As you go from 40 to 50 to 60 years old or more, you may be noticing the numbers on the scale going up concurrent with your age. If you’ve always been able to maintain a healthy weight easily in your younger years, but now the weight just keeps slowly creeping up, you may be suffering from midlife weight gain syndrome. Hey, it happens to the best of us! Even if you feel you’ve done nothing to deserve such a fate!
While there are biological reasons for midlife weight gain (hormones), environmental reasons (toxicity), and behavioral (your unhealthy habits), you might find yourself being really hard on yourself every time you see your image in the mirror. How you feel about yourself and your self-image can easily plummet as your self-talk about how you look becomes increasingly negative.
If you are constantly dissatisfied with how you look, this can lead to underlying feelings of worthlessness, fear, frustration, blame, even anger which could transfer to other areas of your life and well being.
Have you heard the saying, “You can’t solve your problems with the same thinking used when you created them”?
Whether your current weight is the result of hormones gone crazy, environmental toxicity or unhealthy habits, it doesn’t matter; the first thing you need to do is love and forgive yourself for all of it!
Here are 5 ways you can love yourself to a healthier weight. Remember, you are a valuable, worthy person in spite of how many pounds you’ve gained. Your body is simply responding to the factors it has been given. Your body is remarkable in how resilient it is and will respond to some tender loving care once you begin to take action to turn things around.
- Start with the negative self-talk. Instead of berating yourself, thank your body for responding in the best way it knows how. Know it is doing its best given the circumstances it’s been given and know that it will take better care of you when you take better care of yourself in body, mind and spirit. You can begin by changing a negative thought to something like “I am so grateful for my body and all it does for me, and I will return the favor by treating it well.”
- Forgive yourself. Let go of the past. You did the best you could with what you knew at the time. Period. As you know better, you’ll do better. Be gentle with yourself as you learn to incorporate new habits and healthier behaviors.
- Start your day by finishing this sentence, “I love and approve of myself, therefore I…” This might sound something like “I love and approve of myself, therefore I will go for a walk tonight after dinner” or “I love and approve of myself, therefore I will not snack after dinner”
- Love yourself enough to follow through on your intuition. You intuitively know what to do, you just have to listen. You know when something feels right or wrong. Go with your gut; follow your feelings on what is true for you. If you are addicted to sugar, admit it, and figure out what you need to do about it. If you have a strong desire to start doing yoga, follow it and find a class or video and start doing it.
- Give yourself tons of credit for the changes you are making! Every little thing that moves you closer to your goal of a healthy weight is a win, no matter how small it may seem. All the little things will add up over time. Start keeping track of all the positive changes you are making each day and regularly praise yourself for your good work!
Debra Betterly, PhD is an Integrative Wellness & Life Coach and Metaphysician whose passion is to help women in midlife master their body, mind and spirit.
Her “10 Day Whole Person Detox Challenge” is offered as a free body, mind, Spirit approach to holistic health. Learn more here
Her popular Midlife Mastery Healthy Weight Program is scheduled to begin October 3, 2017 and registrations are being taken now. This is a 3 month program designed specifically for women 40+ who want to take control of their weight, health and life. It provides cheat sheets, exercises, worksheets, tools, planning, and support for lasting lifestyle change! Learn more here