Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shift Your Focus to Feel Better and Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

All week I’ve been writing about exercising even when you don’t feel like it. How developing a mini workout for those days is a great idea to keep you on track for your goals and to teach you to listen to your body.

That’s all great, but if you are going to mope around and focus on your pain or nose or whatever ailment you have during that mini workout you won’t get the maximum benefit from it.

A major part of your plan should include deciding you are going to shift your focus from not feeling good to something—anything—that feels better, that gives you a little bit of pleasure.

For example, you might go for a stroll around the block for your mini workout. If during that stroll you continue to think about how bad you feel...your aches, pains, stuffy nose, whatever...chances are really good that you will just feel worse when you get back to your front door.

What if you allowed yourself to be distracted for those 5 minutes? What if you consciously choose to look for things to distract you from your discomfort? You notice the blue sky, the fluffy clouds, the birds singing, kids playing, the music playing on your iPod, the pretty flowers, interesting shapes and patterns, the scent of a neighbor’s wood fire. ...Now when you get back home you probably feel a bit better...maybe even a lot better...just because you took your mind off feeling bad!

So now you get the double benefit of moving your body and feeling emotionally better—because you made a decision to feel better! Practice distracting yourself when you don’t feel good...not with food, but by noticing things around you that you appreciate, things that are beautiful, pretty, pleasing to you in some way.

As you practice this “art of distraction” you can shift that into looking for things to appreciate all the time. Doing this you will notice that you feel better more and more of the time.

This is not to say that you will feel on top of the world all the time...that’s not a realistic goal...but when we feel better we find it easier to stick with our weight loss goals. This is different from feeling numb...from pushing down our negative feelings...this is one tip that can actually help you to feel good!

And speaking of feeling good...check back tomorrow when I talk about celebrating your success!

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