03/19/2015 Mind-Body Health
Hitting your ideal weight is not all about diet. It's a mindset, a lifestyle. Follow these tips to create the right healthy lifestyle for you—one that will not only make you look good, but feel good too.
Most of us have at least once in our lives felt like we wanted to lose weight, wanted to wear a certain clothing size, or just wanted to feel more healthy and/or attractive. We try different diets and cleanses, and we try to change our eating habits.
If you’re like me, you may have lost the weight many times only to gain it back again shortly thereafter. This experience of never really succeeding is frustrating and we can end up feeling like failures or give up on feeling good with our bodies altogether.
For the most part, the desire to change is not born from vanity, but how we’d like to experience life—with freedom and happiness.
After a bit of experimenting, I figured out how to actually lose weight and keep it off. More importantly, I’m confident in my ability to make conscious choices around eating right, exercising, meditating every day, and being true to myself. It’s my goal to share what I learned with as many people as possible so that they may have this experience, too.
You must be clear about what you’d like to accomplish and why. Ask yourself the following:
- What’s the ideal number of pounds, inches, or body fat you’d like to lose?
- How would your life be different if you were to achieve this goal?
- What is the experience you’d be having if you were to be at your goal?
Spend some time on these questions. Then, post your answers where you can see them every day.
Meditation allows you to connect to what you really want in life. You can use meditation to help you gain clarity on the questions above. By tapping into your own intuition, and that of the Universe, what you want to manifest becomes more easily accessible. You see yourself for the conscious choice-maker that you are and realize you’re not stuck with the patterns or behaviors of the past. You can create anew.
Meditation also helps you to release stress on a physical level, and the less stressed you are, the easier it is to make healthy choices. Managing stress is a significant part of healthy living. When stress goes unmanaged, it causes inflammation in the body. In a study done at Ohio State University, researchers showed that people who dwelled on stressful events in their lives, had higher levels of C-reactive protein. Meditation is a helpful tool to help manage stress, and it’s available to everyone.
If for no other reason we all should be meditating for our health. And, it is tapping into higher states of consciousness that allows us to stay connected to what we really want in life and consciously choose to be our best selves.
Create a Meal and Exercise Plan That Suits You
On an intellectual level, you know that to lose weight, you must eat less and exercise more. But there’s no one right way to eat. In fact, there are so many different healthy ways to eat nowadays that you can get bogged down with all of the information. You have to figure out what is the best way to eat for YOU. Is there a meal plan you’ve tried in the past that allowed you to feel great and also not feel deprived? For me, it’s eating well 80 percent of the time and allowing myself to eat whatever I want 20 percent of the time because restricting the foods I like is just not an option for me. You know best what fuels yourbody—find a meal plan that works for you and stick to it. Remember, this is not about being on a diet for the rest of your life, it’s about creating a new way of life.
It’s the same with exercise. Don’t sentence yourself to an exercise program you hate. You don’t have to go to the gym for an hour every day to get the results you want. Even 10 minutes a day of elevating your heart rate can make a difference. Challenge yourself, keep it interesting, and mix it up. Move your body in whatever way you like.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Having a buddy, or someone to watch over you helps to get results. What’s more interesting is that you might not hold yourself to the same standards as your fitness buddy does or even to the same standards you set for your workout friend. But your commitment to yourself has to be as powerful as your commitment to others.
Shift your inner dialogue by honoring your word and holding yourself accountable. Remember, it’s not about being perfect. It’s a journey for sure. Use a coach or find someone to hold you accountable if that’s what works for you, but make that commitment to yourself, too.
The distance between your dreams and reality is called action. Once you have your specific goal or goals, you can create your actions. How will you achieve your ideal body weight? When will you exercise and prepare your meals? If it’s not on your calendar, it’s not going to happen. Schedule everything.
Ultimately, your weight loss journey is your own path. The joy is in the journey, not in the destination. Be willing to see yourself as worthy of creating your body and your life exactly as you want it.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.