The United States, along with many other countries, is facing an obesity epidemic. I have found the word ‘’epidemic’’ to be somewhat overused in the media, but when it comes to this issue, sadly, it is an accurate term to describe the problem. Weight loss seems to be a struggle for many, and research is revealing that there are many complicated factors at play that influence our weight. But, that does not change the fact that lifestyle choices are a primary component of the equation; this is good news because it means we have a great deal of power in affecting our health outcomes. Good lifestyle choices can only be developed through good decisions—it comes down to choices, and it can be hard to make the right ones for myriad reasons, from false, limiting beliefs about your capability for change to just good old-fashioned laziness. Choice starts in the mind, and there are ways we can create a state that supports our health, rather than chips away at it. To get our weight right, we need to get our mind right. Here are some ways to help you do just that.
Removing the ‘’Stress’’ Barrier
High stress levels and weight loss do not gel well together. Not only does it do things to your body that make it difficult to lose weight, it messes with your mind; it will put you in a state where you will find it much more difficult to make healthy choices, or even worse, a state where you will not even care to make such choices. Now, stress is a part of life ,and you do not have to work on transforming yourself to a Buddha-like master to win the weight loss game. You just need to commit to managing it better, rather than seeing it as some insurmountable obstacle. We bemoan our stress levels, yet do nothing to alleviate them. Stress makes us eat emotionally, zone out in front of the computer for hours rather than exercising, feel pessimistic about our bodies and our ability to make healthy changes, it keeps us stuck in bad habits, and it makes us do things that keep us stuck in a bad place. When we fight stress, we feel good mentally, and when you feel good, you want to make decisions that keep you feeling positive. It will be easier to eat better, exercise more, and make all the other choices that will support your weight loss, because you will want to make them.
Working Out Your ‘’Why’’
No one just wants something out of nowhere, for no reason. A desire gets triggered from within. You set your sights on something because you think it will benefit you, make you happier, move you towards a goal. If you are feeling a push towards weight loss, there is a reason why. Maybe you are sick of feeling badly about yourself. Maybe you worry how it is affecting how you care for your children. Maybe you are on the cusp of developing serious health problems. Maybe you have a dream of being able to run a marathon. While better health is obviously at the core, the individual motivators are highly unique to each individual. Getting clear on your ‘’weight loss why’’ is crucial to staying the course. List out all your ‘’whys’’ and the ‘’whys’’ behind them, until you cannot go any further into your reasoning. This clarity will help you make the good decisions you need to make.
Some may argue that affirmations—phrases you repeat to yourself either silently or out loud—do nothing to change our behavior or our views of ourselves. Based on my own experience, I would beg to differ. We can be whoever we want to be, regardless of our present and past circumstances. Affirmations help instill that idea into our minds; sure, at first, what you are saying about being thin, healthy, making good food choices,etc.. may not be true, but it will become true if you work at it. The affirmations help us achieve that. You may feel silly at first doing them, but keep at it. They can be a great way to get your mind in the right track when trying to lose weight.
Kelli Cooper, writing for kanetix.ca/life-insurance, is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of health topics.