Swimsuit weather is just around the corner and I know I'm sure not looking my best...at least not yet...but I know that with a little hard work and self-awareness, I can shed those unwanted winter pounds and emerge a lighter, more fabulous frog! And you can, too. Well, perhaps not the frog part, but you can become a lighter, more vibrant "springier" you. Cutting back on the calories, though, is only part of shedding the weight. There is a definite connection between the mind and body that can no longer be denied. If you don't believe that the mind/body connection truly exists, try this little experiment: lift weights, do a few sit-ups, or other exercise, listening to music. Then try them again, but this time without the music. Not as much fun, is it? The mind responds positively when you listen to your favorite tunes. Your mind works the same way with positive thoughts.
Thinking negatively about ourselves won't help us lose weight. In fact, it might even make us gain more! So how do we go about changing our negative perceptions about the way we approach weight loss? One expert suggests making a list of the negative things we feel about ourselves; then make a list of the positive things we like. If you're like many of us, your negative list will be quite a bit longer than than the positive one. They suggest that you focus on the positive list, adding every little thing that you can think of, until the positive list is far longer than the negative one! Sometimes this can be difficult to do, especially at first. But, as they say, Practice Makes Perect. If you drop a pound, add that 1 pound to your positive list. Did you overcome the desire to snack in the evening? Great! Add theat to your pluses.
Changing your thinking will help, too. Instead of berating yourself with thoughts of,"I can't lose the weight" or "I always fail when I try to diet." Instead, turn them around and tell yourself you can do anything you set your mind to; that dieting is easy...and that eating healthier not only feels good, but is actually kind of fun! Fell the difference? You mind and your body react in a good way when you reward yourself; not with food, but with positivity.
But, for me, the biggest single way to improve your mind/body connection is self-love; being compassionate towards yourself. The more you hate yourself, the more you belittle your weight and your appearance, the harder it will be to change it. When you tell yourself that you're OK, no matter what size you are; when you allow yourself to be human (or amphibian) and knowing that one slip-up won't break you, then your mind will be better equipped to work with the body and actually help you shed those pounds. I'm a little rolly-poly right now, but that's not who I am. It's not ALL of me. I am so much more than my excess weight. I know this. But I often forget and need reminding.
No matter if you're trying to lose 5 or 10 pounds, or if you struggle with excessive weight, being kind to yourself works far better than self-doubt amd self-hatred ever will. We are all perfect. That doesn't mean we don't have flaws. Quite the contrary. Those flaws are what make us percect. Working slowly, mindfully, and with compassion towards ourselfs and others, is a better and gentler way to live. And you'll be surprised at how much better you'll feel...all over! And when your mind is happy, your body will be, too. So dive right in. Take the plunge. Love yourself and the way you look right now. You can lose the weight. You will lose the weight. You just have to believe it.
So now, I'm off for my morning swim...even if my bathing suit is still way too snug. I will enjoy myself anyway. Because I know that my body and mind are working in concert. And that's always beautiful music!