Over and over again in my practice I ask patients how many moments in a day they just sit and think… and the answer is often ZERO!! People are afraid of the thoughts and emotions they experience when life slows down and they allow themselves the indulgence of thought. Many would rather push thought away with television, some device, a book, or a bad habit. Both positive and negative coping strategies get in the way of thought! We must allow ourselves time to think and process what is going on in our minds, bodies, and lives in order to create healthy lifestyles and live life more fully and with contentment.
8 Ways to Think Thin by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on www.webmd.com, she talks about 8 ways to change your thinking around weight loss in order to achieve your goals.
Here are my thoughts related to each of her categories in her 8 Ways to Think Thin, and check out her full article at the link below…
- Picture yourself thin. In order to lose weight, you need to truly believe you can do it. Visualizing yourself thin will help you feel certain you can reach that goal and will keep you on track when things are difficult.
- Be sure to work on your perception of body image along the way.
- Have realistic expectations. It is not realistic to lose all of your weight in one month. In fact, it really is not realistic to see much change for at least one month. This can be a hard fact to handle, but accepting this will help you remain patient and keep going, despite not always noticing changes week to week.
- More about the psychology behind weight loss here.
- Set small goals. Aim for ½ pound of weight loss per week. This is much more manageable and is in the right direction. Certainly better than giving up altogether and gaining ½ pound a week!
- Get support. Whether through online support networks, friends/family/co-workers, or joining a weight loss group. Even using the internet to research healthy topics to keep yourself motivated. It helps to know you’re not alone and to have outside motivation when you are feeling down about the process.
- Create a detailed action plan. Without a plan you are much more likely to fail. This means nutrition, exercise, dealing with stress, time management, etc. A perfect process is not going to be achieved at the onset of your weight loss efforts. Be patient, monitor yourself and your progress, your barriers, what gets in the way, and make changes over time.
- Reward yourself. Reward yourself with positive praise, as well as tangential rewards along the way. If you are unsure of ideas, Google for suggestions!
- Ditch old habits. It can be hard to give up alcohol on the weekends, late nights binge watching your favorite television episodes, extra servings of your favorite foods, choosing unhealthy options every time you find yourself out to eat, etc. But, the reality is, if you truly want results, you will have to make lifestyle changes. This does not mean giving everything up, but it may mean reducing the frequency, or putting it off until you are closer to your goal.
- Keep track. Monitor your progress so that you can see your effort and changes over time! It can be hard to remember all of your determination when you are feeling down. It can be hard to be grateful for the 30 pounds you’ve lost when you know you have 20 more to go. Keeping track can enhance self-awareness, continually keep you thinking about the process and where changes may be necessary, and praising yourself for your tremendous effort. This is not easy! Keep a record of all of the strength you are putting forth, it will be a great story to tell when you’ve reached this amazing accomplishment… and a reminder keep you on track once you get there!
It is okay, and healthy, to remind yourself that this process is not easy! Acknowledging this, taking the time to process your thoughts and feelings about what this will take, and allowing yourself slow change over time will be much more personally rewarding than just a change in your weight!
Check out the full article on 8 Ways to Think Thin here…
Happy Sunday!! Prepare your mindset for today and the week ahead!!