Every January we are inundated with the “New Year, New You” initiative. Many of us vow to lose weight and with the “COVID 15” that many of us gained during quarantine, the call to slim down is maybe louder than ever.
But this year, Female IQ encourages you to love your body just as it is. We are already more than “good enough” and, according to the Buddhist tradition, we have already arrived at our destination and right where we need to be at this particular moment.
Furthermore, if we are honest with ourselves, it is not our body weight per se that is likely weighing us down. Instead, it is the mental weight that 2020 definitely packed on us this past year.
Examples of Mental Weight
- Negative thoughts about ourselves.
- Taxing or dysfunctional relationships.
- Bad habits.
- Poor sleep.
- Feeling dissatisfied with our careers.
- Unresolved issues.
Even with these common stressors, we can and will prevail in 2021. Here’s how:
6 Ways to Lose the Mental Weight
- Begin and end every day with gratitude. It doesn’t matter how good or bad your day or even your week has been, find one thing you are grateful for every morning and remind yourself about that one thing before you go to bed.
- Practice Female IQ’s HI5=GAINS. Take your gratitude practice one step further and include affirmation, intention, networking (i.e. choosing someone to truly connect with), and spreading kindness (whether to yourself or others).
- Breathe. Set aside at least one minute a day and inhale to a count of three to five and exhale to a count of three to five. You can do this at any point in your day such as while driving, showering or cooking. Mindful breathing allows you to be present and clean the slate. It also reduces cortisol, a stress hormone that is often responsible for sleepless nights and belly fat.
- Eat well. Choose whole foods and avoid sugar not to lose weight but to boost your mood and fuel your body. With a positive mood and powered up body, you will be motivated to discover solutions to your problems and exercise (whether light, moderate or strenuous) daily.
- Divide and conquer. Make a list of (and prioritize) things that you want to accomplish, as well as a list of things that might impede your success. Then make a flexible, comfortably paced plan to navigate to your end-goal.
- Practice grace and compassion, especially toward yourself. We are often our own worst critic. Even if you do not totally love yourself, fake it until you make it. Accumulate a running list of things you like about yourself, and during moments of perceived failure (such as falling off the wagon if you honor Dry-uary) try not to judge yourself or practice self-loathing. Instead, return to your strengths and use them to your advantage.
—Becca Edwards, founder of Female IQ