Don’t worry if you’re not where you hoped to be by now. Because whatever those visible signs are telling you, they don’t reveal the whole story…
If you’ve yo-yo dieted for years, you know all too well that these progress markers can come and go. While they do measure if your body gained or released weight, I’m far more interested in the signs that mark your emotional growth.
Use the following 7 “softer” signs to gauge your overall progress this past year and as you move into 2016. If you haven’t mastered all of these, that’s okay. Think of them as stepping-stones to guide you. While not as obvious as the number on your scale, achieving these milestones helps you not only release weight… but keep it off forever. And isn’t that what you really want?
1. You Persevere Through Setbacks
When you overdo the ice cream or skip your daily walks, you tell yourself, “That’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day.” You stop beating yourself up and know that each time you persevere, you develop confidence and inner strength. Instead of taunting yourself by saying, “See, you can’t do this” you reply to that critical inner voice: “Yes, I can!”
2. You Accept Your Body
The days of criticizing your body are over. You accept your extra weight and commit to support and respect your body no matter what. It doesn’t mean you accept staying overweight or stop taking care of yourself. It means you help your body become the best it can be. Even if you don’t “love” your body yet, you accept your feelings without judgment.
3. You Focus on Your Goal
Where you are today is irrelevant as you focus on where you’re headed. You imagine yourself reaching your goal weight, wearing brightly colored clothes and walking with a spring to your step. As you take the time to make lasting changes, it feels easier to set boundaries around your time and energy. You no longer break promises to yourself and you stop people pleasing: “No, I’m sorry. I can’t meet you at the mall. I’m going to yoga class.” Making you a priority feels natural as you keep your goal in mind.
4. You Avoid Trigger Foods
Foods and candy you can’t stop eating stay out of your home. Period. You’ve given up the lie that you can eat “just a little” and surrender to the fact these foods hold power over you. When you see them at a party, you hold firm to your commitment. You no longer feel deprived by not eating dinner rolls or M & Ms. Instead you feel strong. You’ve stopped giving these foods power over you because you rely on a power within you.
5. You Use Many Coping Tools
You’ve developed a tool-kit of strategies that help with emotional eating. Perhaps you learned EFT Tapping to curb cravings or a meditative craft like knitting or cross-stitch to soothe yourself. Adult coloring books calm you when anxious and you grasp a squeeze ball when stressed. You routinely use these and other tools when you feel triggered to overeat.
6. You Invest in Professional Help
To release weight permanently you realize you may need to look deeper. You work with a psychotherapist or life coach to identify and release subconscious fears and limiting beliefs that stop you from becoming thinner. You learned you could be holding onto extra weight as protection due to a traumatic childhood. Working with a trusted professional helps you feel safe to let it go.
7. You Nourish Your Soul
Giving yourself quiet, reflective time to write in your journal, meditate or walk in nature helps you listen to the wisdom of your inner Wise Self. You know that with all the information out there to help you release weight, your true source of guidance comes from within. Nourishing your soul helps you listen to the whispers of your intuition guiding you to your highest—and lighter—self.
Releasing weight means so much more than a number on the scale. It’s about making deeper, permanent change and leaning in to the journey of self-growth and transformation. So your best success gauge is not simply a thinner body—it’s a lighter heart… and unconditional self-love.
What signs of success do you see?