Many trainers want us to journal. Some call it “retrain your brain”. Others might say “it’s all about mindset”. Whatever you want to call it, weight loss and fat loss depend on more than just food in and energy out. Our brains keep us busy all day with wants, desires, wishes, and hopes. This kind of energy about weight loss simply keeps us anxious and longing for better results. Weight loss and fat loss are slow processes, we cannot simply “think ourselves thin”. What we can do, however, is make our brains work FOR our efforts instead of AGAINST them.
Goal setting: one of the important things I teach clients is to use goals every day to keep focus. It only takes a minute, but studies show that people who succeed at their goals have visualized themselves as having already achieved their goal. If my goal is to lose 20 pounds, I will “see” myself at my goal size. Think about how it feels, how happy I am, and how my new body works and keeps me fit and strong. It’s that simple. Set a timer, do it at the start of every day.
It feels like wanting what you don’t have if you keep on dieting. But how about acting “as if” you are already at your goal size. Do you think women at the size you dream of sneak off and shove a bunch of Oreos into their face as soon as no one sees them? Or they think about how to avoid McDonald’s all day? No…they have healthy patterns and they stay within the lines of those patterns because that’s what makes them feel good. Try that mindset on for a couple of days and see if you don’t feel better already for your confidence and control.
What is your WHY? You have heard this before. But what I like to focus on is the FEELING of why? It’s great to want to look great in a bikini or in your favorite Little Black Dress, but it is not always enough ammo to keep you from the behaviors you are trying to quit. Try thinking of the feelings you want to avoid. The shame of doing this AGAIN. The guilt for not having more self control. The pride of how it feels to meet your goal. The self worth you gain when you fit in clothes you love. Whatever that feeling is, work to seek THAT.
Lose the word “diet”. This mentality advocates that you will only have to focus on good eating and fitness for the short term. No. The minute you are “off” of said “diet” you mentally are ready to pick up where you left off before your diet with your poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Instead consider your changes to be LIFESTYLE changes. After all, you don’t want to go back to your body you are trying to reshape, do you?
Don’t judge food or results. If you are making labels for “good” and “bad” foods, you are setting yourself up for “guilty pleasures” and “reward food”…instead consider asking yourself if the meal you are about to eat serves your fatloss and health goals. At the same time, the readings on your scale or tape measure can send you into a tailspin if you qualify the results with “good” or “bad”. Instead use the readings as non-emotional INFORMATION to help taper your efforts.
At the same time, you may want to change your weight, but spare yourself the negativity you may be feeling. Positive self talk and self acceptance will allow you to be happy with yourself which settles your cortisol and other stressors. When you are happy with yourself your body will allow for changes much easier. Believe me, your body hears how you talk about it…and it will fight you all the way when you are trying to force results.
Do not use food for entertainment, relaxation, reward, or stress relief. Enough said.
If you are starting to get wound up, stressed out, or high strung, do something. Go for a walk, meditate, do some yoga, change your scenery. So many of us reach for a snack…let’s reprogram that loop.
You are doing positive things when you start doing new habits. “Food is the most used anti-anxiety medicine and exercise is the least-used anti-depressant” Bill Phillips
So retrain your brain, mind over matter, form new thoughts, whatever you want to call it. Fitness is not just a physical job!
Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend. Would you say nasty things to her? Nope. You deserve a better way of doing this. I got you. XXOO