Is Your Weight Issue Controlling You? How to Add More Joy into Your Life with Small Changes

When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you cringe, or just cover up the mirror? You may hear the statistics, know that you don’t feel physically well by having this extra weight, yet you aren’t able to move forward to make any changes. It feels overwhelming to handle both your extra weight and the negative thoughts you have every time you have to look at your body. What if you were to look at the situation differently?

For most people the extra pounds came about slowly, year in and year out, new pounds, less activity entered our lives. We slowly changed our eating habits, exercised less, or added more stress to our daily lives. By the way, research is showing that stress adds pounds. With so many pounds to shed, you just forget about doing anything as it feels too daunting an effort. It’s normal that when we feel overwhelmed we tend to do nothing. So what needs to change is the belief we have attached to our weight issue.

What you weigh is not who you really are, even if society places a high premium on looking slim. You have internalized that message either from parents, society, or peers and you believe that you are not good enough because you are overweight. There are a lot of overweight people contributing in many great ways to society. They are also mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, employees, employers and the list goes on regarding the many potential ways each of us add value to society. Yet you keep coming back to your weight as an indication of your worth.

Overcoming the significant belief that you are valued less because of your weight adds to the struggle of losing weight. It’s a habit that is fully imbedded into your thinking patterns. How about you change the rules of the “belief” game you have played for so long. I’m not advocating that you don’t lose weight, but more so, how you feel about yourself is most important. You may still want to lose weight but the process is different. Let’s put the actual pounds on hold and start looking at how you can feel good about yourself. Follow the next steps and see where you end up.

Do you want to lose or gain?

So you have a number in your head about the perfect body – 10, 30, 50, or 100 pounds less of you. You want to lose them today…right! Lots of people state how many pounds they need to lose in order to feel good about themselves. Well 30 pounds could take some time and does that mean you can’t feel good about yourself? Instead of using poundage to evaluate how you feel about yourself, how about you replace that focus with a different goal – how much self-love do you want to gain today in your life?

Self-Love is Important

Sounds hokey, doesn’t it. Your are thinking, “Feeling good about myself never helped me lose weight, so why bother.” That’s only because, just repeating “I love myself” doesn’t make you feel better. Instead, adding small changes in the choices you make around food can help you build your self-love muscles.

How to Build Success into Your Life

If you make small changes in the way you deal with food, you build success into your life. Success is important in building your self-love muscles. In the present, every day, you are in charge in deciding what success is.

Let’s use an example; you want to lose 30 lbs. You could select some type of diet and try to follow it until you lose the 30 lbs. You may or may not gain the weight back. Maybe you are successful for a short period of time, lose some weight, and then slowly go back to your old habits. Or you try the diet for one day, feel so deprived that your normal eating habits will take over and you don’t feel good about yourself. Why not try something else?

What if you were to look at your eating habits and say, “I can eat one less slice of bread at lunch.” Very specific…very small…yet very manageable to handle. Today, you eat one less slice of bread. That is a small success for you today. You decide to take 3-7 days eating one less slice of bread, or cup of pasta or one less of anything in your food day. At the end of this time period, you will have less calories and more success in your life. It’s manageable, doesn’t overwhelm you and is something you can do.

Two Warnings!

First, your negative thoughts will pop up quickly stating, “What a waste of time, one less slice of bread will do nothing in losing 30 lbs.” In a day, even if you were to eat nothing, you still wouldn’t lose 30 lbs. Don’t let your negative thinking take over as you build your self-love muscles.

Second, I would recommend that you keep the small changes you are making to yourself, or be very selective with whom you choose to share what you are doing. Though people do care for us, they also have their own issues and can add more negativity to your life.

Why a Small Change?

You have to make sure your change is small because otherwise your negative thinking will come in and take over. If you act on small changes, they are quickly incorporated into your life without a lot of resistance from you. After 3-7 days, or when you feel ready, select another food that you would reduce in a small way. Now you will have one less slice of bread and maybe one less cookie at night. Success is built in small steps.

At the End of the Day

I suggest you keep a success journal to capture your activity for the day. Keep it simple or write to your heart’s content. The goal is to write down your successes for the day: You can write: 1) ate one less slice of bread and 2) felt really good about myself because I stuck to my choice, or any other words that express how you experienced success in your day. You can also add other successes that have nothing to do with food. It’s your success journal.

How Do You Feel Now?

It sounds too simple to be true, yet this powerful technique of making very small changes and writing in your success journal can add success and self-love into your life. Try it for 30 days, one day at a time, and evaluate how you feel about yourself at the end of that time.

Remember small steps are wonderful and bring more energy into your life. This is your personal journey in creating more joy in your life.

Copyright (c) 2006 Pat Brill