While lying on a table during an acupuncture session yesterday, I reflected on my past week – I had ups and downs, periods of high energy and lows, times of hunger and fullness, and times of activity and rest. There was balance in my life, although not perfect, it was there. I create balance in my life by learning honor myself.
So many women struggle with the concept of balance – they either go, go, go until they burn out and are forced to take a break or they have difficulty getting motivated to do anything at all. These same women typically struggle with an extra 10-20 pounds or more that they don’t know how to lose or aren’t able to keep off.
Balance is dynamic; it shifts from day to day and moment to moment. While you may feel balanced one day, you can follow the exact same routine and feel off balance the next. Why is this ‘balance’ concept so important anyway? Lack of balance can make you feel like a hamster on a wheel, moving your feet, but never getting anywhere. When you’re in balance you go to bed feeling fulfilled instead of exhausted, and wake up with anticipation of the day ahead rather than dragging yourself out of bed. You eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. You feel calm and collected instead of stressed and scattered. So how do you create balance? By honoring yourself. How do you honor yourself? Follow these steps below:
1. Listen to your body: Your body is full of wisdom – begin to listen to what it is telling you. Feeling tired and stressed? Your body is telling you that it needs a little more down time so try going to bed early for a few days. Feeling bloated and cranky at the end of the day? Your body is telling you that it doesn’t like what or how you’re eating so consider changing up your eating habits. Having trouble getting motivated? Your body (or in this case your mind) is telling you that you haven’t clearly thought through your goals or they aren’t in alignment with your current beliefs (more on that in a future article!). The basic fact is that your body and mind are communicating with you and when you choose to listen to them and work with them (rather than against them), you will be creating more balance in your life and will feel calmer and happier.
2. Allow flexibility in your schedule: Honoring myself means that I recognize that I sometimes have periods of high energy and other times I have lows. Instead of trying to do the same amount of work (and by work I’m including cooking and cleaning) everyday, I make a master list at the beginning of the week of things that I want to get done (meals to make, chores to do, etc). I work through this list as my energy allows. When I have high energy, I zip through the list, crossing lots of items off. When I’m not feeling as energetic I go a little slower and may only do 1 or 2 things. Note: I always keep some quick, easy prep foods on hand for days when I’m feeling kind of ‘blah’ so that I don’t have to put much effort in to dinner – that way I can sit and have a cup of tea and unwind while dinner is cooking.
3. Leave gaps in your schedule: Don’t over schedule! In order to be flexible and honor yourself, you need to have room in your schedule to just relax when you need to relax, to go to bed early when you need to, to have a weekend off, etc. You need time to just do whatever it is you want to do in that moment. With kids’ extracurricular activities, and the demands we place on ourselves, most women are constantly on the go with very little down time. Don’t fall in to this trap of over scheduling, exhaustion, and unfulfillment. Have you ever scarfed down fast food in the car while speeding to a meeting or soccer game? If you answered yes then you are over scheduled and know what I’m talking about. Allow ‘unscheduled’ time each day if possible – if this is a new concept to you then just start small, with a few hours on the weekend, and build from there.
So how does this relate to weight loss, you may ask. I know that many of you are thinking: “That’s great, I’m sure I’ll feel better if I follow these steps but what I really want to do is lose weight.” Well, here’s the thing… if you don’t feel good about yourself, and if you don’t love your life, then you won’t lose weight and keep it off long term. If you don’t honor yourself you’ll never get off that hamster wheel and you’ll constantly struggle with your weight. Instead, start listening to your body, take time for yourself, and finally find fulfillment and everything (including your weight) will begin to fall into place.
So, what do you think? What are you going to implement in your life? Please share below (and if you don’t even know where to start then click here to set up a strategy call with me)… your health and weight depend on it!