Project Gratitude

Don’t forget how badly you once wanted what you have now. There was a time you were praying, visualizing and hoping to be where you’re currently at. Now that you’ve received your blessings you’re too worried about the next thing to notice it. Will you ever be truly fulfilled? Too many people get trapped in this never ending cycle, that they forget to really live. Learn to be grateful and live in the moment, instead of worrying, overthinking and stressing about what’s next
— Idil Ahmed

This month we want to focus our attention on cultivating gratitude for ourselves, our lives, AND our bodies.

With such extreme pressure to look a certain way & be a certain size, it may not feel realistic to love your body, at least right now. Maybe that’s not the first step for you. Maybe instead you work on respecting your body, recognizing the number on the scale is neutral, and less emphasis on appearance in general. Shifting the focus instead to how your body feels and how it works can help you cultivate gratitude for what it can do!

As you cultivate gratitude for your body, you embrace where you are, allowing you to connect with what your body needs.

This leads you to take care of yourself in a way that brings about improvements to your overall health and well-being. It turns into a journey that has less to do with changing your body and more to do with supporting, respecting and caring for it!

This month is the perfect time to implement some tools, tips and skills for increasing your own body gratitude, and we’re ready to dive right in with you!

Turns out, focusing solely on the desired result of your goals (i.e. certain number on the scale), and taking actions accordingly (no matter how measurable, specific etc. they are), while may seem logical, isn’t always enough.

Sorry to be the bearer of that bad news. But don’t despair!

This is where one simple, life-changing practice has profound impact! Once you’ve got this down pat, your ability to make lifestyle changes to impact your body will transform. And you guessed it—it’s gratitude.

What we want for you to practice right now is noticing the things that are already working about your physical body and start from there.

And, listen in, this is the most important part: you have to do it on a regular basis!

Noticing what already works, is a powerful practice because it creates a strong foundation of gratitude and appreciation for what you already have, rather than building a future based on annoyance, frustration, and shame.

If you start or continue on your journey from a place of appreciation, self-respect, and gratitude, you’ll take those things into the future with you regardless of the outcome. Whatever comes next is simply a bonus!

An exercise to start you off:

As you read this, put your hand on your chest and locate your heart. Notice it beating. Notice that it beats for you, and no one else. Think about how many times it’s pumped blood around your body in the last 24 hours. Notice that it’s literally helped keep you alive, your entire life. Without its constant work and service, to you, you wouldn’t be here. Go ahead and thank it for its contribution to your life. Appreciate it for all the work it’s done.

You can repeat this exercise for all parts of your body. There is no such thing as perfection in your body — you may have highly compromised bits and pieces, but there will still be something about those parts you can notice and thank.

“When I’m Thin” Mindset

It's way too easy to believe that a thin body will right everything that's wrong in your world. And the truth won't. That can be a tough pill to swallow because we cling for so long to this idea that once we lose the weight we want to lose everything will just be BETTER. But instead we need to shift the focus on increased self-acceptance and taking power away from your weight. THAT will do much more to improve your life than any weight lost.

Think about what you have always believed you will gain from being thinner. When I'm thin, __________________ .

After listing some things you’ve always tied to losing weight, you can almost feel how threatening it is to all of a sudden take the pressure off of losing weight and accepting yourself as you are right now. It almost sends mixed signals! But the reality is that if you don't accept yourself as a worthy, amazing human being as you are, the chances of you finding value in yourself even if you're thinner are slim.

This month we want you to zone in on this....start living your life fully right now, in your present body, because waiting until you lose weight is a big old waste of time. We want to you to cultivate gratitude for your body NOW. Everything that you said after the phrase "When I'm thin __________..." is available to you NOW. As you become more and more accepting of yourself (truly accepting of yourself), you'll find that you will make better choices that support a healthy body.

Instead of thinking about "when I'm thin...." think instead about "what can I do to be happier?" Go after THOSE answers. Instead of thinking that in order to go after those things that make you happy you have to FIRST tackle being thin.

That's just not the case!!

The logical question now is, how can you incorporate body appreciation into your life?

Whatever you choose to do, know this:

You, like everyone else on this gorgeous planet, are worthy of living a healthy, happy, fulfilling life.

This month we encourage you to actually practice gratitude with something like a five-minute a week gratitude journal or writing down 20 new things you’re grateful for every day. Research has shown that the actual gratitude produced during those types of writing exercises is small, but the emotions of gratitude felt during those five-minutes are enough to trigger a grateful mood!

The effects of gratitude are unparalleled and powerful! Gratitude leads to more optimism, less materialism, more spirituality, more self-esteem, and less selfishness.

The act of gratitude is the act of focusing on the good in life. If we perceive our current life and current self to have and be more good, we will also believe our future life to have more good.

Please use our accompanying worksheets for this month to help you cultivate more gratitude in your life. We challenge you to write down 20 new things you’re grateful for EVERY day this month! You heard us: EVERY day.

Gratitude Lists

Body Timeline

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