This time of year, right in the thick of New Year's resolutions and thoughts on what we want to do and be in the year ahead, a common theme is "lose those last, elusive five or 10 pounds." We obsess over a number on the scale as if it'll solve all our problems. We imagine the amazing ways our lives will be better if only we could just get there.
Despite all the great things we do for our bodies, all the awesome changes we make to our eating and exercise habits, it's those last few pounds that are often the hardest to shake (literally and figuratively), and they bring with them the most agony, self-criticism and drama.
So what if you could spare yourself all that pain, suffering, crash dieting and frustration? What if you let go of that number and just let your body settle into it's natural, happy weight? The weight you reach when you're taking amazing care of yourself, both emotionally and physically? What could you do with all the extra brain power that's been dedicated to cleanses and miracle weight loss super foods?
The fact is, that magic number is just that, a number.
At some point in your life, you got it into your head that this is your ideal weight. But if it were truly ideal, do you really think you'd have to work so hard to attain (and maintain) it?
Your true ideal weight feels easy, effortless, a no-brainer. Your true ideal weight is where your body naturally falls when you're simply living a healthy life without going crazy or overboard.
Living under your body's true ideal weight requires sacrifice, dedication and deprivation. Maybe that sounds like your cup of tea, but please don't expect it to be easy and don't get frustrated with your body when it resists (which it inevitably will). The question you need to answer for yourself is why? What are those last 10 pounds really worth to you? What are you willing to give up to get there? Do you really want to give those things up? What kind of life would you be leading in that state?
When we attach our feelings of self-worth to our weight, we fall prey to a dangerous pattern of never being enough. We sell ourselves short in our lives, work and relationships. We waste our time feeling fat and ugly instead of honoring and enjoying our lives and bodies. I can't tell you how many beautiful, healthy women walk through my office door full of criticism and frustration about their bodies, on a mission to reach a magic number they think will solve all their problems. Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing the gorgeous women they are, they see fat and imperfections, someone not worth loving, promoting or celebrating.
The truth of the matter is that weight has very little to do with it. Many of these women eventually reach their ideal weight and are still plagued with the insecurities and pain that they were certain would melt away with those last 10 pounds.
Do you know why? Because weight is just a number. Your life will not change, you will not change as that number drops. And torturing yourself about it is unnecessary and just plain not fun.
So this year, as you plan ahead for the things you want to do and the "you" you want to be, let go of that number you're hoping to see on the scale. Instead, focus on how you want to feel in your life and creating space for the actions that elicit those feelings.
The number on the scale won't make you feel beautiful, smarter or more successful. Those last 10 pounds won't bring you a new boyfriend or a better job. But truly loving and caring for yourself physically and emotionally every single day, actually will.
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