Do you ever wonder how people who lose half their size do it? Do you wish you could have just 15 minutes with someone who has drastically improved their health so you can pick their brain?
Well, it turns out the secret to their dropping pounds and keeping them off lies in the brain. More specifically, in your mindset. You can eat salad all day long and sweat until you are a puddle on the floor, but if your mind is not ready for success, you will fail.
Which is why I scoured the Internet for the best mindset shifts to drop pounds and improve your health. Read below to use your mindset to lose weight, get fit and improve your health naturally!
Most people skip ahead to their SMART goals, and call it a day. Unfortunately, this can backfire when they don’t see the bathroom scale trending down. Forget SMART goals, and let me introduce you to the new girl in town. The glue that can hold you together when you are at the precipice of falling back into old habits is WHY you even started your journey.
Why you are dedicated to a healthier lifestyle is a very personal and individual choice. For example, my why was to live a long and healthy life. At 21 years old, I could have tricked myself into believing that I didn’t need to change a thing. Because my heart was in the right place and I had no desire to be a bikini body, that WHY powered my natural weight loss over the following year.
Here are some examples of WHYs that backfire:
- To look good
- To beat your co-workers in a weight loss challenge
- To look like Jillian Michaels, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron….
- To be happy
Do you see how these don’t help? All of these are generic and don’t relate to a specific result. Look good and be happy do NOT depend on your pant size. Beating someone in a challenge or trying to look like someone else is a lesson in frustration. After all, someone will always be better than you, and you can never look exactly like anyone but you.
Food has no power over you, so why do we think it does? As humans, we are in the unique position of tying our emotions to our food. You hear phrases like “food is love” and we “treat” each other with special desserts to celebrate our achievements.
When I got an A at school, my dad would take me to my favorite place- Dairy Queen! Well, two things always happened. I got a large blizzard with extra candy, and I got a lot more As at school. Food had a strong grip on me that took years to shake.
Watch this short video on why food has no power over you. Note: this is a short video from my Hot for the Holidays challenge. To get on the wait list for the next challenge in May, sign up here.
When I set out to lose weight once and for all, I decided to ditch any form of dessert for one whole month (bold, eh?). This was because I realized that I ate dessert after every meal- including breakfast! That had to stop, especially when I committed to living a longer life.
What do you think happened by the last day of that month? I ordered an amazing dessert, of course! Called Offering to the Goddess, it was a tower of fruit, grahams, chocolate on a plate with a flame for roasting marshmallows. I savored every single bite of that dessert.
That wasn’t surprising. What WAS surprising is that I did not polish off the whole dang thing.
I was a sugar-loving, dessert-deprived young woman on a diet, and I didn’t feel the need to gorge myself silly. Click To Tweet
When you take time to savor, and indulge less frequently, you become even more satisfied. A special thanks goes out to Jenn Hand of the Huffington Post for helping women find freedom from food obsession.
TRUST YOUR GUT
There is some BS advice running around all over the media. This advice starts with “What to eat when…” And it ends with,
…you are on vacation”
…you just worked out”
…you plan on working out”
…you are pregnant”
…you are PMSing”
…you go out to eat”
..you are exhausted and the only thing left in your fridge is rotten but your kids are starving and you have no time to think”
Never let anyone tell you when to eat. I don’t care if this person has 15 health certifications behind their name, the only one who should determine when you eat is YOU.
- If you can’t tolerate food before noon, don’t eat until noon.
- If you lose track of time while working on a project, then eat when you are finished.
Have you ever seen a toddler who ate exactly when her parents asked her to? I can remember when my daughter would spit out food or leave the table to play when the rest of us sat down for a meal. As toddlers, we are better at reading our hunger cues. At some point in our adulthood, we forget or ignore those hunger cues.
There’s a nasty rumor out there that you shouldn’t eat at night. Bogus! You should trust your gut. If you are hungry at night, there is nothing wrong with a small protein-based snack. One of my clients ate a cup of Greek yogurt with raspberries and almonds every night, which helped her lose 5 pounds.
Once you learn to trust the best times for you to eat, let’s talk about what foods help you drop pounds without starving. Schedule a weight loss breakthrough session for even more ways to change your mindset for weight loss.
Deciding to improve your health is a not an obligation, a duty and certainly not a responsibility. At the end of the day, it is an opportunity.Losing weight is an opportunity to improve your health, enjoy your life, and show up with confidence. Click To Tweet
If you see a diet program as just another item on your to-do list, you are selling yourself short. You are an amazing person, and you deserve to treat your body like the temple it is. Your body is your home, and the vehicle which allows you to love, live and leave a legacy.
Instead of saying to yourself “I have to” or “I should”, shift your language to say “I get to” or “I am lucky to”.
What legacy will you leave?
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
There is one tool you carry with you that takes only a minute to use and will mean a world of difference with shifting your mindset for success. This tool is rarely talked about in most diet programs. Unfortunately, this tool is also critical and very easy to use. That tool is visualization.
Visualization is not the same as mantras like “Dream it until you Achieve it” or “You Attract what you Are”. Instead, visualization is a powerful technique to walk in the shoes of your future self.
Here is what you do. Simply close your eyes, breathe deeply, and imagine you are at your goal weight. Imagine how you feel, and what you are able to do.
Then, state that feeling out loud at least once a day. For example, “I feel amazing in my cute bathing suit on the beach that I haven’t been able to wear for 2 years as I chase my kids through the surf”.
Remember to use present tense with your statement. Visualization doesn’t work if you set it for some random future event. Tom Venuto, natural bodybuilder and author, refers to this as the “Fifth Element” for successful fat loss.
In her book, “Goddesses Never Age“, Christiane Northrup, MD, asserts that one of the main causes of long-term health is establishing rituals of pleasure. Let that roll off your tongue. Rituals of pleasure.
How can weight loss be pleasurable? Isn’t it just another way to torture yourself with disciplined drudgery?
Here’s is how to turn that around.
- When trying out a new recipe, instead of saying, “It ain’t my favorite pizza”, say instead “Here is how I can make this even better”. By the way, I treat all recipes as experiments. Once I have had a chance to make the basic recipe, I then substitute and add anything I think will make it better. It’s fun!
- When trying out some new exercise routine, instead of saying “Ugh, I can’t feel my legs and the sweat is blinding me”, say “My legs are so strong and those calories are really melting away”
- When feeling jealous that your friends & family are eating whatever they want, instead of saying “I wish I could eat that”, say “I am nourishing my body and soul by sticking to my plan”.
I’m not saying that you will always find weight loss pleasurable- because you won’t. However, having an open mind and being willing to accept new things and adapt those new things to your needs will serve you for life.