When you eat to nourish and care for your body it’s an act of self-love. When you feel healthy and happy it’s easier to do the things necessary to stay well. Wellness involves how you feel not just what you do or how you look or even what your doctor’s report says.
How you feel about yourself and your body affects your energy, your thoughts and behavior. It even affects your body language. Self-care takes effort. It is an inward and an outward job. It can include stress management, healthy eating, exercise, meditation, massage – the list goes on – close friendships, spirituality, community, loving relationships, satisfying work, new experiences, creativity and travel. Paying attention to what areas your life needs to bolster helps you build the foundation for a happier and healthier life.
Unfortunately, it is never just one good week of healthy eating and a few challenging work outs that keep you fit and happy. Self-care needs to sneak in and become part of your lifestyle.
If you are one of the millions of Americans struggling with excess weight, chances are you feel pummeled by a culture that mercilessly uses images that reject how you look; whether it’s on TV, in magazines, movies or even in our news programming. It’s like a little punch of judgment over and over making people feel bad when they shouldn’t have to feel bad at all. And it can start in grade school, even kindergarten!! It has become part of our culture and it is poisonous. It really needs to change.
We can make ourselves miserable with our thoughts, beliefs or a desire for control in a particular situation. Feeling bad about being overweight creates stress. And stress prevents the body from releasing excess weight. It’s a catch-22. It’s like working for a critical boss who does not like you. It becomes difficult to work properly, to listen or thrive. The body needs to feel safe and calm before allowing for a change like weight loss.
What’s worse, food can become a way to anesthetize the bad feelings. Eating can distract from negative thoughts or ease some of the emotional pain. It works as a quick but temporary stress reliever. Let’s face it, eating is a distraction and it feels good – until it doesn’t. This suffering can lead to compulsive overeating or to deliberately choosing the wrong foods.
Inner Power and Self-Love
Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight but when you are able to connect to more of your inner power and to increase your feelings of self love, weight loss starts to feel easier and less turbulent. Caring for your body becomes a priority. When you love something you enjoy taking care of it.
Mediation Makes Weight Loss Easier
Meditation is an inside job and in many ways, so is weight loss. Meditation helps get you out of your head and lets you go some place deeper. It connects you to your own power source. It works as a stress reliever too even when it’s done for just a few minutes a day.
You shift from an active thinking state to a deeper one of inner quietness. Meditating brings out a more compassionate, calm and accepting approach to whatever happens in your life. Feeling more calm and stable throughout your day supports you in everything you do including your weight loss efforts. And meditation even helps to elevate your mood.
When you start to identify as the observer of your thoughts, the observer of your emotions, it becomes easier to be less reactive to any of them. If there is a food craving for something you don’t want to eat, instead of succumbing to the craving, you can observe and identify it as merely a thought or just a feeling. It is separate from you as the observer and you can more easily choose to let that craving go. And it does go away. This practice is effective for any kind of craving or addictive behavior.
As your perspective begins to change and self-compassion increases, you will never think of your body and weight in the same way again. A feeling of calm, connection and profound gratitude for life is possible every time you meditate.