One topic that is incredibly important in successfully implementing change is having the right attitude towards your body.
I’m a member of some different health related groups on facebook and one all-too common theme I’ve seen is women hating their bodies. Not just dislike, but hate. It is sad to see wonderful, beautiful (we’re all beautiful in some way) women hating themselves.
Not only that, but if we could beat ourselves up into making positive changes we’d all be perfect by now! It doesn’t work. But not only that, it causes us to sabotage our own progress. “I’ve blown my diet, might as well go get a huge DQ blizzard because I’m a loser and never going to change anyways.” Insidious!
I’ve come a long way in loving and accepting my body. Even when I started this journey, it was from a mentally strong place. I loved my strong body. I was a bit bigger than I wanted to be, but I was not going to beat myself up. Not even for a minute. I lost weight because I didn’t feel comfortable with the extra wiggle and jiggle. Plus I wanted to actually be able to see the muscles I work so hard on!
I definitely was not always this positive in my approach.
One thing that’s helped me is being very purposeful to exercise gratefulness. Every day. For big things and small. I’m a christian so I offer up little prayers. When I may be tempted to tell myself I’m a pig for eating way too much I instead close my eyes and say, “Lord, thank you that I have access to plentiful food and clean water. Here I am lamenting my full tummy but there are people who are starving to death. Thank you for the blessing of abundant food.” Or instead of bemoaning my curvy backside it’s, “Lord, thank you that my body is strong, healthy and fearfully and wonderfully made. I know there are people who aren’t able to use their bodies but here I am; able to run, jump, do what I need to do. Thank you.”
I’m a christian so I focus on offering grateful prayers but even if you aren’t a person of faith you can completely change your life by focusing on being grateful. You can actually physically change your brain by rewiring it. You’ll be happier, more resilient, and better able to cope with stress. Benefits of Gratitude
And for the love of sanity, people, instagram is such a mirage. Almost no one posts pics that are “real”. There’s filters and tricks to lend to the illusion that artificial standards of beauty are attainable. I used to love snapchat (my kids too) but realized the lure of capturing pics of myself that weren’t true to reality wasn’t healthy. I deleted it. I only share photos of myself (occasionally, I’m not too obnoxious!) that are flattering but in no way altered.
I’m 31 and this past year I’ve gotten some silver strands in my hair. I’m embracing that silver! I have a big nose. I’ve chosen to rebrand it as “regal”. Because I love myself, and the way God chose to craft me.
My hair is on the thinner side. Well, I style it to make it look as good as it reasonably can. I wish it were long and thick like Ariana Grande’s super cute pony. But you know what? Not even Ariana Grande has that ponytail 😉 Ariana Grande Hair Extensions
It’s ok to notice the ways other people have it goin’ on. It’s not ok to compare yourself. You’re not them. You’re you. That’s not going to change. All you can do is be the best version of YOU.
Another trick to feel happy on a diet plan is to have grateful, positive feelings about what you are eating. Again, I’m going to pray before I eat. But you can take a moment to be grateful for the miracle of having healthy food at your fingertips year round. When you eat your food put down the distractions and really taste and enjoy it. If you are actively enjoying your food; your body, in turn, releases hormones triggering feelings of satiety and halts hunger hormones.
Focus on all the good stuff you can eat! Don’t just obsess about the scale but consider how you are improving your health down to the cellular level and probably adding years and vitality to your lifespan. You’re doing this because you love your body and want to take good care of it, bottom line.