Change Your Body by Changing Your Mind


Question: I need to lose 70 to 80 pounds. I lost it before and I felt really good but I didn’t keep it off. The thought of dieting again is overwhelming to me but there is no other way I’ll be successful. I can’t keep dieting and gaining over and over. How do people lose weight and then keep it off?
Answer: Any successful endeavor requires acceptance, self-discipline, consistency, and optimism. Accept where you currently stand in your quest to lose weight and keep it off. Accept that you are not where you were nor are you where you will be and stop beating yourself up about not keeping the weight off long-term. Put into practice the lessons that made losing weight successful the first time and avoid the things that undermined your success preventing you from repeating the mistakes. Realize that your current physical condition is not permanent and acknowledge both your strengths and your weaknesses. Capitalize on your strengths, for example, if you really enjoyed running, start walking or a walk/jog program. If meal planning is a weakness, partner with a friend or family member to get together on Sunday to grill food and both of you will have your main dish ready for each day of the week.
Self-discipline can be extraordinarily difficult both at first and to maintain it. The small daily habits you need to acquire involves self-discipline. Training daily, eating breakfast, doing cardio, if done repeatedly, can become constructive habits after about 3 weeks. Initially change is difficult. Getting up earlier to do cardio prevents you from staying up late but it gets easier as you go if you know what you want and want it badly enough. Not buying ice cream because you know if it’s in the house you’ll eat it is difficult, at first. As you go day after day without your trigger food or your food weakness you become more immune to the voice from the freezer. At least that’s what I tell myself. Those things you change, in the beginning, because you are supposed to become the things you do because you want to.
Consistency is a by-product of self-discipline. Those small daily victories become effective weight loss tools and lifestyle changes as you do them day after day. Challenging yourself consistently to increase training intensity is a must. Once you reach a small goal set a new one that’s just a bit greater. There will be days when you don’t feel like doing cardio, those are the days you have to do it. You may alter your workout or the type of cardio you’re doing but you have to do it. Once you give in to the slacker instinct, it will get easier not to do your training. Large goals are the accumulation of many smaller goals.
Optimism is an often overlooked key to success. You have to learn to believe in yourself and the training you are doing to accomplish the goals you placed in your life. After your first day of training you feel a sense of accomplishment and a little more self-worth because you persevered and finished your workout when the day didn’t seem like it was going to go well. Look back after the first week at how hard you trained and know that you are on the right track. The sense of knowing you have done what you set out to do spills over into other areas of your lifestyle and that’s the big picture here, changing your lifestyle from one of an accumulation of unhealthy habits to those that are healthy, changing your body and mind.

Be careful what you think because your thoughts are what shapes your life.

– Proverbs 4:23.

God bless and keep training,