Are you making weight loss mentally harder than it has to be? In order to succeed with losing weight, you want to ensure that your mindset supports your efforts.
The following are five mental attitudes that will sabotage your weight loss success.
“I want it now.”
- One of the hallmarks of being an adult is the ability to delay gratification; in other words, you must be able to say ‘no’ to yourself when it comes to eating foods that are not healthy for you. Or if you can’t say no, you should at least be able to say “not right now.” By now, you probably realize that you can’t keep doing the same things and expecting different results. The reason that you are battling excess pounds now is because you have made errors in judgment regarding your health and allowed them to compile. Conversely, if you make wise decisions about your health and allow them to compile, then you will have a better body in the future. You must be willing to keep rejecting the unhealthy habits (even if it hurts for the moment) long enough for the new, healthy actions to stick. The outward changes won’t happen overnight, but they will happen. If you trust that, then ‘now’ will show up sooner than you think.
“I’ll do it tomorrow.”
- Procrastination is the enemy of any successful endeavor. Each day that you continue to eat unhealthy foods and avoid exercise is a day that you are choosing to remain sick and tired. Decide that this is the day that turns your life around.
“When I lose weight, then I’ll…”
- When it comes to doing nice things for yourself, don’t delay. If you have a “When I lose weight, then I’ll…” attitude, it is like saying to yourself that you aren’t worthy of nice things because you aren’t a certain size or don’t weigh a certain amount. You are worthy no matter what size you are, so start doing nice things for yourself now. Have fun and treat yourself well now. Buy that new pair of earrings. Go on that trip. Talk to that cute guy. Tomorrow is not promised to you, so decide that you are worth the best, which includes having the healthiest habits around.
“I am in control.”
- A recipe for frustration is attempting to control those things you cannot change, yet failing to control those things you can. A popular prayer illustrates this point:
- God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change Courage to change the things I can And the wisdom to know the difference.
When it comes to weight loss, you can control the actions you take, such as choosing healthy foods to eat or choosing to exercise on a particular day. However, you only set yourself up for frustration when you attempt to control those things you can’t control, such as the rate at which your body loses weight.
For most of us, weight loss comes in spurts: Some weeks you will lose a lot and some weeks you will lose a little. But you will eventually reach your goal if you continue to do the right things regarding your body.
So relax and let your body decide how it wants to drop the weight. It’s going to anyway, whether you fret about it or not.
“This is too hard.”
- If you believe that losing weight is too hard, then it will be too hard. Instead of complaining, try asking yourself, “How can I make this easier?” Is it hard for you to set aside 30 minutes to exercise in the morning? Then try breaking up your exercise routine into 3 10-minute segments. You will get the same benefit. If it is too hard for you to stop trying to clean your plate at restaurants, then ask for a “to-go box” at the beginning of your meal. Put aside half of your food in the box and then eat the remainder on your plate. Your plate will still be clean, but this way you will get to enjoy the meal later when you become hungry again. Focus your attention on seeking solutions to your health obstacles instead of arguing for them. If you argue for them, you get to keep them.
I hope this series has been helpful for you in identifying possible problems you might face in your weight loss quest. If you stay the course and stay away from these pitfalls, you will be fit and fabulous in no time.
A Registered Nurse for many years, Kimberly Floyd battled obesity for much of her adult life. She was finally able to achieve her ideal weight and is currently writing a book that is designed to help others win their weight loss battles entitled ‘Take Back Your Temple’.
Kim has written articles for the Georgia Nurses Association publication and Nursing Spectrum Online. Now a technical writer, she has written training programs for corporate clients, including IBM, U.S. Bank, and Cingular.
Kim also teaches an online course called ‘Goodbye to Shy’ [http://www.ed2go.com/cgi-bin/ed2go/newcrsdes.cgi?course=gbs&title=Goodbye]. This course is distributed to over 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, and Australia through Thomson Learning. An accomplished speaker and trainer, she delivers presentations on health-related topics to enthusiastic audiences.