick fix, but weight loss will happen gradually and permanently with a more relaxed approach. This year, I invite you to completely change the way you think about weight loss.
First, appreciate your body for what it does for you every day of your life. It is truly miraculous how your body never misses a heartbeat, constantly renews and regenerates cells, and digests and processes everything you choose to eat or drink. Remember this, and be thankful for it. Replacing negative thoughts about your body weight with reminders of all of the miracles it performs is essential, and much more important than counting calories or fat content. The body you have right now is amazing! Next, take the focus off of losing weight, and instead focus on being healthy. As you begin to think about what to eat you must think wellness, not weight loss. Begin to work with your body by giving it the nourishment it needs nutritionally and emotionally. Drink lots of pure water, take deep breaths, go for a walk with a loved one, or take time to read a book or write in your journal. You are not at war with your body. It’s not the “battle of the bulge.” Your body is part of who you are, and you must begin to listen to it. Incorporate one new healthy habit each week, and really focus on how that makes you feel. Start simply by drinking more water or going to bed by 10:30. You will begin to see changes in your body and start to feel better, physically and mentally, which will motivate you to continue.
Then, understand that by taking care of yourself, you are actually showing your love for others. If you feel you don’t have the time to spend on yourself, realize it is not selfish use of your time to focus on a healthier lifestyle. By slowing down, eating a home cooked meal, and being thoughtful about what you put in your body, you will be practicing extreme self-care, which will translate into care for those around you. If you are in better health, you will be able to fully love and serve your family, friends and community. Think about how much time you spend maintaining your car or working on your house, yet you think you have no time to shop for healthy food or prepare nourishing meals! Your body is the home you will live in for the rest of your life on this earth, and you have the time to take care of it.
Finally, keep your mind in the present. Don’t dwell on what you didn’t do last week, or overwhelm yourself by thinking about three months from now and how much weight you have to lose. You have the ability to correct your course. Be encouraged that in this moment you can make the right choice, and your body will thank you for it. Treat your body with the respect and kindness it deserves, and make it fun! Being healthy should make you happy. So take a deep breath, relax, and take the first step. Every step you take towards a healthier lifestyle, no matter how small it may seem, will lead you there.