“Sometimes we have a long hard week or a long hard day. Be good to yourself. Take the time to read without distraction. Go for a hike. Get off the phone. Engage in community or bubble bath it up. Life is rough. Be willing to tend to your sweet heart.” ~ #waylonlewis ??☕ Get our daily magazine only at elephantjournal.com/best ??
What’s love got to do with it?
When it comes to losing weight, it’s like any torrid love affair.
We are blindsided by a whirlwind of suitors: competing images of gym makeovers and weight loss programs and all-you-can-eat surf and turf. We end up wanting both—the boring one that can provide a safe and stable life and the exciting but unattainable one we can live out our wildest fantasies with.
But here’s the thing—losing weight is simple, but it is not easy.
If it were, companies that focus on weight loss products and services would not be a 6.6 billion dollar industry. The reason why it’s not easy, however, has nothing to do with mere calorie counting and physical exertion.
In our weight loss efforts, we cut out some food groups altogether and indulge in others. We follow the trends and then supplement with pills. We consume unpronounceable, exotic ingredients from around the world in hopes that we will find our true love: the image we secretly aspire to be. We plot and plead with ourselves that our next attempt will not only guarantee our success, but will make all our dreams come true.
At best, we gain external results, and at worst, we send ourselves spinning back into the abyss of self-loathing when we fail to make our bodies submit to the ideal we have in our minds.
The truth is we’ve had the power all along, but it requires that we let go and stop chasing what lets us down. It’s a mirage, and if we make a dynamic shift of attention and intention that leads to a journey that adjusts the way we view weight and weight loss forever, it can lead to unconditional, genuine, true love.
As Oscar Wilde put it, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
I want you to know that I am with you. I too, have found myself in this cycle of insanity—until I decided go against my usual meticulous, step-by-step approach and focus inwardly, on my own heart. I made a choice that weight loss was not the destination after all. Instead of reading one more weight loss book, I tuned into the things that made me feel alive.
Here is what I found:
Keep it simple.
Find vibrant healthy food that sets your palate aflame. Fill your eyes and ears with what is good. Watch the awe-inspiring sunrise. Simplicity is a gift in itself.
Visualize what you want, then let that sh*t go.
Meditate on how you will feel when you nurture your body and open up to fully living in that space. How will you move closer to being your best self? And then, stop obsessing. The biggest game changer: get off the scale!
Take the mask off.
Court yourself. Whisper sweet nothings to your love handles. Uncover imperfection and then dare to love it. Give words of affirmation to your thighs and honor every stretch mark you have.
If you mess up, do the next best thing.
Fall down seven times, get up eight. Sometimes our intentions don’t align with our behavior, especially in a new relationship. Sometimes the next best thing is to take a hot shower, take a walk, or go to bed.
Answer the booty call.
No, not that kind of booty call—I’m talking about those nights when you get out of a meeting early or when your plans fall through and you have a free night to yourself. Embrace it; you never know what adventures await.
Be goofy AF.
A sense of humor is often at the top of the list of attractive qualities we look for in a partner. When we can laugh at ourselves, we change the air around us. Who says you can’t prance around to 80s tunes while sporting your neon tights? Do you boo. Do you.
Zip your lips.
Eat well but close your mouth. This journey is a sacred one; pause before you share on social media every time you step foot in the gym. Instead, just like a hero in a monomyth (think Luke Skywalker, Neo, or Harry Potter), share the gift of your newly found insights upon your return.
When you start to love yourself from within, something mysterious happens. If you pay attention, you’ll start to see it. Life opens up. You may receive a new cookbook, get invited to speak about your experience, or make a new friend.
This is a chance to finally lose the weight—for good. To embrace the lightness that comes from a new mindset and a shift in consciousness. You may even look better than you have in years, but the love you will have tended and carefully nurtured within will be so deep that whether the pounds come or go, your devotion will be unwavering.
Author: Nicole Edwards
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman