Your intentions were good. As you watched everyone indulge in snacks at the New Year’s Eve party, you made a promise to yourself. By the end of this year, you’d lose 15 pounds, you’d replace all that bread and cheese with fresh veggies, and you’d allow yourself just two glasses of wine each week. And to make all that happen, you’d visit the gym five days a week and walk two miles on the other days. It was a good promise, and you were going to make it happen.

But now four weeks have gone by, and you’ve made it to the gym six times and walked twice. You’re eating better … well, a little better … but when the kids want mac and cheese, it’s hard to settle for carrot sticks. As you pour your second glass of wine this evening, you feel like a failure. It was such a simple resolution, but the excuses were even easier.

First, you’re not a failure. You’re human and you’re not alone. Most of us make promises to ourselves and struggle to keep them. There’s no need to beat yourself up because you set a challenging goal.

What I want to talk with you about is the bigger issue. Why do you feel that you need to lose weight? What do you think when you get out of the shower and see yourself in the mirror? What do you see that you like? Where do you see yourself in ten years? In 20? 30?

I ask all that because many of the New Year’s resolutions people make seem to about “simple” things like losing a few pounds or starting a new exercise plan, but they’re really about something deeper and more complicated. They’re about the person we see when we look at ourselves, and how we’ve come to hold those beliefs. They’re much bigger issues than whether we need to lose a few pounds or exercise more frequently.

What we think about our bodies is important because it’s an indicator of what we think about ourselves. Many of our beliefs are imprinted during childhood, often because of thoughtless remarks or behaviors from those around us or how we heard our parents talk about their bodies. If we’ve suffered some kind of abuse along the way, we may try to come to terms with it by having negative thoughts about how we look.

So when you’re frustrated about failing to lose a few pounds or not exercising like you should, the problem may not be laziness or procrastination. It may actually be how you feel about yourself and the way you look. If you look deeply enough to find that root cause, a number of things may happen. You may appreciate yourself more, giving you motivation to take better care of your body. You may become less critical about the parts of your appearance that have long troubled you. You may even find your confidence and energy improving.

You may be able to find those answers on your own, but most people need a little help to get there. Start by having a conversation with one of our professionals. We’ll listen to your concerns and ask some questions to get insight, so we can help you find the path that works for you. I’d love to meet you. Give me a call if you’re ready to take that brave step of loving yourself and your body. It’s why I’m here.

More about Tracy here.

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