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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 December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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