Before you begin any eating/weight loss/fitness program, you need to ask yourself why you want to lose weight. The reason I say this is that if you are doing it just to please other people, your spouse, a parent, a friend, or anyone else, then don’t do it. Unfortunately, well meaning family and friends can make hurtful comments or gestures in the guise of being “helpful”.
I’ve seen it too many times especially among mothers and daughters. As a personal trainer for women, I’ve worked with numerous women whose mothers had an unhealthy relationship with food and body image themselves. Then they passed on these messages to the daughters with comments like “You really shouldn’t eat that… it will go straight to your hips” or if you keep on eating like that, you’ll be big as a house – then nobody will want to ask you out for a date”. (In actuality, the human response to these kinds of comments is to rebel and just eat more of it because nobody likes to be controlled!) As young girls, they internalized messages about themselves that they won’t measure up unless they’re a size ____ or unless they weigh ____ (you fill in the blank). Well, you guessed it, now as adult women they still struggle with these wrong beliefs (i.e. LIES) and hence perpetuate the unhealthy relationship with food, exercise, body image, self -esteem, etc. Then they in turn begin to pass that along to the NEXT generation. Somehow, some way, this negative, self-defeating cycle needs to STOP!! This is a prime reason why so many women are chained to this way of thinking and living. It’s an obsession that they live with every day.
So, how can you be free of this bondage? Commit to intentionally change the way you think about food and exercise. Stop thinking about losing weight, and think about all the positives that come from a healthy and fit lifestyle such as improved mood, increased energy, increased confidence, and the ability to do and experience more things without physical limitations. Making positive changes for the right reasons (to improve your health because YOU want to) usually leads to a snowball effect of more and more positive changes that spill over into other areas like your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Before long, your life will have changed dramatically – one change at a time; one choice at a time. However, it all starts with YOU and a commitment to living intentionally and purposefully.