Spring is undeniably a good time to deal with your body. We are all (the willing and the unwilling) forced to deal with warmer weather and the inevitable t-shirts, skirts, and shorts that emerge for another year. But it’s fairly predictable that unless you dig in deeper with a real plan, all your good intentions (or mine) will go out the window.
There’s a lot I can share with you in this area of life from personal experience.
For the last six years, I have been an exercise lover living in a size 4 body, enjoying what it can do. But in the years before that, I was a size 10-14—and I was also pretty grumpy, whiny, tired, and carb/sugar-addicted. I felt that eating crap was my divine right as a feminist. My favorite saying was “Why would anyone sweat on purpose?” I thought people who took care to eat well and exercise were shallow and pretentious.
It was a convenient interpretation (read: excuse).
It wasn’t until a dear friend pointed out to me that I was gaining significant weight (growing out of my mom’s hand-me-downs) that I woke up to my dream in this area. I had always imagined myself as healthy and petite, and I truly was not aware of how far I was from this ideal until she said something. I am grateful I didn’t have to wait for a health crisis to set me on a much healthier path.
I want to make sure you don’t either.
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I promise you aren’t fully aware of the toll bad food choices and lack of exercise are having on every area of your life. Likewise, you don’t know how fantastic committing to change will be.
Here is the summary of steps I followed:
- Stop resisting that you have to deal with your body. It comes with being human. It’s just the childlike “brat” in your head that wishes it were different but does nothing truly differently. Mature adults recognize that it’s actually a privilege to learn to make good choices. In fact, it’s what differentiates us from children. We can delay gratification, and when we do, lo and behold, we feel better about ourselves.
- Recognize that dealing with your body will make everything better. (Wait, read that again and let it sink in). Starting with your self-respect and self-confidence, you’ll be more focused, alert, and better rested. You will notice an improvement in your love life, family life, sex life, and your professional life. That is a big “bang for your buck (up)!”
- Tell people about your new intentions and be specific. Not just, “I want to lose 20 pounds this year,” but, “I want to lose one pound a week and I am going to do it by the XYZ method.” Specifically, tell the people in your life that will not only support you, but hold you accountable to your promises.
- Set yourself up to win by starting with a realistic goal and realistic limitations. As long as you are successfully shedding weight (or re-sculpting, or even gaining, depending on your dream), schedule in rewards so you prevent feeling deprived. While you’re at it, why not put in a funny, motivating, and inner-brat irking consequence in order to help to keep you on top of your game and goal. Just imagine, if you had to i.e. sign up for a marathon and train for it, or take a 12-week improv or stand-up course, or spend a weekend alone with your in-laws (on your dime!) if you didn’t hit your goal weight? How motivated might you be then?
- Be proud that you are going for your dream. Know that it means you are going to have to tackle the voices in your head every day and you’ll have to face fears too. (We call these voices your “brat” and your “chicken” and they can be oh-so convincing!) Many of us keep on extra weight to avoid dealing with fear of intimacy, facing something that isn’t working in our lives, or dealing with sexuality issues. So be proud that you are willing to let those things come up and finally deal with them.
If not now, when? This is your life! I know from my own experience how good it feels to deal with your body. It’s never too late to start!
No matter what your biggest health concerns are, these simple but potent steps will get you to see your health from a new perspective, and enlighten you to the power you have over your mind, your choices, and your most optimal health.
Cheers to that!
P.S. It’s officially spring and there is no better time to get healthy and happy for good. April 22 was the official re-launch of Inner.U: Learn to Human Better!