Part of rebuilding our health is making different choices.
These choices can include dietary changes, exercise, in how you think, how you feel, the hours you work, making time for self-care and others. This might feel overwhelming and undoable, but if done in the right way, it is very possible.
Making lifestyle changes is a journey, not an event.
The journey can be fun and easy if we choose to make it that way. It is not about perfection. Don’t feel like you have to make all of the changes today or tomorrow. Taking small steps each week will make the journey easy and you will be amazed at the results you achieve over time.
Let go of the notion that you need to deprive yourself.
Bring your focus to what you can eat and what you can do . . . not what you have to give up. Implementing changes doesn’t have to be hard work. It is important to implement healthy choices at a pace that works for you and doesn’t cause undue stress.
Self acceptance is an important part of the journey.
Changes made from a place of self acceptance are more powerful and longer lasting than changes made from self judgment. For example, attempting to avoid sweets because you think you are unattractive because you are overweight is different from choosing healthy foods because they make you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Read these statements a few times and notice how you feel inside as you read each one.
- I am choosing to eat a healthy food because I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.
- I am avoiding sweets because I am unattractive and overweight.
Which one will motivate you more? Which one makes you feel more positive and uplifted?
Acknowledge the positive changes you have made and the results of those changes.
Say you have simply chosen to eat a healthy breakfast 2 days a week. Acknowledge that and also acknowledge how you feel on the days that you eat the healthy breakfast. Whatever you focus on is what will grow. By acknowledging the positive change you have made and the positive impact that has on you, it will grow. Grumbling about what you haven’t done only leads to discouragement and ultimately will sabotage your progress.
Keep your focus on the journey with all the baby steps you are taking along with your ultimate vision of yourself as a happy, healthy fulfilled person and you will achieve your vision.
Use the following introspection to acknowledge the changes you have made:
- List all the changes you have made to rebuild your health.
- Make a list of the positive changes you have noticed in your health, happiness and wellness.
- Make some positive affirmations out of the lists your have just made.
- Notice how each affirmation makes you FEEL; only keep the ones that make you feel good.
- Write the affirmations on index cards.
- Post the index cards where you will see them . . . on your refrigerator . . . your bathroom mirror . . . or another place where you will see them on a regular basis.
- Read the affirmation on a regular basis and as you do so, imagine breathing the feeling of the affirmation into your body.
Use this introspection to bring a positive focus to the areas where you are challenged?
It is also important to notice areas where you are criticizing yourself and diffuse the self criticism. Otherwise it could subconsciously undermine your progress.
- Notice if there are areas where you are criticizing yourself for not doing as well as you think you should be doing. If so, write these down.
- Reflect on your expectations and notice if they are realistic or not.
- If your expectations are not realistic, feel free to change them:
- Break down your expectations in this area into baby steps.
- Set new more realistic goals
- Find a way to focus on this area of challenge in a positive way.
- If you feel inclined, share with a supportive friend or with this group.
Ask for support when you need it. Sometimes we will feel stuck when trying to implement changes. At those times, ask for assistance in identifying and moving beyond whatever is blocking your progress. You don’t have to do it alone. Support is available.