Many people are dissatisfied with their weight and with their bodies. Being unhappy with your weight leads to self-esteem problems and can get in the way of living your best life and advancing in your career or personal life.
When you are overweight, you are more likely to experience health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems. If possible, it is wise for everyone who is overweight to try to reach a healthy body composition.
Though losing weight seems like it is a proposition without any downsides, it can be extremely difficult to get started. Entrenched behavior patterns around food and exercise can sabotage your journey toward better health. Here are 5 easy ways to start your weight loss journey as related by Dr. Jan McBarron, award winning Bariatric Medical Doctor, author and popular public speaker.
1. Love Yourself
Weight loss starts with self-compassion. If you start out by hating your body, you won’t be able to get into the correct frame of mind to make a change in your lifestyle. Weight loss should not be a punishment for past mistakes, but rather a way to move forward with your life in a positive fashion.
Take the time to write down the things you love about yourself. Include the things you like about your physical self as well as your talents and skills. This will help you put your weight loss into perspective. You are more than a number on a scale. Focus on being a well-balanced person.
2. Practice Meditation
Meditation will help to calm and center you. When people are trying to lose weight, they often put themselves under unnecessary stress. Meditation can help you find the root causes of your stress and bring you a better perspective on the positive changes in your life. Find positive affirmations and meditate on these.
3. Change Your Relationship with Food
Too many of us live to eat, rather than eating to live. Changing your relationship with food can be challenging, but it can pay off in weight loss and healthier living. Many people use food as a reward when they are happy and as a crutch when they are sad. Instead of using food as a reward, practice other types of self-indulgence. Take time to have a bubble bath or read a good book. Give yourself material presents that are not related to food in any way.
If you snack when you are bored or anxious, give yourself something else to do with your hands. Fiber crafts like knitting and crocheting are great for anxious people who eat to comfort themselves. This attitude change will keep you from emotional eating.
When you are changing your relationship with food, make sure that you keep from punishing yourself. As above, make sure that your lifestyle change is coming from a place of compassion, not a place of self-hatred.
4. Remove Food Guilt from Your Life
If you slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself. When people make mistakes with food, they are likely to feel hopeless and to give up on their goals. They may even eat more than they would have, feeling that there is no point in trying anymore.
Removing the emotion of guilt from the equation is important. If you stick with your plan, wonderful. If you make a mistake, you are only human. Start over fresh each day and don’t hang onto a feeling of defeat.
Some people have difficulty tracking their daily calorie intake because it makes them feel too guilty and anxious about their progress. If the process makes you feel bad about yourself, don’t do it, just concentrate on eating as well as you can.
5. Exercise, But Don’t Be Compulsive
Find ways to integrate exercise into your life. If you have been sedentary, start slowly with a walk around the block or some gentle yoga. When you feel stronger, exercise longer. Exercise is a positive addition to life, but it can be taken too far.
Don’t be compulsive about exercise. Being overly concerned with the calories taken in or burned can backfire on many people who are trying to get healthy. Focus less on your calorie output and more on how exercise makes you feel.
Dr. Jan McBarron shares these tips and hopes that you will be able to make positive changes in your own life. Use these five tips to reshape your attitude toward yourself as well as toward food and exercise.