Mindset Shifts To Aid Your Weight Loss Journey
Your mindset plays a big role in making any lasting change- especially when it comes to weight loss. We all know weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s essential to shift your mindset to help set you up for success in the long run. No matter where you are on your journey you can implement these mindset shifts to help aid your progress in a big way.
- Finding motivation: Dig deep to find your big reason for losing weight. This reason is deeply rooted and goes beyond "wanting to look good in a bikini". This reason goes beyond what your healthcare professionals, family members, or friends want for you. This big motivating force comes from you by reflecting on how weight loss would benefit you. Would you be feeling healthier and maybe taking less medication? Would losing weight lower your risk for a certain condition that you dread having to live with? Do you want to lose this weight to be able to partake in an activity you haven't been able to do in a while? Would your family's future look different if you were able to lose weight? Really taking time and connecting to the one deep and serious reason why losing weight is important to you is a great investment that motivates you and connects you to be fully invested in this journey.
- Believing in yourself: Do you believe you can lose the weight? It turns out that if you don’t think something is possible, you’ll be right. On the flip side, if you believe you can do something, you’ll also be right! Self-efficacy (fancy for believing in yourself) can be tough, especially if you haven't achieved a similar task. It can be helpful to reflect on something that you accomplished that you really wanted and was difficult to achieve like graduating from college, buying a house, starting a business, having a family, etc. Remind yourself you are capable of anything you put your mind to and you have succeeded before. You are in control of your thoughts, choose to believe.
- Self-monitoring: Check in with yourself from time to time to see how you are progressing. Are you moving towards your goals or are you falling short on the weekends? Be honest with yourself and how you are truly progressing or what is standing in your way. When you identify what your obstacles are and what challenges you're having, you can begin making a plan to overcome them. People who closely track their habits and are conscious of their efforts, generally, tend to be more successful than those who don’t. Set yourself up for success by checking in frequently and adjusting your plan as needed.
- Committing to a lifestyle: Along this journey, you might partner with your care team to develop a “food protocol” that is intended to help you achieve your weight loss goals and, eventually, help you maintain your goal weight. Of course, like any other weight loss plan, there will be certain foods that your healthcare provider will want you to minimize consuming or ask that you enjoy in moderation as you work towards your goal weight. These foods are not bad and are not prohibited but rather don't line up with your goals if they are consumed regularly. It's important to understand you won't stick to your protocol ALL the time, and that's simply okay. There will be special occasions where you enjoy a certain food, say birthday cake for your birthday. This instance doesn't derail all your progress, and the next day you can simply get back on plan- no hard feelings or guilt. You can't avoid certain foods for the rest of your life, and you should not. Be flexible and commit to making this a lifestyle versus a restricted diet.
- Come from a place of love: We saved the best for last as this might be the most important mindset shift. Weight loss is not about torturing ourselves by saying no to treats or hating ourselves because we can't fit into our old jeans. It's actually the exact opposite! Weight loss should be an act of love. Choosing nourishing foods to fuel our bodies, paying extra attention to our habits, and putting ourselves first are all acts of love. We need to nurture self-compassion and self-acceptance regardless of what the scale says. Another big part of self-love is ditching negative self-talk. Instead of tearing yourself apart, reflect on what you like about your appearance, and celebrate all the things your body does for you daily and has done for you in the past. Love yourself at every stage of the journey!