If you have ever gone in search of a weight loss plan, you know there are thousands of programs to choose from that will present you different variations of the same advice: change your eating and up your exercise.
So, with all of these options (many with very sound advice), why do we continue to struggle with our weight?
Because, in my humble opinion and with almost 8 years of experience under my belt, I have found nutrition and fitness make up about 1/4 of a transformation. The rest? Mindset.
It's why in Fit for Life Academy, I place such a big emphasis on mental transformation, accountability, and support. Because those are the true wizards behind the curtain.
Now I could easily write an entire book on the many mental shifts that would help throughout a weight loss or wellness journey.
But today we're just going to focus on 6 of the most common beliefs, and the shifts that will have the greatest impact on you if you begin implementing them today.
We all know this one. The "I'll start on Monday" trick puts us in this magical place called Tomorrowland where we will have all the self control, the motivation, the time, and the energy in the world to accomplish our dreams.
But if you're really serious about wanting to make a change in your weight and in your life, don't give yourself an official start date. That means there is probably an official end date too, which we don't want.
Instead, look for the next opportunity to begin making healthier choices. Because your body doesn't know your future intentions, it only responds to your current actions.
As soon as you give yourself an out, quitting becomes an option. And for something as important as your health, for something as important as your life, quitting needs not to even be in the equation.
And if you're going to actually commit to changing your body and your life from the inside out, you have to be willing to give that commitment it's due respect by believing you are capable.
It's amazing what belief can do. No exaggeration, I have had clients who would fall down and mess up a million times over, but who believed in themselves, believed in their future, and believed in the process who, more often than not, saw more success than those who were "perfect" but who constantly doubted themselves, the journey, and their ability to reach their goals.
The magic that the universe creates when you marry faith with action is indescribable. So I challenge you to bring that belief and that effort to any major goals you have in your life.
One of my favorite Jillian Michaels quotes is, "If you get a flat tire, would you slash the other 3?" It seems such a silly quote, but this mentality is pervasive in the weight loss community.
If you have ever needed confirmation, this is it: one cookie, one piece of cake, one donut, does not a ruined diet make.
I would argue you aren't successful with your healthy diet until you can manage to have a single treat without diving off the bandwagon into a pile of donuts.
Get out of the all-or-nothing mentality and focus on progress over perfection. Yes, you may have given into your craving and had a cookie or two. But isn't that better than the 8 pm sugar binge you used to have every night?
Exactly. So enjoy your treats, and then move on to the next healthy choice.
Now to be clear, I'm not saying you need to drop weight loss as a goal. But you need to know why you want to lose weight.
If it's just because a jerk boyfriend told you you needed to, or if it's because you feel like you should look a certain way or see a certain number on the scale, it's time to do some re-evaluating.
Make sure your goal is coming from you, make sure it's something worth the work that it'll take to get there, and make sure you are crystal clear about the driving force behind your goal.
Because that driving force has to be stronger than your desire to have chips instead of veggies, tv time instead of gym time, and partying instead of sleeping.
Again, this doesn't mean you're not allowed to have a goal weight. But this does mean that you don't actually have control over the number on the scale.
What you do have control over are the foods you eat, the time and effort you put in the gym, the habits you make and break, your mindset, and your actions. So give the process the love it deserves and let the outcome fall into place, because it will.
And here's the thing, if you're sticking to the process of eating healthfully and working out in a way that fuels and energizes your body, and you end up settling 5 pounds heavier than your goal weight, that is your body's happy weight.
In which case you have one of two options: learn to love your body in all its healthy glory, or fight against it with more extreme tactics.
My suggestion? Learn to love your body when it's at its most healthy, and save the extremes for special events, like getting ready for a wedding, where you know it's just a short term plan and short term outcome.
Let's be honest. It didn't take you a few weeks or a few months to develop the habits that got you to where you are. It isn't going to take a few weeks or a few months to get to where you want to be.
The people I know who have had weight loss that stuck developed new habits and a new mindset over the course of years.
The long game and the short game look very different from one another. And, unfortunately, you do have to pick one. I know our culture currently makes it seem like you can achieve long game results with short game strategies.
You can't. You just can't. It's not how our brains work, it's not how habit formation and destruction works, and it's not how weight loss works.
So settle in, get comfy, we're doing this for the long haul. And if you think you need help in this arena, my newest online program Fit for Life Academy will help you make that transition from short to long term weight loss, mindset, strategies, and success.
The prospect of change is exciting. The idea that tomorrow our life could look completely different, could look better, happier, healthier, and fitter, is beyond enticing.
So I understand the desire to go balls to the wall from day 1 (believe me, I have a competitive streak that can translate into a full throttle starting line, too).
But don't make this common mistake. Studies show your chances of successfully changing a habit are actually pretty high when you focus on changing just one, maybe two things at a time. Add a third, and they plummet. Add more than that, falling completely off the wagon is virtually guaranteed.
Instead, pick one thing to work on that is in service of your goals. Ask yourself, "How confident do I feel, on a scale of 1-10, that I can complete this task every day for the next 2 weeks?" If the answer is less than an 8, break down the task to something simpler and more doable. And once you hit that 8, do it every day for the next 2 weeks. And that, my friend, is how habits are born.
So there you have it, 7 beliefs that are sabotaging your goals and how to adjust them accordingly. I hope you found this post helpful for getting you in the right headspace as you embark on a healthier end to 2018, and your healthiest year yet, 2019.