Sunday, October 3, 2010

Common Beliefs That Can Stall Your Weight Loss

Most experts agree that weight loss is not just a physical endeavor - there are a whole bunch of emotional and mental issues that tie in to the size and state of your body. While weight loss is largely a result of calories in, calories out, there are also plenty of mental "stumbling blocks" that could slow you down or even keep you from reaching your goal weight at all.

Below are 7 common beliefs that could cause problems while you are trying to lose weight:

"I can't do it."

If you have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight many times before, you may find yourself struggling with a strong belief that you can't lose weight. Maybe you believe that you can only lose so much weight, or you may believe that you can't lose any at all. Either way, this kind of belief will override your desire to eat healthy and exercise, so that it seems like a constant battle to keep going and making any progress at all.

Overcoming this belief is as simple as reminding yourself that you can do anything if you simply take the right action steps. Keep telling yourself that millions of people successfully lose weight and keep it off, and you can too.

"I don't deserve it."

Low self-esteem can leave you feeling like a failure, even if you try to make the right moves toward a healthy body weight. If you commonly feel like you don't deserve to have a slender, healthy body, be sure to keep building up your self-esteem by saying daily, "I deserve to live a happy, healthy life, and the actions I take today will make that happen for me."

"I'm doomed to stay this way."

Sometimes it's easy to feel like the entire universe is against you, and no matter what you do you will stay stuck where you are. It's possible to feel this way even if you don't have any logical evidence to support such a belief, but it's even easier to feel this way if you consistently feel stuck in other areas of your life too. Keep reminding yourself that YOU are the only one in charge of your life. The universe is not conspiring against you - you simply need to take different actions to get different results.

"My family is overweight."

On some level you may know that just because your family is overweight does not mean you have to be too, but you may feel as if your genes are working against you. The problem with this perception is that you won't feel strong enough to even try losing weight - you'll just assume that because much of your family is heavy, you will remain heavy too. To overcome this belief, remind yourself that plenty of overweight families have one or two members that do not struggle with weight. Also remind yourself that more often than not, HABITS are passed down through generations, and those habits contribute to overweight problems much more than genes do. Change your habits and you will also change your body size and weight.

"No matter what I do . . ."

Do you ever say to people, "No matter what I do, I can't lose weight"? This is a sure way to create a self-fulfilling prophecy because you are essentially failing yourself before you even allow yourself a chance to succeed. Turn this around by saying, "I choose to be successful at everything I do from now on."

At first you may not really believe it, but eventually you'll see the proof with your own eyes. Also be sure to turn each day into a success. At the end of the day, say to yourself, "Wow, I intended to eat healthier today, and I did! That's success. I intended to work out, and I did. More success!" Just change the way you see success and failure, and you'll realize that they are nothing more than perceptions that serve you or work against you.

"It's too hard."

Even though most of us know that losing weight and changing our lifestyle habits isn't going to be easy, we try to convince ourselves that it will be easy so we don't lose motivation. Once we get going, however, we realize that it's harder than we thought it would be, and we begin to doubt our ability to keep going. At this point you just have to say to yourself, "So what if it's hard? I'm going to keep going anyway. I'm going to do my best, even if I stumble now and then, I'll still be making progress."

"I feel vulnerable."

Many people don't realize that they aren't overweight JUST because of their eating habits. More often than not, there are some emotional fears and traumas that cause them to put on the weight as a defense mechanism. They feel safer or more protected with the extra pounds on their bodies, and when they start to lose weight they end up feeling very vulnerable and exposed.

If this is a problem for you too, keep reminding yourself that extra weight doesn't really protect you from anything. If anything, it makes your life more difficult, physically, mentally and emotionally! Be willing to let go of the weight and be more vulnerable, and you'll likely discover a hidden well of strength you didn't know you had.

Rekindle Your Motivation for Weight Loss

What to Do if You Lose Your Motivation for Weight Loss

Virtually any weight loss plan you start will go smoothly at the beginning because you are fired up and eager to do what it takes to reach your goal weight. But over time, it's very common to start losing that inner spark. Before long, you may start feeling annoyed about having to prepare special foods for yourself, or just wishing you didn't have to work so hard at maintaining a healthy weight.

When this happens, you have reached a crossroads. You can either continue down the path of "this sucks and I don't want to do it any more" - or you can do a few things to rekindle your motivation so losing weight becomes exciting and fun.

How to Get Motivated Again

First things first - reconnect with the reasons why you initially wanted to lose weight. Why was that goal so important to you? What did you stand to gain from losing weight and getting fit? Spend some time really thinking about these reasons and ask yourself if they are still important to you.

Assess Your Plan

Now, take a moment to consider the weight loss plan you are following. Is your dissatisfaction stemming from the fact that you don't like the plan itself? Is it not working well for you? Is it very strict? Does it require a lot of time and energy to follow?

Remember that you don't have to be married to any particular plan! If you are no longer feeling the love for your current plan, you can easily explore others or come up with your own. You can even take components from several different plans and combine them into your own unique plan. Simply consider the areas you most need to change, and you'll be able to create a plan that helps you do that.

Create Coping Tools

No matter which plan you follow, you may need to think about ways to keep yourself feeling motivated and inspired as you go along. Create a "toolbox" filled with things that help you do that.

You can store a few pictures of yourself at a lighter weight to inspire you (or even magazine cut-outs of models with the type of shape you are trying to create for yourself), a blank journal in which to work through your feelings, a few bags of your favorite tea, a book of jokes - anything that would help boost your mood and rekindle your commitment to losing weight, add it to this toolbox.

Start Fresh

Now the only thing to do is start fresh again! Take it one day at a time and don't get overwhelmed. Remind yourself daily why you are taking these action steps, and keep your eye on the prize (your goal weight).

Zig Ziglar once said that motivation never lasts - that's why you need to do it every day, like bathing. That insight in itself is motivating because now you know how to motivate yourself, and you need only work at it a little bit each day to keep that inner fire burning.