Most of us have done it, and it will be done by countless generations to follow. Obsessing over our weight is an issue that may start early or late in life, but no matter who you are, it enters your psyche at one point or another. And then those thoughts linger, waiting to pounce the moment after you give in to that perfectly crafted lavender macaroon to tell you how guilty you should feel.
Living this way distracts us from so many of the wonderful joys of life, and leaves us judging, counting, thinking always about our waistline, which, in the big scheme of things, is not that big of a deal.
With the failure rate of diets at an all time high, it’s clear that extreme restriction plans do not work. The best way to manage your weight without it being the central focus of your life is to commit to tools that support your goals. That way, there’s no debate over whether or not you made the right decisions today. This means creating a framework, built by you and committed to by you, that encourages the right choices and results in zero guilt or stress. It means tapping into your personal values to create a program that reflects what you want and who you are to support your overall physical, mental and emotional health through food.
Develop a morning Ritual
Having a mindful morning ritual helps give us more self-control and will power during the day. It encourages us to check in and become in tune with our minds and bodies for the trials of life that lie ahead that day. By developing a positive and active habit first thing in the morning, we’re more able to manage our desires, stick to our goals, and make choices that support our health during the day.
Create Reasonable Guidelines
Limiting yourself completely is a sure fire recipe for a midnight carb fest crouched in the light of your refrigerator, questioning why you’d never tried a pickle, ketchup and avocado bagelwich before. It also doesn’t enable you to be flexible when enjoying a night out, and makes you feel restricted and anxious in food-centric situations.
Eating well doesn’t mean avoiding everything you love like wine, dessert and pasta. It means having a basis of clean, whole foods, while recognizing and cutting out the things that are seriously toxic for you and should be avoided at all costs. For me, these things are artificial sugars, hydrogenated oils, energy drinks, and soda. By avoiding these all together, I know I’ll never feel the extreme guilt I used to feel associated with them, and that I keep my body reasonably toxin free. Then, I have my indulgences, which include coffee, chocolate, and a crisp rosé.
Knowing that you can still enjoy the foods you love helps you feel more committed to making healthy choices every day, and also helps you to have something to look forward to.
Getting active should energize and empower you. It should not feel like a chore, but an opportunity to invigorate your body and to clear your mind. It absolutely must be a part of your life which means finding what activity you enjoy and can commit to.
If you don’t feel motivated to sweat your face off in spin, don’t do it. Perhaps a 20-minute jog or a workout video at home is what nourishes you. The key is finding what you feel connected to and making time for it. It also helps to regulate your mood, appetite, and stress levels, and is a great opportunity to develop or renew a connection with a friend or partner in a fun and active way.
Getting to your ideal weight is complicated and takes time, so be gentle on yourself. By practicing wholesome habits and eliminating toxic foods and activities, you’ll come to the place where you feel energized, whole and vibrant.