A funny thing happens when I do someone’s medical history in my office: after we’ve discussed in great detail every thing my future-client wants improved or changed in regards to their health. Then, one of the final questions I ask is “what specific health goals do you have for the next few months?” At least 85% of the time one of the answers is “lose weight.” …even when weight gain was not one of the health problems discussed!
Even people who I perceive as thin seem to want to lose weight!
The truth is, we *all* want to feel good (or at least better) in our bodies. We want to be able to enjoy our bodies and look at our reflection and feel satisfied with the figure looking back at us.
Here is my overly-simplistic guide in how to do that:
1. Stop eating junk. At LEAST 80% of what you allow into your mouth should be “healthy.” What is considered “healthy” by one person is totally different from the next, so you may want to talk to a nutritionist about what types of foods would benefit your body constitution the most. In general, stay away from food chemicals, excess sugars, processed junk, and deep-fried foods. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits (at least 5 colors a day), whole grains, and lean proteins.
2. Pay attention to your body. Your body – or “animal” – gives you subtle cues throughout the day letting you know what his or her needs are. For example, sleepiness, hunger, or boredom give messages to your brain from your body in order to – hopefully – get those needs satisfied! The trouble comes in when we interpret every message as hunger, or as something that food can resolve. Try to come up with other options. Your body also will tell you what foods do not agree with you. You can become a master at knowing your own body! When you can “read” your body correctly every time, you will be at your ideal weight. It just happens naturally.
3. Learn how to enjoy movement. Your body needs frequent movement and exercise to thrive. Find exercises that don’t seem like punishment and allow yourself the time to do them. Make it a priority. Make it fun. Just make it happen. While you’re exercising, just focus on the sensations in your body that you’re getting. Things are moving, straining, stretching, jumping, and pumping… Don’t set your expectations of what you want to accomplish from the movement; just enjoy the movement. Remember when you were a kid and just running around was fun? Try to accomplish that mind-set again.