Throughout my body transformation my friends, family, colleagues, and doctors would all ask me what the secret to my weight loss was. They are always hoping for one some wildly extreme secret. “Cut out all carbs!” “A fully vegan diet!” “Only eat purple foods!” No one was expecting me to tell them that my secret is actually very simple; a change in mindset.
I am no professional, but based off of my personal experiences and what I have learned in my journey, an essential piece of physical health and wellness actually lies in your mindset. Not just in the sense of manifestation (whole other conversation!), but your mindset towards your health. Society has given us blanket statements that cause so much unnecessary stress and create negative connotations with a healthier lifestyles. By adopting a self oriented, intuitive mindset where you listen to what body is saying, you will find yourself achieving your goals with less stress. Here are some mindset switches I made that helped me reach my goals.
1. How to Set Goals For Your Journey
The goals that you set should be two part, you final goal and a set of challenging smaller steps that gradually build to the final goal. Start by writing a list of changes you want to see, but DO NOT list loosing weight or getting thinner as a goal. Your goals are your motivation, so you’re looking to make them as positive as possible. “Get skinny” is not positive, that’s not motivating you. This is your body, your goal, your motivation; have some fun with it. My personal goals were different yoga poses I wanted to learn, and I was 10x happier achieving poses than I was when I hit any weight goal.
Look over your goals again. Is getting/feeling healthy one of them? At the end of the day, being in a healthy physical, mental, and emotional state should be your goal. This does not mean skinny though! Healthy is when your body is functioning at it’s highest level, not some number on a scale.
2. How to Think About Your Diet
Your diet is the foods you consume on a regular basis and how you consume them, not a list of rules and restrictions on you. We have been taught to think that dieting is a short term solution with a long standing results, but in reality your diet should be a long term, sustainable strategy. This is where fad diets are harmful, there’s no longevity in their design.
Instead of thinking of what you can take out of your diet to loose weight, think of what you need to consume to properly function through the day. By honing in on a ‘food as fuel’ mindset, you begin to focus more on what you food provides for you. By learning more about what your food does for you, and then you can learn what size portions you really need to consume. Even that favorite naughty food you love but every diet tells you to never enjoy again. Forget that mindset. No food is bad or naughty. This falls in line with the food as fuel mindset. Labeling foods as emotions makes them effect your emotions, “bad”food making you feel bad. They can have no nutritional benefit, they can absolutely have negative consequences, but you should avoid labeling foods as emotions (good, bad, comfort).
3. Focus On How You FEEL Not How You LOOK
Your body can be very deceiving, especially when looking at it through the critical lens society has placed on you. It doesn’t matter what size pant you wear or what number you see on the scale if you don’t feel healthy. My favorite example of an “unconventional” healthy body is Lizzo. She eats a predominately plant-based diet, has a regular yoga practice, and lives a healthy lifestyle. However, she still has a larger frame. Her size does not take away from her health, that’s just what HER healthy body looks like.
This mindset goes for the workouts you choose as well. If you have a high stress job and you choose a high stress workout, you’re going to burn out quickly. Your body then reacts to that burn out more than the workout. Too many times I have met people (even some who work in fitness) with consistent pains due to workout related injuries, who injured themselves by not listening to their body asking for rest the first time around. In my opinion, these individuals are not healthy despite their muscles and physique.
A healthy body starts in a healthy mind. Shift your focus from “they say this” to “my body say this” and you will find your healthiest self because your focus is YOU!