Can you relate to this? Odds are you can because it’s easily the most common complaint I hear from women, especially as they age. Here you are in the prime of your life, on top of your game in many ways, yet you still feel like your upper arms jiggle too much. Or you moan about the slab you can grab around your waist. Maybe it’s your saddlebags or droopy derriere—or maybe it’s all of the above.
It makes me sad. How much time and energy have you spent in your life trying to change your body? If you actually looked and felt good in your body, what wonderful things you could do?
When I say wonderful things, know this: I definitely don’t mean spending more time exercising, chasing down the perfect supplements regimen, or counting calories. Did you know that the average woman will be on 130 diets in her lifetime?
Ugh. It’s a good thing you’re not average.
So how can you shift your body into a shape you like without spending all of your time devoted to this pursuit? Because I also hear you when you say you’re tired and overwhelmed—you’ve got a lot on your plate.
The fabulous news it can actually be much more simple than you think. As a women’s health coach, I’ve seen that one idea can make an outstanding difference—oh, and you’re going to love it…
That’s right. If you take that one idea and apply it across the 5 Facets, you’ll see how easy it can be to shift your shape, while you save precious time and boost your energy. Because really—what’s the point of looking fab if you feel like hell? That kind of misery will guarantee that your results won’t last.
Each of these Facets could be their own blog post (and may be later), but for right now let’s keep it as simple as possible. You want to see what I mean?
The Nourish Facet
Ask yourself: Is this quality food for my body?
This question greatly simplifies what to eat. Out with junk food and in with real, organic, grass-fed food that comes from nature. This is particularly important when it comes to what fats you eat. Industrial seed oils are definitely not quality food. Neither is white flour and sugar.
Another reason why this question can be so effective is that it focuses your attention on taking care of yourself, instead of depriving yourself. Battling cravings and forcing yourself to stay away from sweets is never going to be as effective as elevating your treat to something that’s delicious and not going to leave you regretting it later.
The Move Facet
Ask yourself: Is this quality movement (or lack of quality movement) for my body?
Sitting in one position for too long is not quality. Neither is bad posture. But maybe more surprisingly, a surplus of exercise isn’t quality, either. While researchers debate whether overdoing exercise is bad for your mental health or good for your longevity, keep in mind that exercise itself is a stressor. That doesn’t make it bad, but it does release cortisol in your body. And if you’re trying to lose fat around your middle, excess cortisol is not your friend. Besides that, overdoing exercise often leads to injury.
Focusing on moving and maintaining good posture regularly is a much easier and more effective goal. Another bonus: It saves time (no more long workout sessions) as it boosts your energy!
The Rest Facet
Ask yourself: Is this quality thinking for my mind?
You believe your thoughts, so it’s very important to elevate the quality of the stories you tell yourself. Changing your mindset helps nip stress and anxiety in the bud, leading to greater life satisfaction, happiness, and better quality sleep. You want to know how it affects your body, though, right? Well, as crazy as it may seem, changing your mindset can even change your biology, as I’ve written about before.
When you catch yourself thinking negative, judgmental, and other unhelpful thoughts, see if you can shift your perspective around (such as in looking for the silver lining). Bonus points if you can actually feel some gratitude in the moment. You’ll know you’re thinking quality thoughts when they give you a feeling of being supported, content, and/or energized. This will lead to better decision-making all around.
The Play Facet
Ask yourself: Is this quality enjoyment for my life?
You deserve to have fun! Life isn’t meant to be drudgery and gym time. But when you’re already tired and/or not feeling great about yourself, fun is often reduced to things that require no effort, such as watching t.v. or scrolling through social media. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and watching “Drag Race.” But making this a daily habit doesn’t help energize you. And it certainly doesn’t help you love yourself (well, Rupaul’s message does help a bit with that).
You don’t have to give up your devices, but try to balance them with time spent using your own body and mind—you know, those activities that are often called hobbies, which makes them sound so trivial. They’re not. They make everything else worthwhile. In fact, get together with a friend in real life…but read the next Facet first.
The Connect Facet
Ask yourself: Is this a quality relationship in my life?
You don’t have complete control over the people you’re surrounded by, but you can begin noticing who brings you to life—and who makes you want to crawl back into bed. Then, to the extent that you can, spend more time with the former and less with the latter. If you can’t avoid the soul-suckers, though, you can see if changing your expectations about them can leave you with your spirit intact. Or you can imagine that you’re wearing some fabulous armor that deflects their bad juju (reread the Rest Facet if you need a reminder that your thoughts have power).
Studies have shown a strong correlation between your friends’ body weight and your own. Please—I’m not telling you to choose your bestie based on size. This has more to do with rallying around friends that support your helpful habits. You’ll notice that as you spend more time with people who lift you up—and hopefully you’re elevating them, too—you’ll naturally feel more compassionate towards yourself. Compassion is a strong predictor of habit-change success.
If you think there’s no way this one simple shift could have the impact you want, open your mind. Try it. Taking habits you already have in place and elevating them to a better quality requires some initial effort but no more time then what you were already doing.
What a relief! You’re taking your first steps along the path. But practicing them over time is how the magic happens. You can expect to transform the way your body looks—and how you feel about it—while boosting your energy to new levels. So simple. So wonderfulness.
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If you feel like health coaching is what you need, I’m here for you—just reach out!