What they don’t teach you, is how to take a more holistic, or “wholistic”, approach and do some inner work. I like to use the word the wholistic to mean connecting your emotional self in a positive way to work with your mind and body to benefit your Wellness.

Sometimes when the emotional bit of us (the deeper self) is not congruent with the rest of us it causes a disconnect and this is when people give up, yo-yo dieting occurs, we can’t seem to achieve what want, and we get a sense of failure that really lowers our motivation to try again. This in turn brings about more feelings of low self worth, low self efficacy and low self esteem.

Here’s the big thing!

When you change your relationship with yourself you change your relationship with food and exercise too.

Let’s just read that again,

When you change your relation with YOURSELF, you change your relationship with food and exercise too.

You will break cycles of overeating, you will want to feed yourself nourishing foods that make you feel good and give you energy, you will stick at exercise and you are much more likely to stay at your ideal weight.

Loving yourself is the most overlooked factor in managing your weight and sticking to an exercise plan.

It’s very hard to do something good for yourself when you are stuck in negative thoughts and feelings about your body.

The place to begin is being open to a different way of looking at things. To open yourself to a mindset shift that will give you intrinsic motivation (motivation from inside yourself) and an enjoyable journey into lifestyle change that will ensure you will not want to go back to your old ways.

Start with some self acceptance of where you are now, no matter how many times you feel you have failed, failure is only feedback anyway.

Begin to accept what you look like now and accept that you feel a stone overweight or your thighs are too big or whatever it is you would like to change. Accept yourself as you are in the now. This does not mean not trying to changing these things, it means not beating yourself up for what you don’t like about yourself and being realistic about where you are starting from.

This is not giving up control, it is letting go of any pressure or thoughts that tell you that you are not good enough as you are right now.

You may be happier, more confident and feel better about yourself when you lose the weight, get fitter, have thinner thighs etc. though I can tell you from experience there are plenty of people who thought this would be the case, only to find when they did reach these goals, they actually felt the same as before and went back to how they were, as it didn’t solve the challenge of how they really felt inside.

So why not invoke the happier feelings about yourself first?

Have a think about that and what it would mean accepting about yourself.

It makes more sense and definitely a more enjoyable journey towards change to work from the inside out.

Start treating yourself with some loving kindness and give yourself the gift of accepting yourself as you are now.

Work it from there and you will be motivated on a deep level to improve the already good enough and gorgeous enough you, as you are now.

As the author Louise L Hay said “you have tried criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked, try loving yourself instead”

Here are some ideas for you to bring into your life right now to help you accept yourself in the now

1. Look at parts of your body you would normally criticise and acknowledge how they serve you

e.g.  my legs are too fat – Look at your legs and acknowledge all the places they take you and how that benefits your life.

Find the gratitude as this will invoke more positive emotions and the brain loves that feeling and will want more of it.

A mindset shift will then occur with a little practice. You will instantly feel better about yourself, see what happens then to your motivation.

2. Look at the things that you DO like about yourself, place your focus on them in a mirror, looking at what’s already good will invoke a positive mindset shift .

3. Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful now, not when you have lost the weight.

4. Take extra time getting ready so that you feel good in who you are. Make the effort, you are worth it!

When it comes to exercise ask yourself this…

Would you still exercise if it was not related to losing weight or toning up?

If the answer is yes I would because…

Then you are probably on the right track.

However if your answer is no then maybe you should take a deeper look at this.

A recent study (Journal BMC public health) has shown that many people who exercise for weight loss alone often give up as they don’t see results quick enough. These people don’t feel exercise will get them closer to their goals. They view it as a chore and they feel pressured to do it. When they can’t commit to or complete a program they are then left feeling like a failure.

For exercise to be long lasting and something you do happily for the rest of your life, then there needs to be a certain mindset in place.

Exercise needs to be viewed as being in line with things that make you happy on a meaningful level.

The big ones that make a difference when it comes to sticking at exercise are

  1. Social connections. The sociability with others that occurs with many forms of exercise
  2. Accomplishment and revelations. Feeling a sense of accomplishment is a massive motivator and another one the brain loves and wants more of. This is the opposite to exercise feeling like a chore.

Seeing and feeling a difference through exercise is also a big motivator, but the bottom line in sticking to an exercise plan is that you are actually getting pleasure from doing the workout itself.

This means finding a form of exercise you enjoy is essential and this comes down to working with who you are and what works for who you are, this is more important than doing a certain type of program you have been told to do to lose weight.

In my opinion any exercise program can be tweaked to get you to reach your goals and enjoy it. This is what I teach my coaching clients and I show them how to create their own personalised exercise programmes.

To give you a few examples

If you love being outdoors, go for running /hiking/bike riding, there are walking and hiking groups and cycling clubs for all ages and abilities all around the country check out www.meetup.com to find some local groups.

If you love sociability or would like to make new friends, maybe go for group fitness classes, such as aerobics, pilates or yoga, there are loads to chose from some at gyms and others in private studios or other venues. Try some out and see what works for you.

If you enjoy being in water, try aqua exercise classes or swimming classes these are often available at local pools and gyms.

If you are competitive maybe look into starting a sport or becoming part of a local sports team.

If you are short on time or can’t afford a gym membership then look for some exercise DVDs that suit your needs which you can do at home.

Here’s a good one. If you are someone who likes helping others, making a difference and want to get fit. Check out www.goodgym.org  This group is an imaginative alternative to going the gym, combining getting fit with doing good!

Basically when starting an exercise regime, look at who you are, what you enjoy, what you can fit into your life easily, what your abilities are right now, and most of all don’t forget to look for what gives you a sense of accomplishment and happiness.

I hope you found this useful and please share with anyone you think may find useful and benefit their life.

If you need help with motivation, building a new habit and creating the right plan in weight loss/management and exercise, then I would love to help you and can offer you a free coaching call HERE

Love and wellness