The Mindset

Eat more fruit and veg, drink more water, exercise for half an hour a day. We know this, we hear this, we have done this? So why is it so difficult to stick to? Visualisation? Yes, we have the photo of our successful weight loss and happy face pinned to our fridge door, but still we fail? It's the task to take control and conquer the mental game of fighting food cravings and self doubt and exchange these for the new healthier version of ourselves. This is our destroyer. These are the reasons that ruin our efforts.

The start of the journey is exciting, the remarks and compliments are motivating and the continued journey of our decreasing dress size is exhilarating. We hit our target, we feel great, we are where we want to be ...... and then it all stops. We reached our goal weight, we feel better about our health, the way we look, the way our clothes feel, but it's our mindset that has long gone. Why? Because it's the battle with our minds and emotions. The compliments and comments stop and self doubt returns. Many weight issues are connected to unhappy memories and self-hate. When the compliments stop and the admiring looks diminish then the positive mindset returns to self-sabotage.

Learning to Stop this Cycle

The first step forward is to prioritise your 'positive mindset' list. Toxic thoughts and others who judge must be replaced with motivational quotes and self-care.

" The only judgement or opinion about you, that really matters in your weight-loss journey, is yours and nobody else's".

This is your first priority and the one that will keep you on the road to a lifetime success story. As humans we tend not to spare a thought for our own feelings and beliefs. They come and go, pass us by or we push them to one side. We do however, let the opinions and judgement of others grind us down, or we dwell and harbour upon unkind words and then turn to self doubt for an answer. To unchain your thoughts from this self destruction you must start repeating 'self-affirmations' and practice them daily to free yourself of the emotional turmoil that destroys your self esteem and leads you to this unhealthy lifestyle. Feel strong, proud and confident in yourself....tell yourself you are brave to take this step forward, you are capable of completing and maintaining your life's journey and you deserve to be who you want to be. It is too easy to blame others, to let others destroy your hard work, but you have the power, in your mindset to continue past these negative and unwanted hurdles and find peace with yourself to continue towards your own goals.

Repeating affirmations will boost your motivation and confidence, but it doesn't stop here. You do have to take action too. So see this as a step forward and not the change in itself. If someone has upset you enough for you to reach for the biscuit tin...STOP....repeat your mantra "I am better than this" or "Only my opinions matter." This may not be enough for you, though? When you feel self doubt or anger you may find that turning to deep breathing or grounding exercises (counting to 10) will calm you to reasonable thinking and positive thoughts. This type of tactic along with affirmations will guide you through difficult situations and haunting memories. Affirmations are the tools to change not the change itself.

Weight Loss and Maintenance

Once your mindset is focused and ready, you will need to plan and start your journey. You will have to be realistic when you set your goals and monitor your progress at all times. This process will become second nature as the weight starts to drop and you see results. The whole picture will start to form as you continue your journey, but you must keep your 'positive' mindset in check and repeat your affirmations daily. In addition to the goals you have set yourself, you may wish to add new habits to your healthier lifestyle to help you progress further:

1. Exercise portion control or count calories and always journal everything you eat and drink. This will keep you on track throughout your weight loss journey. Taking photos of your meals and logging them into your journal becomes a 'visual' aid to keeping your portions under control. We easily 'kid' ourselves that we are eating normal portions, if we are not weighing our food. The photos will just keep you in check and help you avoid overeating. A journal is just a food diary that helps to keep you accountable each day and another tool for weight loss. Anything that will increase our awareness of what we are eating is bound to be beneficial.

2. Keep healthy foods in your cupboards and fridge. This is a must when you are on a weight loss programme. Keeping temptation out of harm's way will keep you grounded and help you to lose the pounds. Keep healthy snacks available such as fruit, nuts, yoghurts, sliced and ready vegetables with healthy dips and hard boiled eggs. Try to prepare snacks in readiness for when the cravings attack.

3. Exercise to burn calories. Burning calories is a great way to drop the pounds whilst pursuing a healthier lifestyle. I am no advocate of exercising to 'eat more'. You cannot 'out-exercise' a bad diet. Exercise and healthy eating go hand-in-hand to achieve a healthier lifestyle. UK Government guidelines advise that we take half an hour to perform moderate cardio exercise per day and strength training twice a week.

4. Don't diet - eat healthy. To lose and maintain your weight, you need to find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle. It is not a good idea to restrict yourself of too many food groups or embark on an unsustainable regime that encroaches on your social habits. You need to think about how you live your life and how your new eating plan will impact on your day to day living. Think of your food as your new healthy living in the long term not just as a short fix to reach your goal.

5. Watch what you drink. We can get into the habit of logging food and taking photos of our portion sizes, but adding all we drink appears to go by the wayside. Sugary drinks and squashes are one of the biggest causes of obesity, because we do not see fluids as additional calories. Be more aware of your drinking habits, including the odd shot, short or glass of wine. This adds to the calorific intake over the weeks and could be one of the main reasons that the pounds have accumulated over time.

In conclusion:

To lose and maintain our weight, we must first and foremost, set our minds to succeed. We must not let others judge or comment in a negative way to destroy our efforts. We must remember to practice affirmations daily and appreciate our own worth. The past can recreate cruel memories to push us into a void of self hatred. Yet we should learn to see these memories as lessons we have learnt from, enabling us to move on and better ourselves. We must understand that we want to improve ourselves for us and for nobody else. We can of course, seek our goals through events, such as a celebration party we want to look nice for, or a holiday we want to finally wear nice summer clothes with ease. But the ultimate goal is for us as a person and for us to maintain for ourselves. Try to change your unhealthy lifestyle for a healthier way of living. This is not just a quick fix. Find new habits to replace those that have bought you to this problem in the first place. Look forward to the new healthier you......choose your own path, it's yours to control.

Author's Bio: 

Catherine is a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer and founder of Healthy Forever Fitness Motivation.
Her mission is to help everyone stay active and live a healthy and happy life. Catherine promotes all things 'positive' and believes that all aspects of health can work together in harmony. A healthy body and mind, together with good nutrition will achieve optimal health