I’ve been exercising for a week and haven’t lost five pounds?!
That was me at the end of last week on the bathroom scale. An outrageous expectation, I know, and yet there I was disappointed, again.
This isn’t a great relationship to have with numbers on a scale or my body. I’m so impatient with weight loss. And I wasn’t setting myself up for success. I didn’t consider something very important.
My goal was to lose the pandemic/holiday weight. My plan was to exercise 3-4 days a week, practice yoga and stretch. But I didn’t have a meal plan.
If I don’t have a meal plan for the week, I end up eating nothing for breakfast, nachos for lunch, and popcorn for dinner. Don’t forget the bread-and-butter snacks throughout the day. That may be a little extreme but it has happened. No amount of exercise is going to beat back those pounds.
Somewhere in the back of my mind food wasn’t that big of a deal. Probably because when I was in my 20s it wasn’t. But it is now.
It was time to get real.
I sat down and added a healthy meal plan to my strategy.
And then it hit me… Remember that little voice I talked about in my February 24th blog titled “Hello Little Voice”? It showed up and said, “You got this, but… it will take more time than you want it to and it will be a little uncomfortable.”
Yes, little voice. You’re right.
Transformation comes slow and requires changing habits. No matter what change we want to bring into our lives, it takes time and intention. It takes being real with ourselves. It means making choices, and taking informed action.
Let me explain.
When I adjusted my plan to lose the extra pounds, I embraced my current reality. I accepted my body as it is and chose to create an environment that supported my intentions to improve my health. Then I committed and took action.
And I need to be patient and kind to myself.
There’s more to this story though…
My intention to lose weight was actually about something bigger. I want to feel good.
Health isn’t about a number on the scale, far from it. It’s about how I feel in my mind and body.
The thoughts I consume (mine or someone else's) are just as important as the food I eat.
Take my bathroom scale example - I look at the scale and feel disappointed. Those numbers don’t tell me the whole story though. But I don’t see that in the moment. I interpret scale numbers to say I’m a loser who can’t reach any goal in her life ever. I walk off the scale to start my day feeling terrible.
That’s no way to talk to myself!
So, I made a change.
Now I tell myself good job for sticking to the program. I’m proud of my daily routine and being a healthy person. I don't beat myself up (mostly) when I make a mistake or backslide.
Transformation is not a destination. It is a life long journey. Each action and step gets us closer.
Makes sense, right? Well tell that to the mind.
The mind works quickly and expects instant results. It sees and knows where it wants to go. The body is slow to change and sometimes the mind has completely unreasonable expectations that can’t be met like losing five pounds after exercising for 30 minutes for five days.
It’s amazing what we think when we aren’t paying attention. I can exercise and eat well but if my thoughts are self-critical instead of encouraging, I’m setting myself up for failure. I will eventually stop my exercise routine and go back to my nachos for lunch.
I didn't want to do that!
I started practicing something that I picked up from Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker. When I get self-critical, I say to myself, “I’m not going to think about that.”
And I don’t! It’s sort of a simple yet amazing trick. I highly recommend it.
Why is this important? Because our body believes our thoughts. Want to hear something even crazier? Our bodies actually take in the thoughts and digest them into our system.
We believe ourselves on a cellular level! Get out right?! It’s true.
What do you tell yourself?
Are you on the self-improvement path? I hope so. In my humble opinion, all of us should be. There is always room to grow.
And sometimes it can be uncomfortable.
There aren’t any short cuts to real transformation but there are a few important questions to ask yourself along the way. Take a moment to check in with yourself using this practice.
3 Minute Practice
Take a few minutes to be still and breathe three rounds of breath. Then ask yourself…
- Where is discomfort or tension in my body?
- How is in my energy? (tired, energized, or something in between?)
- What is the quality of my thoughts? (encouraging or discouraging?)
After you check in, make the necessary adjustments. Maybe it’s just saying to yourself, “I don’t want to think about that.” And shift your thinking to something that supports and encourages you. Maybe it’s standing up to stretch after sitting for a long time at work. You’ll know what you need after you check in with yourself.
Living into our best selves and authentic lives is the biggest gift we can give ourselves and everybody around us.
But it doesn’t come fast and easy for most of us. Transformation takes tenacity, commitment, and community.
Community is a big one here – even science says so. We are more likely to succeed when we are connected to others with similar interests and goals.
Whatever your goals may be, they are important. Keep working towards them no matter how big or small.
You are worth it. You deserve it.
If you want support on your path, I would love to work with you.
If you are interested in yoga therapy click here to complete the intake form and schedule your free consultation.
I am your cheerleader. I am rooting for you to feel and be your best. You deserve it and so do the people around you.