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It turns out that there is not really a way around this one; weight loss and healthy living require exercise. Your body needs it and your body will do more for you if you do more for your body.
The good news is that for the most part the mental mountain to get started on exercising is more difficult than the actual mountain to climb, and you will feel good after exercising and will have earned a break!
Even if you do not feel like working out, go do it. Just go. It does not even have to be a full blown workout. Walk that walk. Ride that bike. Lift those weights.
Something is better than nothing so do what you can, but DO IT.
Our bodies were made to be in motion and we suffer mental, physical, and spiritual effects when we are not moving sufficiently and when we are not getting enough activity in our daily lives.
So get moving and find and way that works for you to track it. It can be with a pedometer, an activity log, a daily break checklist, or a hybrid of methods but you’ll want to hold yourself accountable and want to see that activity “add up.” It also helps with consistency and routine in making movement part of your “modus operandi.”
Your body is a communicative and guiding organ. If you talk to it, it will talk to you. If you listen to it, it will tell you what you need to know.
Your body will tell you when it is hungry. It will tell you when it is thirsty. It will tell you when it is full and satisfied. It will tell you it is overfull and uncomfortable. It will tell you when you have had a nice dose of dessert and it will tell you when you have overdone it.
Listen to your body and it will tell you what it needs and when it has its needs met. You do not have to only listen to your body when it tells you you have gone too far. You should be listening to your body long before that.
In conjunction with planning your meals, making healthy meals in advance and then freezing them is one way to have meals made for the times that you want to have something ready and healthy but that requires that it had been prepared at some point in time.
Another part to this is to buy healthy meats, fruits, etc. when they are on sale and to freeze them. Be sure that they are healthy and free of things we should not be eating (because these unhealthy meats or meats with unhealthy chemicals/content/etc. are often the meats that go on sale).
This one can be a hard one, especially around the holidays, festive days, celebratory days, or any days with food outside of your healthy eating plan, but the truth is that in order to lose weight and to maintain weight loss, you will have to say “no” to a lot of things that you want to say “yes” to. The food will look great, smell great, and everyone around you will look happy as they eat the food that you too would like to be eating. It takes strength and willpower, but you have to implement the “no” and the self-control if you want to lose weight and maintain weight loss.
Our bodies are not all the same and while what our bodies require of us are fundamentally the same, they are not necessarily equal. Losing weight and maintaining weight is a lot of work. Working on yourself and meeting your needs (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) is a lot of work and requires a lot of us.
Two people exercising the same way, and showing the same commitment will not necessarily yield the same results. There is more to weight loss and weight management than just exercising and eating healthily. Taking care of yourself and losing weight often means recognizing that you may have to work harder and be more disciplined in what you eat, how you eat, and how you exercise than someone else does for the same results and more often than not, for less visible results and for possibly less lasting results.
Losing weight is a journey, not a destination. And as a journey, it involves a lot of ups and downs, a lot of “two steps forwards, and one step backs,” and a lot of things that do not go quite as planned. The journey does not always show results, and it does not immediately show results. It will take you out of your comfort zone; it will place you in a vulnerable place; it will make you unhappy and uncomfortable long before it feels worthwhile or empowering. Sometimes you will feel it before you see it; sometimes you will see it and then it’s gone.
Regardless of whether you see results, do not see results, or see results and then it changes, it is important to stay committed to yourself, your overall health, and putting your best food forward in the overall journey of life.
The reality is that our inundated with too many calories that cannot be used and that do not nourish our bodies. Going from a place of caloric abundance (both calories that nourish our bodies and calories that do not), to a place of a caloric deficit (for weight loss) and a place of caloric limitations (for weight maintenance) does mean that sometimes you might still be hungry. Arguably, one could repeatedly answer the hunger between planned foods with healthy food (fruits and vegetables, landing more on the vegetable side) but sometimes even when doing this, one could still be hungry or have repeat occurrences of hunger.
How we view food is very much related to our eating patterns. Think of how much of our comments and thoughts regarding food are involved in a good-bad and all-or- nothing mentality. Think of how we throw around the word “diet.” When we indulge or make poor food choices we are “bad,” we have “sinned,” and we need to “go on a diet.”
Our value, moral or otherwise, does not lie in how much we have or have not eaten, being on a diet is not a path to redemption or cleansing, and once we have “sinned” we do not need to keep “sinning” because we have already ruined our healthy eating.
We should view healthy eating as a long- term thing and not as a temporary diet. In fact, get rid of the word diet in your conversations with yourself and others and replace it instead with “healthy eating” or if you must keep the word “diet” in your vocabulary, place an adjective in front of it such as “healthy diet” to emphasize that you are eating healthily as opposed to a short-term eating pattern designed to make you lose weight.
Once you make it clear to yourself and to others that you are in this for the long haul, the way in which you interact with food will change which will result in positive effects.