My boss always talks about the concept of mindset and how in everything you do in life, your mindset about it will affect the outcome. He surrounds all of his employees with positive affirmations and promotes the idea of a can-do attitude. We sometimes laugh (even cringe) at the different things that come up on our daily calendars but as I’ve started to get into coaching and really think about my own life and my own weight loss journey, I am starting to really believe that mindset is EVERYTHING.
We truly underestimate how powerful our thoughts can be. I constantly hear people tell me all of the reasons why they can’t do this: They’re too busy. They’re out of shape. They’ve got injuries. They can’t cook. They don’t like this. They don’t like that. It’s too limiting. It’s too hard. They can’t do it. I started to see how these were things I used to say as well. I have bad knees and I’ve had chronic lower back pain. I used to look at the meals people would cook and think I could never cook or prepare a meal like that. Even now, I often think that I’ve got no time for any of this.
All of these limiting thoughts are evidence that the only person holding most people back is themselves. I have known this to be true about myself for quite some time. My perfectionism has prevented me from trying things out of fear of failure. My black or white thinking has caused me to quit because, for me, I’d rather be successful and doing something “perfectly” or not do it at all. This thinking is why in the past I’ve quit WeightWatchers®, basketball, classes, etc.
I started to try approaching things differently.
It first started with a commitment to myself that I would NEVER quit WeightWatchers® again. I am an addict and food is my drug, so like an alcoholic or drug addict trying to stay sober, I need to regularly be connected and supported in this area of my life. In fact, it’s probably even more important that I do so because unlike an alcoholic or drug addict, I have to eat. Food is everywhere. I’m bombarded and constantly surrounded by food, food temptation, and food decisions.
So, I went to meetings every single Saturday at 7am for months and months on end. Through this time, however, I basically maintained. I was frustrated, but I also had to be real with myself. Going to the meetings, although helpful, wasn’t enough. I was tracking, but I was tracking into the negative pretty regularly (“That’s not how any of this works!” – Ladies from eInsurance commercial) and my activity was somewhat consistent, but not frequent enough and not doing things that were going to show me the results. I had to do something differently (“You can’t do the same things over and over again and expect a different result!” – Albert Einstein).
My good friend (and now mentor and coach), Lauren, introduced me to the 21 Day Fix® program. It was a combination of daily 30-minute workouts and a nutrition plan that would effectively have me eating more clean, unprocessed foods. I decided to give it a try. This was important enough to me to give it a try, so I made sure that I made the time for it. I knew myself and knew that trying to be motivated and do the workouts after work would be very difficult, so I got up a half hour earlier and did the workouts first thing. The food part was a little bit challenging, but I did both the food portioning through the 21 Day Fix® program and tracked my points with WeightWatchers®. I realized very quickly how I was able to be satisfied more with the right foods and less of it, because I found myself with anywhere from 5 to 15 points left over each day.
Needless to say, in the first 21 days, I lost 12lbs and several inches. The results were very noticeable. And, I didn’t stop there because I saw the results and started to love the way I felt and realized very quickly that I was capable of reaching my goals. I just had to change my mindset.
It’s probably one of the hardest parts to change, but if you can change your mindset and your attitude about the things you face in life, then you’ve already conquered half the battle. I have a little exercise for you to try.
- Grab a piece of paper and fold it in half.
- On the left side, write down all of your limiting thoughts. All of those things that that little voice in your head says to you and that you wouldn’t ever think of telling someone else (I would hope!)
- Now, on the right side, write the exact opposite. For example, if one of the things you wrote down on the left side was, “I don’t have enough money to afford this.”, then on the right side, write down, “I have enough money to support myself and my needs and I am worth this investment.” Or perhaps, “I don’t have enough time to work out.” and instead write, “I make time for the things that are important to me.”
- Tear the left side of the paper off and throw it away! You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!
My hope is that this exercise will help you get on the right path towards changing your mindset.
If you would like some support or guidance on how to join me on this journey, please feel free to contact me.