In order to experience a long-lasting, healthy lifestyle, and consequently weight, it’s so important to start with your mindset. If you want to lose excess weight and/or reach a greater level of fitness, the best place to look first is at your perspective and your motivation. If any of the following statements are a driving factor in why you think you should lose weight, we have some recommendations for shifting your perspective and helping you to have a healthy weight loss experience:
- I wish I looked like that girl or guy.
- I hate my body.
- If I could just lose this weight, I would be happy.
- Everyone thinks I’m overweight.
- I’m not as pretty as thinner people.
- People will like me more.
From what we’ve experienced, when your weight loss or healthy living goals are driven by negative mindsets and motivations, you’re less likely to achieve your goals or be able to maintain them long-term. If you’ve found yourself over the course of months or years on a rollercoaster or weight loss and weight gain, you may want to consider what the driving motivation has been for you. Is it because you think you have to? Or one of the other reasons mentioned in the list above? If you answered yes to any of these, we’d like to offer some other possible motivations for you to consider.
Here are some positive ways to think about weight loss and healthy living:
- I am beautiful.
- I am strong.
- I can do anything I set my mind to.
- I wonder what my body could look and feel like.
- I wonder how much weight I could lift.
- I wonder how long I could run or walk.
- I could hike a mountain, run a marathon, swim a mile, walk an hour, do 10 push-ups, _____ (insert a physical goal you’ve wanted to accomplish)_____.
What do you notice with each one of these mindsets? Yes! They are positive! And, they speak of what could be because your body and your mind has the potential to do more than you may think. Now, imagine thinking about your next workout or next meal as an opportunity to see what you could do with this incredible body you have. When you start to fix your eyes on the positive possibilities, you can find yourself making better, healthy decisions and even sacrifices (forgoing desert this time, eating grilled chicken instead of friend, going for a walk rather than watching TV) because your mind is set on your goal and the fact that you can get there eventually.
With these mindsets, it’s also important to set goals that will actually motivate you. So, if your dream has been to run a 5k or a half-marathon, then set that goal in front of you. Or, if you just want to have more energy to be able to keep up with your kids; keep that goal in mind. In every health journey, there are difficult days. There are times when working out and eating healthy are easy and times when it takes stringent discipline to do so and times when you eat the cake, skip the gym or go for the double, bacon burger; and that’s okay!
As a final note, please strive to find the balance between discipline and grace. Yes, we have to be disciplined to achieve fitness goals, but we also have to have days and occasions where we choose experiences over hitting our weekly workout goals, and where we choose the pizza over the salad. With a positive mindset, motivational goals, discipline and grace, you’ll be well on your way to achieving new health, weight and fitness goals.