I see this line of thinking quite often. People want to accept their bodies but are afraid that means they’re giving up on their weight loss goals.
They see the situation as either/or – either accept yourself, or want to lose weight. But you can’t have both – or so they think.
It’s hard to grasp how it’s possible to both accept yourself unconditionally as you are right now, and to still have goals to lose weight and change your physique.
So let me explain…
What Does It Mean to Accept Yourself?
Accepting yourself means to place value on your self in its current state. You have value as a human being, and it doesn’t matter how much fat is on your body.
Fat does not define you. It does not devalue you. It does not make you any better or worse than anyone else.
It is just fat – extra calories your body is storing for when you need it. That is all.
Once you get to a place where you can accept that, you can start accepting yourself. If you think “once I lose weight I’ll be satisfied and I’ll accept myself,” you’re going to be very disappointed.
You are always going to find something wrong with you. It might be cellulite now that’s causing pain, but in the future it will be a pinch of fat on your abs that’s causing you grief.
If you don’t accept yourself now you will always be struggling. The struggle doesn’t end just because you lose weight.
Ending that struggle starts right now.
Your Mindset Approach Affects the Outcome
Once you’re at peace with who you are you can start approaching your goals from a completely different place. A place of love and acceptance instead of hate and punishment.
The results will be very different.
When you approach your transformation from a place of acceptance you make eating and exercise decisions based on what feels good to you. You become present in the moment and witness the immediate gratification you receive from eating whole foods and moving your body.
You become process oriented. You feed off the positive energy your actions are creating. You create a self-reinforcing motivation cycle that lasts for life.
This is how lifestyle changes are born. The result is weight loss.
But when you approach your weight loss goals from a place of unhappiness and disapproval, your eating and exercise choices take on a punishment undertone. You’re beating yourself up.
When this happens you are no longer present in the moment. You become outcome focused. Everything you do is for the purpose of losing weight so you can be happy.
But it never happens.
You never stay motivated long enough to see the fruits of your labor. You subsist on willpower for a few weeks and then trail off into the abyss.
The cycle starts over in a few months once you hate yourself enough to take action again.
Two people can experience the same situation but have two very different outcomes from it.
Focus on the experience. Make it a positive one.
Find one of the many things you love about yourself instead of focusing on the few things you hate. They are there if you’re willing to look.
Place value on you. You are worthy as you are right now.
No one can take that away from you if you don’t let them.
But it starts with you. How do you expect others to accept you for who you are if you don’t accept yourself first?
Start making an effort right now to see yourself in a different light. Shed your physical body for a moment and start placing value on your self.
Once you do that you will find peace. Then you will naturally start making nutrition and exercise decisions that lift you up.
You will experience transformation. And the side effect will be weight loss.