Do you know how to make your weight loss journey easier?
Accept your body the way it is.
When you criticize and rebel against your body, you remain stuck. Losing weight feels draining and frustrating. When you accept your body the way it is, you paradoxically free yourself to release weight more easily.
Honor Your Body
Acceptance means honoring your body just the way it is right now, with no judgment. This concept may seem confusing at first. You may believe that accepting your body and current weight means you don’t want to be thinner. Perhaps you reject this idea and think, “I don’t want to accept my body – that‘s why I want to lose weight!” But it’s just the opposite. Accepting your body as it is today helps you become thinner in a more loving and easier way.
End the Battle
Remember this: What you resist persists. When you berate yourself for being overweight or feel embarrassed about your dress size, you battle with yourself. This stops you from making progress. Your thoughts and attention remain negatively focused on where you are, rather than eagerly anticipating where you want to go. Think of this car analogy. Losing weight while continuing to be upset with your body is like keeping your foot on both the gas and brake pedal. You’re not going anywhere. Release the brake and your attachment to self-punishing thinking and you move freely to your destination.
Whatever you focus your attention on grows. So when you condemn yourself and your body, your condemnation grows. This poisonous mind-set often results in self-sabotaging behaviors. For example, disappointment for not yet being a dress size smaller potentially leads to emotional eating. When you accept your body no matter what, you still may feel disappointment but with acceptance you quickly regain momentum.
Keep a Positive Mind-Set
What you weigh now is irrelevant. It carries no power over you unless you give it negative attention. Action follows thought. If you feel discouraged about being overweight, chances are your actions reflect thoughts of defeat rather than thoughts of success. When you steadfastly keep your attention on becoming thinner and accept your body the way it is, your thoughts remain positive. You keep moving forward.
Even if you understand the importance of acceptance, you may wonder, “But how do I get there?” It begins with making a conscious decision to take charge of your self-talk. Catch yourself when you’re critical of your body. Tell yourself to stop speaking that way. Each time critical thoughts enter your mind, apologize to your body (would you want someone to talk to you this way?) and shift to something positive, like the image of someone you love or a beautiful memory. Persistently do this as often as necessary. Practice makes permanent.
Here’s a fun and powerful exercise to help you get started:
Write a love letter to your body.
Give yourself quiet, reflective time in a comfortable space. While relaxed, write a loving letter of acceptance to your body. For example, tell your body you’re committed to take very good care of it. Thank your body for all the ways it serves you. Apologize to your body for times you may have neglected, abused or criticized it. If you love your body, say so. If it’s hard to love and accept your body right now, that’s OK. Tell your body you want to love and accept it. Your intention is very powerful and opens a pathway to inspire you to treat your body more lovingly. Write freely and from your heart. In closing, let your body know you’re doing the best you can to honor its needs.
On an energy level, your relationship with your body is as real as any relationship you have with a person. Writing a letter to your body helps you strengthen this relationship so you feel more connected with, and more accepting of, your body. The more you accept your body just the way it is today, the easier it is to release weight with greater confidence and self-love.