Successful weight loss is intimately connected with your relationship to yourself, and your relationship to those parts of you that propel your unhealthy eating behaviors. These critical relationships are the focus of the following two unique and powerful weight loss motivation tips.
Tip #1: The Best Self-Discipline … Isn’t Self-Discipline
Weight loss motivation tips almost always involve self-discipline – motivating yourself to do something that another part of you doesn’t want to do. This inner war is a fundamental reason for most people’s endless struggles with weight.
Relying on self-discipline and willpower is more likely to prevent you from achieving weight loss and healthy, long-term weight management. For self-discipline implies that one part of you doesn’t want to do what another part of you does want to do, and that the first part is going to discipline and control the other part. It’s as if your right hand is opening the refrigerator while your left hand is trying to close it.
That’s crazy! And it doesn’t work anyway, because if all of us isn’t on board with something, we’re going to sabotage ourselves along the way. Sure, we may succeed for a while, but eventually, the part of us that we’re disciplining and “willpowering” against will start to fight back. It is, after all, part of us too!
So consider quitting the willpower and self-discipline game altogether.
Now, you may fear that if you stop disciplining yourself, your dark side will take over and you’ll gain 80 pounds by tomorrow. This fear is natural and normal. (Actually, fear is quite often a sign of change and real growth.)
Luckily, the fear isn’t rational. If it does come up, it’s only because we’re out of touch with our dark side (the part that resists healthy change). Which brings us to…
Tip #2: Liberate Your Dark Side … By Seeing It
Remember, the idea of self-discipline is founded on the crazy idea that one part of us needs to discipline and overpower another part.
This is only necessary if we’re out of touch with that other part. As long as we are, we’ll continue to fight against it, which is not only stressful, but a losing battle. Fighting against your “dark side” (that part – or parts – of you that are driven to eat unhealthy foods or too much food) doesn’t work in the long run because you can’t make part of yourself go away.
So it’s hopeless, right? No, not at all.
You can begin discharging the power of your “dark side” by getting in touch with it, befriending it. And one of the best ways to do that is by becoming mindful of it.
Your “dark side” is only a series of bodily sensations, emotions, and/or thoughts. Before you become aware of it, you don’t have a choice – either it takes you over and you act out with food, or you fight against it, trying to repress it. But when you bring mindfulness to these sensations, emotions, and thoughts, you are suddenly presented with a new choice – the choice to not act them out or repress them. For when you are mindful of something, just watching it, you can choose to not follow that energy. You just watch it instead.
This is incredibly powerful because we can only liberate and release our “dark side” if we are first willing to be aware of it. Awareness – mindfulness – is the space in which those parts that lead to unhealthy or disordered eating behaviors can be released from our system, once and for all.
You can “actualize” both of these weight loss motivation tips is by learning about and practicing mindfulness and mindful eating. With mindfulness, you will begin to see that the game of self-discipline doesn’t work, and in fact is quite stressful. And with mindfulness, you’ll start liberating and releasing the “dark forces” inside you that have led you into unhealthy eating habits, and finally learn what natural, healthy, and liberated eating really is.
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