So, like many of you, I have made a promise to myself that this is the year - the year that I will take back control and lose weight and get healthy! And like many of you, I have made lots of other promises and plans for 2018, but right now, I want to focus on losing excess weight.
As I said in my previous post on Jan 2, A Personal Reflection: The End of 2017, perhaps we get too hung up on the New Year's Resolutions concept, especially because we may feel obligated to put losing weight on our 'list' whether we are ready to address that issue or not and whether we actually need to lose weight.
When we tell ourselves we want or need to lose weight, it sends a signal to our ego self that we don't like ourself the way we are or that our own self-love is conditional and that something is wrong with us! Words and thoughts have so much power! It is important for us to think about ourselves differently and actually SEE ourselves the way we want to be.
HOW CAN WE KEEP OUR SELF-ESTEEM and even build it stronger while being honest with ourselves? Here are three techniques that send love to our bodies and minds.
We know that stress fat and belly fat is the hardest to reduce. We know that meditation is a way to help us de-stress the day. How many people actually take 15-30 minutes out of their day to practice this soothing and relaxing ritual?? Not nearly enough Americans!
I would like to challenge you to stick your toe in the meditation pond. Take a 'personal break' away from everyone and everything else. You do not have to lie down and listen to a guided meditation or watch a guru on a dvd. You do not need anything. It is not difficult.
What may be most difficult is beginning the habit. So in the beginning, if you can only relax for 5-10 minutes, start there and gradually increase your time. Set a timer on your phone and just do it!
Do what exactly? Meditation is a personal thing. Do what feels right to your body, mind or spirit. Below are a few ideas to try:
- just sit or i.e. down and take deep breaths- focus on inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly- listen to the sound of your breathing. If you still hear the kids running around or the tv in the next room, continue to focus on your breath. If possible, you could go outside.
- listen to a guided meditation- start with a short one and find one you enjoy- once you have the idea of a guided meditation, create your own using images you find relaxing and joyous.
- listen to soothing nature sounds on a cd or watch nature images on a dvd meditation.
- go outside and sit in the sunshine and just absorb the sunlight!
- go for a walk in the woods- touch the trees and explore the ground- leave all that other stuff in the house or office for a few minutes and just enjoy being outside
- listen to a crystal bowl meditation- try this 14 minute one!
Duh, right!? So.....are you doing them? Are you doing them most effectively?
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Begin your affirmation with "I AM". These two words are powerful and alerts God, the Universe, and your own being that what you say next is what you want to materialize in your life. If you're thinking "yeah, yeah" here, take a moment to reflect upon where you are and how you feel and how you act. If losing weight has been a yo-yo roller coaster ride for you, definitely think about your self-talk!
My personal example: I was a short, skinny kid until after 6th grade and during the summer vacation I blossomed a bit. While a lot of girls began stuffing their trainer bras, I did not have to - by the end of 7th grade I was a B-cup and by high school I was a full blown C-cup with an hourglass figure which may have been more pronounced because I was only 4'9" tall...
In 8th grade, we moved into a place on the river with a floating pier and I loved putting on my 2-pc suit and playing in the water or sunning on the rocking pier. I had never had any issues with eating too much or being heavy (I was curvy but still small in stature and weight at about 90 pounds). This is the time when family members became concerned that I would become fat if I did not start watching what I ate. I understand now that the fact I weighed 10-15 pounds more than my younger sister and my cousin at the time made me appear to be gaining too quickly when in reality, my sister and cousin were stick people until after they were married! We are all different shapes and some people develop more quickly. But hearing that I was gaining weight faster than the others, developing too fast, needed to limit my food, etc at that young age had a huge impact on my life and how I viewed myself as a teen and young woman.
So at 13 I began dieting. I also started comparing my body to other girls in my classes and because my breasts were larger and my shape was different than most of them, I started that inner dialogue that has haunted me ever since! I AM fat. I AM heavier than them. I AM eating too much. I AM embarrassed about my boobs. I AM going to hide my figure. I AM never going to have a boyfriend bc I am fat and ugly....
VISUALIZATION is a terrific technique that can energize your new action plan to get the results you want faster and healthier.
So many women have had similar childhoods and even adulthoods! I know a woman that had always been so slim and had amazingly high self-esteem until she got pregnant and could not lose all the weight and although she was only considered by most people to be an average weight, she felt 'fat' because she was 20 pounds heavier than she had ever been. She began that inner dialogue and continued to gain weight every year. When she had her second child, the excess was even more because in her head, she believed she would not be able to lose all the weight again - and guess what? She didn't.
AFFIRMATIONS & SELF-LOVE plays an important role in the process of weight loss and getting healthy again. Create time to adjust your thoughts about your body into a more loving, appreciative, and kind body image.
- create affirmation cards to read everyday- or place them around the house so you are reminded throughout the day. If you cannot make your own there is a set on Paint&Pen! If interested, get them here!
- download an affirmation app and anytime you start doubting yourself, open it up for a quick motivational boost.
- get inspired by positive images (see below), reading scripture, and listening to upbeat music with positive lyrics - ALL words affect us; choose what you hear, see, think and say!
Visualization can take many forms and all of them can be beneficial to your weight loss journey. You may have watched The Secret, or seen ads popping up on fb for "Vision boards". You may have even practiced some visualizing or have done a guided visualization in a group setting. Some people say they are "no good at that". This technique may not be for everyone but it is definitely worth one more shot because the more of these techniques you can incorporate into your daily (or weekly) schedule, the better.
- use a guided visualization cd to help you if you feel you cannot do this alone
- join a group that is focusing on feeling good, being happy, and getting healthier for a group session
- make a vision board- be sure to choose images that are realistic for you (ex: if you are 5'4" with a very curvy figure, a 6' model with a 'ruler' shape will not be a realistic goal) put YOUR FACE on the image/s so that your brain sees YOU as you want to be
- set a timer on your phone or watch to go off every hour- when it does, SEE YOURSELF as you want to be- FEEL excited, happy, grateful, loved - you can do this walking down a hall, in the grocery store, driving, anything- take a private moment in your head to visualize the real you!
Sometimes we feel overwhelmed when trying to lose weight. If you cannot incorporate all three of these practices right away, begin with the meditation to help you not feel so frustrated (and remember, relaxing helps reduce cortisol and stubborn belly fat) and then perhaps work some of your affirmations into the meditation (chose one or two).
If you believe you are not creative or you don't have the time to create your own affirmations, use someone else's! Find a list online or in an app or buy a pretty set you can touch and feel and put energy into! Just give yourself some LOVE!
YOU CAN DO THIS! #