Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Mind as an Ally in Reaching Ideal Weight

Who can say "self-sabotage?" Just about everyone who has ever wanted to change the shape their body is in--whether that is to drop fat, gain muscle, increase endurance or some combination.

Self-sabotage is not an inevitability however. How do you combat it? By using the power of your mind in your favor.

One of my favorite ways of getting my mind to be my ally in my health journey (as opposed to my enemy) is to use affirmations. Sometimes my affirmations are about my body size or condition or physical appearance. Other times I will use affirmations about my health, or my level of energy. I also use affirmations about behaviors--either eating and/or those revolving around physical activity.

It is important when using affirmations to say ones that feel good to you. They don't have to be "true" (yet...they will be true if you keep it up!) but they can't feel bad. In other words, if you say "My body is slender and beautiful" and your inner voice is saying, "no it isn't, I'm fat and ugly" then it is time to try a different affirmation.

If I'm in that sort of negative mood, I consciously look for an affirmation that feels good (or at least better!) It might be "I have ample energy to go for a long walk this morning" or "I make healthy choices in selecting the food I eat today" or "I enjoy eating healthy food" or "I am open to improving my health every day."

It really comes down to how I feel--if I feel bad I tend to overeat. So my goal is to feel good and empowered in my health. I realize that the world is full of choices and I want to feel good about making decisions that support my health goals. Sometimes that means I will make the same choice over and over. That is how a new habit is made. Pretty reasonable, since to get fat I made the same unhealthy choice(s) over and over!

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