The MindsetEat more fruit and veg, drink more water, exercise for half an hour a day. We know this, we hear this, we have done this? So why is it so difficult to stick to? Visualisation...... yep, we have the photo of our successful weight loss and happy face pinned to our fridge door......but it still happens? It's the task to take control and conquer the mental game of fighting between food, cravings and self doubt in exchange for the new healthier version of ourselves that's the annihilator. This is the reason that destroys our efforts. The start of the journey is exciting, the remarks and compliments are motivating and the continued journey of our decreasing dress size is exhilarating. We hit our target, we feel great, we are where we want to be ...... and then it all stops. We reached our goal weight, we feel better about our health, the way we look, the way our clothes feel....but it's our mindset that has long gone. Why? Because it's the battle with our minds and emotions. The compliments and comments stop and self doubt returns. Many weight issues are connected to unhappy memories and self-hate. When the compliments stop and the admiring looks diminish then the positive mindset returns to self-sabotage.
Learning to Stop this Cycle
The first step forward is to prioritise this constructive thought as your number one 'reason' for weight loss on your 'positive mindset' list.
" The only judgement or opinion about you, that really matters in your weight-loss journey, is yours and nobody else's".
This is your first priority and the one that will keep you on the road to a lifetime success story. As humans we tend not to spare a thought for our own feelings and beliefs. They come and go, pass us by or we push them to one side. We do however, let the opinions and judgement of others grind us down, or we dwell on and harbour upon unkind words and then turn to self doubt for an answer. To unchain your thoughts from this self destruction you must start repeating 'self-affirmations' and practice them daily to free yourself of the emotional turmoil that destroys your self esteem and leads you to this unhealthy lifestyle. Feel strong, proud and confident in yourself....tell yourself you are brave to take this step forward, you are capable to complete and maintain your life's journey and you deserve to be who you want to be. It is too easy to blame others, to let others destroy your hard work, but you have the power, in your mindset to continue past these negative and unwanted hurdles to find peace with yourself and continue towards your own goals.
Repeating affirmations will boost your motivation and confidence, but it doesn't stop here. You do have to take action too. So see this as a step forward and not the change in itself. If someone has upset you enough to reach for the biscuit tin...STOP....repeat your mantra "I am better than this" or "Only my opinions matter." This may not be enough for you? When you feel self doubt or anger you may find that turning to deep breathing ( Relax and Breathe ) or grounding exercises (counting to 10) will calm you to reasonable thinking and positive thoughts. This type of tactic along with affirmations will guide you through difficult situations and haunting memories. Affirmations are the tools to change not the change itself. Positive Affirmations
Weight Loss and Maintenance
Once your mindset is focused and ready, you will need to plan and start your journey. You will have to be realistic when you set your goals and monitor your progress at all times ( Goal Setting ). This process will become second nature as the weight starts to drop and you see results. The whole picture will start to form as you continue your journey, but you must keep your 'positive' mindset in check and repeat your affirmations daily. In addition to the goals you have set yourself, you may wish to add new habits to your healthier lifestyle to help you progress further:
- Exercise portion control ( Portion Control ) or count calories and always journal everything you eat and drink. This will keep you on track throughout your weight loss journey. Taking photos of your meals and logging them into your journal becomes a visual aid to keeping your portions under control. We easily 'kid' ourselves that we are eating normal portions, if we are not weighing our food. The photos will just keep us in check and help us avoid overeating. A journal is just a food diary that helps to keep us accountable each day and another tool for weight loss. Anything that will increase our awareness of what we are eating is bound to be beneficial
- Keep healthy foods in your cupboards and fridge. This is a must when you are on a weight loss programme. Keeping temptation out of harms way will keep us grounded and help us to loose the pounds. Keep healthy snacks available such as fruit, nuts, yoghurts, sliced and ready vegetables with healthy dips and hard boiled eggs. Try to prepare snacks in readiness for when the cravings attack 100 Calories Snacks
- Exercise to burn calories. Burning calories is a great way to drop the pounds whilst pursuing a healthier lifestyle. I am no advocate of exercising to 'eat more'. You cannot 'out-exercise' a bad diet. Exercise and healthy eating go hand-in-hand to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Government guidelines advise that we take half an hour to perform moderate cardio exercise per day and strength training twice a week. Exercise and Burning Calories
- Don't diet - eat healthy. To loose and maintain your weight, you need to find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle. It is not a good idea to restrict yourself of too many food groups or embark on an unsustainable regime that encroaches on your social habits. You need to think about how you live your life and how your new eating plan will impact on your day to day living. Think of your food as your new healthy living in the long term not just as a short fix to reach your goal.
- Watch what you drink. We can get into the habit of logging food and taking photos of our portion sizes, but adding all we drink appears to go by the wayside. Sugary drinks and squashes are one of the biggest causes of obesity, because we do not see fluids as additional calories. Be more aware of your drinking habits, including the odd shot, short or glass of wine. This adds to the calorific intake over the weeks and could be one of the main reasons that the pounds have accumulated over time. Hidden Calories in your Drinks