Losing weight is a journey within itself. Sometimes it’s easy, but often trying to lose excess weight by reducing body fat percentage and maintaining or building muscle mass is a slow process. It’s crucial that you take the time to care for yourself – physically, mentally, and spiritually – so as not to burn out. You must make learning how to take care of yourself a priority. This article offers several self-care ideas for you to consider and implement during your weight loss journey.
Self-Care is Not Selfish – It’s Loving YourselfMany people were raised to put others first. Although this is a true philosophy, we should also remember to treat others as we would also like to be treated. How would you like to be treated by another person? You would probably want another person to respect and honor you.
Yet, that is what self-care is about – giving yourself permission to love you and to take care of your needs. It’s not selfish to want this. To make this easier to visualize, picture yourself as a pitcher of water and nearby are a set of tall water glasses. Each glass represents someone or something important to you.
One glass is your family; children and significant other. Another glass is your career or job. Another glass is your extended family, parents, and in-laws. A fourth glass could represent your responsibilities at home and church.
As a responsible and caring person, you pour from your pitcher into the water glasses of others. You fill their glasses up with everything you believe they expect from you. However, at some point, your pitcher runs dry. Eventually, the water glasses will empty and not refill. You must take care of yourself and your basic needs before you can meet the needs of others.
If you are on a weight loss journey for better health, then good for you! The toughest part is getting started for some people. However, for others, it is maintaining the momentum and ignoring the naysayers. This is where self-care comes in to play.
Sometimes we feel guilty for showing any semblance of self-love when others are hurting. But the truth is that if you don’t take the time to be good to you, then you will be left hurting with no one to fill your glass.
Healthy Weight Loss is a Form of Self-Care
To be clear, healthy weight loss is a form of self-care. Putting in the effort to lose excess weight and improve bloodwork levels is a sign of a person who wants to live longer and be around for the people they love.
Choosing a healthy weight loss plan is critical. There are too many fad diets and extreme workout plans on the market today that can leave you feeling overwhelmed. You may have tried and failed at these methods before in the past. Do your research to find a legitimate weight management plan that you can do for the rest of your life. You are too valuable to spend your entire life focused on unhealthy gimmicks.
Loving yourself means nourishing your body with healthy food and getting in the appropriate level of exercise for the stage you are in on your weight loss journey. It means staying in touch with your physician to monitor your lab work and ensure that you are up to date on annual checkups.
You may have people in your life that would rather you didn’t lose weight and take care of yourself. It might be that they are afraid that you will gain self-confidence and eventually leave them. It may be that the naysayer in your life knows they should do something about their own predicament and so it makes them angry or depressed to see you doing the thing they can’t (or won’t) do.
Keeping your head up and pressing on despite these people are signs of self-love. Your self-esteem isn’t measured on what other people think about what you say or do. It is based on the value you and God place on your worth. You are more valuable than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31).
Self-Care Ideas During Weight Loss
It is time to develop a self-care routine. This can be part of your daily routine or saved for special occasions to celebrate weight loss milestones. You may want to consider adding in one or more of these self-care ideas into your daily regimen and then schedule out the larger ones for a once a month appointment.
Self-Care Ideas for Your Daily Routine
- Create a morning routine that includes prayer. Taking time out to talk to your Heavenly Father can help strengthen and prepare you for the day ahead. If you say your prayer out loud, you may find you are less distracted by intrusive thoughts.
- Write down or say out loud something you are grateful for and something you like about yourself. Practicing gratitude is important. For example, you can be grateful for your warm and cozy home and be able to say that you like (and accept) the shape of your nose.
- Slow down and take a break. The day can take on a life of its own. Make yourself a cup of hot tea or coffee and take a fifteen-minute break at least once a day. This gives you time to relax and helps you resume your workday in a better frame of mind. You can do this at night with a cup of herbal tea and a good book to help improve your sleep.
- Do something for you every day. Maybe this means reading for fifteen minutes, watching an episode of your favorite sitcom, or taking a brisk walk. Whatever it is you enjoy the most, take the time to do it.
- Step up your skincare game. Our skin changes as we lose weight. Now is a great time to commit to a skincare regimen to practice during your nightly routine. Even if it is just a three-minute regimen of cleanser, eye cream, and moisturizer, your skin will look healthier.
- Monitor what you take in. We are bombarded by negative influences all day long – from the radio to television media to our social media platforms. Whether you know it, that negativity can affect you. Consider unfollowing social media accounts who spout drama and stick to those that motivate you toward your goals.
- Go to bed at a decent time. Getting enough rest is self-care at its finest. Perhaps outfit your bed with your favorite linens and comforter to snuggle down early tonight.
Self-Care Ideas to Celebrate Weight Loss Milestones
- Manicures and pedicures are always great gifts to yourself when you reach a milestone. It feels pampering and men can try it too.
- New clothes for your new size. If your clothes are sagging, you might need a smaller size. If your budget is tight, look for sales online or check out the closest outlets.
- New workout gear like fitness apparel or a yoga mat. When you hit that next milestone, check around for some new gear that will motivate you. Plus, it will feel like Christmas morning to receive a present from yourself.
- Dressing up and attending a social event like a concert, play, or party is like sharing your celebration with others. Bring a friend if you feel shy.
- Go on a mini-vacation by yourself. This can be an all-day field trip to a museum or a weekend away at a cabin. Consider getting away and breathing in the relaxation and alone time, especially if you are also the caregiver to small children and/or aging parents.
Another idea is to take an empty jar and write down self-care ideas on slips of paper and add them to the jar. Once a week, pull an idea out of the jar randomly and add it to your daily routine.
Pamper Yourself So You Can Pamper Your Family
Losing weight is hard and you are doing the work. Just remember to take care of yourself so you can take care of those you love. Sometimes pampering yourself will feel too luxurious, but you do deserve this break. Rest up, so you can serve others as you were called to do.
“Every Day is a Fresh Start”, Courtesy of Alysha Rosly, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Stretching”, Courtesy of Bruce Mars, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Yoga”, Courtesy of Emily Sea, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Love Yourself”, Courtesy of Annie Spratt, Unsplash.com, CC0 License