It seems like everyone we know who’s improved their fitness has inevitably reverted back to old habits. There are so few of us who make lifelong transformations (that’s why they are so inspiring). What is the secret of those who make a permanent change in their lives?
The answer is simple: they made both an inner and outer transformation.
Our body is a result of our mind. So many of us get so focused on the details of dieting and exercise that we forget to work on the most important part, our inner self.
We can lose weight without working on our minds through sheer will and determination, but how long can that last?
Sticking to a rigid meal plan requires constant effort and can never be sustained for a lifetime. Even those who have the best exercise and meal plans will eventually fail and gain the weight back if they are forcing themselves to do it.
The first step in this process is to feel that you deserve good things. You have to value yourself enough to want to make a change in your life.
The second step is to make the association between new challenges and improving yourself.
If you understand that these activities, while challenging, are good for you, and that you want good things for yourself, then you will be motivated to do those activities.
The third step is to acknowledge your efforts and daily success and build the momentum that will carry you forward.
It’s sounds simple, but it ain’t easy!
By far the hardest step in this process is step one, learning to love yourself.
Accepting yourself for all that you are, the good and the bad. Appreciating your gifts and being able to laugh at your quirks. Knowing that there is no one else like you in the universe, and that you were meant to live a beautiful life. These are all essential things to understand in coming to love yourself.
You can begin to love yourself by adopting an attitude of gratitude. Feeling thankful and blessed for the body that you have.
I like to shout out “Thank you Universe, for this body of mine!” each morning as I wake. Sometimes, I really don’t feel like I mean it, so I say it again, louder and louder until I laugh at how silly I sound! I get a rush of happiness and then a true feeling of gratitude for my body sets in.
When you love yourself fully, you’ll have a strong desire to start treating yourself better, regardless of how much weight you still want to lose, muscle you want to build, or how many habits you need to change.
You can only live life as your self once. This world is so beautiful and offers such a variety of experience. There is a dream within you, things you long to do, places you wish to go, and a community that you are searching for.
When you are uncomfortable in your body, those dreams become more distant. For you to make them a reality, you first have to become the person capable of making them so. Working on yourself to become a capable and competent person who can achieve anything they set their heart on.
The truth is, you are already that person. You just need to realize how amazing you already are so that it can show through your physical body and into the world around you. Others will not be able to recognize your beauty until you recognize it yourself.
You will never look like anyone but yourself, so why compare yourself to others? It’s so easy to get caught up in the images of the bodies presented to us in magazines and on our instagram feeds. Trust me, I’ve been made to feel inadequate by them too. But that’s all they serve to do. The purpose of those ads is to make us feel inadequate so that we purchase some supplement, book, or program, to make us feel like we’re good enough. Well guess what?
YOU’RE ALREADY GOOD ENOUGH.
Can you say that with me real quick?
I AM GOOD ENOUGH!
Haha, that felt good.
(You can say it quietly in your mind, but it is far more powerful to shout it!)
Acknowledge Your Efforts
When first starting to work on your health and fitness it’s easy to adopt a “ya, but..” attitude.
“Wow you started going to the gym! Great job!”
“Ya but, I’m still pretty weak…”
“You look like you’ve lost weight!”
“Ya but it was only 5lbs….”
A self-defeating attitude will sap the joy out of improving your body, and that destroys any chances of reaching long term success.
Acknowledge your efforts. Be proud of your intentions and each step you take in the right direction.
Learn to Accept Failure
I can guarantee you one thing: you’re going to slip up. Everyone does.
But failing doesn’t make you a failure. Failing is your opportunity to define yourself.
The difference between admirable people and those who trudge through life is not in how many failures they had, but how they dealt with them. The beautiful thing is that how you handle your failures is completely within your control. Each time you slip up is a time to reaffirm your intentions and grow from your experience.
The journey to having a healthy body is to develop a healthy mind. Uniting your thoughts, beliefs, and actions will do wonders for your entire life. Having a fit body will become a byproduct of all the wonderful changes that you have made within yourself. Do not look at your failures in the past in a negative light. Those experiences are what brought you here, and this time will be different because YOU will be different.