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.
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?
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.
“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:
* 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.