By Jaime Brenkus, L.E.A.N. Living
Does this sound familiar?
When you go on a diet, it always seems like you’re taking one step forward and two steps backward—it’s exhausting, daunting, confusing and did I mention all the starving?
You finally reach a point where you have to get real with yourself and ask some serious questions:
“Girl, what are you doing? This is no way to live. It’s not fun nor is it sustainable! There has to be another way. Let’s figure out what exactly that is.”
Forget the latest diet and fitness trends. Listen to your body for the answers to sustainable weight loss.
Here’s my three step formula (there’s really no magic) that has allowed my clients to maintain their health, ideal body weight, and allowed them to stop obsessing over their weight.
It’s All About YOU
In order for weight loss (or any health goal) to be sustainable, it has to be something that you can realistically keep up. I know that may seem obvious, but we tend to not take this into consideration when we attempt super low-calorie diets or extreme workout regimens.
Choosing balance over “all or nothing” thinking is a shift in perspective. Creating a sustainable, healthy lifestyle means understanding that “getting there” is not a race.
Find some quiet time and ask yourself some important questions, such as:
- What types of foods seem to do best in my body?
- What style of working out do I really enjoy?
- What are my three food non-negotiables, and how can I incorporate healthy versions of them into my daily/weekly food lifestyle?
Reflection and Adjustment
In order to master sustainability, you have to pay attention and tune inward. Awareness is a key component because in order to create a lifestyle that works for you—you have to know what does and doesn’t work for you.
“ Act. Analyze. Adjust.”
Start making notes each night of what food, fitness, and lifestyle choices worked best for you that day.
- What choices helped you to feel your best and were energizing?
- What choices caused you to feel depleted?
Then ask yourself why they made you feel energized or depleted. Make adjustments as necessary so that tomorrow or next time, you will act in a way that aligns with how you want to feel on a daily basis.
It takes time, effort, and focus, but by paying attention to what works for you and what doesn’t, you can continue to refine your lifestyle until it is a perfect fit for your preferences, as well as your health and your ideal body weight.
Before long, this way of thinking becomes natural. It’s no longer something you have to do (work at) … but rather it becomes a part of who you are (your way of being).
Give Yourself Permission
A lot of people (especially women) have trouble giving themselves permission to make mistakes. Listen, just like anything, this is a process.
Expect it to take time and lots of practice. Why are we so hard on ourselves when it comes to our body? We expect perfection and we set standards so high that no one could measure up to them.
You deserve to—and can—have “the body of your dreams,” in whatever way that means for you. I am here to tell you that you’re not going to get there through struggle and strife.
You get there (and sustain it) through nourishment, self-love, and self-care.
Take some time to journal about possible limiting beliefs and behaviors that you may currently have. Then, once you have a list, revise it with new, more empowering beliefs and behaviors.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to totally change your relationship with food and your body. Health isn’t about chance … it’s about Choice !