Kindfulness: making a difference to your wellbeing, and your weight
Hands up if you’d love to have someone in your life who always has your best interests at heart, accepts you for who you are, and supports you to reach your full potential. With someone like that by your side, wouldn’t life feel easier? Well, you don’t need a fairy godmother to conjure up that magic person, they’re already here—and it’s you…
Be kind to yourself
Treating yourself with compassion is a gift that keeps on giving—boosting happiness and reducing stress levels—and it can help you achieve your weight-loss goals, too. Self-compassion has always been at the heart of Slimming World’s unique approach to weight loss and it seems that everyone else is catching on, too. There’s even a new buzzword—“kindfulness”—to sum up the empowering combination of self-compassion and mindfulness.
Let go of negative self-talk
Like mindfulness, kindfulness helps us to notice our mental chatter, and then to change it, so it becomes calming and supportive, rather than critical and undermining. Pausing for a minute or two and building moments of awareness into your day is a good way to start, as the more practise you get at bringing your mind back to the present, the more easily you’ll be able to detach yourself from unhelpful thoughts. This means they’re not affecting your emotions, which can have a knock-on effect on your behavior, including what you choose to eat.
Choosing to eat nourishing, delicious food is one of the best ways of being kind to yourself—it’s like saying a big “thank you” every day to your mind and body for working so hard. Think of it this way: if you’ve had a tough day, then you absolutely deserve to eat a meal that will nurture you and help you towards your target weight. Planning and preparing your favorite Food Optimizing meals for yourself, then taking the time to really taste and enjoy them, isn’t an indulgence—it’s a wonderful way to practise self-compassion in your life and treat yourself with kindness.
The ripple effect
Getting into the kindfulness habit by looking out for ways to help others, however small, can help you feel closer to those around you, and has the major bonus of also boosting your self esteem. It’s a virtuous circle: being compassionate to others helps you feel better about yourself, and feeling better about yourself helps you step into other people’s shoes and realize they struggle just like you do. Ultimately, that sense of care and understanding makes the world a nicer place to be.