Do you know what is the first and most important step to take in order to lose weight and keep it off?
One of the questions I hear most often around here is how to start a healthy weight-loss program that will last. A lot of girls think I will answer with an “eat less” or a “work out more,” but the truth is that reaching our body goals goes way beyond that, and is much less tangible than the old diet+exercise.
The most important thing that you need to lose weight and keep it off is self love and acceptance.
Ok, I know that sounds corny and a bit cliché, but if you were to believe in a single thing I have to say, let this be it. It all starts from within, and losing weight is no different!
I’m a very good example of this, as my journey through weightloss was not at all easy. In fact, it was full of obstacles, relapses, and “the accordion effect”. And you know why? Because I refused to accept my body, my genetics, and my limitations.
I’ve always found the model body really appealing. I dreamed of the tall, slender figure, but I’m actually the exact opposite. At 5’4”, my genetics gave me large breasts and thick thighs, and to pull me even further from that “dream body”, I gain weight with each additional leaf of lettuce. Even so, I insisted, and I went through phases of three intense workouts a day, diets of less than 800 daily calories and even a dangerous flirtation with bulimia. Anything to attain the unattainable.
And then, of course, I fell sick, both physically and psychologically. To recover, I went through a lot of therapy, nutritional monitoring and soul searching, and with all that came the most valuable lesson in my life: to accept and love myself.
I will never be stick-thin and tall. Sure, I have thick, strong legs, but I also have a body that responds very well to physical stimulus and with exercise that is right for me, I can lose fat and see muscle definition. My growth spurt ended ten years ago and I will never be tall, but my small body fits perfectly in the arms of my boyfriend who I love so dearly. And sure, I can have a flat tummy, but only if I give up eating the sweets that are so good for my soul. They are choices, and each one is based on the acceptance of my body and on realistic goals for myself. After all, what good does staving myself do if I will never be skin-and-bones and healthy at the same time? And what’s the point of wishing I was taller if my body stopped producing growth hormones a decade ago? Once I accepted the body I have, I was able to set goals to improve myself, not torture myself.
And this is valid for all of us! For this reason, this is my advice: look at yourself in the miror and be honest with yourself. What can you improve and how? What must you accept? What are your realistic body goals and how can you achieve them? What are the steps that you have to take to accept your imperfections (those imperfections that make you uniquely beautiful) and love yourself more each day? Repete your mantras to yourself frequently. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and be grateful each day for your perfect body.
Once you accept and love the body you have, then you will be able to adopt a diet and exercise routine that is right for your body and soul, and all the rest will come naturally. I promise!
What do you guys think? Leave your comments below and share this post, afterall, we all need to be reminded that we are beautiful every now and then.