Almost everyone knows that you lose weight if you eat plenty of healthy fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, limit your grain intake and stay away from processed foods and simple sugars, right? But if it were that simple, there wouldn’t be such a problem with obesity, we wouldn’t have this battle with the bulge – we’d all have the key to weight loss. Is the problem just really all about your diet though? The reality is that so much to do with succeeding at weight loss rests in our heads and not our bodies. To succeed we need to get our heads working for us and not against us!
Breaking Through The Fear
It actually goes a bit deeper, Losing weight for some is asking you to change your identity or self image. Your self image is how you see yourself or how you perceive others see you. Changing your self image creates a fear of the unknown especially for those who have never been thin. This fear triggers the portion of the brain called the amygdala. This portion of the brain handles our fight or flight response. So when you’re attempting to lose weight and you feel afraid, make plenty of excuses or often sabotage yourself realize that there is an underlying reason or reasons why you do not take proper action.
Ask yourself these ten questions to see if you are thinking in the right way to lose weight.
1. Have you decided to succeed?
Until you make a definite decision there will be no change to your actions. If you just dabble with “losing a few pounds” you’re unlikely to get anywhere. Make a definite decision and stick to it. Fully commit to your weight loss goals!
2. Have you set a realistic target?
You need to know where you’re going or you’ll never know when you’ve arrived. What is your target weight and when do you plan to reach it? Plan on losing no more than a pound or two a week. If you set an impossibly high target you’ll get discouraged as soon as it looks like you won’t make it. On the contrary though, if you set too little of a goal it doesn’t really challenge you or act upon your self image. If your weight loss goal scares you that’s a sign that you’re on the right track.
3. Do you believe you will succeed?
If you keep telling yourself you’ll never do it, you won’t. Look for reasons why this time will be different. Decide to do things differently to make it so! Have belief in yourself and surround your self with people who believe in you too!
4. Can you picture yourself at your new weight?
If you can see yourself in your mind’s eye with your new slim figure, your subconscious will feel more comfortable with the changes you are making and you’ll feel less like creeping back into your comfort zone. Take some time to visualize your new self, the self image of the slim athletic person you want to become.
5. Are you clear about your reasons for losing weight?
If you don’t know why you’re doing this, what will keep you going when the going gets tough? Make a list of all the benefits you will get from losing that weight and review it often.
6. Are you open to change?
The only sure thing is that if you keep on doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got. So think about what you are prepared to change and change at a rate you are comfortable with. Also, make sure your weight loss strategy is fundamentally sound and includes a proper healthy diet and exercise. There are no quick fixes here.
7. Are you a friend to yourself?
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy by offering an endless stream of criticism rather than encouragement. Give yourself a pat on the back for everything you do well and accept any set-backs – just make sure you learn from your mistakes. Also watch out for negative self talk, if you ever catch your self describing you or your body parts in a derogatory way. Ask yourself where is this coming from? What’s at the root of these toxic emotions.
8. Are you patient with yourself?
Weight loss rarely happens on a straight path. You may find you lose a lot at the beginning as you often shed excess water then. You may hit one or more times where you lose hardly anything at all despite your best efforts. Nothing that was worth achieving was arrived at overnight. Just keep on keeping on. Love is patient, give yourself enough time to reach your goals, love yourself!
9. Have you put your life on hold because of your size?
You only have one life so don’t wait to get slim before you enjoy it. Whatever you want, go for it now, and let being slim be the icing on the cake. Goals don’t suddenly become reality because you reach your target weight. Why wait? Make eating out of boredom a thing of the past. Live your best life now, you’ll find that this attitude helps you reach your weight loss goals quicker anyway!
10. Do you value yourself enough?
You are unique and very special whatever your size. You are not perfect and neither is anyone one else but you are perfectly human. Value your personality, your life, your ambitions, your skills and, yes, even your body that does so much for you despite all the abuse you give it with junk food and no exercise. Learn to respect yourself and your body and give yourself the care you so richly deserve.
I hope these tips I have shared will help you to start thinking right in preparation for your new body and lifestyle! I’m on your side and believe you can do it but you have to have the strength and courage to break through your fears. It’s also good to speak with someone like myself to work through your toxic emotions. Don’t let toxic thinking stop you from losing weight any longer! You can do this!