I never expected myself to write this article because I feared the risks involved with even mentioning weight loss. This is a place of self-love, self-acceptance and wellness, and my number one priority is that you love yourself and your body no matter what shape or size it comes in.
That didn’t stop the requests from my clients this January 2022. Inquiries poured in asking me to help them approach weight loss sustainably, holistically and mindfully. I stumbled with how to approach this delicate question, but realized I knew it better than most, firsthand.
My experience with body dysmorphia and bulimia in my teens impacted the way I’d eat, move and think for the rest of my life. I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer, but I am a certified yoga teacher and a holistic wellness coach with true personal experience to speak from. This blog will be focused not on what to eat or what workouts to do, but rather how — the mindset you’ll need and the paradox of acceptance and love it will take.
I learned that the only way to sustainable change is to love your body through every step of the way, develop a connected relationship with it, and to nourish, not deprive, in a balanced, whole way. Here’s what I mean:
Your body is your temple and natural, whole foods are God/nature/the universe’s perfect nourishment for it. Nature has created you perfectly with all the abundance of resources you need for your optimal wellbeing. Lean into the support and keep reminding yourself how sacred you truly are. We’re starting, not ending with self-love. Dedicate yourself — even if it doesn’t feel real quite yet.
“To lose weight” is so early 2000’s diet-culture. And guess what? It’s not enough. It won’t drive you to the end. Find a reason to lose weight that goes deeper than looks and go for the feel. Why do you really want to lose weight? Some examples are: to have more energy, to be able to carry my groceries on my own and feel independent, to channel my inner warrior spirit, to pump up my endorphins and improve my mood, etc. Being intuitive with your goals is the best way to choose ones that truly align for you. That means make them true for you.
Ideas could be (but are not limited to):
Business coach Rachel Bell says, “‘When setting ambitious goals, we always think, “What do I need to DO to accomplish this?” But it’s JUST AS VITAL to ask, “Who do I need to BE to accomplish this?” So ask yourself, make a list and choose those traits daily.
Replace vs. abolish always. Treats are there to be treats. You can even have dessert everyday! Just make it healthy, small, or infrequent. Deprivation is the slipperiest slope to binging. We’re going for balance, so you’re living in a way you don’t even want to change in the end! No diets. Lifestyles.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you hate running, why are you running? Jumprope! Dance! Hike! Hula hoop! ANYTHING but what doesn’t feel good in your body. There is no one way to get in shape — I promise. Consistency is key, so switch it up and make it something you enjoy, so you actually come back and do it again.
Maybe you started with one goal, or had your mind set on one way of eating or exercising. Start somewhere, but be open to flowing elsewhere. Our bodies talk and they’ll tell you what feels good and what doesn’t. Stay in touch, keep listening, and you’ll always arrive somewhere that’s best for you.
That means double commit. And this is stuff that’s actually kinda fun, remember? Gone are the days of rigidity and “supposed to.” You could be drinking tropical smoothies for breakfast and dancing the hula! That’s literally something you could do.
Aesthetics will never measure up to those sweets, but this will keep you going. This is liberation. Remind yourself often of your intention/why. Bonus if you toss out the scale.
Here comes the toughest pill to swallow, but facing the facts is the only way we can ensure your commitment: your goals could take weeks, months or even years. There’s no quick fix. Sustained lifestyle change that will keep you in a nearly effortless loop of healthy living only comes from consistent patience. Start. And start loving yourself now for the road ahead.
In addition, I wanted to include some of my favorite kitchen replacements to truly replace and not abolish/deprive. These are absolute game-changers in my life that keep me eating all my favorite, fun, delicious foods — just with more nutrients: