“To change our bodies, we must first change the way we think.” ~Hungry for Change
There you are, staring at yourself in the mirror again. Wishing you could just get rid of that bulge, roll, dimple—whatever. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds, maybe you want to lose a lot of weight or maybe you just want to tone up. Whatever the case may be, you need to develop the right mindset. If your mind is going to hold on to the negativity, your body will happily hold on to the fat.
It’s a Lifestyle
When you start to change the way you eat for the better, and exercise to become healthier, in order to reach your goals, you can’t have an end game in sight. You need to look at it as a lifestyle change. You are not on a diet and you are not on an exercise plan. You have changed the way you were previously living—for the better. A great way to become health-focused is to choose a career that will enable you to live healthily. This can be done by becoming a certified nutrition coach if this is of interest to you.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not need to be miserable. Remind yourself of that.
People are such whore’s for instant gratification that we tend to go all out when we want something and then get pissed when the results don’t happen immediately. If you try to change everything about your lifestyle all at once, you’re going to snap back like a rubber band.
Start by making small, lifestyle changes. Don’t go from zero days a week at the gym to five. Not only will you be too sore to continue working out, you’ll lose steam pretty quickly. You don’t have to quit the things you love completely, but start to limit them, like alcohol, soda, fried foods etc.
The best way to change your eating habits is to look at your week of meals—let’s say you eat three meals a day, seven days a week. Start with two meals at a time. Pick two dinners and make those dinners healthy. The next week, pick two more meals to make healthy and so on. When you change your meals gradually you’ll start to feel better and better and it won’t shock you all at once, resulting in you feeling miserable.
Structure Not Restrictions
The word “diet” has morphed from being “anything and everything you eat” to “a restricted way of eating.” What you eat is your diet. Period. Changing your diet as we discussed, should be a lifestyle change—not a temporary solution. If you look at your diet as temporary you’re bound to be on the yo-yo ride until you start to view it as ongoing and indefinite.
Structuring your diet is a lot different from restricting your diet and it all starts in your head. Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t have that” think: “I can have that, I just don’t want it.” Or “I can have that, but I don’t need that.”
The words “in moderation” should be translated into “bullshit.” Most people have zero clue what moderation even means. Generally, people use it to describe what crappy foods they can eat as long as it’s “in moderation.”
Here’s the thing — let’s say Tuesday night you have one slice of pizza. Not terrible right? Because you only had one slice. The next night you have a few french fries and half a dessert. Thursday you have a breakfast sandwich from a fast food joint. While this may not seem like you’re doing all that bad, this is not moderation.
If you want to eat crappy food, make sure it fits into your caloric intake (or macros if you follow flex dieting) for the day and don’t go over. Make smarter choices for the rest of your meals rather than restrict yourself entirely.
You Aren’t Someone Else
I know this is tough to wrap your mind around, but what works for someone else may not work for you. If you love Suzy’s body and she writes down her workout plan and what she eats, serves it to you on a silver platter and you follow it to a T—there’s a pretty good chance you won’t get the same results.
Why? It’s not fair!
I know. It sucks. But everyone’s bodies are different which makes it difficult for you to find a cookie cutter diet and apply it to your life—no matter how bad the diet industry wants you to. This is why a lot of people fail and get frustrated.
The most important thing to do here is to listen to your body. Just because Suzy eats five meals a day, doesn’t mean you need to. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you aren’t. Eat slower so you know when you’re full. If your body needs more food, give it more. If five days a week is too much for you to exercise, limit it to three. If you are doing three and think you can do more—add in a day.
The point is that there’s no secret formula that works for everyone. Practice a little trial and error, giving your body a couple of weeks to adjust to the change and see how that works for you. If you need more or less of something, give it another couple of weeks and gauge your body’s response. You have more answers than you realize you do.
Changing the way you think is so incredibly important when it comes to weight loss and your overall health. Accepting yourself for where you’re at in your fitness journey is so important. You won’t get there overnight and you can’t expect your body to catch up to some ideal you have in your mind. You need to be patient and accept yourself every step of the way. Reaching your goals is such a struggle and you need to support yourself through it, not berate yourself because you magically aren’t where you want to be.
Don’t work out and eat healthy because you hate your body and want to change it. Work out and eat healthy because you love your body — and want to take care of it.
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