Recently I revealed my unconventional weight-loss story to a friend and she recommended that I share it with you. So in this post I’m going out on a limb, but I hope it’ll inspire you on your own journey.
In this day and age, it’s no secret that self-image and fast results are undeniably important. Ugh! I’ve worked with coaching clients who feel demotivated to better themselves because they feel expected to see results ASAP. We change our appearances for the wrong reasons, get caught up in society’s expectations and don’t stay true to ourselves. Right, ladies?!
That’s why I want to talk to those of you who are dealing with the desire to lose weight, live your life to the fullest and experience a healthy, happy and easy transformation.
At the beginning of 2015 I made a conscious decision that I was going to transform my life into the one I had always desired but avoided out of fear and losing 10 kg wasn’t part of the plan! Little did I know that this journey was to begin with self-forgiveness and end with self-love and a million little steps in between…
What catapulted me into this place of resolution was seeing the toll that my unhealthy lifestyle was taking on my body, mind and spirit. A handful of years had dragged me steeply into the arms of depression, anxiety, allergies, food intolerances and an unhappy and unsustainable lifestyle. Then, in late 2014, a close friend had passed away in a freak accident which left my heart bleeding to live my life to the fullest. All of this meant strengthening my mind, revisiting my beliefs, and equipping my body to deal with my dreams.
How was I going to reach my full potential when I had little to no motivation?
I started with what I knew was important- with body wisdom we all know about deep within ourselves: meditation, gratitude, living in the present moment, rest, exercise, avoiding all gluten-filled foods (because I have Celiac disease) and moderation. As it turned out, this road-map was overwhelmingly difficult to navigate. Disenchanted, I realized that the only time I actually felt good about something I did was when I wasn’t hard on myself.
Soon I figured the only way I was going to advance in my efforts was to continuously forgive myself. Having grown up a dancer and perfectionist it was very difficult to accept my imperfections, let alone be nonchalant about it! How could the word forgiveness be something I felt so distant from?
To help me, I created a mantra that helped sustain my efforts and live in alignment with the goal. It goes like this:
Change is not the only constant, forgiveness is.
If I didn’t meditate as often as I’d planned, I forgave myself. If I had a bad attitude, I forgave myself. If I rested too much, I forgave myself. If I didn’t exercise at all, I forgave myself. If I binged on chocolate or resorted to comfort foods, I forgave myself…
I even forgave myself for all those times I failed before. What do you need to forgive yourself for?
By June I had started noticing inner results and in July I noticed outer results. I should point out that throughout these months my focus was on something deeper than the physical. It was about nurturing, purpose, health and ease.
Also worth a mention is that this inner and outer process was hard work. Facing oneself is difficult but continues to be so rewarding! Now my self-forgiving mindset serves me in every aspect of my daily life. It’s not an excuse to be lazy but a motivation to be kinder.
You’re probably thinking to yourself: Okay Carms, I get it already. But surely you didn’t lose weight just with practicing self-forgiveness?!
So how did I do it and what does this new lifestyle look like?
I really, really, really wanted it. Friends, check your motivation. If you’re transforming for the wrong reasons, it’s not gonna work. Or, if you’re feeling unmotivated- what’s holding you back?
I made small everyday changes. What small everyday changes can you make to empower you in the long run?
When confronted with options, I’d asked myself: “What will be most nurturing option for my body, mind and spirit right now?” Ask yourself that, too.
I only bought fresh, clean foods to keep in my house and enjoyed myself when I went out with friends. I started seeing healthy food as fuel for my body and eating out as a treat, not a burden for my diet. How can you work with your diet to personalize it for YOU?
I started eating smaller portions (I used to eat massive plates full). When it comes to your diet, what can you lower your expectations about?
I walked wherever I could. Whereto can you start walking/ riding a bike? To the cafe? To the library? To the beach?
I rested when I was tired. When I didn’t have time I set out time to rest later on. When can you make time for rest?
I ate chocolate everyday. In the past I could eat a slab in a minute. Now I eat a slab in a week. I started to divide the squares by the amount of days and ate the chocolate accordingly. How can you start incorporating moderation into your diet?
I was patient and celebrated small achievements. What can you do to reward yourself for your efforts? Watch TV? Eat something yummy? Skip that gym sesh? Chill out?
I tuned into my body’s intuition. Listen to your body’s needs and wants. What is it telling you?
The truth is that when I speak to my friends about going easy on themselves, they get this look of terror in their eyes. How can forgiveness be a secret weapon? We forget so easily how important we are. No, you don’t need to go, go, go all the time and be superman/ superwoman!
Just like you, I felt deeply pressurised, lost and unable to rediscover my truth. It’s through self-forgiveness and self-love that you can lose everything holding you back and gain your purpose in return.
I ask that you’ll share this post to the special ladies (and gents) in your life who need some perspective and encouragement. And share with me your thoughts down below!
Remember, change is not the only constant, forgiveness is.
You are Loved,