Christmas has well gone, and if those extra kilos are still hanging on, like the ones from the year before, you’re probably feeling not quite so fabulous right now.
And have you noticed, the less fabulous you feel, the more you criticise yourself, the more you reach for comfort food or drink? Beating yourself up for not losing weight doesn’t work either, right? The secret is in your language, to yourself, and others.
If you ‘lose’ something, what do you do? Go looking for it, right? And how do you feel about losing something, as a general rule? Anxious, frustrated, worried, guilty and annoyed? Our unconscious mind associated the words ‘lose’ and ‘loser’ with negative connotations, because our experiences with these words well pre-dates our need to ‘lose’ weight. So ‘losing’ weight is also negative at that deeper level, and who wants to be a loser? Ironically trying unsuccessfully to lose weight makes you feel like a loser!
The first solution is to call it ‘releasing’ weight. Notice how different that feels. ‘Releasing’ is positive as it implies choice and free will, with no expectation of ever seeing it again. Have some fun imagining yourself releasing all those blobs of fat back into the wild to roam free. The more you laugh and relax, the happier you are, the easier it is to be kind to yourself, the better you’ll feel, the easier healthy choices will be.
Yes, you may have reasons from the past that encouraged you to protect yourself with extra padding, or reward and comfort yourself with food, or perhaps your family had unhealthy eating or drinking habits. All that means is you may need some expert help to teach you new, more empowering ways, of caring for yourself and your body. Until you’re literally on your deathbed, it’s not too late.
Once you forgive yourself for hanging on to past excuses and start practicing self-love, you’ll find it so much easier to make loving choices for yourself. Remember, you are saying “No thanks” to chocolate cake from love, not to punish yourself. Every time you say “No thanks” to an unhealthy option you are actually saying “I love you” to yourself. Remind yourself of that, and feel good about your choice.
Remember to set yourself up for success. Only buy healthy options (once you learn what they are. Hint: most things in packaging aren’t good for you. Look out for sugar and numbers on the ingredient list). So what if family members can’t live without sugar bombs? If you love your family, don’t buy it. If they desperately want it they can make the effort to go to the shop themselves and purchase it with their own money. Once again, you’re saying “No” from love. Socialise with people who support your choices, not try to tempt you into indulging with them so they don’t feel guilty. Picture side-by-side hospital beds if that helps.
Most of all, remember you are aiming for your healthy body, not someone else’s. Or worse, some airbrushed image in the media that’s physically impossible to achieve. We are all shapes, sizes and colours, which makes our world a rich tapestry, rather than a boring pattern of sameness. Aim for the healthiest and happiest your body can be. The curves and weight of muscles are part of a healthy body.
Be reassured that anything, including your mind, can be changed for good, if that’s what your heart desires.
p.s. it’s OK to ask for help from those who can help you.