If I told you that being positive or negative would affect your weight loss journey, would you believe me?
So many times I have seen people say they want to lose weight, but saying you want to lose weight and actually believing you can and being positive about it is a totally different thing. Be realistic and positive when setting up goals. If you don’t believe you can lose the weight, then you won’t. Plain and simple.
If a doctor or a loved one tells a woman that they could or should lose some weight, it is often taken as a criticism, viewed as a negative. It can cause one to build a negative self-image and one’s internal dialog to turn negative. Once we begin to tell ourselves negative things we become our own worst enemy. We become our own resistance between us and whatever it is we wish to achieve.
That’s how my journey started: in a negative state.
Growing up, I was always bigger than the other girls in my class. Not only taller but heavier. Doctors would tell my mom that I should lose some weight, but neither she nor I listened to them. Denial is a powerful defense mechanism.
My mom and I both told ourselves that I was just “big-boned.” I was offended by the criticisms. They made me self-conscious and made me feel like there was something wrong with me. I didn’t want to hear the criticisms or that I needed to change anything. So I decided that they were the ones who were wrong. Looking back on those pictures and seeing all of the inflammation in my face and how swollen I looked I now know what they were seeing and trying to make me aware of even if they came off the wrong way. What I didn’t understand then that I do now is that there was turmoil going on inside my body. It was not reacting well to what I was putting in it. There was nothing wrong with me, just the mindset I took on the situation and the reaction my body had to the food culture I grew up in. I needed to change my lifestyle completely but I could not see that from the negative helpless perspective I had adopted in place of the positive empowering viewpoint i needed.
I was in a negative state of mind… and its hard to get positive results from a negative mind.
An article from health.com read, “Weight loss is a difficult process, but simply having a positive attitude will make the challenge easier. A 2003 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, as self-efficacy improved in young adults, eating habits improved and weight loss increased.”
The first step in any weight loss journey should be changing your attitude. Find little things throughout your day that are positive. Keep doing this every day and before too long you will find your mind is in a positive state more and more. By creating this habit, this will help to not only change your mind but change your reality as well.
“Wherever the mind goes, the body will follow” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
In watching many of the people who I follow on their weight loss journey, I have noticed that most of them starting really losing weight and seeing substantial progress toward their goals when they changed their mindset. They had the courage to speak their goals and post them for the world to see. They were putting themselves out there asking for support and gathering the information they would need for their success. In finding their followers they were getting the support they sought. The positive feedback received fueled them to becoming more and more positive and driving the belief that their goals were possible. It is at the breakthrough point of realization that it all begins within yourself in your mind and your ability to discipline it to focus on positivity and not to indulge in negative thinking or self talk. This is where the process of massive change begins. Before this point only minimal progress is possible and often short-lived. Many times resulting in the yo-yo effect and ending up worse off than before one began.
Here are some ways that I stay positive:
1. Remind myself…This isn’t a race
I often think about why so many people are looking for a quick fix or an overnight success pill. Rome wasn’t built-in a day, all good things come to those who wait and all those sayings… Plus what happens when you stop taking the pill, or what happens when you hit that finish line and achieve your goals? Do you magically just stop gaining weight ever again? Or will you just go back to the magic pill again? Doesn’t sound healthy to me. The maintenance part of a weight loss journey can be just as hard if not harder than losing the weight in the first place. The journey never ends so stop trying to get there or rush it. Enjoy the process, Enjoy the journey, Embrace the change!
2. Celebrate the small things
If a prize is something that keeps you going and motivates you then by all means, set those goals and reward yourself. Live a little, don’t put your life on hold because of anything. Set small goals, if you lose one pound a week, celebrate that! Think of it this way, one pound per week is 52 lbs in a year! If you change a habit and you’re on a seven-day streak, celebrate that! Small goals should equal small rewards. Larger goals, larger rewards. Try to give yourself healthy rewards that won’t counteract your goals. Maybe they even coincide. Buy the shoes you have always wanted, go do an activity that you have been dying to do. Find healthy hobbies and reach out to your community. Get out there and live a little! But make sure you earn it. It will actually make it feel even better when you know that you deserve the pampering you give yourself!
3. Morning Meditations
At first I thought that meditating was a waste of time. I would fall asleep and use it as a nap time. But after creating the habit and doing it for so many days in a row now, I find myself being able to train my mind to stay in the moment and take a time out. I now look forward to the meditations and I find the focus of them stay with me long after my session is done. In guided meditations I am being led with suggestions toward being positive about my outlook on life, self-love, and self-improvement.
Meditation helps build positivity in multiple ways. One of the primary ways is that you are actively disciplining your mind. The more one exercises control over the mind, the more one builds the strength of the control over the mind. When you build this control you can use it to steer your mind toward positive thoughts and outlooks more easily. The mind can only focus on one thing at a time so as you focus on positivity more and more you leave fewer opportunities for negative thoughts and outlooks to take hold.
4. Tell yourself you are beautiful, strong, you can do this!
Tell yourself daily affirmations: I am strong, I am a fighter, I am determined, I can do this. A daily practice of mine is to have an affirmation session right after my morning meditation. It is something that really gets me wanting to jump out of my seat and get the day started. I listen to affirmations designed to support my goals then I write my personal affirmations I want to give myself every day. Lastly, I speak my affirmations to myself in my head or out loud into the mirror. This process assists me to build positivity and belief in myself. If I believe I can lose the weight, then the weight will start to come off. If i can picture myself in certain clothes, then the clothes will fit. Believe in yourself and your capability to do anything you set your mind to, then take action, be positive and follow through and it will be done. Who wouldn’t be positive after fitting into a dress you dreamt about for so long? So Dream on!
5. Find a community
This is so important! In our environments we are often surrounded by negativity. Reach out and use social media to find like-minded people who are on their weight loss journey as well! Feeling down, stuck in a rut? Let the community know about it. They want to see you succeed! If I’m having an off day, I just post about it and within a couple of minutes I have tons of people lending a hand or an ear, pushing me to be my best!
In following these daily practices I am building a positive mindset and feeling much better. I can picture myself fitting in the smaller clothes or that perfect wedding dress. I am taking action and seeing the results. Weight loss is not a fad, it is an overall change in lifestyle including your mind and attitude. Achieve a positive mindset and you can achieve anything!
Do the research, ask the questions, find the answers. Keep educating yourself. Take responsibility. Believe in yourself. Be positive.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi