Have you ever had a goal that is body related? Lose weight? Fat loss? Fit in your old jeans again? The list goes on and on! Even when we reach one goal, we find some way to dislike another part of our bodies and start the next experiment to change it. Having a weight loss goal is ok! Wanting to improve your body composition is ok! However, constantly disliking yourself and living a life of shame with your body is not ok! So the questions arises, "How do you love yourself while trying to change your body?"
If you have read "My Why" under the About page, you will know I have gone through hell and back when it comes to trying to "improve my body." If you have not read it, go there before continuing this blog post. I had a very simple goal at one time and that goal WAS reached; for the record, reached healthily at that. But when I got there, I craved more. I craved 10 more pounds and another 10. I loved the "self control" I had, when really, I had no control at all. I was losing the person I truly was in order to have the perfect body. With each pound came more personal criticism and another thing I "needed" to change to be "happy." So let's keep this short and sweet, because we all know the journey to true self love (especially as a female) is everything but short or sweet!
1. Give yourself grace. Some of you may have decades of unhealthy habits under your belt (pun intended). How can you expect to change so many years of what you know so well over night? Or even in a week or two? You cannot! Get it out of your mind now that the road is clear cut and easy once you make the decision to change.
2. If the you want the results to last, make them sustainable! Be okay with SLOW progress. Dropping 10 pounds in a week in not sustainable, nor healthy.
3. Still enjoy the foods you have always enjoyed, but challenge yourself to proper portions. It is a catch 22 here. You are going to beat yourself up and be depressed when you deprive yourself from social interactions involving food. On the flip side, you are going to beat yourself up if you over indulge like you have before. So have a bit of both worlds.
4. Stop classifying food as cheating! Unless you are choking, no one is dying from ice cream or pizza once a week. Period. Set your mind right and make it a memory, not a bash fest on yourself. You work hard, TREAT yourself.
5. You will never see yourself the same way others see you. The nice compliments often go in one ear and out the other when you don't love yourself. So start your day with a sticky note affirmation and say it DAILY until you truly believe it! There IS power in thought.
6. Stop stressing! Easier said than done, I know. However, you can stick to the "perfect meal plan" 100% and nothing will hold your body back from change more than stress will. Cortisol people! It is science.
7. This is a big one... STOP COMPARING! No one, not a single person in this world, is going through EXACTLY what you are going through; hormonally, relationally, job wise, etc. Each thing impacts your mind and the way you perceive change.
8. Unless you are in medical need of drastically reducing your body weight, step off the scale. Focus on how clothes feel, how much energy you have, how your progress pictures are changing and how your blood work is at the doctors office. You want to really determine your health? Get some blood work done! 9. Set incremental goals and do not focus only on the end game. For example, 10 pound weight loss increments or pant sizes or hitting a new PR in the gym. Surround yourself with victories, because they are in many areas other than your initial goal.
10. Finally, determine WHY this body goal is so important to you. Find your pain point. No one wants to lose weight or change their body just to say they did. Find the emotional connection and make sure it is for you! Make sure it's something that TRULY is going to keep you happy.
Let me ask you one last question. When was the last time you walked up to someone, introduced yourself and said, "Hi my is (fill in the blank) and I weigh (fill in the blank)." Your weight does not define you! Set realistic body goals and work dang hard to healthily change them. But also make it your personal goal to see yourself in the way that others see you, because that is beautiful and freaking awesome! If that went in one ear and out the other, it looks like you found your sticky note affirmation. Mic drop.