weight loss

How Female Insecurity Adds to our Weight Woes

“Do I look fat in this?”

We women tend to ask questions we already know the answers to. And often we're not necessarily asking for  answers we don’t know but for the ones we want to hear.

The feminine species can be tricky sort.

Sometimes we play games. Sometimes we ask the right questions (and probably in just the right way, in just the worst scenarios) to get the right answers. And sometimes we like to nurture a little thing called insecurity.

A women’s level of self-confidence and esteem has an impact in just about every aspect of her life; her choice of clothing, her facial expressions, her job performance, her interaction with other women, her interactions with men, her sense of drive behind the wheel, her eating habits and possibly even her tweets. Yes, we women can gear a lot in life simply by how we view ourselves. The power of insecurity can be paralyzing, affecting the way we communicate, conduct ourselves and even may have a domino affect our progress in attaining a healthy weight.

If we haven’t been that girl asking those question, (which whohasn’t at some point) we’ve all known someone who’s questions and conversations are directed in such a way to edify themselves on a regular basis. Truly it’s a common mind game we like to throw on one another (and it’s exactly the kind of behavior women in my family have no problem calling each other out on) but it is also often the rooted insecurities we culture in our minds that wind up complicating so much more in life than is necessary, even possibly our weight.

It’s no shock to most of us that we are our worst critics, but we also are our worst enemies. Functioning in such thought patterns of self-doubt disables our ability to move forward, accomplish and achieve much of anything. Really spending the time we do analyzing, sorting and making a science out the simple task of “eating well” derails us into more emotional frustrations than our mind can contain, so tasks as simple as changing eating habits or being more active become like science formulas to us that we can’t unlock. (And instead we buy into the health industry, who’s books, diets and programs feed most everyone the same crap in just different forms. ) Women can also allow such a self-image to discourage them, feeling that they aren’t good enough or of a certain status to be worthy of a healthy and happy life. This creates a sort of cynicism to the idea of being happy and healthy for some females, as if it’s unattainable and far-fetched, as if it’s a joke. If we were to view ourselves as deserving and capable of a healthy weight, of a healthy and happy life, the steps to getting there would probably look entirely different, as would our view of physical fitness and emotional well-being.

More than likely, nothing and no one effects our weight loss efforts more than our level of self-confidence. Insecurity keeps us from doing what we love, dreaming of to reach for next and essentially living life. So with all these trickling effects of insecurity, could a healthy image of self play a key role in obtaining healthier habits, weight loss goals and overall holistic health? Now, why would I ask a question I already know the answer to?

Vita Inspirations: Kara Joy

Sometimes people have a hard time believing I used to "struggle" with my weight. But, believe me, when I was in high school, working at Starbucks and indulging in daily caramel mochas and blueberry scones, I struggled. I was a good 4-6 sizes bigger than I am now. You know how it is: hormones, emotions, highschool drama, chocolate, more drama, more chocolate. Honestly it was a struggle all through college too. Highschool was more like the kick-off as far as my "struggles" were concerned. And now that I've come to find balance and discipline, I thoroughly thank God that I've learned to live this way. Because now I love it. Few people can relate to this "struggle" and pure joy of deciding to live with healthy habits like my sister could. That would be Kara Joy.

About two years ago, my sister Kara, decided to start to eating  healthier and learn some yoga. She asked if I'd mind if she'd shadow me for a while and  follow the way I ate. So for a week or so she began taking note of what and how I ate. In turn, she started completely changed her habits, eating more vegetables and fruits, cutting out processed foods, red meats, ate more fish and whole grains, started doing yoga a few times a week and voila...

 Kara went down several dress sizes and essentially is a new woman. It's been for about two years that Kara has maintained her healthy habits. Of course becoming an elementary school teacher has kept her running around all year long. Kara has stayed on top of her game, especially considering her stressful job with the high expectations on her (and students and parents calling her off the clock) and has really jumped into adulthood with more energy due to her new lifestyle.

While it hasn't been a piece of cake, maintaing these habits while teaching full-time, working part-time with a youth group , leading worship two times a week, Kara has remained disciplined and made it happen. And just look at her! She's thinner than she's ever been. 

 Though chasing kids around all day and night helps keep Kara stay active, she loves doing yoga a few times a week with Tara Stile's dvds, walks and runs the lake, and spends most weekends at the beach learning to surf with her boyfriend Rick (the expert surfer.)

As far as her diet goes, Kara has continued to keep the habits she established early on, avoiding red meats, dairy, and processed foods (chips, pretzels, cookies) out of her diet.On a given day breakfast consists of oatmeal or toast and eggs, lots of salads, roasted veggies, fish, and sushi for lunch and dinner. Her favorite treats are specialty cheeses from Whole Foods and dark chocolate. And Kara can typically be found drinking plenty of water along a daily espresso over ice, during the hot months in Florida (9 months of the year!) Sound familiar? What can I say. "Sisters, sisters..."