It’s that time again where people look at the beginning of the year and want to make changes in their body and weight. I have the privilege of working with my clients over the course of several years so I get to know them pretty well and witness their patterns and habits when it comes to eating and exercise.
Even before writing Fit 2 Love, I became very clear that the root of most of the struggle with emotional eating and lack of exercise comes from a lack of love for yourself. Without addressing this issue, your results will only be temporary. “ Lose Weight Fast!” “ Drop 10 pounds in 10 days!” – these are very exciting and marketable statements that emotionally hook you into buying the quick fix that often times provides you with results but with results you cannot sustain or live.
The truth is it took you some time to put on the excess weight and it’s going to involve time and some work for you to lose it. Most of all, it’s going to require your willingness to change and change is a process. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to do it all at once. You just have to be willing to allow yourself to “ride the wave.” Are you willing to embrace the body you have and accept your humanity and love yourself the way you are now? Or will you wait till you think everything is perfect before you can love yourself or allow other people to love you?
Riding the wave is about managing your energy and realizing that losing weight is a process. You have ebbs and flows. It’s like surfing. You have to learn to ride the wave. Sometimes, you might fall off the surfboard but that’s okay. A surfer learning to surf expects to fall off the board-he just gets back on again. You will have periods when you lose weight steadily and times when you hit a plateau. A plateau is a good thing. It’s a signal that you have reached a certain level of mastery and it’s time for you to “stretch” to a new level.
It’s easy to have unrealistic expectations of yourself and your body. You may have times when your eating habits aren’t as healthy as at other times. That happens to everyone. It happens to “thin” people too. The important thing is not to let that “derail” you so that you give up or beat yourself up so badly that you create a bout of emotional eating. Just notice your behavior and return to normal healthy habits at the next opportunity.
As I say to most of my clients, “ if you loved the way you looked and felt, would it matter what the scale said?” Do yourself a favor this year and instead of aiming to hit a number of pounds lost or a number on the scale, aim to heal and grow the relationship and love you have for YOU. Having a perfect body doesn’t guarantee love but having a healthy body or body image does mean loving yourself. Practice loving your body and your body will love you back by responding in ways that please you.