In our weight loss journeys, we often times put the main focus on our bodies. We really shouldn’t abandon our minds in this quest. Weight loss is truly about aligning our minds with our bodies. Many of us probably have experience with our minds giving up before our bodies do.
Here I will tell you why being mindful and taking the time to reflect is important:
Practicing mindfulness allows us to be more aware of ourselves, our surroundings, and our actions. That in turn allows us to adjust as we need to. It is very powerful to be able to tell when our bodies or our minds have had enough, so that we can take a break before we reach a breaking point. When we are able to take a step back and just breathe, we can accomplish so much more. It allows us to think and might even bring some enlightenment. As long as you keep your goals fresh in your mind and your resolve strong, a break can be just what you need.
Reflection is an amazing tool, at regular intervals or even whenever we feel stuck or unsure. Stopping to take the time to reflect on what you have been doing, all you have accomplished, what isn’t working, and what you want to do going forward. This is especially helpful when you have a very specific goal in mind and need to make sure you’re on the right path. That specific goal could be weight loss in general or it could be a race coming up, a certain exercise goal you want to reach, or something to do with your nutrition. Set aside time to reflect at different intervals so that you can adjust if needed or reaffirm that what you’re doing is working for you.
How about you, do you find being mindful and taking time to reflect helps you with your weight loss or other goals?
In preparation for the half marathon I’m registered for in May 2016, I wanted to do a 5K race in August and a 10K race in November. So first I signed up for a 5K race near me happening on August 15th. Originally I had signed up for the run, but as the race rapidly grew closer, the minor foot issue I had going on wasn’t healing like I thought it would. This meant that I had to switch over to the 2 mile walk at the race event instead.
Understandably, I was horribly disappointed. In fact, for the few days leading up to the race I almost decided to just forget it altogether. It had been a rough and busy week for me and I was so tired, which in turn made it easier to feel down about not being able to actually run the 5K.
However, the side of me that desperately wanted to see what a race was all about eventually won out and I went! I’m super thankful that my realistic side convinced me to go! Upon arriving, first I checked in at the registration table and collected my race gear: a race bib with my number on it, a shirt with the race name on it, and my race packet with some goodies in it. I was so proud of the tee shirt that I put it on over the tee shirt I wore there right away. Then one of the registration ladies helped me pin the bib to it.
There I was, all set to go and full of excitement and nerves! Once it was time, I started out slow. I was warming up and also a bit cautious, unsure how races played out. They had told us that there would be volunteers directing us along the way so I looked out for them. Soon I was in the zone and fully enjoying the experience. I never walk fast but amazingly, even walking on a trail which I was nowhere used to, I managed to keep a good pace of 19 minutes per mile for the 1.75 mile walk. That is my fastest walking pace and I was ecstatic to have done that after not walking outside much in the previous two months.
My first race experience was a far cry from what I thought and always imagined it would be, but it was very pleasant and enjoyable. It really left a positive imprint on my mind and I can’t wait for more in my future. I’m hoping next year I will be able to do the actual 5K run for this race. The possibilities truly are endless. All you have to do is dream, plan, and believe in yourself! Have you ever thought about signing up for a walk or a run? Go for it! Enjoy every step of training and completing it. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it certainly is rewarding!