Listen to Your Body

More Body Signals

Learn to care for yourself. Get acquainted with your internal caretaker, the inner part of you that nutures you, loves you unconditionally, and always treats you with kindness and respect. Listen carefully. Your internal caretaker gently coaxes you to eat when you're hungry and to stop when you're satisfied.

Respond to your small needs, such as putting on hand lotion when your hands are dry, getting a drink of water when you're thirsty, or taking a moment for time alone, rather than waiting until you finish one more task.

Grow to love movement. Whether you're a couch spud or an exercise fanatic, you'll do well to take an enlightened view of movement -- for the joy of it. Look for new ways to fit activity into your daily life. Roll up the rug to dance to your favorite music, spend time strolling in the fresh air on your nearest walking path, play with your children or pet in the park, commune with nature as you weed your garden.

Shun the scale. This is a tough one, especially if your day is made or ruined by what you weigh each morning. Most nondiet experts suggest not weighing yourself because it fuels a diet mentality and keeps you focused on a number rather than your value. If you choose to weigh in, do so only once a month on the same day on a reliable scale. While you're at it, ditch diet paraphernalia such as diet books or articles, calorie counters, food scales, and other contraptions that keep you in the diet mode.

Celebrate your size -- now! Human bodies are naturally diverse. We don't expect everyone to have the same height or hair color. All body sizes deserve appreciation and respect. Look at all the things you are -- your interests, talents, accomplishments, and contributions -- and celebrate how special you are.

Enlist support. Surround yourself with positive, supportive family members and friends. Explain the nondiet approach and why it's important to you. Ask for their support and understanding. Tell weight critics that your size and shape are no longer up for discussion.

Connect to your spiritual self. Taking care of your spiritual needs is as important as tending to your physical, mental, and emotional needs. When you worry about food issues or have feelings of low self-esteem, the connection to your inner spirit can appear broken or muffled, but your spirit is always present, waiting for you to reconnect. Journaling, meditation, yoga, prayer, solitude, and creative expressions, such as singing, dancing, painting, and writing poetry, are ways to get in touch with your inner spirit.

Start living your dream life today. Live a full exciting life now. Make a list of all activities you've put on hold because you wanted to lose weight first. Pick the top one and do it now. Whether it's learning to tango, taking flying lessons, looking for a new job, or traveling to Italy, pursue your dreams -- whatever your weight.


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