If you are trying to lose weight, get healthy, and finally be happy, you are most likely paying very close attention to your scale and your weight. You are probably a pro at dieting, counting calories and points, and staying on top of everything you eat. You do this because you know that this is a surefire way to lose weight and a surefire way to drop inches. But if you have been doing this for awhile, you also know this is a surefire way to beat yourself up when you go over your limit, a surefire way to feel guilty when you gain a pound, and an even more certain way to lead to a binge, weight gain, and the feeling of being a “failure”.
Now ask yourself this, what if you didn’t focus on losing weight?
It sounds crazy right? How on Earth are you supposed to lose weight if you aren’t trying your damnedest to do so?
Maybe, that is the whole point. All of that trying and struggling and pushing can shift your body and mind into a major stress zone and if there is one thing that stress does, it’s wreak havoc on your body and sabotage your weight loss efforts. Your body releases chemicals and hormones that tell you to hold onto weight and stock up on more, because you need all you can to combat that stressful situation. In theory, and in prehistoric times, that worked well. We stored fats, we ran away from things that would eat us, we let go of stress once the threat was gone. Now? We encounter stress routinely and trick our bodies into intense workouts, routines, and ideas that increase our stress levels. So all of that trying and struggling might just be getting in your way.
I know, because I have been there, many, many times. My body reacts to stress like a sinking ship and holds on for dear life. No matter what kind of stress it is, I gain weight almost immediately. The good thing is, it makes me stay in tune with my body, my anxiety or nervousness, and exactly how it makes me feel. If I exercise intensely or run, I am famished, cranky, and gain way more than just muscle weight. As soon I stop and drop the stress, tune in to what my body needs, and slow down a bit, the excess weight drops away.
And it’s not just physical stress.The same happens when I am anxious or upset. In an instant, my digestive track goes haywire, I get bloated, and I gain weight. When I first moved to Charleston, SC, I was a nervous mess. I knew absolutely no one, had no where to live, and was starting grad school in 2 days. Top that off with sitting in a car for 3 days while apartment hunting and “Hello!” extra 10 pounds in one weekend.
This stress stuff is no joke. All the rules and restrictions and “should’s” can backfire quickly. But there is still hope.
What if you stopped focusing on losing weight and instead focused on feeling amazing? It sounds simple and perhaps a bit silly, but think about it for a moment – stress and strain don’t feel amazing. If you are skinny but beating yourself to get there, what is the point? Its time to move away from simply how you think you should look, to how you want to feel each and everyday.
Let’s break it down you are probably trying to lose weight so you can look good and be healthy, right? And you are probably stressing your self out and feeling guilty if you miss a workout, don’t go “hard’ enough, or eat something not “allowed’ on your diet.
Instead shift your focus. What if you just thought of health in terms of feeling good – not simple, instant pleasure that is one and done, but sustainable, deep goodness. Because how could you be unhealthy if you feel amazing? That’s the key piece: if you feel amazing, deep down amazing, you know you are healthy. The stress drops, the guilt goes away and your body comes back to an easeful state.
And you know what happens when you stop sending all those crazy stress hormones out? You finally drop the excess weight, for good, without struggle.
This is powerful stuff and what you’ll learn if you join me in the upcoming 21 Days to Flourish, because it is exactly what you need to get healthy and to tune into your bodies specific needs, not someone else’s ideal. It is also simple to tap into right away.
1) Take a moment today to think about what it is that you are doing to get healthy. Write down everything, even if it seems small.
2) Make two columns. In one, write down the things that you enjoy and look forward to the things that make you smile. In the other, write down the “should’s”, the things you want to avoid, and the things that make you feel stressed and depleted.
3) Rework your schedule. Start doing the things that feel good and energizing while you let the other things go. Basically, if it is one the wrong side of the column, forget about it for awhile.
4) After a week or two, take a moment or two and check your stress and tension. Notice how you feel. Maybe go through the 2 columns again and rework what feels good or not.
I promise, this might seem like it won’t work, but it truly does and will help you come back into balance instead of stressing about the numbers on a scale, your counter, or your calorie intake. If you need more help, check out 21 days to Flourish.
When you need a little reminder, keep it simple and keep this in mind –
If you go to bed feeling great and wake up feeling great, you are on the right track. Everything else will fall into place.