When was the last time you looked in the mirror and were proud of your body? Why does the number on the scale matter so much to us?
The truth is, the majority of people carry a skewed perception and under appreciation for their bodies. Whether it involves our weight, physical appearance, tonality or flexibility, we’re all striving to look our best in a world where “looking good” is the social norm.
But when we think about the phrase “losing weight,” it’s interesting that the word “lose” itself comes from a place of lack.
For instance, there’s a winner and a “loser.”
Or how about statements like…
“I feel lost.”
“I lost my mind.”
“I lost my dignity.”
Different feelings are stirred up when you hear someone say, “I want to lose weight” vs. ”I want to gain confidence,” even though both of these phrases apply to the same process of slimming down.
Feelings and sensations associated with positive words and thoughts are a zillion times more beneficial to our self-esteem than negative terms. If the word doesn’t uplift you, disregard it from you vocabulary ASAP!
It’s true that if you want to drop from a size 12 to an 8 there is some math involved, but really, what’s so empowering about losing anything?
Here are two tactics that will make your body healthier and leaner, without focusing on the negatives!
1. Choose exercises that are fun
The secret to achieving your desired body has everything to do with how much you actually believe you deserve it. If we look at losing weight as a chore or an obligation, rather than something we do to have fun and stay healthy; something that we do as an expression of our self-love, then the process of cutting down the pounds will end up making you unhappy. Because losing weight shouldn’t be your only goal. True fitness is about engaging in the present, rather than obsessing over your future results.
Getting the body we want should be a by-product of the physical activities we enjoy doing. For example, I practice yoga because I adore it — it’s easy on the joints, keeps me grounded and awakens my soul. I don’t do it solely because I want a certain body type. As a result, my toned tush and strong core becomes an added bonus of my yoga practice.
The weight still comes off when we engage in the activities we love rather than the ones that we have to force ourselves to show up to. We don’t need to go on a boring treadmill or sign up for a $300 gym membership. We can spend 10 or 15 minutes a day playing basketball, biking around town, going on a beautiful hike or playing in a pool and still experience the same weight loss benefits.
2. Substitute foods
Another secret to getting the body you want is by using what I call “the substitution method” when it comes to food.
Every “diet” change focuses on removing something we love or adding something we are unfamiliar with — eat a grapefruit, remove carbs, stop eating meat. When we tell ourselves we have to remove a desired food from our diet, we get major cravings and want it even more! Plus, when we start adding things we don’t normally use, it starts to feel like an obligation.
So when in doubt, use the substitution method anytime your intuition says you’re about to ingest a bad food.
Some delicious foods that have help calm my sweet tooth and crazy cravings are:
Almond milk smoothie with cocoa and bananas
Homemade popcorn (add a little olive oil and sea salt)
Avocado (instead of cheese or processed fatty foods)
Also, be honest with yourself. Countless times I’ve bought fruits and vegetables only to see them perish in my fridge because I just don’t enjoy them! My taste buds can’t handle sour, so I’ve learned to replace strawberries, grapefruit and oranges with blueberries, figs, and bananas. Listen to your palate and don’t force anything. All plant-based foods are packed with their own specific antioxidants and nutrients, so listen to your palate!
Remember, you’re changing your eating habits and incorporating a fitness routine because you want to feel better – not just because you want to see a smaller number when you step on the scale. It may sound simple, but choosing to eat the healthy foods you enjoy, and engaging in the exercises you like to do will help you reach your health and fitness goals faster than forcing yourself into some fad diet or trendy workout plan!