You will also want to wean off of coffee and taper down your eating so as not to shock your body. For me, I begin adding in a smoothie in place of a meal on day one, two smoothies in place of two meals on day two and then enter into the Challenge on day three. Slowly weaning off coffee before you start is also wise.
I also invite you to discover why you are taking the Challenge.
Defining Your Why
Now that you are have decided that this is a Challenge you are ready to take on, it is time to consider “why” you are going to do something so crazy! This is a time to dig a little deeper than simply taking The Challenge to release weight or to have more energy. Sit down and really think about why you want to release weight or why you would like to have more energy. Do you have a family? Maybe you’d like to be around to see your grandchildren grow up and have enough energy to chase them around. Maybe you want to make sure you are healthy enough to provide for your family. Be sure to use positive words for your reasons such as “I am, I have, I will, I choose” instead of using negative verbiage such as “I can’t, I won’t, I don’t.” For example, you might say, “I am going to take The Challenge because I don’t have any energy.” Instead, say, “I am going to take The Challenge to increase my energy level.” Speak to yourself in a positive tone. Go deep into defining your reasons why. Even ask yourself: “Why do I want to provide for my family, have more energy or be around to play with my grandchildren?” Keep asking why until you have it really nailed down. Imagine, vividly, what your life will look like once you have released weight or gained energy. What will be new and different about your life? What are some things that will change? What will you be able to do that you are currently unable do? Create a detailed movie in your mind of what you will do when you are thinner and full of vitality. What will you do with the extra time you have as a result of needing less sleep? Think of all the positive ways these changes will affect your life and write them down. Even create a vision board with pictures or a video, called a mind movie, so you can be reminded, in pictures, daily, about your goals. When you feed your subconscious mind in this way, it will lead you right to the necessary tools to fulfill your intentions.
You may want to take The Challenge in order to get on track with your eating. Maybe you are feeling undisciplined in this area, and you need an extra boost of motivation to start eating more healthfully. You are free to make all of your own decisions. It is so easy to get into a rut of making less-than-optimal decisions around food. We are constantly bombarded with unhealthy options to choose from. Now is the time to realize that the choice is always yours. You are in total control of what goes into your mouth. If you do tend to make unhealthy choices, know that you are absolutely normal because many of us struggle here as well. You may even feel obsessed and compulsive at times. You might feel like I have felt so often, that it feels impossible to think of anything but food. This is simply a habit or a way to escape from the stresses of day-to-day life. It is said that it takes three weeks to break a habit. Let this be the beginning of new choices for yourself. Decide right now that you are going to give your energy to more productive things, rather than giving in to unhealthy eating choices. Focus on the health you are bringing into your life, rather than what you are not eating.
You may also desire to implement a good exercise routine. Now is a great time to do this as you will have more time to exercise because you are spending less time eating. Maybe your goal is to release some extra weight so that exercising is not such a chore for you. Whatever it is that will motivate you during times of intense hunger, write this down and refer back to it daily. This must be a ‘why’ that really matters to you. Take a few minutes here to contemplate and write down ‘why’ you are going to take this Challenge. If you are having a hard time figuring out your ‘why’, try the following exercise, which I learned from Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Say you want to release twenty-five pounds. You would then write the following: “It doesn’t matter to me if I release twenty five pounds, what I really want is _____________”. Continue with this exercise until you really figure out what it is you want in life. What will you have after you have released this weight that you do not have now? What is missing in your life that you truly desire? What is your deep longing? What do you daydream about being different in your life?
Figuring out why you are doing something may seem like a large task. Here are some ideas you might consider focusing on as you decide what your major motivation is for taking this Challenge. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize what changes will take place as a result of taking The Challenge.
- What is your desired outcome?
- Will you have more energy?
- Will you fit into your clothes more easily?
- Will you be thrilled when you look in the mirror?
- Will you be able to chase your children or grandchildren?
- Will you experience peace? Will your acid reflux disappear?
- Will your food cravings vanish?
- Will your food obsessions stop nagging you?
- Will you need less sleep?
- Will you have more clear, mental focus?
- Will you have more trust for yourself?
- What will be different when your Challenge is complete?
- What outcomes do you most desire to experience?
- What are you unable to do right now, that you will be able to do when you are healthier and lighter?
See your life changing in these ways. Allow these changes to become a reality in your mind. What does it feel like to be in that place you desire to be, to fulfill the intentions you choose for yourself to achieve and to wake up each morning in this new body with these new outcomes? Be this new person in your mind for a few minutes. Experience the new you and now write down the three new changes that you desire the most. Write them all down if you wish! This is your ‘Why’ statement.
Once you are clear on your ‘why’, the next step is to draw a picture of your future self, five years from now. Draw this future self, bowing in gratitude to your current self for taking the important steps you are about to take so you can get where you want to be. Make sure that you convey the new changes in the future self, as they have already happened. You may also choose to write a letter from your future self, five or ten years from now, thanking you for doing the hard work of making these changes. Get as detailed as you can.
I find that for me personally, weight loss is not enough of a motivation for me to stick to the Challenge. Watching my weight drop certainly will motivate me as I step on the scale each day, if I choose to do so, but in times of intense hunger or cravings, it is the things I hold much more dearly than the number on that scale, that keep me on track. My number one motivator is high energy. I tend to naturally have a lower energy level. I like to accomplish a lot every day and I want to have the energy to do that. I want to be able to stay up at night with my family, helping with homework, reading to my girls or talking over tea with my husband. If I get too tired, I am not in a good mood at night and my family doesn’t get the best of me. I also like to wake up in the quiet, early hours of the morning to read, meditate, chant or exercise before the sun peaks it face out from behind the night sky. Another big motivator for me is clear skin and bright whites of my eyes. I do not have these things unless I eat very healthy. In fact, when I don’t eat healthy I become moody, hormonal, and monster-like. I don’t want to be that way, so choosing to eat unhealthy food for me leaves a lot of choices on the table. Usually I find it is just not worth it! But, if it all came down to a number on a scale, most of the time I myself might choose to eat more than I need to or choose to eat things that I know are not optimal. I just don’t want the other outcomes those choices give me and that’s what keeps me on track in times of temptation. It is conscious thought about my choices and the resulting outcome. What motivates you? What changes do you want to see more than you want to eat things that will keep you right where you are? And what do you need to shed other than weight? Negative beliefs? Resentment? What is no longer serving you? Are you ready to let it go?
Copyright 2015, Maria Rippo, Be Wellthy, Inc.
Maria Rippo is a certified holistic coach and heart-centered hypnotherapist who has recovered from her own emotional eating saga! She works with clients to overcome their challenges with food and life, to live free!