For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused.We lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. #selfcare #IMM #wholeness Click To Tweet
This Sunday’s theme? Physical Wholeness.
Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss
A friend recently posted on Instagram her despair over the fact that no matter what she does, she doesn’t lose weight. She started her health journey the last week of December, and the scales haven’t moved a bit. After nine weeks of vigorous workouts, she feels disheartened.
We’ve probably all felt the same at one point or another. I know I have. In fact, when I gained fifty pounds in five months during my husband’s illness, I despaired of ever losing the extra weight.
I discovered some valuable lessons during the 18 months it took to lose the weight.
1. Remember your WHY.
Why do you want to lose weight? Hopefully, your reasons involve more than ‘looking like a model.’ That’s probably not going to happen, especially if you’ve got a few decades under your belt. ‘Keeping up with your kids/grandkids,’ ‘Feeling more self-confident,’ or the ability to achieve a physical goal (a hike or run) make better markers than numbers on a scale.
2. Remember that muscle really does weigh more than fat.
Your get-healthier plan should include strength training (push-ups, squats, planks, and crunches). You don’t have to use weights or go to the gym to build muscle. But you DO need to build muscle in order to help your body burn calories faster.
3. Change it up!
Your beautifully designed body learns quickly. It knows that if you get up each morning and run for three miles, that it will have to allocate energy for that task. Your body will actually slow down in anticipation of the routine. As you gain cardiovascular fitness, you will need to work harder in order to increase your heart rate.
You can change things up in several ways. Try exercising at a different time of the day. Sprint (I don’t enjoy this one, but it sure pays off!). Try a variety of exercises. I signed up for Beach Body on Demand, and like choosing different programs (most of them 8-10 weeks). I can try anything from yoga to Pilates, to weight training.
Sometimes, our ingrained poor habits prevent us from achieving our health goals. Analyze your day. When do you feel most tempted to eat mindlessly? Choose a new indulgence instead. Try taking a five-minute walk at that time of the day. Go pull weeds in the garden. Fold laundry. Practice the piano. Jump on your kids’ trampoline. Bounce on a yoga ball. Phone a friend.
5. Drink herbal tea or lemon water.
We actually need to drink half our body numbers (in ounces, not pounds) each day. If you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink 75 ounces of liquid a day. Just make sure that those liquids don’t add unnecessary calories or excess caffeine. And sip slowly. I tend to guzzle water but sipping regularly throughout the day is a healthier choice.
6. Check your stress levels.
Stress produces cortisol in our bodies. Cortisol makes it difficult for our bodies to lose weight. If you suffer from any of these other signs of stress, you might want to evaluate your schedule and start letting things go.
Other signs of stress include:
- memory loss
- low energy
- upset stomach (diarrhea, constipation, and nausea)
- susceptibility to colds
- dry mouth, teeth grinding, clenched jaw
- loss of sexual desire
- poor judgement
- inability to focus
7. Give yourself grace.
Weight loss, after all, has more to do with forming new habits that will last a lifetime than a number on the scales. In order to sustain the weight loss, it needs to happen at a steady rate over time. Give yourself plenty of grace and positive self-talk. You CAN make changes. Each healthy choice you make helps you achieve your goals of wholeness.
Join me on Pinterest! I pin regularly on all the topics having to do with self-care and nurturing yourself.
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