Janet can’t fit into her clothes. They’re not old clothes; she spent more money than she liked after she lost weight just a couple of months ago. This isn’t something new to her either. She’s been there, done that too many times before. Just what is she doing, and why isn’t it working for her?
If Janet is like many of us, her past weight loss was achieved with hard work and dedication. She set her goal, determined what she needed to do to get there, then went after it single-mindedly. Trouble is, what she thought she needed to do wasn’t something she could live with long term. Hence, the weight regain.*
Humans are hedonistic beings. We love to feel good, and there are a number of things that help us do that. Food happens to be a big one. Indeed, most people agree food is one of the greatest pleasures of life.
But what usually happens when we decide to “eat healthier?” We cut out most of the foods we like. We think if we eat the lowest calorie, lowest fat, lowest carb foods, we’ll lose weight faster. And then be able to get on with our lives.
The truth is that if we always eat foods we like, we open the door to figuring out what truly does make us feel good. Feelings of deprivation or guilt, which come from making certain foods off-limits, can drive us to eat what doesn’t make us feel good.
When we’re eating in a way that truly makes us feel good, it’s easier to keep eating that way. That takes us far along the road to health and permanent healthy weights.
It’s the Same with Exercise
Do you think of exercise as a four-letter word? Many of us do because we do it to lose weight. And once again, we do it in a way that just doesn’t feel good. Thinking we’ll lose weight faster the longer or harder we exercise, we end up injured or just burned out. When we find movement that gives us pleasure, we can much more easily make it a part of our lives.
Do It Because It Feels Good!
You may have noticed a theme here. When it comes to healthy eating and exercise, many of us do it to lose weight. If we do it because it feels good, however, natural healthy weights result.
This means, then, that pleasure is a required ingredient in a healthy lifestyle. Because healthy lifestyles are something that get us where we want to go, not something we adopt after we get there, enjoyment needs to a part of the routine of our everyday lives.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy!
*This assumes Janet’s weight was unhealthy for her. If we try to weigh less than our body’s natural healthy weight, it will be a struggle regardless of the method we use.