Mind Over Weight | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Mind Over Weight

Your attitude can determine success in any challenge, including weight loss.

Your attitude can determine success in any challenge, including weight loss. Photo by File photo

Losing weight is simple, right? I bet you have it all figured out. Let's see: Decrease my caloric intake plus exercise more, and I will see results! You may even have a journal or list of things to change in your life such as eating healthier, going for a walk, and so on.

If, like many, you have tried countless times to lose weight and become healthier, and you truly gave it your best—and failed—what do you think may be blocking your attempts?

Consider this: Losing weight is not so much about the foods that we eat, but more about your weight-loss mindset. Research shows that one of the most important factors that influences weight-loss success is your attitude, which could be either positive or negative. Negative attitudes, such as "I can't" or "I won't," can decrease your chances of obtaining weight-loss goals.

In contrast, positive thoughts such as "I can" and "I will" can significantly increase your chances of making the changes that you need to lose weight.

How you think and what you think affects how you feel and, in turn, affects your behavior. From my years of working with individuals who want to better their overall health, combined with my personal experience, I truly believe attitude is the key to success.

Changing your mindset equals losing weight equals achieving your weight loss goals. The results are worth it, and you are, too.

Sweep Away Mental Blocks to Success

• Engage in positive self-talk: If you think more positively, the chances of achieving your weight-loss goals will increase.

Imagine waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror at yourself. Which of the following monologues do you believe will lead to success?

A. "I'll never be skinny or small like Jane or Joe. I've tried this diet thing for a month now and have only lost a couple of pounds. I broke my diet last night by eating a whole cake. I may as well give up now, and try it again next month."

B. "This diet thing is going OK. Eating right and exercising has really made a difference, even though I have only lost a couple of pounds. Although I enjoyed a treat last night, I deserved it and will work it off this afternoon after work."

• Weigh out the pros and cons: Imagine how being overweight can negatively affect your health. Research suggests that overweight individuals are at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These life-threatening diseases can be prevented or reversed with weight loss.

• Develop a plan, and reward yourself for sticking to it: Create a plan to lose weight that includes reasonable goals. Seeing that plan can help you to believe they are obtainable. Then, think of things to do to reward yourself for losing weight. You could treat yourself to a movie, a spa day or a new gadget.t You could treat yourself to a movie, a spa day or a new gadget.

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