I want to talk about self-love and learning to embrace your body while losing weight. We all have our own stories to tell, or how we ended up where we are. If you’re like me and have been on a weight loss journey for years and you’re still going and you’ve been up and down trying different methods, approaches, diet after diet, it is exhausting! I totally understand! I will be the first to speak up and say I have not always loved myself and I have been in that never-ending cycle of up and down dieting.
I’ve been on my journey for nearly a decade. In that time I have found my most important tool for success- self-love! Now when you think of self-love in combination with trying to lose weight, some may think that the two conflict with each other. I can love my body and embrace it while still working to make myself healthier and you can too! Just because you are working towards a healthier you does not mean that you do not love yourself or your body. Think about it-you’re actually loving your body by making it healthier! When I sat at 350lbs I did not like what I saw in the mirror. When I found iTrackBites I began the adventure of embracing my body as is and falling in love with me.
What I would like to share with you are the few things that helped me maintain my self-love and self-worth while losing weight. In the long run, this will assist with the overall lifestyle change. After all, we don’t want a temporary fix. We want to change our lives for the better! Self-love and lifestyle change go hand in hand.
First and foremost is to remember your body weight does not equal who you are as a person. That number you see on the scale does not define you. It is a unit of measurement, it is not who you are. Your worth is measured by who you are at heart, not a number on a scale. Consider giving yourself one compliment every day, journal it if you have to so you can look back when you’re feeling down. I promise you will thank yourself.
The next thing that I have found that has derailed me in the past is seeking out “quick fixes”. I'm talking about the detoxes, intense exercise programs that claim to help you lose inches in a few day's time, or those 10-day insane diets where you’re only allowed certain foods. You search the web for “how to lose 10lbs fast”, thousands of results are in front of you, do they work? Maybe. Will it fix you forever? Probably not. Ultimately you won’t be able to sustain a quick fix forever, and end up back at square one, give yourself the gift of long-term change, which goes along with loving your body.
Now on to practicing self-acceptance. I know from personal experience, this one seems almost impossible! Remember, your body is yours and it is not meant to be the same as anyone else's. You are unique and beautiful in your own way. Every line, mark, fold, cellulite, whatever you find imperfect, it makes up you. The one and only! Personally, my body has changed drastically with my weight loss, I have loose skin, and that is a normal part of the process. I have embraced it, and I am trusting the process. I have accepted that this is who I am- and that’s okay!
Goal setting is another big one, set realistic goals. This is such an important practice. Don’t wait to love yourself until you see that magic number you’ve been praying for, or you fit into those jeans that have been sitting in the back of your closet for the last few years. Continue to set small goals, small goals eventually lead to achieving the big goals. You will be a lot less stressed and able to focus on yourself more.
Finally- be kind to yourself, speak words of love to yourself. Remind yourself how far you have come, reward yourself for the small victories, each is an accomplishment. Most importantly, a bump in the road does not mean the end of the road. Keep moving forward, one day at a time.