Perfection is not achievable or even desirable, and that is OK. In fact, as humans, we are all a work-in-progress and will remain so for the entirety of our lives. We learn. We grow. And we are able to make significant changes — one of which may be to lose weight and improve our health. And no matter what our self-improvement goals are, we must approach them with a level of self love and an acceptance of who we are right here and now.
Lose Weight with Love
It will come as no surprise that love and acceptance are not always easy. However the practices of yoga and mindfulness will absolutely help you with the art of acceptance. This is true both on your weight loss journey and in all the areas of your life. Acceptance is vital to self-improvement.
Yoga is a particularly useful activity to do when you are looking to nurture a greater sense of self-acceptance. The reason for this is that it is a physical activity that encourages you to feel your embodied experience, just as you are right now.
Yoga is also something that can help you to test your physical boundaries safely. Something that those of us on a weight loss journey can really benefit from, as our relationships with our bodies may not always be the most positive. Read Yoga Brings Inspiration and Self Realization.
Yoga is also a great choice because there are so many types and ways that you can practice it, meaning you are bound to find a way that suits your personality.
You may wish to try a Bikram class, that is hosted in a hot environment, something that can help the muscles stretch easier, as well as flush out any toxins in the system. You may also choose to immerse yourself with a course like the ones offered by Nobe Yoga to further deepen your ability to accept where you are; while moving forward positively. You may even like to get a book on the more traditional style of Iyengar yoga and practice at home until you get more comfortable with your body and more flexible in your movements.
To get to a place of acceptance, it can also help to first notice where we are right now. Mindfulness is something that can definitely help with this because it is all about paying attention to what is going on in the current moment.
That does mean where we are externally, but also what is happening inside of us on a physical and mental level. These skills are particularly helpful to lose weight as they can assist us in making wiser eating and exercises choices. They are also vital for acceptance because they can help us be aware of the negative inner monologue that is occurring, something that is often highly critical and can contribute to comfort eating and weight gain.
Once we learn how to recognize this, we can learn to gently direct our attention to thinking about more positive aspects of ourself. Alternatively, we can also learn to distance ourselves from this diatribe completely, letting it play on like the static of a radio in the background. All without connecting with it and suffering the ill effects that believing in this diatribe can have on our mental well-being and our abilities to reach any improvement goal we set for ourselves, such as to lose weight.
In Psychology Today Dr. Lissa Rankin suggests the following practices to love and nurture ourselves.
- Practice radical self-love. Honor yourself. Nurture yourself. Take time to be in your body. Apply scented body lotions to your naked figure. Luxuriate in bubble baths. Walk around the house without clothes on.
- Make friends with the person in the mirror. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “You are perfect and beautiful just the way you are.”
- Do a Body Blessing every day.
- Honor the perfect spirit within you with beautiful foods. Choose colorful raw veggies, succulent fruits, beautiful fresh foods. Shop on the outer aisles of the grocery store. The Goddess within you doesn’t need junk. She desires to be fed strawberries, slowly and luxuriously. She deserves healthy, nourishing, organic produce, lean, hormone-free meats, and whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
- Make food an offering to your divine self. You wouldn’t feed the Divine Cheetos or Coca-Cola. You would pick fresh produce from your garden, create a beautiful salad, squeeze fresh juices, and luxuriate in the sensuous pleasure of color, crunch, and the bounty of the earth. Feed yourself with love.
- Add green juice to your diet. Consider starting with a green juice detox cleanse to flush your system of toxins and stabilize your blood sugar. Drinking 3-4 servings of green juice per day helps eliminate unhealthy cravings.
- Only eat when you’re hungry. Listen to your body. Eat slowly, with reverence. When you no longer feel truly hungry, stop eating.
- Be mindful about what you put in your mouth. Remember, your body is your temple. Your spirit is divine.
- Avoid emotional eating. If you feel something you don’t wish to feel, be brave enough to be with that feeling. Name the feeling. (“I feel pissed off at my boss.” “I feel sad that my father abused me when I was little.” “I feel bored and I hate my life.”) Honor your feelings. Give yourself permission to feel them. Instead of running to the kitchen, grab your journal. Write it down. You deserve to FEEL.
- Move your beautiful body. Even if you can only manage a slow 20-minute walk per day, do it. You deserve it. Use the time as a meditation. Repeat affirmations to yourself such as “I am whole. I am lovable. I am perfect just the way I am.”
In good health,
Content is the opinion of the author and does not constitute or is a replacement for medical advice.