When trying to live a healthier lifestyle, people often overlook how important it is to incorporate a healthy mind. Positive thoughts breed positive outcomes, and you have to change your thinking in order to change your body.
You get to make the decisions about your body, and if that includes losing weight, you don't have to explain that decision to anyone... except yourself. While the journey may be long and hard to get to the point you want, know that everything is a work in progress, and achieving balance between body positivity and weight loss is possible, as long as you keep a few things in mind.
1. Be intuitive about your fitness choices.
Moving your body is key. It’s important to find a workout or type of exercise that fits you and makes you feel good. You should feel energized, strong and ready to take on the world. Remove that ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality – it actually causes a cortisol response in your body which causes you to hold onto fat rather than lose it.
Pro Tip: Pay attention to how you feel during and after your exercise. Listen to your body. Find activities that promote positive associations. Your body and mind will be grateful.
2. Focus on nutrition.
Nutrition is a vital part of living a healthy life. People tend to eat irregularly, which makes your body go into ‘starvation mode.’ Your body doesn’t know when it is going to get food next, so it clings onto the calories and also slows down your metabolism.
Pro Tip: Eat breakfast within 1-2 hours of waking up and eat every 3-4 hours after that. Make sure to have an afternoon snack and have dinner earlier to avoid eating close to bed time.
3. Be Mindful of your Thoughts.
Be aware of your thoughts and spoken words - they may turn into reality! Our subconscious holds onto thoughts which create our actions and behaviours. If you keep putting yourself down about your weight, your mind will start behaving accordingly and adopt bad habits.
Pro Tip: Catch yourself when that negative inner dialogue starts to take over and shift into a positive mindset. For example, change a negative thought of, “I don’t like how my body looks,” to, “My body is transforming as I feed myself well and exercise regularly.” Over time, you will notice the difference this has on your body and mind.
4. Look at your life as a whole.
Explore every aspect of your life. What areas of your life aren’t working? Sometimes you may feel like you aren’t making progress despite your best efforts. This could be because other areas of your life need attention. Personally, I was out of alignment with what I wanted and needed, and as a result I was stressed, had an upset digestive system, and I was retaining the weight I was so desperate to lose.
Pro Tip: Make a list. What areas of your life (career, relationship, self-care etc.) are not aligned with your desires? What is causing you stress? Write it down. Reflect. Create a new future to live into. Take action to live with purpose, passion and love.
5. Be Kind to Yourself.
There’s no point in holding onto negativity within yourself, when you can literally find it in every corner of the world. Be kind to yourself - get into a space where you love yourself, and make staying in that space a top priority. Your brains, your talent, your heart, and all the things that make up who you are have nothing to do with how you look. You are amazing and beautiful at any size. Now don’t just tell yourself that… believe it.
This article was written by Jackie, CEO of The Practice Studio and head Whole Life Program Coach.