#1 - MINDSET
The first and I think the most important piece to making lasting change is your mindset. To start let’s take a look at the mindset of someone going on a diet. What is their goal typically? “I want to lose 10 lbs!” “I want to a six pack!” The question that I have learned to ask is, WHY? Why do they want to lose 10 lbs, why do you want a six pack? If their answer is externally motivated, the chance of them reaching their goal is decent but the chance of them maintaining their goal is slim.
Living a healthy life needs to be one of the most selfish things you ever do. You need to do it for YOU and you alone. You will never be able to make everyone else happy so if you are trying to please others, you will never achieve it. I’m not saying that having a goal of losing weight or getting a six pack is bad, you just need to find out why it is important to you and how it will make you happy. You need to see the value and benefit in making the change internally.
The other piece of your mindset that I believe needs to change is your view of success. Our culture puts a huge stigma on what beauty is, and what it should look like. If your vision of success is to compete with the celebrities and fitness models on the magazine covers, you will fail. Somme better benchmarks for success would be: How does living a healthier life make you feel? Do you have more energy? Are you more alert? How do your clothes fit you? Did you move down a belt notch? Are those jeans a little easier to pull up today? Another benchmark that I see as success personally is, have my choices to live healthier helped someone else make the similar choices? Are the choices that you are making impacting the people around you, friends, coworkers, family? It’s amazing how once you make a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, the people around you start to ask questions and want to join in. So take your focus away from the number on the scale and more about these other things and you will be surprised at how much more successful you will be!
Lastly, when it comes to mindset, you need to change the way you look at food. Food is not the enemy, your choices are! People often think that starving themselves to lose weight because they think that weight loss is solely determined by a calories in calories out equation. Even though that is technically how it works, your body does some pretty cool things to limit the calories out, or slow your metabolism, when you all of sudden decide to start starving it. So as I stated right away, your focus should be on becoming healthy, which involves eating whole, natural foods that will nourish your body. Change your mindset from thinking of food as calories that fill us up...to looking at food as nutrients that fuel our body. When you are eating nutrient dense food you will be amazed at how much better that type of food will sustain you throughout the day. Your calorie intake will also naturally go down when you are eating these foods.
Our bodies are fascinating machines that have a lot of systems in place that will prevent us from losing weight and actually make us gain weight naturally. So in order to see a lasting change we need to S…L…O…W…L…Y retrain it to work differently. Our bodies’ metabolism is designed in such a way that if it senses a trend of lower calories coming in, it will burn less calories. The crash dieting where you are eliminating 500 calories a day from your diet will likely bite you in the butt as soon as you decide to start adding food back.
The number on the scale is one of the last things to move if you are starting a healthy weight loss journey. One of the biggest factors to living a healthy lifestyle today isn’t focused on how I feel today. I am putting in the work now so that when I am 70, 80, 90 years old I’m going to be healthy. I want to be able to chase my grandkids around and not be stuck in a recliner just watching. You can focus on your health today or you can worry about your health later!
#3 - ACCOUNTABILITY
The last piece of making a change in your lifestyle is accountability. This one is almost as important as your mindset. You can’t have one without the other. It is really hard to change your mindset if you don’t have a support system to pick you up when you stumble. It is also very tough to humble yourself and ask for help and accountability if your mindset hasn't changed to one that recognizes that you need help.
If you are wanting to make a change... find a friend, find a group or contact us but you NEED to find someone that you can trust to talk about your struggles and celebrate your accomplishments. There are no shortcuts if you plan on changing your lifestyle to a healthier one. I don’t say this to discourage you, but you WILL question your decision, you WILL want to give up. Even the most dedicated people will struggle and that is where your support system comes into play.
I guarantee that if you can just focus on these three things, you will succeed! There will be ups and downs, but it will be an exciting journey. You will meet a lot of people along the way that will question what you are doing and try to discourage you...and you will also find a lot of people that will be your biggest cheerleaders. When times are tough you always need to go back to WHY you started!