By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (LowFatLowCarb.com)
One of the most inspirational quotes I ever read was from the late Napolean Hill: “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past.”
This quote inspires me because being on a diet is hard, and for a lot of us, comes with failed attempts many times. And losing weight takes work and effort. Additionally, one of the hardest parts of losing weight is the commitment and time it takes to reach your goal. Then, once you reach your goal, learning to maintain becomes the challenge. And, more importantly, what we tell ourselves every day plays a big role in how we succeed or if we fail.
The mind is an important part of how we think and behave. Practicing good, positive self- talk can be very influential in our behaviors. When I am “thinking” about what I put in my mouth on a daily basis, am I thinking positive? Or am I dreading what I am about to eat? What I tell myself is what I feel. And, how I feel is how I act. It is very simple.
I speak to many clients weekly, and when I hear the words, “I will try not to drink/eat bad at the party event”, I already know that client is going to cheat. They are not committing to staying on plan when they use the word “try”. If a client says “I am not going to cheat at the party/event, they don’t. It is so elementary, but very powerful. The words we say to ourselves we believe.
Another point that resonates with me is when clients start to lose weight, but can’t “see” it. They logically know that they are fitting in a smaller size, but still see the fat person in the mirror. This is a tough one because many times a person who has been overweight for a long time will get to their goal and then freak out and start gaining again because they still see the old body. The mind plays tricks on us.
Some strategies to help your mind believe and then achieve:
- Write down your goals and be specific
- Paste those goals everywhere you can (on your mirror, in your car, on the refrigerator, etc.)
- Take a picture of what you want to look like and post it up everywhere
- Make a vision board, and out it in a place you can see everyday
- Write down daily affirmations, and read them over and over
- Keep a daily journal of your thoughts
The conclusion that I have come to, after many years as a health coach, is that the biggest battle of weight issues comes when the mind and the heart are not in the same place at the same time. Once you decide you are going to win your battle, you will. Keep reminding yourself why you are sacrificing and what your rewards will be when you get there. And, talk nice to yourself!