Much of our battle with weight issues is mental.
We are many times unaware of what we are saying to ourselves and how it may help or sabotage us in our desire to obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
We are dealing with stresses at work, home, and in the world that make it harder to choose healthy options and behaviors. Many of us have a long history of using food to “soothe” ourselves or cope with the difficulties of life and our own emotions. What I want to propose today are some easy and helpful ways to “retrain” our brains to move us toward a healthier lifestyle. If you want to increase your muscles, you weight “train”. Likewise, if we want to increase healthy habits and thoughts, we need to “train” our brains in this way.
We have noticed that many people are not giving themselves credit for successes on the program. Their focus is on the scale number and not the “BIG” picture. They may be focusing on the negative instead of seeing the whole picture. Many of you know that it takes more positive statements to counteract just one negative.
If you notice that you are more negative than positive, never fear! You can develop the “positive muscle”. Remember, your behavior will follow your thoughts. So how do we “Train” this positive muscle.
1. Focus on making positive statements. Give yourself credit for every success! Ex: “I drank all my water today” or “I followed the plan at this meal”. Write these at the top of your journal page or at least acknowledge them daily.
2. Look at what drives your desire to be healthy. Make statements that look at the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and also avoidance of negative consequences. Examples of benefit statements are “I want to feel healthy and vibrant”, “I want more energy to play with my kids, grandkids, or pursue a hobby.” “I want to reduce or eliminate my medications, pain”, “I want to run in the marathon this year”. Avoidance of negative consequences would be “I want to prevent ________________(heart disease, diabetes, cancer) that runs in my family”, I want to avoid buying bigger sized clothing”, “I want to avoid feeling self-conscious due to my weight”.
Write these statements down and review them daily. It may seem silly but your brain isn’t going to change unless you “TRAIN” it.
You wouldn’t expect to go run a marathon without any training so developing healthy lifestyle habits aren’t just going to happen without a little work on our part. Brain Training really can affect our chances of success on our health journey.