Let's play pretend...
Imagine you've had an amazing day at work. You completed your to-do list, put out a couple of fires that could have destroyed your organization, assimilated new information and created new products, all while keeping basic functions moving. Then, at some point in the day, your boss comes by to berate you; something about a dirty coffeemaker. She hasn't even looked at any of the work you completed all day long.
What do you feel? Anger? Disappointment? Frustration?
And what if she did this everyday, no matter how well you performed that day? What would you feel then?
Most of us are the berating boss to our bodies.
Our bodies support us each day, they keep our blood pumping, keep the foreign germs from making us ill, they help us move from place to place and understand complex concepts. Yet, most of us only see the "dirty coffeemakers" of our bodies. We pinch at the extra pound or 2 or 40 and berate our hard working temples for not being slimmer. Which, after all the amazing things your body does to keep you alive, is really the last thing your body is focusing on.
What if the exhaustion, ache and stiffness you feel isn't just a result of the extra pounds?
Under the watchful eye of a berating boss, even the best of us would lose our strength, motivation and desire to move forward. We may be overwhelmed with anger, annoyance or frustration, all of which distract us from the task of getting the work done. Our bodies react the same way. The stress of your inner monologue of "I am not enough. I am not doing enough, I am not slim enough." works against even the best weight-loss and fitness plans. It makes the workout seem unmanageable, or never ending. You're left feeling like a hamster on a wheel, running and running towards a finish line that doesn't exist.
Your body's ultimate goal is not weight loss, it's health.
Whether you're sitting on the couch all day long or running triathlons, your body is working hard to keep you healthy. Your body isn't really out to get you. It isn't holding onto those last 5lbs on purpose, hoping you'll one day have a heart attack. Your body is on your side. It wants to live long enough for you to achieve your dreams and to fulfill your life purpose.
Re-connect with your greatest ally.
Wherever you are in your journey with your body, it isn't too late (or too early) to form a team with your greatest ally.
- Breathe. However you've treated your body in the past, each breath is a opportunity to reconnect. To remind yourself that when you and your body focus on the goal of health, you can do amazing things together (the least of which is losing weight).
- Offer compassion to the part of you that believed that without the constant reminder of your flaws, you would never be able to achieve the life of health and abundance that you crave.
- Show gratitude. Thank each part of your body for how it currently supports you.
- Define your vision of health. What does your body do when it's healthy? Does it dance for hours with friends? Does it laugh and play with your kids in the playground? Does it go for long meditative, walks? Whatever the vision, write it down. Bring your measure of health away from the scale and towards your holistic goals.
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Breathe, offer compassion, show gratitude and meditate on your new definition. Then breathe, breathe and breathe again. This, as with all things worth doing, is a practice.