Love Yourself More in 2016

Earlier this month I was invited to be a guest on Lisa Hayes’s radio show, Love, Life & Law of Attraction, to talk about the important role Self-Love plays in ending your struggle with weight (you can listen to the interview here). At the end of the show Lisa asked me if I had any final thoughts to share and a quote I saw on Pinterest immediately popped into my mind:

“What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?”

With the annual ritual of the New Year’s Resolution looming, this question really spoke to me. If I knew the person’s name, not only would I give them credit for this quote, but I would also thank him or her for asking such a great question.

Most diet & exercise plans that begin on January 1st (or the Monday immediately following) are not coming from a place of love. The catalysts for embarking on such plans are usually feelings of desperation, shame, or some degree of self-loathing.

There is also an air of “all-or-nothing” that accompanies the new diet or exercise plan—and if you don’t stick with it (let’s be real, it’s hard to stick with something that feels like punishment), the verbal beat-down you give yourself definitely does not feel like love.

An alternative to the resolution of old is to try something new. In this case, I’m inviting you to do as the quote says and devote this year to loving yourself more.

If you’re not exactly sure where to start, I’ve come up with a free Self-Love Guide called 5 Ways to Start Loving Yourself When You Don’t Know How, which you can find here.

Focusing on loving yourself still might look like taking actions to change, but the motivation that drives those actions comes from a very different place:

  • You choose healthier food to eat because you feel better and have more energy when you do that.
  • You choose to exercise regularly because it boosts your mood and makes it possible for you be as active as you want to be in your life.
  • You choose to drink less alcohol because you sleep better and feel more refreshed in the morning.

When you take care of yourself from a place of love, it feels good.

And self-care actions that feel good are sustainable.

This means you get to keep the results you create.

Which further means that you get to be done with having to make another weight-related New Year’s Resolution ever again.

Happy New Year to you and here’s to you loving yourself more in 2016!

Don’t forget to get your free Self-Love Guide here.

How Do You Measure Your Life?

How do you measure your life? In pounds on the scale, or the size tag in your clothes?

Or do you measure your life in extraordinary experiences, beautiful moments, or how many times you laughed today?

There was a time in my life when all I cared about was how much I weighed. Each day was consumed with how much I could or couldn’t eat. I missed so many social events because I didn’t like the way I looked.

So much energy wasted.

So many tears shed in self-hate.

So many potentially great memories that were never made because I stayed home, swimming in self-induced shame.

Looking back, I have compassion for my former self. I didn’t know how to measure my life beyond my weight. But as Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”

If you are ready to stop measuring your life in pounds, let me share with you the tool that helped me to broaden such a narrow form of measurement:

A Gratitude Journal.

Get yourself a pretty journal and a pen you like to write with. At the end of each day, write down at least three things that you were grateful for. It could be something beautiful you noticed in nature, or a moment of kindness between you and another human being, or something about yourself that you were proud of that day.

I invite you to be really consistent with this practice. If you know that you are going to be writing down three things you’re grateful for at the end of the day, this trains your brain to automatically look things to be grateful for. This completely shifts how you look at your life—and how you participate in it.

Become a Collector of Good.

Become a person who is always on the lookout for the good in her world, and for the good in herself.

And THINK BIGGER!

You are so much more than what you weigh.

Focus on what you want your life to look like, not just your body.

No one wants to look back on their life and see that they had missed it because their view was limited to a tiny window on a bathroom scale.

You don’t need to wait until 2016 to start this practice. Holiday time is the perfect time to begin noticing what’s great in your life.  There is an abundance of goodness happening all around you if you decide to look for it.

You can also start creating amazing memories to add to your collection.  Say YES to invitations; attend that party you were on the fence about; or host a get-together at your place with friends you love to spend time with.  People don’t care what you look like; they want to spend time with YOU, not your looks.  Don’t let another opportunity to make a great memory go by.

Happy Collecting! May your heart and your Gratitude Journal always be full.

Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom

I happened to turn on the TV while in the kitchen yesterday morning and chance to hear actor Chris Hemsworth discussing what it took to lose thirty-three pounds for his role in The Heart of the Sea. He said that gaining weight to play Thor in The Avengers movies was fine—You eat a lot and lift weights,” but to lose weight, it made him feel desperate.

Describing his weight loss regime: “That was underfed, which led to a pretty moody existence and inconsistent emotions, and so on. In order to do it justice (the story), we had to suffer in some way. And we did. There wasn’t a whole lot of acting required. We were desperate.”

GMA Host Robin Roberts asked, “You were truly suffering? You had, like a celery stick, or something?” Chris replied, “Like a boiled egg and some salad, nothing much. And you know, you play all sorts of games: ‘If I eat this, then maybe I don’t eat that.’ The insanity—it was nuts.”

Listening to him describe his experience made me stop what I was doing. I just stood there in the kitchen, thinking about the mental craziness we women have put ourselves through in order to lose weight. He’s an actor and lost weight for a role, but that did not spare him the mental backlash that is biologically driven when our bodies go into starvation mode.

With January and the New Year’s Resolutions fast approaching, maybe this year you’ll make a resolution to address your weight issue in a different way. Instead of combatting overeating with (temporary) under-eating, why not focus on figuring out why you are overeating in the first place? There is always a reason. And once you understand that reason, you become empowered to make a permanent change.

If you need help, I offer a comprehensive self-coaching guide in my book, Love Yourself Lighter: How to End Your Weight Struggle by Changing the Way You Think. Click here to get your copy. I am also taking on new coaching clients in the New Year. If you think one of those spots is yours, click here to schedule a chat with me and claim it!

Let 2016 be the year you put an end to your weight struggle by learning how to treat the cause, not the symptom. The cause is always going to be the way you think. And once you change out those old tapes in your head, then holding on to the weight struggle no longer remains necessary.

Never Settle for Less Than Awesome

The day after Thanksgiving I put up my Christmas tree.  Five strands of lights and a couple of boxes of ornaments later, I was done and very pleased with the outcome.

The next evening when I went to plug in the lights, I noticed one of the five strands had gone out.  The thought of taking it all down to fix the strand did not seem appealing, so I moved a couple of the live strands around to fill in some of the holes. To me it looked okay and I went on with my evening.

By the next evening, it began to bother me that the tree was “just okay.”  I became restless, as I could no longer ignore the dead strand of lights that wound around the tree.  This holiday comes only once a year and it made no sense to settle for less than awesome.  I decided to get a big box from the basement and began taking all of the ornaments down so that I could remove the strands of lights in order to fix the one that had gone out.

I sat on the floor, patiently testing each bulb until I found the one that wasn’t working.  It was such a thrill when I found it and the whole strand lit up again when I put a fresh bulb in.  While I was at it, I checked the other strands, too, and replaced several bulbs until all the strands were shining their brightest.

I put the strands back on the tree; then re-hung all of the ornaments.  Suddenly the tree looked extra amazing!  Fixing the one strand that was down, plus the addition of the other replacement bulbs made the tree shine brighter than ever before.

While the whole process of dismantling the tree to check the lights took some time and effort, it was so worth it to have created an outcome that I am now able to fully delight in.

Are you are settling for “just okay” somewhere in your life?  You’ll know that you are because your own light will be dimmed. You can go on living this way, shuffling around the light you have left to hide the holes in your tree, but you know the holes are there.  You can never lie to yourself and get away with it.

If you’re reading this and a truth-bomb just went off in your head, maybe it’s time to address it.  Perhaps the best gift you could give yourself this holiday is investing the time and effort in finding out why you’re settling for less and then changing the thinking that’s causing you to do so.

Think of your brain as a strand of lights and your thoughts are the bulbs.  Locate the thoughts that don’t serve you and replace them with thoughts that do.  When you think thoughts that serve you, you’ll feel better; you’ll take appropriate actions; and you’ll create better outcomes for yourself.  The truer you are to yourself, the brighter your light will naturally shine.

But first, you are going to have to believe that you deserve better and I am here to remind you that you do.

You deserve better than “just okay.”

You deserve the effort it will take to change the story you’re telling yourself that’s making you settle for less.  That old story is a lie.  The truth is that you are worthy of the best in all things great and small.

Listen, just as the holidays come around only once a year, YOU come around only once a lifetime.

You only get this one life to live.

It makes no sense to settle for less than awesome.