We all know that diet and exercise are very important to weight loss and health, but I want to remind you that mindset actually comes first. The mindset you need to develop in order to lose weight is that of completely loving and accepting yourself. I know this seems a little counter-intuitive because most of us who are trying to lose weight are in the habit of feeling bad about our bodies and punishing them with strict diets, excessive exercise, and negative thoughts.
But it’s time to stop that pattern once and for all. No longer should you hate your body, starve yourself, push yourself too hard, and ultimately collapse back into unhealthy eating and self-loathing. The time is NOW to start loving and listening to your body.
All healthy behaviors start from a place a self-love, and once we commit to completely loving ourselves, we create weight loss that lasts! No more swinging back and forth between gaining and losing weight. Loving your body creates life long change and stability.
So how do we develop a self-loving mindset?
First of all, we need to become aware of our thoughts and silence the voice of the inner critic (the voice in your head that says you are too fat, not good enough, not beautiful enough). Start to listen to your thoughts and cut out any negative thinking patterns.
Secondly, replace those self-critical thoughts with words of kindness and love toward yourself. Be proud of yourself for trying your best to lose weight; celebrate those things that you love about your body; appreciate your health and your life.
*If you want to get really good at replacing a negative mindset with a loving, happy one, check out the Journey to a Loving Heart meditation program on Daily Yoga App! You’ll learn all the skills you need in order to shift your mindset and feel love within you.*
Finally, we must develop a deep self-awareness by getting in touch with our bodies and listening in. The path to true health and wellness is through the guidance of the body. The body always knows what it really needs in order to be well- what foods to eat, what exercise to do, when and how much to rest. We just aren’t used to listening to this wisdom from the body! We typically use our minds to choose behaviors that we think are what we need, but they often go against what the body needs. (Example: you push yourself to exercise when your body really needs rest, and so you get sick with a cold. Or your body is craving meat because you need more protein in your diet, but you force yourself to eat salad instead).
The wisdom of the body is vast and extensive… we just need to learn how to trust it. Listening deeply to the body’s needs will help us develop a loving, trusting relationship between mind and body. The body trusts that the mind will nurture it and care for it, and the mind trusts that the body will lose weight and stay healthy. This positive relationship between mind and body is the sweet spot for wellness & happiness!
In order to practice this deep self-awareness, you can try a meditation where you listen closely to what the body is telling you. Start by sitting or lying down comfortably. Close your eyes and feel the room around you. Feel the ground beneath you and the air touching your skin.
Then feel your whole body: your feet and legs, your hips and back, your belly and chest, your neck and head, your face and your breath.
Listen closely to what your belly is saying: are you hungry right now? Are you already full? Are you satisfied? If you are feeling hungry, what are you hungry for? Quiet your judgements and assumptions, and listen closely to the guidance of the body.
Then listen to your heart: what does the heart need? Does it need more self-love and acceptance? More compassion and patience?
Finally, listen to your mind and the quality of your thoughts. Does your mind know the truth of your body and your heart? Could you come into more alignment with your mind, body, and heart? Start to really trust the wisdom of your body and silence the voice of your inner critic.
To practice this mind-body connection and start working on your fitness and health, check out Journey to a Loving Heart meditation program and Let It Melt yoga program on Daily Yoga App! They will kickstart your journey to weight loss and wellness.