Too often when working to lose excess weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle, we focus in on what we’re giving up instead of what we’re gaining. Yes, gaining.
Health. Happiness. Peace of mind. A longer life. The list of benefits is endless.
So instead of focusing in on the things you’re choosing to do without (temporarily!), focus on how it’s going to feel to be able to wear a favorite pair of jeans you haven’t been able to put on for a while. Or what it will be like to take a walk without panting excessively. Or how good you’re going to look at your high school reunion. Again, the list of benefits goes on and on.
When I was taking off over 250 pounds of excess weight, I kept a scrapbook full of magazine clippings that motivated me. Whether they were pictures of clothes I wanted to wear, people I wanted to meet or articles that reminded me why I was doing what I was doing, I could turn to these anytime I felt like I was suffering. In the pages of my scrapbook, I was reminded of the reasons I was choosing to get healthy and live life to the fullest. These days, you don’t even need a traditional scrapbook thanks to Pinterest. So why not start some motivation-filled Pinterest pages of your own?
Again, choose your focus. And focus on what excites you. Just as Rumi so wisely said, “Respond to every call that excites your spirit” — and your waistline!
Photo Source: Pinterest
I love treating myself at restaurants that use clean, organic ingredients and serve even decedent foods in healthy portion sizes (along with fresh fruit or vegetables). Pictured here is one of my recent breakfast meals: A Belgian Waffle with Berries and Cream at Le Pain Quotidien. (And no, this is not a paid endorsement!)
Bonus round when I can walk to and from the restaurant (in addition to other exercise I’ve already done or will do on the same day). This quick tip is proof that even those of us watching our (or trying to lose some) weight can live life to the fullest even when working toward our best selves!
Photo Source: @GreggMcBride/Instagram
Less thought. More action. (More universal attraction!)
No need to look back. No need to think about what you didn’t accomplish yesterday (or what you ate that you might regret). This is the moment that matters. Love yourself. Put on something that’s comfortable and shows off your best side. Walk out into the world knowing that you matter and keep moving. Feeling good attracts more good things. Whether diet, health or psyche related. (Most important to remember? You matter.)
Photo Source: Pinterest
I have to admit that one of the best therapies I’ve ever encountered is one that has never cost me a single cent. And good news—this free therapy is available to everyone reading this. One need only visit their nearest shopping mall and find the mall map. Then locate the portion of the display that says, “You are here.” Because guess what? You are here. Period.
Often, we linger in the past (at least mentally)—replaying past decisions, past circumstances and even past failures (or at least incidents that we classify as failures). But spending too much time looking into the rearview mirror can inhibit not only our present state, but also our state of mind.
It all comes down to clear thinking. And that often starts with accepting what was—along with accepting that there’s no going backwards and changing it. So to debate or belabor what happened is really a mute exercise.
Sounds simple, right? But many of us (myself included) spend too much time wondering why things happened the way they did… And why we responded or reacted certain ways (often wanting to change everything that’s already transpired—and, therefore, cannot be altered). Even though there’s no time machine that we know of, we often live life as if we’ve lost the keys to one—as if we might have the capability to un-do something or somehow make it right.
But no matter how many times we replay past events or decisions in our heads, they are never going to be undone. So the sooner we swallow hard and move on, the better. And yes, this theory can apply when we’re the (so-called) victims of circumstance as well.
Recently my spouse was laid off for no apparent reason (other than the new go-to word for being laid off, “rightsizing”)—despite being one of the company’s top performers. Boy, have I wrestled with this situation in my head… Wanting to know why it happened—or if there was someway we could have played things differently so that it wouldn’t have happened. But guess what? None of this mental clutter changes anything. Time to look for a new job. And any kind of “Woe is me” or refusal to let go (AKA “accept”) simply hurts our family and us. We are here. Like it or not.
And speaking of the “like it” part, you don’t necessarily have to like it. But still, you are here. You’re not anywhere but here. So no matter what you’re facing (whether a medical issue, breakup, job-related or financial issue or the 1,000th time you might be committing to losing some excess weight and getting healthier), the sooner you accept that you are here, the sooner you can take the first step into what can be the next great chapter of your life.
Again, I know this all sounds very simple. Some might suggest it’s even trite. But I promise that carrying around this mental reminder that the past is in the past and the future is in the future and that staying present offers us the clearest mindset (and, therefore, the clearest decision making capabilities) can be helpful. No matter what’s transpired… No matter what you’re facing… No matter how unfair… No matter if it was self-sabotage… Repeat after me: We. Are. Here.
And with a mental state of acceptance, here can be full of as many opportunities and possibilities as we allow it to be.
Sometimes the smallest changes can bring about the biggest rewards. Recently, I put this to the test by adding chia seeds to my all-natural peanut butter. Although many people soak their chia seeds first, I added mine raw. I like the crunch factor. And the added calories are minimal. It really gives peanut butter a twist… And makes a healthy breakfast (like the one seen here) brand new again. After all, variety is the spice of life.
So what’s one of your regular, go-to healthy-eating meals that you can add a twist or a changeup to? Think about, then do it. While relying on the tried-and-true can be a stable way to keep the excess calories at bay, it’s still important to prevent food boredom from creeping into not just our palate, but our psyche.