Be Light and Healthy

Happy New Year!

Posted on: December 26, 2010

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”  Hal Borland

As we usher out 2010 and 2011 looms on the horizon, people are experiencing different feelings.  Some are filled with hope and excitement for what the new year will bring while others are filled with a little sadness.  Attendance at gyms temporarily swells as many people make resolutions to lose weight and get healthy.  Each new year used to begin full of hope tinged with anxiety for me.  Like so many others, I used to view the new year as the end of my unhealthy behavior and the beginning of my new healthy life.  I’d start the year off setting unrealistic diet and exercise goals.  Subconsciously, I knew my goals were unrealistic thus fueling my anxiety.  I’d overeat and binge during the holidays thinking that it was the last time I’d eat the “bad” foods that I was banning once the new year arrived.  I’d actually feel a little relief anticipating that my overindulging was coming to an end.  Due to my unattainable goals I’d inevitably proceed to crash and burn, sometimes before the end of January.   

If you’ve experienced this same phenomenon, I’m encouraging you to learn from your experiences.  There are people who flourish by diving into new, healthy behaviors; however, I know this strategy does not work for a lot of people, including me.  I’m the type of person who needs to make changes slowly and feel safe as I make them.  Instead of resisting your innate nature, embrace it.  By slowly making changes, I was able to transform my life and end the repetitive crash and burn cycles that were a part of it.     

Start by changing your thoughts.  Whether you realize it or not, your thinking has greatly contributed to your current state of health.  We are inundated with negative thoughts that we create in our minds and are fostered by the media, which neglects to focus on easy, permanent weight loss success stories.  In addition, there are all kinds of “experts” marketing their weight loss strategies.  Different strategies work for different people, and it’s important that you honor yourself by choosing a strategy that resonates with you.  From my experience, losing weight quickly was not sustainable.  By pacing myself and easing into a healthy life, my transition was easy and natural.  Disregard the negativity and don’t believe those voices in your head!  I’m no different than the average person, and I’m living proof that you can lose weight, sustain your weight loss, and have the life that you imagine.  

Consider the possibility.  Having been an obese child and overweight my entire adult life, the belief that I would always be overweight was deeply ingrained in me.  Losing 100 pounds would have seemed like a daunting task had I not slowly and gently opened my mind to the possibility.  Losing a significant amount of weight can be scary for people who have been “hiding” behind their weight for a lifetime.  At the time I was 37 years old and began thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I lost 100 pounds by the time I turned 40?”  This enabled me to entertain the idea and slowly absorb it.        

Set your intentions.  As the possibility seeped into my awareness, I slowly began to believe losing 100 pounds might be attainable.  Giving myself plenty of time to accomplish it helped strengthen my belief and allowed me to feel safe pursuing it.  As the belief solidified, it became an intention.

Break your intentions down into small, attainable goals.  As a result of the suggestions in Eight Weeks to Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil, I tried 2-3 new, healthy behaviors every week and was not overwhelmed.  Trying broccoli and walking were suggestions that became a part of my routine; however, there were other suggestions that didn’t resonate with me and were abandoned.  Basking in the success of every small accomplishment creates positive energy that keeps you moving forward.       

Write down your intentions and goals.  By committing words to paper, you generate positive energy and further convince your mind of the possibilities.  Writing clear, concise goals anchors them in your consciousness and fuels your imagination.  Be specific and write in a positive manner like the following example:  “This week I will walk down a flight of stairs every day instead of taking the elevator.”           

Visualize in detail what you want those changes to look like.  Stay focused, and consistently  create positive visions. If you vacillate between thinking positively and doubting yourself, you will create a fuzzy vision and get fuzzy results.  In addition to seeing yourself healthy and at your ideal weight, see yourself acting healthy.  If you’ve always wanted to walk a mile or hike a mountain, picture yourself doing it.  Seize the power of your imagination for it is limitless.      

Feel it.  When you’re visualizing, take it a step further and feel it to help make it more real.  If you’re picturing yourself drinking more water, imagine how the glass feels in your hand, the temperature of the water, how refreshing it tastes as you swallow it, and how happy you are that you’ve accomplished a goal. 

Incorporating easy, small changes into your life will allow you to slowly and painlessly transition to a healthy lifestyle.  Savoring each success will build momentum, and you will naturally want to continue making positive changes on your journey towards good health. 

I invite you to use the wisdom of your past experiences to harness the power of your mind and the optimism of the new year’s ongoing cycle.  Imagine fast forwarding to the end of 2011 and how great it will feel as you gently float downstream becoming light and healthy.  In addition, I invite you to sign up for weekly e-mail updates to get informed and inspired to Be Light and Healthy.  Best wishes to you and your family for a new year filled with light and good health. 

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Be Light and Healthy

The intention of this blog is to share information and inspire people to Be Light and Healthy.

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