How to Stay Mindful this Independence Day

Happy Independence Weekend, Readers! Due to the holiday, this week's blog post is a little early... 

When people think of Independence Day or July 4th, immediately we think of summer BBQ’s and fireworks… and the ultimate fear that comes along with shoving your body in a swimsuit. Well, maybe that’s just me, but I doubt it. If you’re remotely sensitive to your appearance, you dread this time of year. Not only is this holiday one of the worst for the mental body shamers, it has to be the most gluttonous aside from the almighty tryptophan ingestion of November. In America, we celebrate our freedom from Britain’s 1700’s oppression by doing what? Stuffing our faces with BBQ meats and mayo-packed side dishes, while scantily clad by a body of water, prepping for a light show later that evening. For me, this holiday means panic.

I was just having a conversation about my swimsuit-clad body with my boyfriend. We were gearing up to go out to our pool during a scorching Sunday in the valley heat, and I tried on multiple suits – all options made me unhappy looking in the mirror. We weren’t even in public! It was just us, and still I couldn’t bring myself to wear my cute striped bandeau bikini. It’s not so much that I don’t like my body – I *love* my body! It’s been through so much, and I love it for becoming stronger, healthier and lighter. However, it’s that I personally cannot wrap my head around loving the extra skin I have; it’s a badge of honor, true, but that’s a badge I wasn’t mentally prepared to earn.

In Shedding the Mental Fat Suit, I mentioned the things that people don’t tell you when you go through the weight loss process, and how your expectations may or may not line up with the reality of such a grand feat… but I’m still in the process of figuring out what it means to love the new body I’ve earned for myself.

To keep you on track, remember that every day is a struggle. None of this is supposed to be “easy”. That’s what makes invigorating after you’ve achieved your goals! If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. Believe me, I struggle with it every day, as my journey is still underway itself. Once you see the proper size pants and how they actually fit, you’ll remember why you started in the first place… but we have to get there first.

In honor of the rest of the day, remember that as you stare at the vat of potato salad. Remember why you started this journey, your journey towards a healthier you, and you won’t have to fight an uphill battle of counting calories and carbs. If you remember the following today, you’ll be just one more step closer to the ‘you’ you hope to be.

Stay Mindful Today:

  1. Plan ahead! If you know your friend’s party is going to be filled with temptation, potluck style, bring a platter that works for you! I always end up bringing cut up bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli… and if you like sweets like I do, a fruit assortment and dip. You can check out my recipes here.
  2. Remember your portions: It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but don’t overdo it with an additional helping here or there.
  3. Keep Track: Snacking is okay, but keep record of what you’re putting into your fuel tank! Mindlessly eating is where I get in trouble usually, so don’t do it to yourself – Stay accountable! I use MyFitnessPal, both online and I’ve downloaded the app to my smartphone. Follow me here.
  4. Don’t Restrict yourself TOO much: At the end of the day, you want to enjoy your day, not be worried about whether or not you gained/lost weight. This IS a celebration of freedom, after all! Don’t let your new healthy lifestyle chain you to restrictive mindsets – like I said in previous posts, there’s nothing more caging than thinking you can’t have something, and craving it. Everything in moderation!

Remember, this is a lifestyle change, NOT A DIET. Have fun, watch some fireworks and enjoy your freedom!


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