Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mind Over Matter

Yesterday I wrote about how going on a diet can set you up to fail. Today I ask you to think about how you talk to yourself and if that can be affecting how successful you are. If you desire to lose weight but are always saying, "I just can't lose weight; being overweight just runs in my family" or "I must just have a slow metabolism" you are justifying to yourself that it just won't happen. You are giving up without even trying. And you are bound to be unsuccessful.

If you have not been successful at weight loss (or other accomplishments) think about speaking positively to yourself and see where that gets you. If you think this won't work, I say give it a try--it sure can't hurt. And in the words of the famous Dr. Phil, "How is what you're doing now working for you?"

Here are some ideas of what you might be telling yourself and how you can phrase it more positively:
- "I can't stop eating these chips" becomes "I am going to put this bag of chips down now because I am making better decisions with how I eat"
- "I can't go for walk--I'm just too tired" becomes "I'll go for a short walk now because I know I will feel good when I'm finished"
- "It doesn't matter what I eat--I just can't lose weight" becomes "even if I don't lose 50 pounds I know I'll be in better shape by choosing lower calorie foods and eating more reasonable portions"

Try to catch yourself when you say negative things (even if you're not saying them out loud) and stop to phrase them in a more positive way. Think about other areas of your life where you are telling yourself you're no good; you may be establishing self-fulfilling prophecies. Saying (or thinking) things like "I'm just not an organized person", "I'm a lousy housekeeper" or "I'm just no good at math" reinforces these ideas in our brains. Sometimes we start believing these are true because we hear them over and over again--even if we are only hearing them in our own minds.

So, start thinking about what you tell yourself and turning the negatives into positives. Write down three things you routinely tell yourself that are negative, and the new positive phrases you will replace them with from now on! Please, share some of them with us here.

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