Last week I shared the first post in this two-part series. If you haven’t read it, you can do so here. Here’s part two:
1. Set very clear goals
Did you know most people don’t write down their New Years Resolutions?
Writing your goals down means you’re more likely to achieve them.
Setting clear goals also means you’ll have a series of steps you can take. Instead of writing ‘get fit,’ which is pretty vague, write down what you need to do to make that goal a reality. For example, ‘get fit’ could be:
- Stretch for 15 minutes every morning.
- Lift weights three times per week. Decide exactly when you’re going to work out. Join a gym if you’re not already a member.
- Train to run 5 miles; download a training plan.
Achieving goals usually requires us to change our habits. Rather than trying to change everything at once, try introducing one new thing at a time. Focus on it consistently until it becomes part of your lifestyle. Then introduce the next thing.
Taking this approach, rather than repeating my old “all or nothing” mentality changed my life, which I wrote about here.
2. Step Into The Life You Long For NOW
One of my biggest gripes about diets is their rigid approach to food and life. Cutting out entire food groups – with the exception of doing so for ethical or medical reasons – is at the heart of binge eating, a reaction to perceived or real deprivation. Simply focusing on how your body looks, rather than considering how it feels, perpetuates emotional eating, which is a way of soothing uncomfortable feelings.
Restrictions makes life feel very small. Is it really such a mystery why Ben & Jerry’s becomes impossible to resist?
Imagine you’re already the woman you think you’ll be once you reach a goal weight.
Fill your life with adventure, take a class, explore your creativity, plan activities with your family and friends, make love, travel and watch how food begins to lose its grip when your life feels abundant and full of other sources of pleasure.
Also, you’re already worthy of self-care, not once you reach a goal weight. Practicing it now could be a vital step towards healing your relationship with your body. Read “What Nobody’s Saying About Self-Care” and “Claim Your Self-Worth” if you’re someone who considers self-care something you must “earn” and a reward you can only claim once you’ve lost weight.
3. Set Yourself Up For Success
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – Henry Ford.
- Our thoughts and words have power. If you want to transform your body, start with your mind. Replace negative thoughts and words with positive affirmations you can believe. In other words, nothing contrived. Draw on positive life experiences.
- Speak to yourself like someone you love.
- Detox your closet and shop for outfits that make you feel fabulous now.
- Read books that will help you understand how your brain and body actually work; I’ve listed a few here.
- Journal how you’re feeling when you want to eat, but you know it’s not from hunger. Recognising the feelings I was attempting to soothe with food made a big difference to my eating habits.
- Look for new role models. Quit following unrealistic #fitspo and #thinspo accounts on social media and find women to admire with whom you can actually relate.
- Get rid of all those dieting books. I had a shamefully large selection, waving them good bye felt like relief.
- If your family and friends don’t support your desire to improve your life, then consider setting boundaries regarding conversations about what you’re doing. Limit the amount of time you spend together. Surround yourself with people who will support you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, talk to someone, share your story or seek professional support.
- Plan and prepare your meals rather than grabbing food on the go and please remember… Eating particular foods do not make you a good or bad person.
- Do exercise you actually enjoy because exercise you hate isn’t more effective. It doesn’t work that way, really.
- Quit weighing yourself if the number makes you crazy.
- Do anything that makes you feel like you’re actively participating in your transformation, but be willing to look beyond food and exercise.
Most importantly of all… Be willing to trust yourself and create your own path to wellness.
Explore opinions and options. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest. It will take time, consistent effort and mistakes will be made, but it will all be worth it. I promise.
The Pro-Body Project is published fortnightly. You can read the first entry here.