If you’ve been following my work for a while, you know that my coaching practice is focused on helping people free themselves from their joy-crushing diet mentality mindset. Though I am anti-diet, I’m all for supporting a client’s desire to lose weight and improve their health by addressing their habit of emotional eating. What I’m not into are shortcuts and quick fixes.
If you have a past history of dieting like me, you know all too well what happens when you go on a crash diet, over-exercise, or rely on shakes, pills, or cleanses to drop pounds quickly. Those actions are not sustainable and you either quit, or you quit and you binge in response to the immense deprivation you just put yourself through. You eventually end up where you started—or heavier than before. This is why taking shortcuts is the long way around, and the only thing that ends up lighter is your wallet.
I know, I know… you’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true: When it comes to making long-term changes in your body, there are no quick fixes—it has to be a lifestyle change. Any new habits you choose to practice have to be consistent and sustainable in order to keep the results you create. As you begin to develop your desired self-care routine, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel mentally and physically awesome when I do this?
- Am I willing to do this for the rest of my life to maintain the results I create?
Now, when you first begin something, like adding in exercise after you’ve been sedentary for a while, then yeah, it might not feel awesome right away. In that case, give yourself time for your body and mind to adjust before evaluating its place in your life. Otherwise, if the answer to these questions is NO, and you’re going to eventually quit, then why put yourself through it in the first place? Why not spend that same effort and energy on a strategy that works? What’s that you ask? The answer is consistent, loving self-care.
Listen, you are worth way more than shortcuts that don’t work. Time is going to pass anyway, so instead of taking two steps forward and three steps back the quick-fix way, I invite you to focus on taking consistent half-steps forward by adding in small, sustainable changes to your self-care routine. Please don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything all at once! Just focus on adding in ONE THING and keep practicing that until it becomes automatic. Then add in another and repeat the process.
In a world of perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking, believe me when I tell you that taking half-steps forward is absolutely good enough. Taking those half-steps forward will lead you to a very different place than if you keep taking several steps back, or if you don’t take any steps at all.
What is the half-step forward you’ll be taking today? Whatever it is, know that it is good enough. And know that you are more than good enough. You are awesome! I invite you to treat yourself as such—today and every day.