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When was the last time you looked in the mirror and loved all of you–even the excess fat. Probably never. You may have cursed it, hated it and vilified it. How has that worked for you? Did it help boost your self-esteem? Did it motivate you to make long-term change? Did it help you love and accept yourself?
To make life-long healthy lifestyle changes, the first and most important step is to know where you are starting from, accept yourself, and acknowledge what actions and behaviors got you there. You probably didn’t wake up one morning and there it was.
Let’s look at where it came from:
Comfort–Food can be a great source of comfort. It can bring back childhood memories, sooth hurts and fill the void of loneliness.
Stuff feeling–Have you ever been so mad you could bite someone’s head off but grabbed a bag of chips instead?
Celebration–Food is central in many celebrations and holidays. Overindulgence has become the norm.
Protection–A layer of fat can be a shield from unwanted attention. Obesity is often a byproduct of sexual abuse.
Being invisible–Being invisible is being safe. People usually don’t pay much attention to an overweight person and there are less expectations.
Laziness–Exercise is hard. Watching TV and surfing the net is easier. Bad habits are hard to break and new habits take effort to form. Cooking healthy meals takes time and planning. Fast food is convenient and easy.
Misinformation–All of the so called diet and fitness experts give conflicting information. It’s almost impossible to figure out what is true. I Googled weight loss and got over 577 million hits. Diet got over 500 million. Fitness got over a billion hits. That’s a lot of information!
What has your fat done for you?
Carrying excess weight has actually had some benefits. Under that layer of fat are strong bones and a large muscle mass. But carrying the excess fat has also increased your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and many types of cancer.
It’s time to say goodbye. Fat may have been your friend for a lot of years, but that friend can hurt you. It’s time to move on to healthier ways to deal with your emotions. Allow yourself to express your feelings instead of stuffing them with food. Find ways to celebrate without overindulging. Allow yourself to be seen and shine. Find an exercise plan that you can enjoy. Take time to try some new, healthy recipes.
Most of all, don’t beat yourself up for the path you’ve taken up to this point. Life is about the journey and the lessons learned. Enjoy your journey and start down the path to a healthier lifestyle today.