Are you struggling to get motivated and unable to lose weight? Does it feel like you’ve tried everything with no results?! It is discouraging at best.
You’re not alone. It’s difficult for many people, including myself, to stay dedicated to a lifestyle that promotes health and fitness. Our schedules are crazy busy, and it takes discipline and consistency to develop habits. But is that all that’s going on?
Are you judging yourself? Hmm…. Keeps you stuck.
Do you eat food to “feel” better, but your mood worsens afterward? Hmm…. The part of you that you’re feeding isn’t your body.
Does your food sit in your belly feeling heavy? Hmm…. Your body may be in a survival response.
Stress Triggers Keep Us from Optimal Weight
Once a stress trigger is activated, we do not metabolize our food optimally. Why? Because our brain redirects our energy from our digestion to our legs and arms for a fast response to survive, such as when a person is confronted by an unexpected grizzly bear. Our digestive juices aren’t essential when escaping danger and staying alive is the priority. And since we’re under unhealthy stress continually, we have a big problem. (Why do you think many people gain so much fat in the belly area?)
One of the first things on a successful journey to increased vitality, health, and ideal weight is to get a fresh mindset about your body and those extra pounds.
Unprocessed feelings distort the way we see ourselves. It’s like a pond with waves prevents you from seeing your image in the water clearly. The waves of critical self-talk and negative emotions coursing through your system create a static that blocks true change and actions leading to your better self and a healthier body.
Try the following simple steps for a fresh approach to health and to achieve your goal of losing weight.
Steps to Lose Weight and Gain Self-Esteem in the Process
STEP 1 – Reframe the way you view yourself, your body, and your weight.
Extra weight is about carrying around outworn patterns, repressed or postponed desires, unprocessed emotions, unresolved pain, unlived dreams, and stillborn-creative pursuits. It’s time to live, not eat more.
Instead of beating yourself up because you’re overeating or neglecting exercise, it’s time to reconnect with your deep aspirations. What past experiences might you still be digesting? What dream have you buried under that weight?
Love those pounds; they hold a vital message for you. Behind every bad habit is an unmet need or unfulfilled desire. Listen. Get curious. Then act on what you discover. Each time you open to your truth, you’ll feel lighter!
STEP 2 – Accept yourself (and your body) with compassion and loving-kindness.
Now that you have a new way of looking at yourself, it’s time to give yourself the gift of emotional freedom. Before you mindlessly start eating, stop and take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” or “What unpleasant emotion am I trying to avoid or cover over with eating?”
Just by identifying an emotion, the built-up energy will dissipate. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. Gently send compassion to whatever you're feeling. Open your heart.
As the energy reintegrates, listen carefully. An emotion often reveals an action that will help you step into your power more fully in the future. For example, “Have an honest talk with your friend” or “Let go of blame and ask for what you need.” or “Slow down before you agree to a commitment next time, it’s okay to say no.” Take note and plan to act differently at the next opportunity.
Now on a practical note:
STEP 3 – Before eating, sit down, calm your mind, and relax your body. Let go of your responsibilities and be fully present. Put your phone and computer away. Take a few slow, deep breaths before taking your first bite. Why? Because this simple practice acts to signal the brain that you’re safe and dials down your survival response. Relaxing and deep breathing also cue the body to turn on the metabolism. Thus, your body is prepared to receive the meal.
As Thich Nhat Hanh has said, “Chew your food, not your worries.”
Follow these steps until they become a habit and watch your weight melt away as the snow melts in the heat of the sun. Losing weight is not about losing fat; it’s about freeing energy and gaining self-esteem and self-love along the way.
Changing your inner world is what will transform your body and your life.
If you'd like a greater understanding of how to break bad habits see this related well-written article, "How to Break a Bad Habit" that we're quoted in!
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