When we want to lose weight, we are extremely proactive.
You may not think you are, but it’s actually very true. When we see a change that needs to be made, we immediately start pushing ourselves.
We push certain foods into our diet and push other foods out. We push ourselves to exercise.
We push ourselves by motivating, encouraging, guilting and/or shaming our way into action.
Whether we take tangible action or not, we still poke at ourselves all day to do something.
We’re hardwired to think that this is the way it’s done.
If we didn’t push these new behaviors, we wouldn’t lose weight.
It all seems very logical.
So we push and push. And we’re critical of ourselves when it doesn’t take. Even though we know full well just because we crack the whip and tell ourselves we mean it this time, it doesn’t mean anything will actually get done.
But we keep hoping that maybe the next time we put our foot down will be the last.
The truly awful thing about this story is that it leads us to think we’re broken.
It makes us think that things can work for everyone else but us. That there’s something inherently wrong with us because the changes we want so badly for ourselves won’t stick.
We think we sabotage ourselves.
We think we’re our own worse enemy.
I can think of nothing worse than believing you can’t trust yourself.
So this week I’m asking you to stop.
Stop pushing whatever is on your agenda. The schedule, the workouts, the food, the guilt trips.
Stop pushing yourself.
I want you to focus on pulling instead.
Our bodies pull us towards healing all the time. But that pull is often ignored by our minds.
Feeling that pull requires a deeper connection than the ego’s response of “I already know what to do”. It requires tuning out your ego and listening to your body instead.
The answers may not be much different from what you’re pushing – get moving, eat more veggies, rest more often (that’s what my body said to me this morning).
The main difference is in how it feels.
When we push, push, push, we get frustrated when we aren’t consistent in our actions. And we use a huge amount of energy on worrying, beating ourselves up and swimming against the current of what our body really needs.
When you’re following what your body asks for, there’s a feeling of ease. You’re not pushing against aching muscles because you ‘have to’; you’re listening and maybe changing your workout a bit.
You’re not giving yourself a strict “no cheese ever again’ mandate, you’re listening to what your body wants to incorporate into your diet.
If you’re worried about the what your body will say, I can guarantee you that your body does not want more Twinkies (which is good, because they’re like $1,000 a pop right now…).
Allowing yourself to be led by your body creates just as many healthy actions, but it’s done from a place of connection, ease and love. It’s way easier to take action when you’re feeling that way.
Pushing ourselves comes from fear.
Fear of what will happen if we don’t. Fear that we can’t trust ourselves to do what’s right for us.
That fear makes taking action even harder because our energy is spent using willpower every time we make a decision.
You can trust yourself. You just have to listen.
Do you get annoyed when someone cuts you off to finish your sentence?
That’s exactly what we do to our bodies. We say, “Yeah, I know. I need to push myself to workout even if I’m tired because working out is good”. We’re afraid that if we relaxed, we would just hit the snooze button and not ever do a thing.
Maybe we would sleep in. Maybe that’s what we need at the moment. But then again, maybe not. Maybe our body just wants to walk instead of run, or do yoga instead of spin class.
Stop pushing your agenda on your body and let it lead you instead.
The most effective way to actually listen to your body is through meditation.
I know that word is like nails on a chalkboard to some, but hear me out.
This meditation is easy and I’ll walk you through it.
1. Sit in a comfortable chair, bare feet on the floor.
2. Close your eyes, and breathe.
3. Focus on your body. Feel your heartbeat if you can. Feel the soles of your feet on the floor.
4. Focus on how your body physically feels.
Don’t try to rid your mind of all thoughts. It’s no big deal if your mind wanders.
Just gently bring it back to focusing on your body.
Do not over think this meditation. You can’t mess it up.
Focus on listening to your body’s cues. Ask what your body wants and how you can best serve it.
I literally ask “How can I help you heal?”
Set the intention to listen to your body each time you do this meditation.
Try to do this for 15 minutes a day.
This is the beginning of communicating with your body.
I know ‘listening to what your body says” may sound a bit esoteric, but here’s what will start happening:
You will feel a little tug from your body towards certain things. At first it will be very slight and quiet.
You will wonder what it was – if it was real that ‘green beans’ just popped into your head. You will wonder why you feel an urge to get up and walk around the block.
Don’t question that. Just listen and go in the direction you are pulled.
You will feel a sense of relaxation when you think about what pops in your mind. That’s how you know it’s real – it feels good instead of rushed or anxious.
This is the difference between being pulled towards healing your body vs. pushing yourself to change.
They come from very different places. One from the ego, and one from the soul.
Try tapping into the real expert of what you need this week.
Listen to what it says. And allow yourself to be pulled in that direction.
I can’t wait to hear what you find.
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