I know you.
You want to be able to eat healthily for more than three days in a row without feeling like you're going off the rails when your donut cravings kick in on day four.
You want to lose 50 pounds but can't seem to get going because you don't feel like you 'deserve' to look and feel good in your own body.
You want to stop feeling defeated from re-gaining all the weight you've lost...over and over again.
You want a better way to deal with the stress in your life that doesn't involve reaching for the take-out and bottle of wine.
I know you, because I've taken those very same steps you're taking, and here's what I want you to know: You are worthy as you are, you have what it takes to make it to the other side if you want to, and it's easier than you think.
Here's how: Forget about the weight loss, and zero in on how you want to FEEL.
How do you want to feel ...
- In your skin?
- In the clothes you're wearing?
- Before a meal
- After a meal
- The first thing you wake up
- When you're presenting in front of your boss and colleagues
Why chase a feeling?
Because how you feel comes from within you--your heart and spirit, not a rigid set of rules that someone else has made up for you despite knowing absolutely nothing about you.
Because that number on the scale that you're watching like a hawk? It can change every minute and every hour of every single day.
The calorie counting will eventually grow into a tedious, unsustainable chore.
The constant struggle to cut out certain foods (especially the ones you love) from your life will drive your willpower into the ground and you, to give up.
But a goal to feel good? It was what I WANTED more than anything after over a decade of feeling bad in my body.
And for me, it all came down to this: Feeling free.
Free from my obsession with food. Free from wanting to stay at home all the time because I was afraid of being judged for my weight when I went out. Free from the guilt, self-loathing and disgust that came with overeating at every meal.
Having a goal to feel free kept me laser focused on what I needed to do without having to force myself to count calories, go on a restrictive diet or exercise like a mad person. I was a woman on a feel-good mission, and that mission made me want to do whatever it took to help me get closer and closer to that feeling I was after.
A very welcome side effect of this focus my mission? A 22-pound fat loss that I've never gained back, because this mission has now become a part of me, and it's something that I still work on every single day.
Because...it feels good to eat foods that nourish my body and leave me energized minus the bloat.
It feels good to feel strong and capable in my body.
It feels good to feel confident in my body.
It feels good to have more mental space for all the other important things in my life.
If you're ready to go on your own feel-good journey, here are 3 ways to get started:
1. Write down your feel-good goal
If you're like me, you probably have plenty of goals floating around in your head. The first step to making them come to life? Write them down.
Dr. Gail Mathews, a psychology professor at Dominican University, California, found that the participants of a goal-setting study she conducted were 42% more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down.
Even better, journal every new goal you set throughout the year so that you are constantly reminded to stay committed.
2. Make it easier to do what's good for you
It's no secret that a diet that's rich in fresh vegetables, fruit, lean protein and whole grains can have a very different effect on your mood, energy levels, well-being and waistline than one that's made up of processed foods like refined flour, high-fructose corn syrup, salt and artificial ingredients
So why don't we just eat more of them?
It comes down to our desire for immediate gratification, says BJ Gallagher, the author of Why Don't I Do The Things That Are Good For Me?: Taking Small Steps Towards Improving The Big Picture.
Our desire for pleasure NOW overrides our concern for our long-term health. This is why reaching for that bar of chocolate is so much more appealing than sticking with your goal of losing 50 pounds in 6 months.
Her solution? KISS: Keep It Small And Simple.
For example, if the thought of overhauling your diet feels overwhelming, start by aiming to have just one healthy meal a day. Once you're able to do this consistently, work another healthy meal into your day.
3. Spend more time with people who support your goal
"You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with", said the late author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn.
And he was right: The more time I spent with people who loved letting off steam at the bar, the more I ended up drinking.
The more time I spent with people who complained but did nothing to fix what they were complaining about, the less motivated I felt to change my own circumstances.
The more time I spent with people who ate for entertainment, the more mindless eating I did.
The more time I spent with people who wanted to be successful, happy and enthusiastic about life, the more motivated and energetic I felt about my own goals.
The sum of the people you spend the most time with, make YOU.
For a step-by-step guide to uncovering your personal feel-good goal, join Michele's free, Lose 4 Pounds in 4 Weeks Without Going On A Diet course.
This article originally appeared on michelelian.com
Photo credit: Pixabay