“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Nothing could be truer when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off.
I get asked by clients all the time “I’m doing everything right why am I not losing more weight?” These clients actually are working very hard so it breaks my heart to tell them they have what we refer to as, a negative attitude or negative outlook on their health and perhaps on life in general.
The fact is that if you are not a happy dieter it will be harder for you to lose weight. Now you might think that the term “happy dieter” is an oxymoron, but clients who have focused on the positive aspect of weight loss i.e. what they are gaining and not what they are losing, or in this case what they are gaining is what they are losing instead of concentrating on what foods they can no longer eat for a couple of months.
Positive thoughts are absolutely empowering. A negative attitude can set processes in motion that makes losing weight difficult, if not impossible. Berating yourself every time you eat the wrong foods, constantly focusing on what you cannot eat and approaching your exercise regimen with dread are all ways that negative thought patterns can sabotage your weight loss efforts.
When you hold a negative image of yourself, you rob yourself of much-needed energy. When feeling powerless, depressed or unmotivated, it’s easy to skip your daily workout or eat a bag of potato chips to feel better. However, tuning into how you feel, acknowledging those feelings and transforming those thoughts into something more positive can actually help you to achieve your weight loss goals faster.
A common response to those who tell you to think more positively is often: “I feel what I feel. I can’t help how I feel.” Positive thinking is only effective if it is in alignment with your true feelings. If you sincerely feel down about your body weight, telling yourself that everything is okay will often create internal discord.
The trick is to tap into those feelings that ring true for you. For example, keep a daily journal in which you write down your negative thoughts and feelings. If you feel you are lacking in willpower or just can’t overcome your cravings, write those thoughts down. When you acknowledge the darker emotions, they often tend to have less power over you.
It is important to then make a conscious effort to transform your thoughts. It may be true that you often cannot overcome your food cravings or stick to your diet. However, if there are times when you are able to stand strong, then focus on those moments and celebrate the triumphs. Maybe you put less sugar in your coffee today and said no to a second slice of pizza. Giving attention to the positive things will help to create greater self-esteem and motivation to continue with your weight loss efforts.