Are you confident that you can lose weight? Or is there a little voice in the back of your mind telling you that you’ll never be able to do it….
Maybe you have felt confident before, been in a great headspace, doing well with following your weight loss plan. Then all of a sudden something happens- you get stressed, you get time poor, you get bored, you get overwhelmed.
A few months in and you are back to your usual weight or may have even gained more weight on top of this. This is incredibly common, and the great news is that there are ways to work around it.
Rephrase negative thoughts
Your brain is truly extraordinary, and you can train it to do almost anything. If you are sick and tired of going back to the same old unhelpful habits, you can change that. If you are fed up with feeling unmotivated you can change that too!
The first step is to realise that thoughts happen all the time, and aren’t necessarily what we really feel. We can notice a negative thought like “I’ll never be able to stick to eating healthy”, evaluate whether that’s really true or not (remember that time you did eat healthy and actually enjoyed it?), and then rephrase that thought to something that helps you.
For example, you might choose to turn that thought of “I’ll never be able to stick to eating healthy” into “I enjoy trying new foods, and this week I’ve got some great new recipes up my sleeve to try!”
Try and stay away from permanent words like never, always, can’t, or I am. Make your thoughts a little more flexible and forgiving. This might feel ingenuine or silly at the start, but the more you repeat this, the more your mind will start to look for positives instead of negatives, and the better your chances of avoiding self-sabotage.
What can you do right now?
Thinking too far ahead can make things feel hard. Consider being told that you would never be able to eat chocolate again? Compare that to deciding that in this moment you were going to choose to have a piece of delicious fresh seasonal fruit and a relaxing cup of tea instead of chocolate.
Focus on the choices that you can make right now. Are you confident that you could make a healthy choice in this moment if you wanted to? I bet that you are. Are you confident that you could make every choice for the rest of your life a healthy one? Then you are probably superhuman.
The only thing you need to do is to try and make the best choice that you can in that moment, then allow yourself to feel really really good about yourself for doing it. The more times this happens, the more you learn to recognise how positive and great you feel when you make healthy choices most of the time.
Consider your progress
Sometimes it can be helpful to keep track of your day to day activities, and sometimes that can work against us. Keeping a food and exercise diary can feel too labour intensive and exhausting, or make us a little bit too fixated on our food or exercise (in an unhealthy way). Other times it can be a great tool to keep us focused and motivated.
Think about times when you have kept a record of your healthy vs. unhealthy behaviours, how did it make you feel? If you found it made things harder, instead switch to a monthly check in with yourself. Have a quick two minute think about changes you have made this month, and what progress you have made.
If you have enjoyed keeping a food and exercise diary, check in at the end of the month and give yourself a pat on the back for all the healthy meals and workouts you can see, and take note of progress- maybe you had less unhealthy foods than the month before, or can now walk for 30 minutes without a rest.
Make sure you celebrate these achievements, because feeling capable, proud, and seeing a positive track record are all great steps to improving your confidence, and therefore your chances of succeeding in the future.