So how do you learn to accept, respect, and love your current body 100%, right now, extra weight and all? To learn how to do just that, I'd like you to try a very special two-step exercise that will quickly show you how to better accept, respect, and love your body and thus make weight loss a walk in the park!
Step 1: Get Aware
Stop believing the old lies you have been consciously or subconsciously telling yourself about how your body is not special enough, amazing enough, or precious enough to warrant your utmost attention and care right now. For example, if you are telling yourself, "Perhaps someday when it looks better (or younger or thinner), I will take better care of my body," you're telling yourself a lie.
I'd like you to uncover all of the damaging lies that you may be telling yourself, lies that will prevent you from fully accepting and respecting your body. To help you do that, I've listed 21 of the most common lies, ones that my clients have found limited their ability to succeed at any weight loss plan:
1. "Losing weight is expensive." In reality, weight loss costs nothing. You don't need to buy expensive equipment or premade meals for weight loss. And think about this: The costs of not getting fit—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis—are much higher than the costs of starting a weight loss program.
2. "I don't have enough time to exercise." You don't need a lot of time to get fit. You need only 8 minutes. That's right, just 8 minutes. Set your alarm 8 minutes earlier than usual and get up and just do it. (See how to squeeze in 20 minutes of exercise.)
3. "I can overeat now and make up for these excess calories by eating less tomorrow." This is a form of procrastination, and it always results in disaster. Few people make up for the excess "tomorrow." And those who do eat less end up starving themselves and slowing their metabolisms. When you truly respect your body, you'll stick to healthful food portions all the time and never punish your body with starvation.
4. "I need to take care of others first. Once I meet their needs, then I can focus on myself." This is perhaps one of the most prevalent and most vicious lies out there. In reality, you can't take care of others until you have first taken care of yourself. When you neglect your mind and body, you eventually have nothing left to give. And if you suffer a heart attack from neglecting your body, eventually others will have to take care of you.
5. "Weight loss is not worth the effort. I'm just going to gain it all back anyway." I understand why you may feel this way, particularly if you have already lost and regained weight numerous times before. You must understand, however, that you're not to blame for those past failed attempts—the programs are at fault. For permanent weight loss, you must address the source of your problem. You must accept your body and heal your hungry heart. Once you do that, you will effortlessly lose the weight.
6. "My work is more important than my body." To quote a fairly well-known phrase: "No man ever said on his deathbed, 'I wish I had spent more time at the office.' " Yet, I would bet that plenty of people on their deathbeds had wished they had taken better care of their bodies.
7. "Weight doesn't matter. I am ugly at any size." Your body is an extraordinary machine that does extraordinary tasks every day. Once you learn to recognize that simple fact, you will realize that ugliness is a matter of perspective. If you focus on the amazing nature of your body--on your heart's ability to beat, on your muscles' ability to move, on your skin's ability to heal—then you will understand the inherent beauty of your body.
8. "Nobody loves me or cares about me, so why should I care about myself?" Perhaps one of the most perverse laws of human nature is that you must first love yourself before you can earn and receive love from others. Quite often, lack of self-love is what drives others from you. Think about it. Would you rather be around a depressed, sad, negative person or a confident, cheerful person? Once you become more confident, you'll find friends suddenly appearing in your life.
9. "I have already blown it today, so I might as well give up." You've never blown it until you've given up altogether. Just one overeating episode will not ruin your chance for success. For the same reason fat is so hard to lose, it is also hard to gain. It takes 3,500 excess calories in order to gain one pound of fat. That's a lot of food. Believe me, you've never eaten that much in one sitting!
10. "I work hard. I deserve to eat as much as I want." If you work hard, you deserve to pamper yourself, that's true. But overeating is a form of body punishment, not a form of pampering. I suggest you treat yourself to a massage, a warm bath, or a long talk with an old friend instead of treating yourself to food. (Check out these other ways to treat youself.)
11. "I am fine on the inside. That's all that matters." Both the inside and the outside of your body matter. Excess weight—on the outside—weakens and sickens the inside of your body. Take care of the outside of your body with weight loss, and the inside-your heart, lungs, and blood vessels—will become healthier and stronger.
12. "One day of not caring is not going to matter." The problem with this thinking is that 1 day turns into 2 days which turns into 3 days, then 4, and so on. Start caring about your body today.
13. "My partner loves me no matter what my size." I'm sure your spouse loves you, but this isn't about your spouse. This is about you. You should lose weight to make your life better, to improve your body, to feel more energetic and healthy, and to make your life easier. Of course, those around you will benefit, but you are the one that counts the most.
14. "Food is the only friend that can lift my spirits or remove the ache of loneliness." Plenty of things—besides food—can help you heal your hungry heart.
MORE: 7 Steps To Finding Your Own Happiness
15. "I don't want to offend my friends by not indulging with them." My mother used to say, "If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" Overeating hurts you just as much as using recreational drugs. If your friends are offended that you want to take better care of your body, they are not really your friends.
16. "I'm old. All old people are fat." It's true that many people gain weight as they age as a result of a slower metabolism. If you strength train, however, you can keep your metabolism from slowing down in the first place.
17. "I'm still young. I can lose the weight later." The statistics are stacked against you on this one. Most people tend to gain weight as they get older, not lose it. The best time for weight loss is right now!
18. "I can eat as much as my 6-foot-2-inch husband." You probably know that this isn't true—as much as you want it to be so. Many women tell me that they gained weight when they were first married and began eating the same food portions as their husbands. Your husband has more muscle mass and is probably taller, and he therefore burns more calories each day than you do. You must stick to smaller food portions in order to lose weight.
19. "My metabolism is terrible." This may be true. After many years of dieting, your metabolism may be much slower than it used to be. You can rev it up, however, with strength training. (Check out how to get a metabolism that soars.)
20. "I'm genetically meant to be overweight." This is only a half-truth. Some people do carry what scientists call a "thrifty gene," which makes their bodies resist burning fat. It only means, however, that you'll have to work a little harder than someone without this gene in order to lose weight and keep it off.
21. "I'm too fat to exercise." This lie is what led me to develop this book. Certain types of exercise may not be best suited for your body. But I know that you'll be able to comfortably perform the exercises in my program. I tested them on full-figured women. They work.
Working With Negative Beliefs
Did any of those lies resonate with you? Have you found yourself using them to make excuses for not exercising or eating healthful food portions? Do you have even more lies buried deep inside? Take a moment right now to think about what you've told yourself in the past that led to overeating or not exercising. Were you lying to yourself?
To get fully aware of your damaging, negative, and false beliefs, I want you write down your top three limiting beliefs that you have consciously or subconsciously told yourself, lies that resulted in your not believing that your body was special enough, amazing enough, or precious enough to warrant your highest attention and care. Feel free to borrow a few from those I mentioned earlier.
After you write down your top three limiting beliefs, write down the consequence of believing these old dis-empowering beliefs. And know that dissatisfaction can be a powerful spark that gets you to take action and change your behaviors forever.
Once you've completed the limiting-beliefs exercise, you're ready to take another step on your journey to body respect. To fully acknowledge that your three negative beliefs are no longer a part of you, I want you to do something symbolic. Take a thick, black marker and ink out those three old beliefs with your pen. Yes, draw on top of them. Cover them up. Put a big XXX over them. This may seem like a simple, and maybe even silly, exercise, but believe me, it will symbolically help you to delete those same lies from your brain's hard drive.
By doing this, you will be signaling to your brain and subconscious that you are no longer willing to be ruled by these lies. As the words disappear, so will those damaging beliefs! You will feel empowered and invigorated. You will be free. Don't continue to read this until you have done this exercise. This physical act of destroying those old beliefs will impact your future success for the better. You will almost feel reborn.
Step 2: Replace the Junk with a Gem
Now that you have cleared out your emotional closet of the junk, it is now time to replace that junk with a true gem: empowering beliefs that will change your life and how you treat your body forever. Ready? Simply replace those three old limiting beliefs with the following power pledge: "My current body is the most precious gift I have ever been given."
To fully commit that pledge to memory, write down the positive consequences of believing this. For example, you might write:
"I will treat my body as a top priority."
"I will make sure to exercise my body on a regular basis."
"I will feed my body properly."
"I will finally lose the extra weight."