Getting there: Change your focus & trust yourself

When I was fat I was obsessed with the notion of being thin. Of the new me that would be so much happier with a new stomach. While there are parts of my life that are easier and better due to my healthy size and new strength (keeping up with my kid, carrying massive amounts of groceries and said child, running up and down the stairs with laundry for example) I wasnt able to actually get there until weight was not my focus.

When we overeat and/or lead mostly sedentary lives we are abusing our bodies. We get one. Everything that is important in your life your relationships, family, career, spirituality everything in this world is depending on your body keeping you alive. It is in the best interest of all that is important to you that you respect your body in order to stay around as long as possible.

I strongly believe we have everything we need to get healthier already. Our minds, intuition and body cues want us healthy. But we have learned not to trust those things. We see commercials that tell you what pills to take to stave off hunger and even fitness experts telling you what to do instead of eat when you are hungry.

Turns out hunger signals our a biological sign you need fuel. Not feeding that can result in your body going into starvation mode where in an effort to survive it begins to feed on lean muscle. Not cute. Sure, there are lots of reasons we want to eat that arent hunger. We eat our feelings. But actual hunger should be fed. Food. Good healthy food.

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Likewise our bodies tell us how much exercise is too much and when you arent pushing hard enough. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out how much exercise you should do or what is effective. You can SEE the results, you can FEEL your body working and you can definitely FEEL your body getting stronger. You know better than anyone else when an exercise has become easier and its time to do something more challenging. But to do this you have to focus on those feelings and trust yourself to know what is best for you.

I began to pay more attention to what I put in my body when I was pregnant. Carrying my child who I already loved more than life, I wanted tomake sure I was filling my body with the healthiest foods-giving her every possible health advantage. I had a journal that told me what foods were best for the approximate stage of fetal development of the moment. I came to find that my body craved those same foods before I would read about them. I was constantly astonished by this. Had my body always known what was best for me?!

It does. Your body knows whats up. Of course there is a place for doctors, medicine, trainers, professionals to help you along the way. While I dont mean to discredit any of these professionals, I feel like we have over-relied on these folks and lost the basic trust in our own bodies. We look everywhere outside of ourselves; searching like crazy for the magic bean of weight loss and forget to look inward at what feels good to our bodies.

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Ok Erin, it feels good to me to sit around eating nachos.

And to that I would say, no actually it doesnt. No judgement, if thats your thing go for it. But your body does not feel good sitting around eating nachos. That bloated, overstuffed and tired feeling you get from eating unhealthy foods is your body telling you that wasnt a great choice. Once you start paying attention to how movement and healthy eating feels, it wont seem like such a drag anymore. But this is where its so important to switch your focus.

Focusing on getting thin can get you thin. There are actually some magic street drugs that will get you thin quick. Not a great idea if you would also like to hold down a job, keep your teeth and hair, have clear skin, stay aliveand retain relationships (Obviously a horrible idea). Thin does not equal healthy. And healthy FEELS good. If you are eternally focused on the scale you will never be happy with what you see there (trust me) and be much more likely to fail. Because the scale doesnt tell the whole story about your progress.

Start listening to your body again. Start paying attention to hunger cues as your body being hungry and not some inconvenienturge complicating weight loss. Notice how you feel after eating correct portions and healthyfoods vs overeating. Enjoy the endorphins after exercise. Pay attention and your body will get you there.

When you focus on these things, the work itself becomes the reward.

And the weight loss, new pant size, energy to keep up with your day all that will follow.

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