By Judy Weitzman
Have you ever beat yourself up after eating too much or eating something less than healthy? Unfortunately, it is a very common reaction. A better way to handle the same situation is to learn from the experience so you can change the behavior next time.
First, you have to look for the positives. In my observation, when people go on a weight loss journey, their tendency is to focus on what they did “wrong”. Like, “I should not have had that second glass of wine” or “I was too tired to go to the gym”. The apologies, confessions and remorse are daunting. By focusing on the negatives, these behaviors will affect your mood and make the weight loss process more challenging. On the other hand, we have to acknowledge our mistakes so we can correct them going forward.
Learn to focus on the positives. For example:
- “They served donuts at work and I took a pass”
- “I had a great workout at the gym today”
- “I pushed myself and increased my speed to an eight minute mile.”
- “The server messed up my order and gave me fries, but I sent them back for veggies”
The list is endless…..and by focusing on these positive thoughts, it can be empowering. Whereas thinking about what you ‘woulda’, ‘coulda’, ‘shoulda’ done will only take you into a downward spiral prolonging your weight loss efforts.
The mind is a tricky thing. I am a firm believer in the power of visualizing and positive thinking. Create a clear vision of how you will look at your goal. Picture yourself thin and with a smile on your face. Thin does not have to be “skinny” ….determine a healthy weight you will feel good maintaining. Then keep pulling up that vision of yourself looking great to reinforce your goal.
When you are setting your goals for losing weight, make sure your goals are attainable. The healthiest and most realistic goal for losing weight is taking off one to two pounds per week. As you reach your goal each week on the scale, it will boost your self-confidence and ensure that your weight loss will continue.
Besides setting a weight goal, please make sure you set a goal for finding positives in your day. Then write them down at night, like blessings. Positive reinforcement continues a behavior and who says the reinforcement has to come from an outside source. Be your own cheerleader, lead the charge to being a healthier and stronger person. By changing your eating behaviors, you will not only lose weight; you will keep it off permanently.
Remember, weight loss is not a race……luckily we have the gift of time – even with a busy schedule, you can make time…..this is a journey for the rest of your life….not just a temporary fix. Be patient – this will minimize the pressure and stress that can happen during your weight loss journey…..instead focus on the positive behavior changes you are making and perpetuate them.
Stay positive, visualize yourself at your goal, focus on good eating behaviors and be healthy! If you hit a speed bump along the way, simply get up, dust yourself off and get back on track. You can do this ….. positively!