Have you ever been on a diet plan that included a workout regimen while limiting your food intake in order to lose weight? Did that plan ever suggest you improve other areas of your life simultaneously while improving diet and movement routine? Did you ever gain any of the weight back from your past diet programs? Did you ever feel deprived while on the program? Did you feel that your willpower was the only thing that stood in the way of you being happier, lighter, and more fulfilled?
All too often we think a diet and exercise routine is the ultimate answer to our weight loss, happiness, and well-being. I will not deny that nutritious eating and an exercise plan is very important, but they are not the only element needed for health success.
You must include working on all aspects of your life for any weight loss to stick. And I would guess the goal is not really weight loss... the goal is happiness with a fulfilling life.
So you may be asking, “What? Diet and exercise alone are not enough?” I am here to tell you, NO. You must take the “Whole." This “Whole” approach can be referred to as“Wholism” which is referenced in my book, "Stop Bullying Yourself!"
I spell wholism with a “W” because you need to be a whole person first. Wholism marries the words whole and Holistic. It is the practice of Holistic medicine that treats the whole person, as you too should treat all aspects of your life when you are on a journey towards health and happiness. Joining the whole approach with the Holistic approach to your life is key for long term success. At the end of the day, you need to be emotionally healthy, physically healthy, spiritually healthy, financially healthy, and healthy in your relationships with everyone, including the paramount relationship with yourself. So, you see it is not just diet and exercise alone that help you lose weight and keep you feeling great, you must add-in improvements in each area of your life.
An example of some areas to work on:
Building strong relationships! Why? Good relationships create the release of the hormone Oxytocin. Oxytocin is great for your heart, emotional well-being, it is an antioxidant. I have heard it termed as the anti-obesity hormone. Strong relationships also can help lower anxiety and create more confidence in your life. Do you think building stronger relationships would help you keep weight off? Or help you lose weight?
Improve your financial health! Many people lose sleep, stress eat, and get in arguments due to financial stress. Any time we increase our inner-stress a hormone called cortisol is released. The more cortisol you release throughout your day can impact your waistline and keep you from getting restful sleep. Some things you can do to minimize financial stress is to give yourself a budget, however, if you do not know where your money is already going you must track your spending first. Find out what you are spending your money on. Also, stop using credit! Once you give yourself a budget, give yourself cash for all your expenses for the week or only use a debit card. The key is to keep track of your debits, so you are not mindlessly swiping your credit card. I have found when I have my finances under control I am happier, I choose healthier foods, I sleep better, and I have more energy. Do you think this can help you lose weight or keep weight off?
Nurture yourself daily! You must take time for you! This will help lower stress and keep that cortisol level in check. A cost-effective way to treat yourself to some “me” time is to set up your bathroom and bedroom with a peaceful approach. Give yourself a bubble bath, exfoliate, shave, give yourself a facial, and moisturize your skin every night. Light some candles. Take all of your electronics out of your room. Go to bed early and limit your social media time to 10 minutes a day. Say daily affirmations to yourself and give thanks before turning in for the night. If you do have room in your budget go get a massage, buy quality sheets for your bed, make sure you have a comfy mattress that works for you. Maybe look into getting a sound machine (this would be the only electronics I suggest). The key here is to take time for you daily. Do you think a little “you” time every day would help you improve your health and even help you with weight loss?
As you can see you need more than just nutritious food and exercise. You need to practice wholism to have a wholistic life. I have created a Matrix for you to double-check and see if you are living a wholistically life every day. Use this matrix as a reminder for self-improvement and to keep you on track to reach your goals. It is not about a perfect balance or about perfection. Wholism is about being mindful of each aspect of your life and touching on each aspect every day. Also, get a coach to help you with this. Life coaches are a great asset to add to one's life.
See the matrix below...
Photo Credit https://simpleefocused.com/