Ah… My dear Glenda… Thank you so much for this opportunity! Who knew that a funny conversation on the bus back from Old San Juan would be the start of a friendship 3 years and going strong? Your readers are surely in for a treat, because you are the same witty, intelligent, positive, thoughtful, and warm spirited lady I met in PR. That is why I call you “Glenda”. You’re definitely the good witch! 🙂
I suppose that I should do a short intro before I get into my advice. I am Ms. Pillowz and I am the blogger for Big Diva Headquarters at BigDivaHq.com. The purpose of the blog is to encourage confidence in and provide inspiration for big girls. I want Big Girls to know without a doubt that we are beautiful, deserve the best of everything, and can live a healthy, positive and utterly fulfilling life. I’ve since found that women of all shapes and sizes come to my site for encouragement. I am so grateful that I am able to help women through my blog and I look forward to what the future has in store.
Glenda has asked me to do an advice column, which will be updated once a month in relation to health and wellness. She put out the first question, but please feel free to send any of your questions here and I will answer it the best way I can. 🙂 Now on to the question at hand, “How do I prepare myself for this journey [weight loss] mentally?”
1) Don’t focus on weight – People focus WAY too much on the number on the scale. Weight is not a determinate of health. Skinny people can have diseases and disorders typically related to being overweight. Whereas, a big person could be in great shape. Another problem with the scale is that it doesn’t take into account that muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle helps burn fat and makes your body more toned. This probably explains why Glenda gained weight after she began lifting weights, but I’ll bet that her clothes were looser. Lifting weights is a great way to get healthy.
2) Focus on being healthier instead and define FOR YOURSELF what that means. Does being healthier mean lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, at least 2 – 3 bowel movements every day, lower stress levels, etc? What does it mean to you? Be specific. How do you know when you have reached “lower stress levels”? What exactly does that mean? Once you’ve figured that out, write down your ideas of how you plan to achieve these goals. What will you eat? What will you stop eating? How will you exercise? How often will you exercise? Water intake?
3) It is very important to do a self assessment before you start a program of any kind. What are your current eating and drinking habits? Exercise habits, if any? What are your weaknesses: overeating, carbs, not eating enough, sugar junkie? How often do you eat? What kind of physical activities do you like to do? What are some things that you would like to try to keep it interesting? How much do you weigh? What size are you? What is your age? What is your ideal weight / size? Be realistic. A woman who is 5’8 and has a large frame is not meant to be 110 pounds. Why do you want to lose weight? What is the purpose? Is it because the doctor said that you needed to? Is your significant other threatening to leave if you don’t drop some pounds? Or do you want to feel better, more energetic, etc? Another good tool for self assessment is a food journal. For a week, record EVERYTHING that you eat and drink. You ate 2 M&Ms before dinner or half of a cheese biscuit from Red Lobster, (you just couldn’t resist), write it in there. This gives you a true account of just how much you really eat. You can make a suitable eating plan from there.
4) Lastly, it is so easy to get down on yourself when you are unhappy with your weight. Many of us can’t take compliments or turn them into negatives. Our self talk can be very hurtful and demeaning. We tend to talk to and think better about complete strangers than we do ourselves. That has to change if weight loss and being healthy is going to be a long term commitment. Instead of criticizing body parts, love them instead. Get in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful from the hair on your head to the bottom of your feet. Keep saying it. Looking in your eyes when you say it. How does it feel? Was it hard? Did you believe it after a while? Look in the mirror and thank your spare tire for providing you with comfort and support. Tell it that you no longer need it. You can protect yourself now and you are ready to release it. Do this daily for reinforcement of the belief. Forgive yourself for your weakness of chocolate and bread. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Learn from it. Accept it. Move on. It is important to show yourself some appreciation and love throughout your life. You’ll be happier and healthier for it.
Peace and blessings!
Show yourself some love, appreciation, and respect during this process. Support your feelings.