The biggest mistake I find most people make when trying to lose weight, get better, or just adapt a healthier lifestyle is they make it stressful. Not intentionally of course, but they go all in, all or nothing. This abrupt change is really stressful. Suddenly you’re not eating bread, wheat, gluten, dairy, meat, or whatever or maybe all of it but everywhere you look, everyone around you is eating it. And worst of all, you don’t know the fundamentals of eating this way; you don’t know what to buy; you don’t know what to cook or how to cook it; you don’t know how to eat out or at a party or at work without feeling so deprived. You literally don’t know how to live without this and you’re left in a state of torment, defeat, stress and even anxiety.
It’s like when you first started yoga (or basketball or insert your hobby here). Imagine walking into your first class and expecting to do crane (bakasana), headstand (sirsasana), and hand stand (adho mukha vrksasana). You get moving in class and realize you can’t even do a proper chaturanga push up, let alone stand on your forearms, head, or hands. These are unrealistic expectations for the majority of people. The same goes with making changes in the way we eat.
What we should do is go into our first class and just see where we are, take an assessment. Usually we realize, we didn’t know how to sit or stand properly. Heck, we didn’t even know how to breathe properly! But with practice and awareness and a really good teacher, we begin to learn and make corrections. We begin to feel better. We get encouraged and invigorated by our practice. We begin to learn new and more challenging postures. We learn to focus on ourselves, not to compare ourselves to others, to be gentle, yet strong, listen to our bodies and respond in kindness. Then months or years down the road, we’ve build enough strength and skill that “magically” our feet are floating off the ground up into that headstand.
When we decide to lose weight or eat better or heal ourselves, we should take this same approach for REAL, LASTING, LIFE-CHANGING results. This doesn’t mean we can’t jump in, but it does mean we need to give ourselves lots of grace, lots of room for mistakes and failures, and learn to persevere and love ourselves anyway. This is how I teach my clients, we begin to build skills based off where they are RIGHT NOW and sometimes we may even need to take a step backwards, because they’re trying to do bakasana when they can’t even do chaturanga (metaphor obviously). We need to have a really strong foundation. The same goes for eating well.
If you want REAL, LASTING, LIFE-CHANGING results, check your foundation, decide what the best next step is, make sure your listening to your body, know the TRUTH about food, and get a really good teacher or a really good community or both. Maybe you could even join me for my workshop and get all the above, go deeper into these topics and begin to build your happiest, healthiest self.
Cheers to your health,
Join Maddi Vonderau, Integrative Wellness Coach
Yoga and Weightless 5 week Series beginning January 21st
Saturdays from 2-3:30
Downtown Location 1301 Lafayette Street. Parking Lot Available.