It is often said that when it comes to losing weight, half the battle is in our own mind.
If you can erase negativity and doubt from your thinking and develop your inner strength, you’ll reach your weight loss goal more easily.
Here is some advice from the experts on some practical self-talk to help you reach your fitness goals:
Be kind to yourself and accept your body.
Being kind to yourself and accepting your body doesn’t mean you allow yourself to be overweight.
It means you honour your body as it is, while continuing to work on being the best it can be.
Love your body by focusing on the kind words, and nurture your body through nutritious food and exercise.
Practice mindfulness. Be fully present in whatever you’re doing—eating, talking, working, playing—to experience pleasure and meaning.
Find your “why” to get motivated.
Motivation is the driving force behind our habits.
Tap into yours and use it to form new, good habits.
Ask yourself: “Why is weight loss important to me?”
We all have different reasons and goals.
Maybe you want to be able to keep up with your grandkids? Perform daily activities with ease?
Perhaps your doctor has told you to lose weight for your health’s sake?
Focus on where you’re headed instead of obsessing about where you are.
You can’t move forward if your mind dwells on self-critical thoughts about being overweight.
What we focus our attention on grows. One way that a negative attitude can win while dieting is if you have set unreasonable goals.
Trying to exist on an extremely low-calorie diet or setting your weekly weight loss goal at an unattainable number often sets you up for failure.
To increase weight loss success, set achievable goals.
Losing one or two pounds per week is a reasonable goal.
Weigh yourself weekly; every week that you reach your goal, acknowledge your success. This will encourage positive thinking.
The best way to attain goals is to write out some small and realistic objective.
Once you have met that goal, set another one to keep the momentum going.
Use Post It notes in your home, car, office with personal motivational messages to keep you on track. Make it a habit to remind yourself of your health and fitness goals daily.
Be patient and expect setbacks.
Many people get down when the pounds don’t come off fast enough. They then give up too quickly. But permanent weight loss takes time. You may also find that you temporarily fall back into some of those old eating habits or may have times when you can’t be as active as you would like.
Don’t beat yourself up. Change doesn’t come without setbacks. Expecting setbacks is realistic.
Don’t waste time making excuses or being discouraged, it makes it harder to get motivated again. Just get back on track with your healthy diet and exercise and use set-backs as a valuable opportunity to strengthen your strong side.
A few other tips to help you stay on track—get your workout in first thing in the morning before your day gets too busy; find a workout partner for accountability; use a diet log and exercise journal; deal with emotional eating by telling yourself that you are in control of your life and that food will not make it better; and get around positive, supportive people who encourage you in being healthy.
Bobbi Kittle is a personal trainer and fitness instructor in Kelowna who specializes in working with seniors.