We're all too familiar with the diets and cleanses that we set the intention to embark upon, but are never quite able to follow through with. Why is that? We think we just sabotage ourselves with unhealthy food, but the reality is that we sabotage ourselves with blatant disregard for what we need most to feel good.... unconditional self-love. When we become so fixated on the goal of losing weight that we forget to consider our own needs, thoughts, feelings and emotions, how can we expect to see real results?
If we get caught up in just seeing "the fat", we become consumed with what we don't like about ourselves rather than making a conscious decision to focus on the positive. And yes, it is a very conscious decision. It is highly unlikely that once you lose those 20 pounds you are going to suddenly love everything about yourself. You may believe this fantasy to be true, but once those 20 pounds are lost, it's likely you'll still be unsatisfied. You'll decide that 20 isn't good enough so you'll need to lose another 10, and then another 15, and so on. Your ego is never content with what is! If you want to feel good about yourself, and reach your natural, comfortable weight, you need to come to accept yourself as you are in the present moment. You must choose to feel good. You hold the power!
Choose to feel good about everything you eat. Choose to feel good in the the clothes you wear. Choose to feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror. If negativity arises about "what is", turn off the broken record and flip the script to think of something that makes you feel good, no matter how minor. Seek out unconditional love for yourself instead of conditional love that convinces you that you'll like yourself better once you lose the weight.
In fact, I want you to stop reading this article right now and name all of the things you like about yourself. Don't be shy! Fill your cup up with as much praise as possible. Say it out loud. Write it down it you'd like. For goodness sake, why should you have to wait to love yourself? There's no time like the present.
Interestingly enough, when you're on the "feel good" track, your actions will begin to fall more in line with that positive outlook. If you let go of the incessant struggle, you might actually start to enjoy eating! Say goodbye to that guilt and shame and begin to simply trust yourself and your sensations. Revel in the tastes, smells, and textures of food. Honor the fact that food provides sustenance to your body, regardless of what you are eating. Notice how you feel before and after you eat it. Tune in to your body and your senses, but without the judgement. By developing self-awareness (sans the annoying inner critic), you will naturally begin to be drawn to foods that truly nourish you, while at the same time thoroughly enjoying those that just simply make you feel happy. You might even realize that you stop eating when you feel content and satisfied. Imagine that!
Of course this doesn't happen overnight but with a determined focus to feel good, you are on your way to reaching those goals of yours. Bombard yourself with positive thoughts on a daily basis and you'll begin to see a very significant difference in your behavior. And for goodness sake, stay off the scale!
Just remember, weight loss is not about managing food, but managing your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings around food. If this is something you struggle with (as the majority of us do, even if we don't realize it!) you will find a whole wealth of information and practices in our upcoming online course in Overcoming Emotional Eating.
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Until then, choose to feel good about yourself and enjoy eating!