10,000 hours of repetition, study, and practice makes an expert. Few of us have 10,000 hours to spend on one thing; however, all of us can be experts at—- ourselves.
Take time to reflect on yourself, your body, your goals, and your mind. Be the expert of you. When I finally took the time to truly understand myself, my weight loss journey jumped ahead three steps. I analyzed my habits, my weaknesses, and my strengths to understand how I created an image that I didn’t want AND how I was being successful in losing weight.
Ask yourself these three questions and then answer them as thoughtfully and fully as possible. The more you understand about yourself, the easier your journey to body-love will be.
What don’t I like about myself that I have the control to change? Why don’t you like it?
I hated my thighs. My calves… loved them. Anything about the knee, I couldn’t stand. I didn’t like them for two reasons: buying pants was a nightmare and they rubbed together painfully. I remember my upper thighs bleeding one day after cross-country practice because the skin had been rubbed raw…. from itself. Now that I have lost 50 pounds I can wear dresses, skirts, and shorts all day without any chaffing or discomfort. Also, I love fitting into a size 4 pant rather than a 14. I can go shopping and find my size easily, rather than worrying about going to a separate plus section. The pants also fit more evenly from ankle to thigh to waist.
Don’t just answer a body part, but really focus on the why. Be an expert in how you feel right now and WHY you feel that way. Understanding the reasons behind a feeling might help motivate your future actions in a more impactful way than just focusing on the product or outcome.
What is a trigger or weakness that continually blocks my journey or keeps me from being successful? What can I do to overcome this challenge?
Bread. Once I taste a little bit of delicious bread, I am done for. I start craving carbs like none-other. As an expert of myself, I know that if I let myself get too hungry and then eat a processed carb, I slide down a slippery slope. At this point in my journey, I am learning to appreciate serving sizes and eat slowly to enjoy every bite, but I am still very cautious of tasting my trigger foods. To overcome this challenge I track meticulously so I know exactly how much I can enjoy and I don’t walk down the bread isle at the store. If it isn’t in the house, I can’t snack on it later.
Analyze how you can overcome your challenge. What is a small step that you know sets you up for success that you can keep in mind. This is a key answer. Know yourself and you will know how to create an environment for success.
What are my strengths that have anchored my journey so far? How can I expand on those strengths?
As an expert in myself, I know that every morning I need to wake up and plan out my day carefully. I start by telling myself a positive message to start off strong: You did really well this weekend to stay on track despite a family lunch and other temptations. Get after it this Monday and really focus on your weigh-in Friday. I believe in you because you can do it and your goals are so close! I used to be my biggest challenge. I was not able to provide positive self-talks, so I hindered my own journey. After diving deep into my own thoughts, I emerged with a new appreciation for myself. I learned exactly what I need to tell myself and became my own source of strength. Beyond myself, I also realized I have an amazing support system of family. I use them to celebrate triumphs and to lean on during tough times.
Find your source of strength. Try to find the glimmer inside yourself. If you can’t yet, don’t worry because you will; until then find the people, pets, or things around you that you can draw support and strength from. Build this network as you continue your journey to your goals and ultimate body-love.
Take some time… a lot of time.. to understand yourself. You have been living in your body for 10,000+ hours and should be an expert. Be your own expert and guide to success. I have used this meme on another post, but it is my favorite (I even have it as my phone screen saver to remind me every time I look down). You can beat the “old” you by taking the small steps today that add up to a healthier, happier tomorrow.