I know it sounds obvious! Ha!
But I see it time and time again.
Ideas such as: “I should be good!” OR “I am going to go Keto for a month.” OR “I lost a bunch of weight but I gained it back because it wasn’t sustainable.” OR “Just suck it up!”
The theme is all the same.
In order to be healthy, we have to suffer.
We have to be strong, motivate ourselves, do better, eat less, stick it out, stay on track, and so on.
All of those expressions make it sound like we can’t have fun while we’re trying to lose weight or gain health.
I like to think of it as holding my breath. If we can just hold our breath long enough and stick it out with some long list of difficult rules THEN we’ll finally be healthy!!
This just makes absolutely NO SENSE!
I believe very strongly that inherent in the idea of health is pleasure. Enjoying yourself is NOT optional!
It also includes self-compassion, forgiveness, curiosity, discovery, self-growth, and love.
These ideas are WAY more important than a random set of strict rules and regulations about nutrition or fitness.
If you are not having fun, something is not right.
Usually, this requires a mindset shift from “I have to work really hard to get there” to “I can do this with ease, it can be fun, and I am learning about myself.”
I have learned many skills about how to make the process pleasurable and enjoyable, and (most importantly) a source of personal growth. Many of those skills are in other blog posts and we help our clients learn the ones that are right for them.
But this all starts with accepting that the process is lifelong! It is not something you do for 30 days and then just give up.
There has to be an underlying commitment to improving your health.
Now, that being said, if you fall off and you “break your commitment”, how about seeing that as part of the process?
It is not a failure! It is an opportunity to learn about yourself and to recommit.
No big deal because we all go through that.
We all give up at some point.
And we all make choices that are misaligned with our commitments.
It’s not the “failure” that is important. It is our response to that failure that counts.
So, no! Torture, suffering, deprivation, and holding your breath should not be part of the process.
Healthy living SHOULD be pleasurable.
Healthy living INCLUDES making unhealthy choices sometimes and forgiving yourself for it.
Healthy living means LOVING YOURSELF anyway.
I hope these ideas are helpful for you.