4 Powerful Ways to Make Weight Loss More Joyful
Losing weight has the potential to be a stressful, highly emotional and overwhelming experience. The dieting industry is full of assumptions, questionable ‘quick fix’ promises and often perpetuates demoralising stereotypes on what a happy, healthy and beautiful body should (and shouldn’t) look like.
If you’re feeling the desire to focus on your health with the aim to lose some weight; strict diets, scales, cook books and gym memberships are far from being the only tools to help you reach your goals. In fact, when it comes to feeling healthy, energised and happy in your skin, the following steps and practices are a better place to start…
1. Ask yourself ‘Why?’
Why do you want to lose weight?
This might seem like a simple question or one with an obvious answer, but rarely do we deeply critique or fully examine the reasons why we want things. Be honest with yourself on what’s behind your wish to be a different version of you.
The relationship we have with our body is always deeply personal, so the goals we set for our health and wellness ought to be the same; personal and highly relevant to us in the context of our life.
Write down all the activities that could support you to feel this way. You might just find that losing weight is only one small part of the plan… or you may even find out that losing weight isn’t a focus at all.
By working towards nurturing a state of being instead of a number on a scale, you’ll more likely ensure that you get what you want once you reach your goal. Why? Because you’ve done it all for you.
Besides this approach giving a higher success rate, the journey also becomes more of a fun adventure rather than a struggle or fight against yourself.
2. Keep it simple
I strongly believe that wellbeing is to be treated like a relationship. This means nurturing strong foundations instead of looking for immediate ‘quick fixes’ or promises of miracle makeovers.
Losing weight in a healthy way that nurtures actual wellbeing, doesn’t require a secret remedy or anything out of the ordinary… in fact it’s surprisingly simple:
Eating foods that are as close to nature as possible. Or in other words, are as little processed as possible.
If you can cultivate a diet that mainly consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and high-quality animal products (if you eat them), lots of plain water and herbal teas, getting healthier and more energised becomes a natural by-product.
Meaning? We can stop focussing on losing weight and focus on nourishment instead.
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3.Stay in your own lane
When we make a decision to focus on our health, there’s going to be times when other people try to tempt you to stray from your path – whether consciously or not.
These exchanges rarely intend to cause us any harm, but in order to create the life we want we have to start getting super comfortable with saying ‘No’ to others. This is the case when we’re striving for change in any aspect of our life.
In moments when you’re feeling judged or pressurised, think back to your goal… to how you want to feel.This will offer you motivation and confidence to decline the things you don’t want.
Do remember this though... health is a marathon not a sprint; it’s a journey not a destination; it’s a constant balancing act not a one-off peak achievement. I personally don’t promote the idea of obsessively sticking to a plan.
I am a big fan of the 80:20 approach… that 80% of the time you commit to your chosen health and diet regimes, and 20% (if we’re called to) is given to consciously letting your hair down, and eating the foods that in the moment make you feel great.
You decide what you really need in any situation.
4. Stop waiting – start living
Time stops for no-one. While it’s great to have goals for the future, they should never stop us from fully showing up in our life and relationships, today.
If we’re not mindful, weight loss goals in particular can encourage a mindset that suggests we have to avoid certain things in order to be successful.
What are you putting off until you have the body of your dreams? Do any of the following resonate…
Attending parties and events or expanding your social circles
Buying new clothes or wearing a particular garment
Going to the beach
Focusing on other life goals
Being fully happy in the moment
Physical self-care or beauty regimes
A particular type of exercise or class
Eating a certain type of food
A new hobby
Grab a pen and write down all the things that you’re currently putting on hold. If your weight is the only thing that’s stopping you, challenge yourself and consider what you need in order to do them NOW.
This might be a simple pep-talk or confidence boost you give to yourself, or taking action on little steps that will help you get out of your comfort zone and expand your current experiences.
It might be drawing in some practical or physical support such as teaming up with a friend or working through some emotional blocks with the help of a journal, book, program or professional coach.
No matter what goal you are working towards, the more joyful you make the journey, the sooner you’ll arrive at the desired destination. Striving doesn’t have to mean sacrifice. Forward planning doesn’t have to mean we are oblivious to the good of today.
Always remember, weight is just a number. The most important thing to cultivate is feeling good, as you. At the end of the day, true happiness is not tied to a tracker of measurable achievements but exists as a mosaic of experiences and emotions