Before we get into food, weight loss, lean tissue gain, maintenance, diet, etc we have to start here.
Throw. It. Away.
I am one hundred percent serious. If you are using your scale to punish and shame yourself into maintaining a specific number that you somehow determined though internal and external lifelong conditioning on what “good” is…I am begging you to right this minute throw away your scale. Forever. When you go to the doctor, don’t look. Give yourself permission to stop judging your worth, success, and value on an arbitrary number. If the thought of that makes you panic because of fear of weight gain/loss or loss of control without your daily check in…I am specifically talking to you. This has been my first step in pulling out of a life long struggle with valuing myself based on my weight. I have no idea what I weigh right now…but I will tell you, my clothes: they actually fit now. My mind: doesn’t spend precious energy trying to keep my willpower going or sending messages all day telling me how worthless of a human being I am because of what I look like/ate today/size I wear. My friends and family: they love me just the same. Free yourself from the trap. Don’t look back. Use all the new mental free time to take stock of the amazing things/people in your life.
This feels a little mindbodygreen, to list out “The five things you need to do right now to become the best you possible.” (Insert stereotypical, somewhat offensive, stock photo HERE of a perfect bodied, happy couple). That’s not what this is. These are just some things I think we all need to think about and take up in order to become mentally free and healthy. And it just happens to be in list format.
You’ve heard it before, but I will say it again. Learn to like, if not love, yourself. Right now. Your family and friends that count-they think you are awesome, regardless of what you weigh. If they don’t…time to revaluate, eliminate and find some people who are less shallow. Your happiness and quality of life will improve. You definitely deserve that.
You’ve got to start thinking about your HEALTH instead of your WEIGHT. This is a hard one to swallow. But, I just don’t believe anyone can make a sustainable, long term change without thinking this way, unless they are sacrificing happiness in life. Shift your focus. Change your thoughts.
When you think about food, you’ve got to want to eat the right things. Willpower is a limited, finite resource. Let’s not even get willpower involved when it comes to eating. Take it out of the equation completely by changing your thought patterns so that it becomes natural to choose foods that will nourish your body and not poison it.
Stop counting, stop obsessing. Does food really deserve a large portion of our daily thought life? I don’t think so. During phases of weight loss, I’m not against keeping track of macronutrient intake. The problem…it’s a slippery slope into obsession, not to mention self degradation.
Forgive yourself. One thing I have really struggled with is embracing the process. All I care about is the finish. That kind of thinking makes the process awful and unbearable. It also makes me prone to slip. It also allows me to hate myself for all of the “bad” food choices I’ve made, past or present. You can figure this out. It will take time. Commit to it in your heart, start caring about yourself and your health, the changes will come.