To make lasting changes in your health and fitness it is important to first change your mindset. If you resist health and fitness changes in your mind then chances are they will not last very long in your lifestyle. We are all governed by our daily habits wether we acknowledge them or not. Some of these habits lead us to where we want to be and others hold us back. To make long lasting changes, you must first recognise and change some of these habits that are holding you back from living your health and fitness dream life.
What’s Mind-Set got to do with it? (Everything, Actually) Starting a challenge can often results in an “all or nothing” mind-set. You follow the meal plan, push yourself to workout and for the duration of the challenge you lose weight. When the challenge finishes and there is no more accountability then slowly the bad habits creep back in and you find yourself putting all the weight you lost back on. This is because although you change for the duration of the challenge you haven't changed your mindset that this is a permanent change. You see it as a short term process and not as a life long way of living. To reach your goals and continue to live a fit and healthy lifestyle there is no "quick fix", it comes down to consistency. If you consistently eat lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds, healthy fats etc and exercise on a regular 3-5 day a week basis, then you have exactly the right ingredients to be living the very best version of you. This may be a slow process but it is the only process that can be guaranteed to maintain a healthy weight. To achieve permanent weight loss both the internal and external process must be addressed. If we don’t change our Mind-Set, those automatic negative thoughts, beliefs and messages that we hold about ourselves, will keep us in a battle with our subconscious mind. Self sabotage will keep showing up and negative habits come back.
The Negative Mind-Set A negative Mind-Set is often hiding in our subconscious mind and is not always evident to you on a conscious level. You may be convinced that you are trying really hard and life is just getting in the way of your good efforts. This negative Mind-Set often shows up as you are losing weight. You may have set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight for the challenge. You start off and stay on track with eating healthy foods and exercising. Your clothes begin to feel loose on you and the scales show that you have lost some body weight. Then all of a sudden, things head off track. You attend several parties and work functions where you are tempted to overeat. Perhaps you sleep in and don’t have time to pack a healthy lunch for work. Then you start indulging in the office morning tea spread of cakes and biscuits. You start wondering why all of a sudden you are out of control! You feel annoyed that life is conspiring against you and getting in the way of your weight loss goals. What you may not realize is that you are actually sabotaging your weight loss goals. This is the time to really become conscious and aware of what is happening on a Mind-Set level.
You may actually be feeling uncomfortable with your new body size.
You may feel uncomfortable with the attention you are attracting from losing weight.
You may feel that it’s too much pressure to maintain the weight loss.
So you subconsciously sabotage your efforts sooner than later. To break this pattern of self-sabotage, you need to search deep within you and identify what your inner beliefs about yourself are.
The Positive Mind-Set To achieve weight loss and maintain a healthy body and mind, your Mind-Set needs to be one of loving and believing in yourself. You need to believe that you deserve to be healthy and happy, and let your actions flow naturally from that belief. You need to act from a core of self worth that says, "I deserve better than what I've been giving myself up to now." When you approach weight loss with this type of Mind- Set, treating yourself healthily becomes much easier. Keep saying to yourself every day, "I deserve to be treated well. I deserve to eat foods I love and that make my body feel good". When you do this, your whole life becomes much more balanced and you don't have to fight those inner and outer "demons" that kept you tied to unhealthy habits for so long. When you learn to expect success, visualise success and think, feel and act like a fit, healthy person your goals are easily attainable. It all depends on your Mind- Set.
Changing the Sub-conscious Mind To have a truly positive Mind-Set we need to address both the conscious and sub- conscious mind. Our sub-conscious mind stores all of our messages, memories and beliefs. Of course, over the years we gather lots of negative messages. Generally for every 1 positive belief we have about 9 negatives. Often, we are not even aware of the specific negative beliefs that we are operating on. This explains why we can know all of the right things to do on a conscious level to lose weight but subconsciously keep sabotaging our efforts.
Changing the Conscious Mind There are many strategies that will help you to develop a positive mind-set on a conscious level. The more you practice these techniques the more automatic they will become. Positive Affirmations Affirmations will train your mind to think positive thoughts about your weight loss goals. Try statements like: “I deserve to be slim and fit” and “I am becoming the slim and attractive person I desire to be.” As you say the Affirmations be sure to feel positive, happy emotions in your body. Visualisations See yourself in your mind as the fit, energetic person you would like to be. Imagine the clothes you are wearing and what you are doing. Sense how good you feel. Vision Boards Create a picture board (can be on cardboard, photo frame, in a scrap book or photo album). Do this by cutting and sticking photos and pictures out of magazines. Collect images that you are attracted to and represent things you would like to have in your life e.g. photos of you at a slimmer size, pictures of healthy food, people exercising etc. Set Realistic Goals Goals give you a clear direction and enable you to reach your dreams. Goals are commitment to focus your energy in a particular direction. Make sure your weight loss goals are realistic and achievable. Set Action Steps Create daily and weekly action steps that will move you towards your goal e.g. buying healthy food, cooking healthy meals, preparing lunches to take to work, scheduling time to exercise etc. Following through on these action steps will make you feel that you are in control of your life. Feeling in control will result in a positive Mind-Set. Create New Habits Habits are life-shapers. Choose the habits that will create your ideal lifestyle and lead you to your long term goals e.g. going to bed at a decent hour, waking up early to exercise, drinking lots of water etc. Feeling fit and healthy and at your optimum will give you that powerful Mind-Set. Asking Empowering Questions Instead of focusing on questions like “Why can’t I lose weight?” ask yourself questions that encourage positive solutions and outcomes. Start asking yourself “What do I need to do to lose weight?” and “What can I do differently this time to stick to my weight loss plan?” or “What would have to change for me to wake up early and exercise?
Set up a plan so you have no choice but to succeed. Good luck Challengers x