Posts Tagged ‘beautiful’
I’m generally not a fan of diet-related fasting of any kind. However, when I read this quote from Yoko Ono, I was suddenly very much in favor of this kind of fast. A fast from negativity about our own selves.
Doing this might seem easy at first. But try getting through even just one hour without being negative about yourself or your body (in your own head). It’s surprising how often I’m reminded that my most “vocal” critic is actually that little voice inside my head. Can anyone else relate to this? I imagine the answer is, “Yes.”
So why not try and ignore that little voice? The one that tells you your body’s not perfect? Or the one that tells you you’re not lovable? Or the one that says you should be further ahead in your career? Whatever kind of negativity your mind is offering about yourself, ignore it. Try to shut that voice down. And this includes shutting down actual talking out loud about ourselves (in a negative fashion). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve complained about my body or my so-called “failures” to friends and family (often making myself a punchline).
What we say to and about ourselves matters. We hear it. We feel it. It becomes part of our psychological makeup on every level. So it only make sense that changing that “voice” from negative-speak to positive-speak would have a healthy (and happy) impact on our lives.
So why not join me in taking Yoko Ono’s good advice? If doing it for three days seems like too much, try doing it for just an hour, and then build upon it from there. The psyche you save may be your own.
(And remember: no matter what your health-minded goals are, you are beautiful and perfect in this very moment! The sooner you recognize this, the sooner any kind of goals can be achieved!)
Photo Source: Pinterest
Please excuse the coarse language… But I am really moved by this meme and thought maybe some of you would be, too. How many thoughts and voices are we carrying around in our heads that are telling us we’re not good enough or that our dreams and goals don’t matter? Yes, we’ve all been through a lot of stuff in our past. Some of it good. Some of it very challenging. And some of it we wish we could do-over. But that was then and this is now.
Today is a new day — a real chance to let that old crap go and move forward with a free and spirited heart. What we can see, we can be. Whether or not that has to do with our commitment to healthy eating, exercise or another dream or goal that we deserve. So let go of what was and celebrate what is: beautiful, wonderful you.
(And yes, you matter!)
Recently I’ve been reminded of a disturbing trend in the billion dollar diet industry—albeit one that has been pervasive for years. I refer to it as the “Light Switch Mentality” that’s being sold by many organizations, programs, books and so-called experts who proclaim that to lose excess weight, you (we) should be on a diet. But this kind of thinking often leads to the opposite of being on… Being off.
Certainly being on or off has become part of the dieting vernacular. But in my humble opinion, it’s a way of thinking that can potentially lead to more weight gain than weight loss. In fact, it’s while many of us with a dieter’s mentality are on our diets that we’re focused on when we plan on going off. It’s a mindset we’ve been sold as the way to success, when in reality, it can be the way to put on extra pounds.
As someone who started gaining excess weight around first grade, and whose parents immediately took me to a doctor who put me on a strict diet (yes, even at a very young age), I can attest to the fact that the on/off cycle contributed to my continuing to gain weight throughout my youth. Sure, I would take off a few pounds (when I was on). But then I would gain even more weight back (when I was off). By the time I graduated from college, I was clocking in at over 450 pounds. And this was after years and years of constant dieting—the very thing that was supposed to be helping me was actually doing more harm than good.
Thankfully, I was able to remove myself from this cycle after my home electronic scale started reading “ERR” (its internal code for error, since it was not programmed to register any weight above 400 pounds). It’s when I stopped thinking of “dieting” (and being on and off of one) and started embracing healthy eating that I began to make some real headway. Within a year’s time I had dropped most of my excess weight. And sure, I yo-yoed up and down the scale for a couple years after that. I was, after all, recovering from a lifetime of “on and off” behavior. But once I nailed it (reaching a healthy weight for my height and body frame), I’ve stayed at this weight for well over a decade.
But this is where I quickly bring up that damned light switch thinking again. Because many people who see my before pictures want to know my secret to losing over 250 pounds of excess weight without any kind of surgery or medication. They’re not too thrilled when I tell them the secrets are eating less, moving more, getting plenty of sleep and drinking enough water (AKA common sense). And they sometimes go onto register abject horror when I tell them I have to keep all of these mandates in mind even today (otherwise right back up the scale I’d go).
Successfully losing excess weight has nothing to do with a light switch. There’s never a time that we should be on or off. If we’re prone to gaining weight or if we choose to lose excess weight to benefit our mental and physical health, then it’s going to take some work. This doesn’t mean food plans can’t be extremely helpful. But whether we choose to have a salad for lunch or even if we opt to have some ice cream for dessert, we’ve got to always think about portion size and ingredient content (yes, even when it comes to the salad).
This doesn’t have to mean we are always on and never off. Instead, we can adopt new mindsets and start living life as healthy minded individuals. You know—like those those fantastical types who can eat half a donut and then declare they’re full. (Yes, even I’m dumbfounded by this kind of behavior to this day.) But what these people know that we do not, is that they can have another donut (or whatever) in due time. But those of us on the endless on/off cycle of dieting often think, “I will be on my diet tomorrow (or Monday or come January 1st),” so I better have eighteen donuts today.
On. Off. Not always helpful.
Healthy thinking. A move in the right direction.
And healthy thinking can include well made (meaning clean ingredient) treats that can be easily and moderately worked into our eating plans—whether we’re taking off excess pounds or simply maintaining a healthy body weight.
Although somewhat baffling, this can be triumphant news if we allow it to be. Thinking less of on and off can mean reduced shame and self-punishment (also part of many dieting cycles, mentally speaking). Fact is, you are beautiful at your current weight (inside and out). If you choose to get healthier and drop some of the excess weight, then do so in a fashion that embraces all that life has to offer and try leaving the on/off Light Switch Mentality behind.
At the risk of an eye roll or two, what do you have to lose?
Don’t take this image the wrong way. Muffin tops are beautiful. Heck, muffins themselves are beautiful. Every body is beautiful – exactly as it is right in this moment. You can be sure of that (and anyone who tells you different is full of crap).
But that being said, there are many of us who want to make healthy changes that can help us to not only feel better, but to also put on our clothes without having to hold our breath or offer up a prayer for strength (literally) when zipping up.
This can require making choices a little differently than we have in the past. Like choosing water over cake for example. Not always. But often. Changes like this remind us that cake is a treat (as opposed to an everyday requirement). We can’t say the same for water, which is absolutely necessary for our survival and for our transformation.
So without shaming yourself (which is never productive), ask yourself what you really want next time you’re tempted by something sweet (that might add a few too many calories or artificial ingredients to your daily intake). Maybe a glass of water and vigorous walk is what your body, mind and soul are really craving. If so, give your body that. And if you absolutely must have the cake (and I’ll admit there are times that’s true), then have a reasonable slice – and then have a glass of water and go for a vigorous walk. (See what I did there?)
It’s all about balance, moderation and your overall goals. And you, my amazing, beautiful friend, are worth it!
Make no mistake! I’m all for everyone on this planet dropping excess body weight and getting fit and healthy. As someone who used to weigh over 450 pounds, I know what it’s like to struggle to take even the next step (much less try not to sound out of breath even when just talking on the phone). But I also know that hating or shaming ourselves is no method for making permanent, positive change (no matter what you weigh). And that means loving yourself in the present moment (all of yourself).
Because of this, I love it when we can catch glimpses of body positive actors in favorite TV shows. This doesn’t happen nearly enough. After all, just as we all come in different nationalities, we also come in different sizes. And for anyone struggling with weight issues and self-esteem issues (they usually happen hand-in-hand), seeing actors being sexy at any size on TV (or at the movies) can be very freeing (and even healing).
Recently, I’ve been loving actor Alyssa Diaz who appears as a wrestler-dominatrix and this current season’s love interest for Bunchy on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. Ms. Diaz not only owns her body size, but also exhibits a very confidant sexual prowess. And no, I’m not saying Ms. Diaz is heavy. But she does show off the kind of fabulous body that we don’t often see on the boob tube (so to speak). It’s sad that this kind of exhibit of the body beautiful doesn’t occur enough on primetime TV. So when it happens, I want to call attention to it with thunderous applause. So kudos to Ms. Diaz, to Ray Donovan, to Showtime and to all the viewers who support shows that demonstrate true diversity by continually tuning in.
Fact is, the more we accept and respect others (no matter who they are or what they look like), the more likely we’ll extend that kind of acceptance (and even kindness) to ourselves. And when we change this mindset about ourselves, we’re more likely to to initiate healthy, positive change (whether that means losing weight, quitting smoking, changing careers — whatever).
It’s true! You can do anything. But you’re likely to find you’ll do it a lot easier (and happier) by loving yourself as you are in this present moment. And guess what? You deserve the love (all of it)!
Ray Donovan Still Shot Photo Source: The Girl That Loved To Review