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Losing Weight With Gratitude

Losing Weight With Gratitude

    Whenever we think about losing weight, a deliberate practice of gratitude is definitely not at the top of our action plan. In fact, with our national obsession about calories and exercise, the notion about being grateful as a weight loss strategy might even sound ridiculous. Besides, you might think you don’t have much to be grateful for, anyway – especially when it comes to your body. But investing a few minutes each day in simply indulging in warm feelings of appreciation will definitely pay off, and here’s why.

    Complaining Leads To ‘Cheating’

    What we focus in on one aspect of our lives, we can get consumed by that small part of ourselves. If you spend your day thinking about how fat you are, how much you hate yourself and how deprived you feel by your current diet, then you will amplify those miserable feelings. Complaining will inevitably create even more circumstances to resist and despise.

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    When that moment of temptation comes – and it always does – it will be harder to resist the afternoon pastries and soft drinks because, after all, you’re having a really tough day. You deserve a reward and what could be more welcome than a rich and sugary treat?

    On the other hand, if you’ve deliberately noticed how many blessings are in your life right now, even before you’ve reached your perfect weight, you will feel less sorry for yourself and be more inclined to feel peaceful and happy. Feelings of serenity and quiet joy make it easier to brew a cup of tea rather than guzzle a high-calorie chocolate shake and a couple of cookies.

    Gratitude Causes Confidence

    When you’re grateful, you feel more confident. How can you not feel more confident about yourself when you’re focused on all the wonders in your life?

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    One of the enemies of serious efforts to make changes in our bodies is a feeling of discouragement, especially when we hit the dreaded “plateau” when nothing much seems to be happening. There is always an initial weight loss – and there is always a time when our body stops dropping weight so that it can adjust to new realities before it resumes the weight loss.

    This is an extremely dangerous time and it’s easy to say, “What’s the use?” and return to the habits that made us fat. If we feel grateful and confident it’s much easier to remain peaceful and to stick to our weight loss plan.

    A Grateful Person Is A Powerful Person

    Gratitude helps us to feel more powerful. When we notice how ‘right’ our life circumstances are, we feel more in control and less like a helpless victim.

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    “What Do I Possibly Have To Feel Grateful About?”

    You might wonder what in the world you can possibly find to be grateful about. But the truth is that your world is full of blessings, whether you notice them or not. Bottom line: ingratitude is a habit and any habit can be changed. Here’s a question to consider:

    “If I wanted to be grateful about something, what would it be?”

    Begin with the very body that you want so desperately to change:

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    * If you wanted to, could you notice that you have a beautiful complexion?
    * If you wanted to, could you be aware that you have very thick hair that many people would love to have?
    * If you wanted to, could you be appreciative of your heart, your lungs, your liver, your kidneys and all the other organs that work so tirelessly to keep you alive?
    * If you wanted to, could you be grateful for your hands that perform so many necessary tasks?
    * If you wanted to, could you notice that you haven’t been sick in the last year?
    * If you wanted to, could you be grateful for your excellent hearing and vision?

    Five Minutes Every Once In A While Is A Useless Weight Loss Strategy

    A two minute “gratitude session” today is great, but it’s consistent effort that will pay huge dividends. There is nothing unpleasant about feeling grateful – in fact, it’s just the opposite. So find a way to remind yourself to spend a few minutes every day simply noticing the countless blessings in your life.

    The “Secret Sauce” For Gratitude Power

    Here is the most powerful ‘secret’ in harnessing gratitude power for weight loss: you absolutely MUST make your gratitude emotional, rather than rational. When brave Christopher Reeves was alive, I felt extremely grateful for my healthy legs and spine that could carry me wherever I wanted to go, rather than being paralyzed as he was. No matter how unattractive you may feel, there are always many people who are worse off than you. All you need to do is notice and feel genuine appreciation for how fortunate you are.

    So, yes, carefully read some diet reviews and choose an exercise plan that works for you. But don’t neglect an experiment in gratitude and discover for yourself that this simple practice will empower your weight loss efforts much more than attention to food and exercise alone can ever do.

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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