Decoding Weight Loss: Mindset
The entire month of September, I will be going through the top five factors you must address when working to achieve any weight loss goal: nutrition, mindset, stress, sleep, and movement.
When it comes to weight loss, we tend to think about diet and exercise as the only factor we need to address. As we move through the next three articles in this series on decoding weight loss, you'll come to find that there are other extremely important factors at play, including today's topic: mindset.
Our mindset around weight loss often gets us into more trouble than we realize. We'll talk all about stress in the next article in this series, but we need to understand just how stressful our thoughts can be.
When we wake up every day and poke ourselves in the mirror, sigh and think we'll never lose weight, or try and willpower our way through starving ourselves, we will never achieve the long term goals we want. It might work in the short term when you are in your 20s, but once those dream years are over, it simply stops working to berate yourself over and over to try and lose weight.
How would you feel if the coworkers you see every day would make comments about your body and tell you how terrible you look? You obviously wouldn't like that, and it would be an obvious life stressor. How is that any different than what we do to ourselves all day, every day, 24/7 in our heads?
When we shift our mindset away from restriction and towards nourishment, our approach to weight loss changes. Our body doesn't thrive in a restricted state just like a car won't work if you only fuel it with water. When we choose to fuel our bodies with real, whole foods that are found in nature, and not focus on restricting, but rather getting as many healthy, micronutrient rich foods into our diet as possible, we will start to see our weight loss efforts succeed.
Plus, how many times do we successfully restrict restrict restrict all day long only to come home and eat the entire kitchen (and then some?). It's like you can't turn the breaks off! The reality is though, that if you had just had balanced meals at breakfast and lunch and not focused so much on eating as little as possible, you likely wouldn't have gotten yourself into that mess.
My point in all of this: you may not want to love your body, but you need to accept that it is the body you've been given and it's what you have to work with. Trying to force it into doing what you want it to do instead of WORKING WITH IT is the best way to hit a weight loss plateau and add extra inches around your waist. It's that simple.
Instead, let's take your body's hand and tell it that you are in this together. You won't crash diet. You will fuel it with real, whole foods and allow it to move appropriately with the right kind and amount of exercise for you.
Remember - your mindset MATTERS when it comes to weight loss, no matter how insignificant it may seem.