I never expected myself to write this blog because I feared the risks involved with even mentioning weight loss. This is a place of self-love, self-acceptance and wellness, and my number one priority is that you love yourself and your body no matter what shape or size it comes in.
That didn't stop the requests from my clients this January 2022. Inquiries poured in asking me to help them approach weight loss sustainably, holistically and mindfully. I stumbled with how to approach this delicate question, but realized I knew it better than most, firsthand.
My experience with body dysmorphia and bulimia in my teens impacted the way I'd eat, move and think for the rest of my life. I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer, but I am a certified yoga teacher and a holistic wellness coach with true personal experience to speak from. This blog will be angled not on what to eat or what workouts to do, but rather how - the mindset you'll need and the paradox of acceptance and love it'll take.
I learned that the only way to sustainable change is to love your body through every step of the way, develop a connected relationship with it, and to nourish, not deprive in a balanced, whole way. Here's what I mean:
1. Remember your body is a sacred temple.
Your body is your temple and natural, whole foods are God/nature/the universe's perfect nourishment for it. Nature has created you perfectly with all the abundance of resources you need for your optimal wellbeing. Lean into the support and keep reminding yourself how sacred you truly are. We're starting, not ending with self-love. Dedicate yourself - even if it doesn't feel real quite yet.
2. Set an intention by tuning into your body.
"To lose weight" is so early 2000's diet culture. And guess what? It's not enough. It won't drive you to the end. Find a reason to lose weight that goes deeper than looks and go for the feel. Why do you really want to lose weight? Some examples are: to have more energy, to be able to carry my groceries in on my own and feel independent, to channel my inner warrior spirit, to pump up my endorphins and improve my mood, etc. Being intuitive with your goals is the best way to choose ones that truly align for you. That means make them true for you.
3. Determine what you'll need to accomplish this.
Ideas could be (but are not limited to):
- A fitness plan (example: do one of these workout free videos of any length 5 days per week)
- Ingredients for three healthy recipes you're going to try this week (remember there are dozens of these in the Mu Membership Food Library ;))
- Support/accountability from a coach, friend, family member or all three
- A positive mindset (one thing that excites you about it - lean into that!)
4. Determine the top 5 character traits you’ll need to embody.
Business coach Rachel Bell says, "'When setting ambitious goals, we always think, "What do I need to DO to accomplish this?" But it’s JUST AS VITAL to ask, "Who do I need to BE to accomplish this?" So ask yourself, make a list and choose those traits daily.
5. Don't deprive.
Replace vs. abolish always. Treats are there to be treats. Heck, you can even have dessert everyday! Just make it healthy, small, or infrequent. Deprivation is the slipperiest slope to bingeing. We're going for balance so you're living in a way you don't even want to change in the end! No diets. Lifestyles.
6. Move in a way that feels good.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you hate running, why TF are you running? Jumprope! Dance! Hike! Hula hoop! ANYTHING but what doesn't feel good in your body. There is no one way to get in shape - I (and all true personal and fitness trainers) promise. Consistency is key so switch it up and for crying out loud, make it something you enjoy so you actually come back!
7. Stay connected to your body.
Maybe you started with one goal or had your mind set on one way of eating or exercising. Start somewhere, but be open to flowing elsewhere. Our bodies talk and they'll tell you what feels good and what doesn't. Stay in touch, keep listening, and you'll always arrive somewhere that's best for you.
8. Commit to committing.
That means double commit. And this is stuff that's actually kinda fun, remember? Gone with the days of rigidity and "supposed to's." You could be drinking tropical smoothies for breakfast and dancing hula! That's literally something you could do.
9. Focus on the feeling you want - not the look.
Aesthetics will never measure up to those sweets, but this will keep you going. This is liberation. Remind yourself often of your intention/why. Bonus if you toss out the scale.
10. Be realistic and love yourself through it.
Here comes the toughest pill to swallow, but we facing the facts is the only way we can ensure your commitment: your goals could take weeks, months or even years. There's no quick fix. Sustained lifestyle change that will keep you in a nearly effortless loop of healthy living only comes from consistent patience. Start. And start loving yourself now for the road ahead.
In addition, I wanted to include some of my favorite kitchen replacements to truly replace and not abolish/deprive. These are absolute game-changers in my life that keep me eating all my favorite, fun, delicious foods - just with more nutrients:
Life-Changing Ingredients to swap ASAP:
1. Chickpea pasta > Regular Pasta
2. Almond Flour Tortillas (okay these are expensive especially online, but so worth a try and worth freezing to have around for those Mexican food cravings) > Tortillas
3. Sourdough bread (no additives please :)) > Bread of any other kind (whole wheat works fine too).
Bonus: Join the Mu Membership for a supportive community and dozens of my favorite healthy, delicious plant-based recipes, as well as hundreds of meditations to keep your mind right and your body loved.
Let me know if you need any extra support along the way, my friend!
Cheering you on with so much belief,