What does it mean to be mindful? It’s about self-honesty, self-respect and accountability. It’s about owning your actions and being aware of the decisions we make each and every day and their impact on our health and wellness. Well, here’s the tough love…so brace for a bumpy ride. Remember that being mindful is a skill. We don’t always enjoy practicing it, but the more we do the better we get.
First of all, the scale doesn’t lie. In fact, it may be the most truthful thing we encounter on our journey. We’ve all faced it many times – and many of those times hated it. Dreaded it. Loathed it. Smashed one against a wall (yup…no joke). Perhaps even cried even before stepping on it. But in the end, it’s been the most truthful thing to us – and just the smack in the face needed. It’s even more honest than friends and loved ones (Because you know they never want to hurt you). But, bottom line: best reality check ever.
Sometimes we don’t want that honesty – and we’ll do anything to hide from it. Call it making excuses. Call it passing the buck. The one thing we don’t say though is, “it’s my fault and here’s why…”. In other words, it is self-accountability. We are ultimately responsible for ourselves. We don’t’ hold anyone else but ourselves accountable for our own actions. So, this weekend when we eat a real hamburger (with the works!), fried sweet potato fries, and half a pecan sticky bun with ice cream we have to own that truth. We have to balance it out. Conversely when we choose the right foods we have to own that, too, and be proud. Acknowledge it. It’s about being honest – and just facing it. Correcting the bad stuff and moving on. Be honest and reflect. Here are some tools that can help:
- Keep a journal
- Log Food – this is a favorite thing to do. Keeps us real honest.
- Emotions – this reminds us when we eat for emotional reasons. While emotions are hard to handle, one thing we cannot do is eat through them.
- Exercise – this is good to be able to track progress.
- Be honest with yourself – it’s OK if you don’t like what you see – as all of that is changeable. Just like the seasons change so can we. And we ebb and flow. Every day is a new day, so take it! It’s being conscience about what we’re doing that makes us all on the right path!
- Consider working with a tool such as:
- Pedometer to track steps
- Heart Rate Monitor to track cardio zone or calories you burn
- A fitness buddy
- A fitness journal
- Joining a local activity club
When it comes to excuses we’re all the kings and queens. You name an excuse and it’s sure to be one any one of us have used it at some point. The point being that excuses are nothing more than bricks we pile up to make the journey less accessible. Every excuse we let block the way is held by the mortar that is our conviction to believe the excuse is real. So, let’s do ourselves a favor and start to knock that wall down. Now. That is mindfulness.
Now, let’s talk about the “I’ve been doing everything right” excuse. If the scale isn’t moving the way you want then perhaps everything isn’t right. Ask yourself the following (and what? Be honest!):
- Am I eating enough calories to fuel my body properly?
- Have I exercised enough?
- Have I kept a log of what I’ve done?
- (For women) Am I on my menstrual cycle?
Now there are a host of other questions, but these directly relate to self-accountability. So the next time something doesn’t go your “weigh,” look back on what you did. Be honest. Cause we will only wind up hurting ourselves in the end. Respect yourself enough to be honest; you deserve it.
In the end being mindful about our progress and program is what will make or break our success. Being mindful is important. In fact, it is likely the key to your success. Like any skill it will take practice, and it may be hard in the beginning, but so is any new challenge you accept. Remember: you’ve got this!