Cut Yourself Some Slack!
Today, I have an “emergency” message for you all in this new post.
I just heard from a faithful blog reader who feels like she’s beginning to slip from her sure footing of feeling happy and healthy and sailing along, strong and fit and getting slimmer.
She reached out for an “S.O.S.”, and that is what I’m about to share with you here.
(I’ll send my other message of “easy fitness anywhere” with you next week, along with my personal recipe for trail mix, which contains an unusual ingredient that you might not have heard of before!)
For now, I’ve got some hard-earned advice for you that may seem to fly in the face of conventional wisdom when it comes to losing weight.
Other weight loss experts (see this and this) might tell you to re-double your efforts, to work harder, to keep an eye on portion sizes, to step up your exercise, to be more careful in selecting healthy foods, and to get stricter with yourself.
In short, the conventional advice would be focused on self-denial and self-discipline.
Don’t get me wrong: a small amount of discipline leads to a great amount of freedom!
(In fact, that was a tip I used many times to help me stay focused and not get side-tracked by temporary pleasure in place of long-term happiness.)
But the time may come when you are actually working against yourself, as if you’re swimming upstream.
All this fighting against yourself is exhausting – physically, mentally and emotionally – and the stress it causes can keep you in a constant state of turmoil, anxiety, depression.
You might feel like you just can’t keep at it anymore!
In my experience, when your will-power turns to won’t power, it’s time for a different approach!
Here, then, is my un-conventional wisdom, in tasty, bite-sized pieces!
Cut yourself some slack.
Please, for the next few days, stop striving. Take a deep breath right now; hold it in… then let it go slowly. Let go of any anxiety, any effort. Give yourself permission for the next few days to simply feel free. You deserve it.
Try this (quite unusual) mental approach
For the next few days, as you’re cutting yourself some slack, consider this scenario: Imagine that for the rest of your life, no matter what you eat, don’t eat, whatever exercise you do or don’t do, NOTHING is going to change your appearance, shape or weight. From now on, the body you have is the body you will always have. If you starved yourself, you would not change a thing; if you gorged, your shape would still remain the same.
- What, when, how much would you eat, knowing it had no effect on your shape?
- What type of activity/fun would you do, knowing it had no effect on burning calories?
- What type of clothing would you wear, with your current body shape?
- Where would you direct your energy – your precious life energy, now that you have no need to obsess over food, dieting, your weight?
- See yourself befriending your body, a gift from God, the perfect body selected for you to carry you through this life.
- Feel what a relief it is knowing that you need only to choose to eat those foods that give you health and vitality, foods that you enjoy and that taste good.
- Breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you are smart about nourishing yourself in ways that really work.
As you experiment with the above, use this mantra…
“I’m fine just the way I am.” (Remember, it doesn’t matter if you believe it or not; just keep repeating it.)
Trust your instincts
Trust that over the next few days, as you RELEASE excess stress and tension, you will naturally, automatically and effortlessly be drawn to making positive choices that FEEL GOOD.
Remember: your body is constantly seeking a state of health. We simply need to create the conditions for that to happen.
Illness, disease, pain, injury, excess weight, anxiety, depression are NOT normal and our body seeks to expel and repel such states.
The more we are able to relax, let go and ALLOW our body to come into balance, the more quickly it responds and improves our health.
Just like you cannot pry open the tight petals of a young rosebud, you cannot force the changes in your body and mind.
Instead, nourish your own self with sunlight, fresh air, wholesome food and you will blossom into a gorgeous, radiant beauty.
Slimming Recipe of the week – Soul Food
No, this is not about grits and greens…this is a recipe for a different kind of soul food. (By the way, I hope you all read my post about the new breakfast entrée, Ezekiel bread)
This comes courtesy of a psychologist friend of ours, Dr. Doug Welpton.
Like me, Dr. Doug understands the power of feeding your mind and spirit.
It’s often the “soul-hunger” that keeps us off-kilter, constantly seeking fulfillment in other ways, including food; but they never truly fill that restless void.
Here is Dr. Doug’s simple, effective approach to feeding your soul.
It’s actually a type of guided visualization that takes only a few moments.
Please, don’t just read this next passage without doing it. Read it a few times to get the image and the words in your mind, then actually PRACTICE doing it. That’s where the power is. Simple and profound at the same time.
Imagine Dr. Doug is talking to your right now:
What I want you to do right now is to close your eyes and see yourself sitting tall in your chair, dressed comfortably, smiling and feeling completely competent and in charge of what you’re doing.
So say to yourself: I am enough and I matter. I respect and approve of myself. God respects and approves of me unconditionally.
I am competent and fully capable at whatever I do, including choosing food that gives me energy and makes me feel alive.
As you go on repeating these affirmations breathe in peace and breathe out fear, breathe in serenity and breathe out worry and tension, breathe in approval and acceptance of yourself and breathe out doubt and anger.”
Spend a few minutes doing this twice a day. You will not believe how much power this simple act will give you.
In an upcoming tip, I’m going to give you more instruction on meditation, specifically for healing your relationship with food.
Meditation is one of the “missing links” that can make the difference between swimming upstream and going with the flow.
Please, print out this post right now, and highlight and underline the points that you want to remember.
Read this message every day this week and you will notice how each day becomes easier and how each day you feel more free.
Keep the image of the rosebud in your mind. You can’t force these things. Sometimes a short break from the “nose to the grindstone” is exactly what the doctor ordered.
P.S. Speaking of doctors, if you’d like to learn more about Dr. Welpton, he has a wonderful website, just google for his name. (Here’s his book on Amazon).
That’s it for today; thank you again for putting your trust in me as your guide as you continue to grow on your path to wellness.
…and remember, “the best is yet to come!”
P.S. If you’re on certain medications, now is a good time to check with your doctor to see about getting weaned off it or reducing your dose.
Drugs for anxiety, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol make it HARDER to lose weight and can also lead to depression, foggy-brain, lethargy. It’s not your fault!
As you have been rebuilding your body with healthy nutrients and my exercise plan, your blood chemistry changes. I urge you to go for a check up as soon as possible and tell your doctor you want to start getting off the drugs. It will make a WORLD of difference, I promise.