Treat yourself kindly

When it comes to ideals of beauty and body image, we are incredibly hard on ourselves. 

We'd never hold our friends or loved ones to many of the standards we hold ourselves to. 

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@katherine_gll

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Health

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Food is not a reward, and exercise is not a punishment. They are both ways of caring for your body and helping you feel your best. 

  • If you have never stepped into a gym before, your goal shouldn't be doing 30 minutes on the elliptical on day one. A better goal may be to go for a 20-minute walk. 
  • If you want to cook more, but have little experience with healthy recipes or are strapped for time, don't expect yourself to craft new healthy recipes every night after work.  
Start where you are and build from there.

Patience is important when you are losing weight in a healthy and sustainable matter.

If you focus on meeting truly actionable goals, like taking 10,000 steps each and every day, there's no need to get wrapped up in a timeline of goals ahead. 

Identify Your 'Trouble Thoughts'

Identify the thoughts that get you into trouble and work to stop and change them. Maybe it's your internal dialogue when you look into the mirror. Or cravings when you get stressed

Consciously make them stop by saying 'stop' out loud. It might sound silly, but that simple action will break your chain of thought and allow yourself the opportunity to introduce a new, healthier one.

Surround yourself with positive people. Doing so provides you an encouraging, emotionally healthy environment in which to invest in yourself.

Somewhere along the line, we've learned to feel either proud or guilty about every food choice we make. 

It's just food, and you shouldn't have to feel guilty about wanting the occasional cookie. 

Change Your Goals

Losing weight might be a result, but it shouldn't be the goal.

Your goals should small, sustainable things over which you have full control. 

Did you eat five servings of fruits and veggies today? There's one goal met. What about eight hours of sleep? If so, you can check another goal off of your list.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of your workout, or even at the beginning of your day, to slow down and simply focus on the act of breathing.  

It can help you set your intentions, connect with your body and even lower your body's stress response. 

A lot of us have learned to associate the scale with self-destructive thoughts and actions. 

If that's you, don't even bother stepping on the scale until you get to a place in which the number on the scale doesn't define your worth.

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RELATED IDEAS

Researchers have observed weight regain following weight loss across a range of populations and types of weight-loss diets.

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IDEAS

Causes of obesity

The causes of obesity are complex. 

  • Obesity is not simply a function of laziness or an indication of emotional instability. 
  • In addition, genetic and biological factors do not act in isolation but are constantly interacting with an array of environmental factors. 
  • Both the availability and persuasive advertising of unhealthy food contribute to the obesity epidemic.
Revisit what you know

Energy balance is the first key to achieving one's ideal body. It's a way of saying calories in versus calories out. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to maintain its current body weight.

Once you understand energy balance, you might feel less tempted to eat more than you really need.

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