There’s generally “one moment”.
A photograph, a sideways glance in the mirror or an unexpected window reflection.
A hesitant or fearful step onto the weighing scale.
A loaded comment from a loved one or an innocent remark from your child about your wobbly bum.
The red marks etched into your skin from your favourite jeans that are too tight. The uncomfortable rolls of fat over the top of a waistband that’s threatening to cut off circulation.
The lack of you in family photos because you don’t like how you look.
The annual trip to the beach spent hidden under a towel, while you miserably watch the kids splash around in the water because you don’t want anyone to see you in a swimsuit or to see that your thighs rub inelegantly together.
The threat of diabetes or being told you need to take blood pressure medication.
Withdrawing socially because you don’t want to be judged for being overweight or you can’t find anything stylish to wear.
There’s generally “one moment”
Behind every successful body transformation story, there is the “one moment” epiphany. The internet is flooding with weight loss stories that talk about the point, the moment when change was the only option.
But change is undeniably difficult. Making lifestyle changes to improve your health, your body and your mentality should be easy. You’ve had your “one moment”. You know you want to make the change and lose the excess weight. You know this will improve your health and make you feel more positive about yourself. The path to achieving this change has been tried and tested for countless generations. Eat less, cut out the junk food and exercise more. Why does something so straightforward feel so challenging?
It’s challenging because it’s not just a simple diet change and a new exercise regime. You’re dealing with human emotion and human behaviour. All the weight loss programmes on the planet and all the healthy meal plans in the world are no good to you if you don’t change behaviours and address underlining emotional issues that will derail your desire to change.
If, like many people, you are struggling to make lasting changes, here are a few helpful tips to help you take control and get body positive:
Acknowledge the things in your past that have led to this point
Accept why or how you became unhealthy. Only by doing this can you move forward. Allow yourself to move forward guilt free. Give yourself permission to let go of the old, unhappy you and become the positive person you long to be.
List your emotional motivators and understand what triggers an unhealthy action
By doing this you can offset an eating binge. We all use food as a comfort but if we know the stimuli that make us turn to food we can have an alternative at the ready.
If you’re going to get body positive and successfully change your mindset, then it’s essential to change how you think about yourself. We are our own worst enemy at times. For change to happen, you have to envision and embrace the new you.
Start with small attainable changes
Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to change everything week one. You will fail. Look to make small, measurable changes each week. For example switch from soda to water or white pasta/rice to brown pasta/rice. Go for a twenty-minute walk 3 times a week. Write down the changes you want to make each week – make yourself accountable. When you’ve successfully incorporated these changes look to introduce more and bigger adjustments. The key is sustainability – slow and steady changes will lead you to your long-term goal.
Learn to love exercise
Build exercise into your daily schedule and be disciplined about it. You do have time, even if it’s only a fifteen minute run or a twenty minute HIIT session in your living room. Fifteen minutes is better than zero minutes. Find yourself a class that you love or a gym buddy can also help keep the motivation up.
Plan your meals
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Get yourself a whiteboard and write your plan up each week. Make your shopping list based on this plan – this will help you avoid the junk/processed food at the supermarket and also reduce waste. Stress and pressure lead to unhealthy food choices when time is limited. Meal planning eliminates poor food choice - you know exactly what you’re making and you know you have the ingredients.
Ignore extreme diets
There is no easy way or quick fix when it comes to altering your lifestyle. Ignore the extreme diets. They are not sustainable and they don’t work in the long term. It’s all down to you and the decisions you make each day. Keep it simple – make healthy food choices and exercise.
Find the balance
And lastly, find that balance. A little of what you like is not going to derail your chance of success. Completely cutting it all out probably will.
Use your “one moment” wisely. Fight for the changes you want to make and don’t give up. Take it one day at a time. There’s only today. Forget about yesterday and don’t worry about tomorrow. What are you going to do today? What small change can you make today that will help you make better choices tomorrow and a week from now?
Co-Founder, Pepper Hustle
P.S. We’d love to hear about your “one moment” and how it helped to change your lifestyle - please share your comments below.