If you are like me then you have tried just about every diet there was to lose weight but never quite manage to get there. Have you ever stopped and thought about why it didn't work?
One of the obstacles in reaching our goals is negativity. You will never have something that you associate with something negative. For example you dislike or are jealous of Sarah over there because she has that perfect body that you want. Jealously is a negative feeling. You will never reach that goal because your mind associates that as something that it does not want. Just like with exercise if you hate it you are going to come up with all kinds or excuses or reasons why you can not exercise today. Something is always going to come up as long as your mind perceives what you want as something not desirable.
Negative feelings and stress raise the cortisol level in your body. Raised cortisol causes our bodies to go into a fight or flight mode. This in turn signals our bodies to start storing fat instead of processing it and moving it on its way, which in turn causes us to gain weight.
Positivity increases endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine. As we all know, these are feel good hormones. Our brains associate these with pleasure or joy. This is why it is much easier to exercise if you are actually looking forward to it.
The other real obstacle is fear. We are afraid if we lose the weight things will change. Change will definitely happen. Change is hard for most people. Fear is also a negative feeling. What if Jack doesn't love me anymore? Subconsciously your mind is searching for ways to keep that from happening. That is when procrastination comes in to play or the onset of fatigue. I am so tired I don't think I am going to go to the gym today. Procrastination is not always a conscious choice. We do not realize there is a reason we are not wanting to do something.
Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to get healthy? Is it because you hate your body? You hate being fat? Those are negative feelings. You need to find positive reasons to do this.
You also have to enjoy the journey. You know what you want but it is not going to be easy. It means getting up early, going to the gym every day and spending more than 5 minutes exercising at the gym. The time you spend getting ready to exercise and then to shower afterwards do not count as time spent. How much of that hour at the gym was actually exercise?
You have to sit down and make a roadmap. Start with point A where you are now and go to point Z where you want to be. Then line out each step it will take to get there. Start small one step at a time and do not believe all the hype about 21 days to create a habit. There are so many articles out there about how long it takes. Some say 21 days and some say 254 days. The truth is you need to enjoy the journey and embrace it regardless of how long it takes. I know that I for one have gone 21 days with no added sugars before and at the end of 21 days I released a big sigh and immediately wanted something sweet. We are all different just because it took Sarah over there just 21 days to make a habit does not mean it will take that for you too. That is why I say you have got to enjoy the ride.
Find some way to enjoy that step you are taking. Let's say I want to start eating whole grain bread instead of white. I need to decide why I want to do this. Well it will decrease the inflammation in my body which will help me lose weight. Also whole grains contain tons of vitamins and minerals, like antioxidants and other vitamins in their bran, B vitamins and healthy fats in their germ. While refined grains like white flour are enriched with nutrients to make up for the ones lost in the processing, many of the nutrients aren't replaced. Those are positive reasons to switch. I also happen to think whole grain breads taste better than the bland old white bread. That would be considered a positive step. If I am just doing it because my doctor said I have to or because some health professional said I need to, chances are I will not stick to it for very long. I will dread every last bite. I have got to want it and it has to make me happy. Then there is exercise. You have to exercise to lose weight they said. But you know what? I exercise because it makes me feel good afterwards and gives me more energy. That brings us back to releasing endorphins into our bodies.
One of the things that I like to do that I found really works for me is journalling. I sit down every morning with my hot cup of herbal tea and plan my day. I make sure to include at least 3 things that will get me closer to my goal.
1. Deliberate gratitude. I take 15 to 20 minutes every morning and celebrate my blessings. I write these down in my journal. Somehow deliberately thinking about my blessings and putting them on paper reinforces the fact that I do have blessings and that makes me happy.
2. I write out my plans for the day. I make sure to include one thing to get me closer to my goal such as planning my meals for the day or working on drinking 8 glasses of water or what ever my new healthy habit I am working on is. I also write about any feelings I am having or misgivings. This helps me to release it and find the joy in the day.
3 Then I exercise! I start with 60 minutes of chair aerobics every morning. I am still not able to stand and do exercises. But these get my heart pumping. It increases my energy for the day.
I sit down and do these three things every morning. I have for quite awhile now and I do not think about it anymore I just automatically do it. It let's me look at each day with hope, positivity and happiness. Now as for the rest of my day well we will just have to see where that leads me. I never know what to expect with my family or with my health, but I do know every morning I am getting 3 steps closer to my goal. Will I still make mistakes? Of course I will. Will I stumble? You better believe it. Will I want to give up? It will cross my mind. But I will always get myself up, dust the dirt from my clothes and start again. As long as I enjoy the ride and keep trying then I will reach my goal.
Well that is it from me today!
God bless you and keep you on your journey! Have a fabulous day!