Accept Yourself

While it may seem counter-intuitive, accepting where and the way you are is one of the fastest ways to accomplish your goals.

It can actually feel like letting go of the struggle and the discomfort of where you are will leave you content with a situation or condition you really want to change. If you accept it and make peace with it, how will you ever find the motivation to move forward?

For me, letting go of the fight, self-criticism, and the desire to have the end result right now releases the pent-up catabolic energy that is truly at the root of my current condition. When I relinquish control of the uncontrollable, I allow the Master Mind of the Universe (Source, God, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) to step in and orchestrate the situation, scenarios, and support that I need to get where I want to go.

This is especially true with losing weight. There can be a lot of fear around accepting your current body weight, shape, and condition. Calories count, right, so won’t you just go and eat everything in sight if you accept where you are? Without that desperate desire to change, where’s the motivation to get up in the morning to work out? Doesn’t losing weight require constant control and discipline, and you’re a slacker if you slip up?

This is the dichotomy that we all face. Is the carrot or stick more effective? Does positive reinforcement or punishment create lasting change? Is fear or appreciation more powerful?

Easing up on ourselves can seem weak, but truly putting down the verbal lash, focusing on the reasons we want to make a change, and celebrating each tiny sign of success are indications of strength and mental clarity.

The more we surrender and focus on our success, the more we build positive momentum that will be like a tidal wave moving us towards our goal. With that momentum, the actions we take become easier and have more impact, the people and information we need appear right when needed, and we feel excited and inspired rather than frustrated and deprived.

The real question is, what can you do today to accept yourself the way you are without changing your goals?

Together we can do it!

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Maintain that Good Feeling

Do you ever notice a moment when you feel great? Maybe it’s when you are laughing with friends, or just after you’ve meditated. Wouldn’t you like to sustain that feeling for as long as possible?

Not only does it feel good, but anabolic emotions actually boost our wellness by releasing endorphins and other beneficial chemicals that support our bodies’ healing abilities. So feeling good is actually good for you!

While it can be beneficial to try to slowly raise your emotional energy level when you catch yourself in a bad mood, it’s an even more powerful exercise to grab hold of a good feeling and run with it, making it last for as long as possible.

One way to do this is to consciously think about other things that you enjoy while you are feeling good.

For instance, after meditating this morning, I felt fabulous. From that good feeling place I stroked my rabbit-soft kitten who had settled in my lap and I thought about all the things about her that I love and appreciate. I thought about my sweet and generous husband, and all the things about members of my family that I appreciate. Then it was time to greet our other cat and two dogs and I thought about how much love they add to my life. Then I thought about coffee and how much I appreciate how it smells and tastes, and the ritual that it provides to my morning. I thought about how great I feel after working out, the beauty of the light on the mountains as the sun rises, how connected I feel when I’m writing a blog, and the way the holiday decorations I finished putting out last night transform our home.

The next time you catch yourself feeling good, what can you do to sustain it? What thoughts can you think? How long can you make that feeling last?

If you need an excuse, just remember feeling good is good for you!

Together we can do it!

Get Back on Track After Thanksgiving Treats

I ate more than usual over this four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and I can tell. My jeans are a little tighter and I am feeling bloated.

The good news is I know that this is temporary and that with a little focus and consciousness today, I can easily get back on track.

The other good news is that I could have been so much worse! Because my parents, who were visiting, are health-conscious, too, we were able to pare down the holiday menu and make some smarter choices. My Mom made the stuffing with toasted Ezekiel bread and I mashed the sweet potatoes with only a little fresh orange juice and grated rind. Both were delicious and much better for us than the traditional recipes.

I also got in all my planned workouts, which made a huge difference in my motivation this morning when the alarm went off way before the sun came up.

Where I need to refocus is on portion size, and on using what Dr. Judith Beck calls my resistance muscle where snacks and sweets are concerned. While the olives, cheese, and cashews I was indulging in are healthy, they are also high in fat and salt. And I have found in the past, that sugar can trigger cravings that have sent my eating spiraling out of control. I am so glad we threw away the rest of the pumpkin pie last night!

To help get back on track, I have planned out what I am going to eat today, and I will be checking in with my accountability group, Fabulous Friends, on http://www.transformation.com/.

Here are some things you can do stay on track—and get back on track, if necessary—with holiday eating:

  • Where you have control over the menu, provide healthy foods.
  • Forgive yourself if you do indulge.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate where you are successful.
  • Figure out what you need to do to get back on track.
  • Create a plan that you can stick to.
  • Remove temptation—throw, give, or put away those things that trigger overeating.
  • Exercise your resistance muscle and just say “No” to yourself.
  • Reach out for support to a friend, coach, or accountability group.
  • Remind yourself of all the reasons you do want to feel great on January 2nd.

It is not the end of the world if you ate more than usual over the holiday weekend. It’s over and done with. Today is a new day to make new choices that better align with who you want to be.

Together we can do it!

Practice Feeling Good

Do you spend more time feeling relaxed and happy, or stressed and worried? Think about the impact that’s having on your life, relationships—even your health and wellness.

It’s a well-studied fact that catabolic emotions like stress can deteriorate your body. But think about how you are showing up in relationships when you are stressed, frustrated, angry, anxious, or worried? Are you quicker to snap, criticize, and demean?

I know I am. Getting out of balance even a little bit by getting too hungry, too tired, or feeling like things have to be a certain way can result in a sharp tone of voice, or even barbs and criticism—often to the people I love and care for the most.

Imagine the difference in how you treat other drivers, waiters, and checkout people if you are feeling good or feeling frustrated. Do you think they can tell the difference? How do you think that makes them feel? How does that make you feel?

If I have a choice of what I am going to focus on—and I do—then I am going to do everything I can to practice feeling good.

Yes, I practice feeling good. If I am waiting for everything to align perfectly for me to be happy, then I will be waiting a very long time. The same is true if I am waiting for others to change, circumstances to change, or for me to achieve something before I will allow myself to be happy. All I am doing is putting off being happy.

If I am going to be happy, I have to be happy now.

And regardless of where you are in life, there is always something to be happy about, even if it is just that you are alive and have air to breathe. You can start practicing feeling good exactly where you are.

Practicing feeling good can include:

  • Meditating or praying.
  • Making a list of things you appreciate, and adding to that list every day.
  • Catching yourself in a good mood and making that feeling last even longer by thinking about all the things that make you feel good.
  • Exercising.
  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Doing things you enjoy.
  • Looking for things about other people to compliment.
  • Scheduling time to relax.
  • Helping someone else.
  • Getting a massage, taking a bubble bath, or participating some other form of self-care.
  • Focusing more on what’s right with your life then what’s wrong.

Just imagine the impact practicing feeling good has on your life, relationships, and health and wellness. Not only are you happier and healthier, but the people around you are happier, too.

How can you practice feeling good today?

Together we can do it!