You don’t need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection.
_ Wilson Kanadi
To kick off my new self help/improvement blog series, I decided to start with health that goes beyond fitness and appetite control. I am not an expert, nutritionist, or personal trainer, but I do know what it feels like to be stuck in what seems like a whirlpool of laziness, depression, and lack of discipline. I have found myself depressed about my weight, and I have also felt helpless over my ability to control it. What I discovered in the past two years is finding a life made to fit doesn’t always mean finding a size two. It means finding a lifestyle that is suitable for your career, passion, and overall wellbeing. Let’s face it! We are not all destined to fit into an extra small, but we are all destined to feel comfortable in our hearts and our clothing no matter the size. My intention is to help you understand that your inner being should be your priority. Once you have taken care of your inner parts the rest will follow.
So let’s talk about…love. Normally, when I talk about love it is in relation to a partnership with someone else. Today we will talk about the partnership we have with ourselves. YOU out of everyone you know is the most deserving of your love. So why are we so careful to offend others, but constantly offend ourselves with lack of dedication and commitment, or attentiveness? People demand so much of our attention and time. It is difficult to gage when it is ok to say “no” to others because we are saying “yes” to ourselves. I have fought this battle several times. I often fear being called selfish by family and friends, but in reality if you don’t make your health and well being a priority you will never be 100% at anything you do. The number one question people ask me is, “How did you do it?”, or “How did you start?” The answer is simple. Every day do something that you love to do, and do not compromise. For example, I love to read. I love to go to prayer on Tuesday evenings. I love to run (exercise) right after work. These are three things that I do nearly every week. It keeps me grounded, focused, and overall happy. Since weight loss starts with your inner being it is important to do something that you love and do it consistently. When someone poses the question, “What do you enjoy?” there should be no hesitation in your answer because you should know exactly what makes you happy. Find the answer to this question and stick to it. Make time for yourself to do one healthy hobby per day. Oxytocin is a “happy” chemical in the brain that is triggered by trust. The more confident you are in the decisions you make the more oxytocin is released. Gradual small steps will build this circuit, and soon you will be on your way to inner happiness. Inner strength will build your commitment to work towards a healthier lifestyle. Trust that the decisions you are making today will lead to a happier, healthier tomorrow.
Now we can talk about…motivation. So after you set yourself on the right path to happiness you will develop the confidence that builds motivation. Once I decided I was unhappy with my lifestyle, a major concern I had was, “How do I stay motivated?”. The number one reason why over half of all diets fail is because people can’t stay motivated and lack the consistency to actually see results. One thing I did to help me stay motivated was set reminders. I set the screen saver on my phone to a woman with an outstanding body, or I’d set it to a motivational quote. I reach for my phone more than the average person should, so it was an easy way to remind myself that healthier living was my goal, and if this girl on my phone could reach her goal then so could I. I took photos of myself in my panties and bra to admire and trust where my body was headed. I could see how my new lifestyle was benefitting me in the long term. My skin looked healthier. I looked more toned and energized. These reminders helped me build confidence in what I was doing. Confidence releases a chemical called serotonin to the brain which gives you a happy feeling and encourages you to repeat behaviors that trigger it. A good way to build this circuit is to focus on your wins instead of your losses. (Hints: taking progress pictures) Focus on the times you made healthy choices versus the times the cupcake won. If you get too bogged down on where you failed you’ll lose the motivation to keep going because you won’t be releasing much serotonin to your brain. I would get so angry and want to quit any time I had a bad day of eating. I now know every day is a new day with a new set of goals. You get a clean plate every day. It is up to you to choose if you will let yesterday’s awful meal control what you will eat today. Never stop trying.
I am sure you all have heard the saying, “knowledge is power”. There is so much truth in those three little words. You have to educate yourself on what you like, what is good for you, and who is good for you. Knowing this information will put you on the right path to making the best decisions for yourself. I enjoy watching videos done by fitness gurus on YouTube. Have you ever felt like you could conquer the world after watching something inspirational? That is the feeling these videos give me. I try to watch one every day so I can stay on “super woman” mode. A lot of these women have so many different weight loss stories, information, and tips that will keep your eye on the prize. I also read lots of literature on weight loss, how my body functions, and what my body responds to. Like most things this is all trial and error, but you have to try first before deciding something doesn’t work for you. Educate yourself by trying out new tips and ideas from practical people. I am currently reading, “The End of Overeating” by David A. Kessler, MD. It is an insightful book that talks about the food industry and how the food we eat programs our brains to desire certain foods so badly they become impossible to resist. It’s not you, it’s the food! Understanding why my body reacts to food the way that it does has helped me stay focused and pay attention to why I overeat or why I feel like some foods are irresistible. It has also helped me avoid my triggers and make better choices about what I am putting into my body. The book is insightful and offers vast information that makes me think more consciously about food.
Unfortunately, food is not the only thing that can cause confidence and weight issues. Please make sure you are careful about who you choose to share your company with. Stress can kill you. If you keep company with people that make you feel awkward, uncomfortable, or angry then you need to get new friends. If it is your family member then you need to take a break from them. Keep your distance from these types of people as you embark on a new lifestyle. Especially because you may be vulnerable. You should avoid distractions. Trust me, not everyone is going to be super pumped about the changes you are making. Once you are settled in your lifestyle and comfortable you can start welcoming those people back in as you choose. Stress increases your appetite. I know all of my emotional eaters can attest to this. Stay clear away from anyone that brings fog into your world. Your body will thank you.
I have always given you all information on how to start diets, apps to use to help you stay on track, and smalls tips that will help you lose weight easily, but I never really focused on the root of the issue. Finding a Life that Fits is so crucial to your overall wellness. I loss weight because I was tired of feeling uncomfortable in my skin. I got tired of not being able to walk around the mall without being winded. I got tired of not having any energy at the end of the day to do anything for myself. I chose a healthier lifestyle for no one else but myself. This is the key to the entire concept. You have to find a lifestyle that suits you. We are not all destined to be small, but we are all destined to love and live a long life. You can be sexy, fierce, and powerful no matter what size or shape you are. I hope this has encouraged you to love yourself, find out what works for you, stay away from the crazies, and most of all be patient. It takes time to find out exactly where you feel comfortable. But I trust that you will.