Thoughts: The Food of Your Future Habits

battle brain

The real battle is not in your stomach, it’s in your brain. Before you are able to see any physical changes in your body, you must make concrete changes in your mind. It’s true that “As a man thinks, so is he”, so make sure you’re thinking the right things.

Don’t Make it Personal
If you’ve ever been in an argument with someone who attacks you as a person instead of addressing the issue of conflict, you’ll know that this is cowardly and faulty reasoning. And yet we do it to ourselves all the time. When you make a mistake, be sure to condemn your behaviour, not yourself. No, it was not a wise decision to overeat, or snack continuously or eat mindlessly, or whatever it is that you did. But that wrong behaviour stemmed from a wrong choice, not because there is something wrong with you. Making a mistake does not mean that you are beyond hope or too far gone. Instead of name-calling yourself, accept responsibility for what you did, forgive yourself, adjust your battle plan to protect against it in the future, and move on.

Make Your Automatic Thoughts Positive Thoughts
The knee-jerk judgements you have will set the foundation for how you perceive yourself, and this will directly affect your choices, your habits, and your future. So make sure it’s a strong foundation. Monitor every thought that comes into your head to make sure it’s helping, rather than hurting you. For example, if you step on the scale for the fifth day in a row only to realize you’re still stuck on that plateau, do not accept your automatic thought if it tells you that you are a failure. Instead, replace this lie with the truth. You have the knowledge, the determination, and the patience to achieve success. You are doing an excellent job. You are happier and more confident than ever, and you are going to power through this plateau. And trust me, with that mindset, you will.

Give the Positives the Same Weight as the Negatives
How often do we beat ourselves half to death over a minor mishap but brush off even the slightest sense of joy and accomplishment when we succeed? Why do we do this? Are we trying to sabotage our valiant efforts? Decide to make the good stuff a big deal. Be proud of yourself. Encourage yourself. You were content with one helping? That’s a victory. You passed up that fruit platter because you knew you were full? That’s reason to celebrate! Being happy makes you feel good about yourself, and feeling good about yourself is a powerful incentive to keep those doing things (AKA, the wonderful eating habits you’re developing) that will maintain the good feeling. It’s a win-win for both your ego and your health. So smile. Let yourself be happy, and get used to feeling good about yourself. You deserve it.

Though people often focus solely on the physical aspect of health and weight-loss, that is merely a by-product of the real transformation, which takes place in your mind. That’s why starving yourself or yo-yoing between diets never has lasting positive results, because these methods only address the symptoms of the problem and ignore what’s actually causing it—what you believe in your mind. That’s what matters, what will make real, lasting change, for better or for worse. Your mind is more powerful than you could imagine, so use it to your advantage! Your body will thank you for it.

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