Back when I was twenty-four, I imagined my Dream Guy—what he looked like, how he dressed, his haircut, and even his tortoiseshell-rimmed glasses. Well, the Universe is powerful, y’all, because less than a week later, this very guy walked into the flower shop where I was working. We hit it off instantly, and I fell hard. Really hard.

He was everything I asked for—except I forgot to ask for “Available.”

Big mistake. HUGE.

He was dating other girls, and I was a hot mess in the prison of jealousy I had made for myself. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. In my dream scenario, I had only focused on what he looked like, not on how I wanted to feel when I was with him.

It’s the very same thing with weight loss.

How many times do we only think about how we want to look, but forget about how we want to feel?

How many times have we starved ourselves into a thinner body, but created a tumultuous relationship with food, or ramped up the self-hate to shame ourselves into losing weight and keeping it off?

What’s the point of being thin if you hate yourself or feel crazy around food?

Personally, I’d rather like myself and have a healthy relationship with food, even if that means that I carry a few extra pounds. The peace I have in my life now feels way better than the craziness that accompanied my lowest scale weight.

If you’ve been focusing only on how you look and that’s not working for you, I invite you to change your focus to how you want to feel.

What’s your Dream Scenario?

“I feel nourished and energized by the food I choose to eat.”

“I feel beautiful in the pretty clothes I choose to wear.”

“I feel strong and flexible as I move my body on a regular basis.”

“I feel confident in my abilities and in who I am as a person.”

“I feel loving to myself and others.”

It’s important that you give yourself at least three to six months to build this new Dream Scenario. You might feel tempted by the voice that still wants to focus on how you look, but I invite you to lovingly remind that voice that focusing solely on your looks wasn’t working and that you are trying something new. Then gently refocus your attention back to how you want to feel.

Cultivate the feelings you want to experience like you were tending to a garden.

Water them with focused attention.

Feed them with supportive thoughts.

Pull the weeds (negative thoughts) and discard them.

Hmmm… I kind of like that imagery… tending to my “Feelings Garden.”

What will you grow in your Feelings Garden?

I hope this post has helped you plant some new seeds.