I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “thoughts determine actions”, and it’s especially true with changing health habits.
But for some reason, we often want to dive straight into the habits themselves without addressing mindset first (and we expect that those habits will change overnight).
What do I mean by mindset?
I mean fears, self-doubt, lack of confidence or worthiness arount weight loss, dwelling on past failures, etc. Basically anything that is holding you back mentally (whether you are aware of it or not).
In reality, if you have a negative mindset or self-doubt related to your health (or feel you aren’t worthy of losing weight, or don’t believe you can achieve your goals), it will make changing very difficult...even if you have an amazing coach or trainer guiding you.
So how can you change your mindset first?
Your thought patterns are generally on automatic loops so it takes becoming aware of them to make a change. If you aren’t aware of a problem, it can’t be fixed!
Three steps to changing your mindset around your body:
First, make an active effort to think about your thoughts for a couple of days. Anytime you think a negative thought about yourself or your body (for example, when looking in the mirror, doubting your ability to achieve a goal, etc.) make a note of it. Anything you wouldn’t say to your child or best friend is something to make a note of.
After a couple of days you’ll notice there are probably some general patterns that stick out to you. Once you have your general themes, write them down.
Next, write an affirmation around your theme (something that is opposite of the negative statement). It’s important to write something that resonates with you (i.e. don’t create an affirmation that you love your body if you really don’t feel that way yet).
An effective way to write an affirmation that you aren’t 100% about yet is “I am learning to….”
For example: “I am learning to love my postpartum body and I am grateful for the babies it brought me”.
“I am learning to love to move my body and know that I feel better, happier, and more energetic when I do exercise.”
Once you have your affirmations written, USE THEM!
Put them up around your house or in your car, put them in your phone and repeat them throughout the day. At first it might feel weird, but think of it as a pep-talk. You wouldn’t hesitate to give your best friend or daughter a pep-talk if they were being hard on themself. Now do the same for YOU!
Thoughts are often deeply rooted and so subconscious we don’t even realize how mean we are being to ourselves! But once you become aware and start to acknowledge negative patterns, it’s easy to pick up on them.
The trick is to STOP the thought before it continues.