When it comes to weight loss, or weight management as I prefer to put it, your mindset is of the utmost importance. Too often most attempts at losing weight fail because people simply do not have their head in the right place. This is so important for a number of reasons, and interestingly enough, your mind can actually
1. The Initial Decision
Many people, especially around the New Year, decide it’s time to change their life and start looking after themselves. Often this is done for all the wrong reasons and without true conviction. To make any sort of change in your life, you have to truly desire it and for all the right reasons. For example making a choice to lose weight to impress a certain person is not a good way to start. Making the choice to lose weight because you want to impress your self and lead a healthier, happier life is more important. If you truly don’t want to change and are just doing it for somebody else, then you need to really do some soul searching first and come up with all the reasons why you want to do it for yourself – this will help you later.
2. During the First Stages
So you have just started your diet or program and it’s a week in and you are feeling great. It is important to lock in that feeling and how good you feel right now. Our mind (especially the subconscious mind) runs on associations – the stronger the association the more likely it is to go in that direction. By locking in how good you feel you are preparing yourself for later down the track when things may become more difficult. This is forming a strong association between weight loss and feeling good. It is important to focus on the bigger picture and not overdo things too much at times. The key is creating a long term mindset, not a short term one. So keep up the good work and
3. During the Tough Times
Now you are 2-3 weeks into your weight program and the initial ‘buzz’ has gone a bit. Things might seem a little more tough, and that initial drive to keep going has declined. It is important in this stage to remember your reasons for doing this and how good you felt when you started. It is also important to remember that if you do momentarily lapse during this period, to not get down about it and get back straight back on track. There is no such thing as failure – it only means you needed more time to accomplish something. If you have trouble just try visualizing inside your mind what you will look like after you have reached your weight loss goals. This will make it easier to keep going.
4. A Changed Mindset Forever
So by now it months in and you have been doing really well. You have reached your weight goals and are feeling great. Now is the time to just take a moment to let everything sink in properly. Reflect on the experience and focus on all the good things that have happened and how you feel. Think about how difficult it may have been at times, but then think about how easy it is to sustain these new changes instead. Focus on the changes you have made to your lifestyle, and concentrate on keeping these changes there forever. With this mindset you will never look back. This is how people lose weight and keep it off permanently. It is about changing lifestyle patterns, not about ‘quick fixes’.
5. Using Your Mind to Your Advantage in General
Now this is the most interesting part. Such is the power of your mind, and the connection it has with the rest of your body, you can most certainly obtain some incredible results simply by redirecting it at a deeper level. For example, my virtual gastric band program utilises the mind-body connection to help convince you mentally that you feel full physically. This is a great example of the power of the mind over body. In this case I am directing the change, but there are some other things you can do adjunct with my program to help cement your weight loss goals more effectively.
a) Visualising – this is best done when you are in a relaxed/sleep mode. Simply before you go to sleep try to visualise images of yourself and how you want to look, or where you want to be after you have reached your weight loss goals. Doing this regularly helps really lock in a strong subconscious mindset to initiate change.
b) Meditation/Self Hypnosis – with my program I give each client a ‘take home’ CD to use. Using this you can put yourself into comforting meditative states and use the suggestions and directions it contains to reinforce positive change subconsciously. This in turn will help cement in place new ways and ultimately help reshape your lifestyle by automating the decisions to choose healthy practices over unhealthy ones.
c) Affirmations (aloud or silently) – Simply by repeating short key phrases either out loud or silently inside your mind, you will be helping reinforce the meaning behind what you are saying. Affirmations are best said 2 or 3 times a day, and are most effective when repeated at least 4 times per affirmation. Depending on time you can choose how many phrases you wish to say. Try to keep the affirmations short, sharp to the point and always as a positive statement in the ‘first person’ in the present tense(e.g. “I am”). Here are a few examples – I am losing more weight each and every day – I enjoy eating healthy foods – I feel great when I exercise. Although this may sound a little silly at first if you have not done affirmations before, it is actually quite surprising how well they can work.
– Tim Thornton