How Mindfulness Can Help You Lose Weight and Be Healthier
Ever since I started HHB Life I’ve been trying to come up with a solution to help people who struggle with weight loss. It has become my life-long goal, my passion, and my dream to develop this solution and change people’s lives for the better.
You may be surprised to read this, but there was a time in my life when I lost control of my nutrition and the connection between mind and body. I was stressed, uncomfortable, and simply not aware. It happened right after I won Miss Universe competition and was thrown into an intense and unfamiliar situation that I was not mentally prepared for. I had only gained a few kilos but in the industry and environment I was in, it meant a lot more. My confidence was shaken, I didn’t feel like myself, and I was just not happy. They key word here is “happy”. I believe you can be happy and comfortable at any weight. But you have to be honest with yourself about how it makes you feel.
On my blog, I give a lot of advice and try to help inspire others to eat better food, control portion sizes, get active, build good exercise habits, and so on. But sometimes it just doesn’t’ seem to be enough. For most people who struggle with weight it just doesn’t click right away. They read it and understand, they set their good intentions, and have the desire to live a healthier life. But the weight stays the same, the health doesn’t improve, and they give up before they even really try. Something is missing, I think.
My HHB Life healthy lifestyle cycle consists of 3 elements: Mind, Nutrition, Fitness. You need all three elements to work together to create a healthy lifestyle. When the mind is healthy and strong, you are able to make better decisions and stick to better habits when it comes to nutrition and fitness. Likewise, when you eat healthy food and you exercise, your state of mind improves. It is a cycle.
But still, this is not enough. There is a fourth element above everything else. It is not tangible, nor is it easily understood, because it is spiritual in its nature. Let’s call it Mindfulness. It’s your inner child, observer of your thoughts, consciousness that is connected to everything and everyone in the universe.
How did I come to this realization? From reading books on meditation and Buddhist philosophies and trying to become more mindful myself through various practices. What is mindfulness?
To put it simply, mindfulness is awareness. It is awareness of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is awareness of everything that your body can sense, and your mind can think. It is realization that the present moment is all there is and all there ever will be. It is also having a profound understanding of the connection between your body and your mind.
But how does all this relate to your health and weight loss?
When you practice mindfulness and are diligent about forming proper mindfulness habits, you can transform your life and take full control of your wellbeing. You will eventually get to a place where you are so connected to your mind and body that it is no longer an effort to eat well and stay active. You will get to be a mindful eater so that when you’ve had enough food, you feel satisfied and no longer crave more. You will no longer be an emotional eater, driven to binge eat by stress or dissatisfaction. Instead you will eat because you enjoy the taste, and you want to properly nourish your body. You will learn to savor each bite and appreciate the taste, giving it your full attention. No longer will you need to count calories or try crazy diets, because you will be able to eat everything you want in proper quantities without overeating and feeling sluggish. You will love the freedom and energy you get from this healthy approach to food and will finally take control of your life to reach your full potential.
Tips to be more mindful
- Remember to breathe. Throughout the day keep bringing attention to your breath and take a few moments to breathe consciously and mindfully. Focus on inhaling and exhaling for a few breaths.
- Relax your body. Same as above, several times a day bring your attention to how your body feels. Are you tense in your shoulders, jaw, or face? Relax the muscles, loosen up any tension and focus deeply on each part of the body as you do that.
- Check in with your feelings and thoughts. What are you feeling? Whether positive or negative, acknowledge the thoughts/emotions and accept them as they come. Don’t judge yourself, and don’t try to force any particular thought. Just realize that the feeling is there and observe it for a little while. If you are angry, know you are angry. If you are annoyed, know that you are annoyed. Just know that it is so and let it be. The feelings and thoughts are not permanent and they will always pass.
- Develop small habits of awareness and be consistent in simple things like opening a door and walking into another room, or sitting down on the chair or sofa, or when walking up/down the stairs. Bring your entire attention to the act, being aware of each sensation you get as you see, feel, hear, and smell things around you.
- Take a few extra moments to enjoy things you love. When you smell freshly baked cookies, take a few extra seconds to really breathe it in and bask in the pleasure it brings you. If you hear a song you love, sing along out loud with everything you’ve got. Watch a sunset and look into your lovers eyes like you mean it for a few moments longer. Hug another person a little longer and feel their energy in your embrace. And when you eat, savor the flavor and the taste so you can really experience your food.
- Surround yourself by nature if you can. Walk barefoot on the grass or sand. Breathe in fresh mountain or beach air. Touch, explore, be curious of the amazing life around you.
- Meditate. Meditation really works wonders to make you more mindful. I know this is hard to do, but make it a habit to meditate daily, even for just a few minutes. Be consistent and try your best, and soon it will become part of your life that you can’t live without.
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