It can be easy to get suckered into staring at that number on the scales, but we are all so much more than just that.
In the image-obsessed age that we live in, losing weight is a constant struggle for many of us. Many even consider how to bear the bariatric surgery cost.
Instead of focusing on shifting a few pounds, we should instead be thankful for the healthy bodies that we have, the ones that carry us through our busy lives. Instead of seeking to make them smaller, we should be trying to make them stronger.
By learning to listen to your body, to really become in-tune with it, you’ll find that happiness comes from strong, not skinny. Use these tips to help you turn your relationship with your body into one of total harmony.
Peace in Body and Mind
Whilst the effects of a strenuous two-hour spinning class can’t be denied, a few calories burned, but mainly sore legs for the next week and a permanent phobia of bicycles, you can achieve positive effects with more gentle exercise. This five minute yoga practice was designed with the famously sedentary poker player in mind, but it works well for anyone who struggles a little with motivation.
Yoga is a brilliant exercise to build into your daily routine. It encourages us to concentrate on the link between our mental state, our breathing, and movement.
Only when you can control all three of these elements simultaneously do you realise how powerful being in touch with yourself is. At the beginning it might be a struggle to clear your mind completely and that’s absolutely fine.
Take small steps towards settling your breathing, feel the power in your muscles as you balance and pretty soon you’ll look forward to your regular yoga practice. Whether you’ve just got five minutes to spare, or you want to devote a full hour to it, your body will thank you.
The results you see are often marked for beginners, as yoga improves your posture so much. Although you might not see lots of weight drop off, you’ll notice your clothes hang better when you stand tall and better still, you should notice your mood lift too.
The saying ‘a good gym routine starts in the kitchen’ is certainly a true one. You can do as much yoga as you like, but if all you eat is junk food then you won’t see the results.
That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for a little treat here and there though. Intuitive eating is a very old idea that has been revisited in recent years.
The theory is that our bodies know what we need, but we often don’t know how to listen to them. If you’ve got a 3pm chocolate bar habit, then that’s likely because at around 3pm is when your blood sugar levels slump.
For the first couple of weeks of intuitive eating, keep a diary of what cravings you have and when. Some people can’t function without a coffee in the morning, others need that afternoon sugary pick-me-up, some of us have to have a salty snack in front of the television at night. All of these cravings are valid, but they can all be satisfied with healthier options.
Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar, replace it with a banana. The first couple of times you won’t get that same rush as you do with such concentrated sugar, but thanks to the mixture of complex carbohydrates and minerals, you’ll feel satisfied for much longer than if you’d reached for the candy.
Instead of snacking on a bag of chips in the evening, try a handful of nuts, or some apple and peanut butter. The fats from the nuts is what you’re craving and just like the banana, they’ll keep you fuller for longer.
Willpower is finite, so ignoring your cravings tends to lead to unhealthy binges. This way of eating is about listening to your cravings and satisfying them in a healthy way.