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Motivation to Lose Weight: First off, I’m going to declare that I am not a health professional and I don’t have all the answers…in fact the following article could be gibberish and just mutterings from a desperate dieter! I am a firm believer though in the power of positive thinking, especially when we have to make changes we don’t really want to make. The following is based on research I have done, as well as my own experiences, and if any of it can be of use to you on your journey, then this article has been worth writing, and if not, well at least I finally got it off my chest 🙂


The Positive in Me and The Fight Ahead

This is how I used to think when I was trying to be positive:

“I can do this”
“I will lose all this weight”
“I will fit into that old pair of jeans I love”
“I want to do this”
“When I start to struggle, I will try and get through it”
“I don’t want to be like this forever”
“I hate being like this”
“I want to change”
“Please let this be the one”
“I don’t want to go back to my old ways”
“Why do I always have to fail?”
“Why can’t I just make it work?”
“Maybe there is no hope for me!”
“I am destined to look like this FOREVER!”

Whoa girl!! I went from positive thinking to doubting myself and then giving up! Is it any wonder I struggled to succeed and the hope of wearing those ‘old pair of jeans’ disappeared with the belief that I ever could!

I was my own worst enemy.

 

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Sound familiar? Okay, it might take a little longer than a few short sentences before the negativity hits but it does come, eventually. And instead of focusing on our diets, we end up fighting ourselves every step of the way until we are defeated. Again.

 

Vicious circle: “complex chains of events that reinforce themselves through a feedback loop…a vicious circle has detrimental results” Wikipedia

The only way to put an end to this vicious circle and to stop negativity before it truly gets hold is to retrain our minds to think what we want them to think and redirect our thoughts from the doubts that begin to set in.

But it’s not easy and we have to muster up determination and self-resilience; we have to fight with an array of invisible weapons that the majority of us do not know how to use! We end up giving in, surrendering to our negative thoughts and accepting failure. Again.

That vicious circle just keeps on…going on.

By giving negativity a stage,
we are creating its existence and
promoting its performance;
and the longer we continue to provide that stage,
it (negativity) will perform louder and stronger
to attract its negative audience.

But there is hope.

It’s time to fight back.

It’s time to temporarily push aside the rules and regulations of whatever diet you intend to embark on and write a new rule book. A set of guidelines that are unique to you, moulded to you, and the most important virtual suit of armour you will ever wear.

And it’s time to be your own best friend.


Contents

  1. Can Positive Thinking Help you to Lose Weight?
  2. How to Prepare for Positive Thinking
    1. Journaling
    2. Believe Who is in Control
    3. Know Thyself, Your One True Friend
    4. Positive Reflections
    5. Reasons for Weight Loss
    6. The Right Company
    7. Capture Triggers
    8. When You Don’t Want To Fight
    9. Response Cards
    10. Attack Negative Thoughts
    11. Highlight Challenges and Prepare
    12. Send a Message
    13. Accept Not Doing Everything Perfectly
    14. Go CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicines)
  3. Fighting Negativity
    1. Your All Knowing, All Seeing Journal
    2. Be Ignorant
    3. Media Maker
    4. Tap it Out
    5. Treat or Not to Treat
    6. Loosen the Reins
    7. Cancel the Argument
    8. Be Excited: Motivation to Lose Weight
  4. Conclusion
  5. Quick Checklist

1. Can Positive Thoughts Really Help With Weight Loss?

You bet they can!

Positive thinking is essential when it comes to losing weight. What do you think happens when you have thoughts like: ‘I am always going to be this weight’ or ‘I am never going to fit into that dress’…?

Your own subconscious says ‘okay let’s make that happen’.

The subconscious doesn’t understand that those statements are not what you really want, it ‘assumes’ because you are lending so much belief towards it, that you do. 

Subconscious Mumbo Jumbo

You need to understand that your subconscious mind is more powerful than your conscious mind and if you think of something often enough, the subconscious will do everything it can to make it happen.

I’m going to repeat that again. Copy it. Understand it. And don’t ever forget it.

YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND IS MORE POWERFUL THAN YOUR CONSCIOUS MIND
AND IF YOU THINK OF SOMETHING OFTEN ENOUGH,
THE SUBCONSCIOUS
 WILL DO EVERYTHING IT CAN TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

If you don’t ever read the rest of this article, take that one statement away with you and start telling your subconscious what it is you really want.

But what is the subconscious and what has it got to do with positive thinking?

The subconscious mind is ‘one of the most powerful inner forces which drives human behaviour’. – iMotions.com

According to M Farouk Radwan at 2KnowMyself.com, the subconscious mind stores all of your previous life experiences, your beliefs, your memories, your skills, all situations you’ve been through and all images you’ve ever seen…’

And in there are all of your inner programs; actions and thoughts that have been repeated over and over again, and are now performed without your conscious mind.

So one of the jobs of the subconscious – or the preconscious, as Sigmund Freud called it – is to ensure you act in-line with what has been programmed before.

The analogy of driving a car is normally used to explain this further:

You first learn to drive a car consciously and the continued learning and repetitive movements you do sets a program that is eventually executed by your subconscious mind. You are then no longer driving consciously and are able to concentrate on other things like holding a conversation or listening to the radio.

Likewise, if you are constantly thinking of a scenario (be it a desire, fear or a simple action), it is like writing an inner program for your subconscious. The subconscious mind doesn’t decipher what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘positive’ versus ‘negative’, it just responds to whatever belief you give your attention to, then causes you to act in a certain way to produce similar results…and that desire or fear becomes a reality.

Makes you think doesn’t it – pun absolutely intended 😉

‘Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys.’ – Brian Tracy 

This is why repeatedly reading motivational quotes can be effective in building positivity. Brian Tracy, in his article on Understanding Your Subconscious Mind explains: ‘by focusing your thoughts on uplifting ideas, your subconscious will begin to implement a positive pattern in your way of thinking and your outlook on life.’

The Power of Positive Thinking

Although it takes a little more effort to think positive, the rewards are so much greater and hold much more power than negative thinking.

Why?

Because to think positive, it takes forced, intentional creativity and concentration; it is done with purpose and focus so the pictures are clearer, more exact and much more obvious than negativity. And the more work you put into it, the brighter and more evident those images become and the greater the reward.

So, it is now time to really focus on what you want, start demanding exactly what it is that you crave for – and quit asking for what you already have.

Are you ready?


Further Reading

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2. How to Prepare for Positive Thinking

Unfortunately, you can’t just decide to think positive and not only hope it will do the trick but also last the duration. It takes work and preparation but once you have the foundations in place and know how to tackle situations when they arise, fighting negativity becomes a whole lot easier.

When we start a diet, it is with great determination to change our eating habits and ‘this time’ stick it out until we get the results we desire. But we don’t put in the required amount of focus beforehand to enable us to be ready for when that determination begins to waiver and we are face-to-face with negativity.

We are going into battle against thoughts that have been ingrained into us over years of repeated cognitive processes and reaffirming actions, so a few whim thoughts of ‘this time I’ll do it’ is not going to cut it.

We need to prepare ourselves for the mental fight that is to come.

We need psychological weapons to defend ourselves and impenetrable self-armour to protect us from the blows that we will take…

…Let the battle commence.


a. Jounaling

It may be boring but journaling for weight loss is extremely powerful! It is not enough to try and remember why you want to lose weight, because when you really need a reminder, your memory will conveniently fail you and negativity will triumph.

If you have it written down in extensive detail then you’re back in the fight – so don’t enter the arena without your journal!

I use Penzu and OneNote but have also got a hard-backed spiral notebook when I want to write ‘old-school’. Here are some options you can use…

  • a paper diary or fancy notebook;
  • an online journal like Penzu, Monkkee or Journalate;
  • text editor like MS Word stored in named folders;
  • mobile and web apps:
  • written postcards
  • Post-it notes (online or offline)

Other tools to help:

  • GetPocket (great for keeping URLs organized by tags)
  • Dictaphone to record notes and keep the recordings filed (Dictaphone by ALON is a free app)

Whatever it is that suits your way of working is perfect, as long as it is easily accessible and editable.

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b. Believe Who is in Control

You have the power to control what you want but you need to realise it and more importantly you need to believe that it is you who can control your own outcome.

Nobody makes you succeed, you do that all on your own;
But likewise, nobody makes you quit – you do that all on your own too.

  • You control your own effort and how much you put into what you want;
  • You have the control to do what is right for you;
  • You control whether you learn from your mistakes;
  • You have the control to view hard times as challenges and not reasons to give up;
  • You have the control to find ways to overcome those challenges.

But convincing yourself that you hold all the aces takes some getting used to.

The first entry in your journal should be – in big, bold letters:

I AM IN CONTROL OF WHAT I WANT AND I CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Underline it.

Read it every morning and every night.

Believe it and continue to believe it!

No matter how long it takes, YOU WILL BE A SUCCESS AND BE AT THE WEIGHT YOU WANT TO BE.

You have the power, the control and the ability to make it happen. You will also have the tools, the techniques and the correct exercises to help you do it the way that is best for YOU and when you realise and believe this…

…success is inevitable.

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c. Know Thyself; Your One True Friend

No one knows you better than you. You are the only person who can make things happen, who can get through the tough times, feel the really low periods but then experience the complete highs of success and the happiness that that achievement brings.

And you are the one who will get you through this, but you need to be researched and understood. Desires, fears, hopes and dreams need to be documented, along with emotions and moods, what gets you motivated and inspired, what lights the fire deep inside to do great things and smash challenging goals.

This is you getting to know you.

Who Are You?

When we have kids, we know everything about them. As their protector we know what they like to eat and what they don’t, what comforts them and what situations cause them worry. We know them more than we know ourselves it seems.

As our own protectors, we need to study ourselves to find out what makes us happy, what we need to avoid, and more importantly how we handle certain situations.

What you think you know about yourself is not always how it is.

So start to really get to know you and document it in your journal. 

The Right Time to Study Yourself

Those ‘me’ times we all like to have are great for this exercise because it’s when we are at our most content, the barriers are down and we can really think about who we are.

When is your ‘me’ time?

  • Is it sitting alone and in complete silence with a hot beverage?
  • Or is it listening to your favorite tunes?
  • Or maybe walking outside in the fresh air when you can take in the scenery and put life on hold?
  • Or is it that twilight hour just before you go to sleep when your aspirations are at their clearest?

What do you think about when you are in this zone? What makes you happy? What thoughts bring that warm feeling deep inside when you think about them? Do you dream? Plan? Read? Reminisce? Or like to solve a problem?

Think of everything you can e.g.:

  • What sort of person are you? Outgoing? Shy?
  • Do you find it easy to talk to others or prefer to sit at the back and listen?
  • What have you always wanted to learn? What hobbies would you really like to do?
  • What are your favorite foods? What is that you just can’t do without – in food and home comforts?
  • What about your moods? When are you more likely to be stressed?
  • What makes you really, really happy?
  • What would you like to look like?
  • What do you love about yourself?
  • When you try to lose weight, what do you find difficult?
  • Can you eat just one cookie or have to have the packet?
  • What have you tried before?
  • What makes you give up?
  • What keeps you going?
  • Do you know of any motivation or positive thinking techniques that you might like to try?

Take some time to really get to know yourself and document it. The words do not have to been in any order, follow any pattern or even make sense to anybody else but you.

Comparison Not Permitted

Think about people you know and what they do. Does any of it appeal? What have you read about in magazines or online that you haven’t tried before and would like to?

But don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others or getting disheartened when something they do is only wishful thinking and may never be a reality for you:

Staring enviously at a jogger who doesn’t even look like they need to exercise only makes you feel like you will never succeed because you can’t/won’t do the same. The truth is you will lose your weight, be much fitter than you are now and achieve your own success, you will just do it differently.

This doesn’t mean giving up on something if you really want to do it; just don’t try and mirror your journey to the same as somebody else’s. If you really want to start running, then write it down in big bold letters and underline it. And use your journal to plan out a way of achieving it step-by-step.

Don’t ignore any interests you have just because your body or mind isn’t ready, because tomorrow it just might be.

We spend far too long focusing on what we don’t like about ourselves
that we don’t have any energy left to see the good.

The Promise to Ourselves

We take our body for granted; we take our mind for granted, and we think we will look after ourselves when we have a bit more time or money – both of which are neither required or ever achieved, and the potential we all have to get what we want is wasted, in fact we never really understand what it is we do want.

By writing things down…

  • we highlight those features that we don’t normally think about, and re-read later can help boost our positivity and self-confidence, or help carry us over a rough patch.
  • It helps us try out different techniques and note what works and doesn’t work.
  • It is also a written promise to ourselves that we are going to do things differently and finally take our desires seriously.

This is our ‘us’ research, our catalog of who we are and a reminder of what it is that we truly want, only then can the necessary improvements be made and the negativity faced.

When you hit a challenge,
it just might be a memory you wrote in your journal
that gets you through it.

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d. Positive Reflections

One of the many causes of negativity is our constant reflection of everything bad that has happened before; we have the unique ability to forget the good and replace it with a barrel load of negative experiences!

This has to be rectified and although we can’t stop our minds from wandering, we can make a conscious effort to change its direction and have it focus on a positive memory instead.

But it’s hard to remember these positive memories, especially when we need them the most. This is where our journals come in handy – make a list of everything positive that has happened to you. Some examples could be:

  • The Simple Things – a compliment you received or a much-needed parking space.
  • Major Events – the birth of a child or the completion of a major project.
  • Holidays – Weekends away, trips to foreign lands or visits to/from distant friends and relatives.
  • Leisure – A memorable movie, a story or an old song.
  • Materialistic – Purchase of something special or a rare extravagance.
  • Emotional – A first date or precious time spent with loved ones.
  • Seasonal – Christmas mornings, birthday surprises or warm sunny evenings with a glass of wine.
  • Wins – a competition/lottery win or a correct answer in a quiz; pay rise, promotion or the start of a new business.

Daily Reflections

Your list will be a work in progress as you remember more and more things to add. But it’s not just the past that needs to be recorded – make a note of all the good things that you experience from day-to-day. 

These are also great to read each morning to start a new day already on a positive note.

Consult Your List

When you are feeling low or just need to get over a difficult period in your day, read through your list of great memories and experiences and remember those feelings you had at the time.

Your initial thought processes will be interrupted and the direction of your emotions will alter. This slight change can be enough to stop the negativity spreading and taking over your moods, decisions and actions.

And remember a positive thought is twice as powerful as a negative one.

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e. Reasons for Weight Loss

Following on from the list of positive reflections, are the reasons for wanting to lose weight and the benefits it will bring, both physically and emotionally.

When the going gets tough…
The tough need a reason!

The benefits have to be personal for YOU and what will improve YOUR life.

Physical Struggles

  • Do you get out of breath taking the stairs? Or after walking just a few yards?
  • Do your legs tend to swell and ache with the excess weight you carry?
  • Do you struggle to reach your toes and painting nails is a distant memory?
  • Do you have health complications brought on through increased weight?

From that list write the positive improvements:

  • I will be able to take the stairs two at a time;
  • I will be able to walk at a fast pace without getting out of breath;
  • I will have slim legs that look great in skinny jeans.

Emotional Benefits

Do the same with the emotional benefits:

  • I will have so much more confidence;
  • I will be able to wear better clothes and feel good in them;
  • I will finally look forward to going on holiday and wearing a bikini;
  • I will pick out the first outfit in my wardrobe and know I look good in it.

These are your ‘why’ lists; the reasons you want, and need to lose weight and make improvements in your health. Regularly add more reasons as you think of them.

And when you’re feeling those doubts creeping in and you’re deciding whether or not to have that portion of pie, open your journal and read your why list and concentrate on what each statement really means to you:

  • How is it going to feel when smaller trousers fit perfectly?
  • And how about zipping knee length boots right up to the top – AND over your jeans?
  • How will you feel walking into a room full of people you know, emanating self-confidence and looking fantastic in figure-hugging clothes, without the need for baggy over-shirts/jackets?

Those negative thoughts will fade away as your feelings and excitement for what is to come take over.

You are in control.

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f. The Right Company

To feel positive, it helps if you are surrounded with positive people who make you feel better about yourself and your ambitions, and who contribute to your life instead of pulling it down.

Negativity breeds negativity and if your friends are feeling pessimistic about the world and their life, it could have a negative impact on you and your ultimate goals.

After socialising with them, does your outlook change? Do you suddenly feel negative and disheartened, and you should accept your ‘lot in life’ because you are not destined for anything more?

If it is then maybe you need to re-evaluate your circle of friends, or introduce some new ones into your life.

Joining clubs in your local area is a great way to make new friends, or signing up to online communities where participation is high and support can be 24/7.

Search out motivational people and follow them; their positivity will be addictive and can inspire you to do great things.

Although it is not always easy to surround yourself with inspirational people, rethink the time you spend around negativity. Your time is precious, why give it away to people who have no interest in your aspirations and what you are trying to achieve.


g. Capture Triggers

Most of the time we don’t know what our triggers are that put us into negativity. One minute we are eating lettuce and running marathons, the next we are pinned to the sofa surrounded by empty wrappers from our latest binge.

  • What made us change direction?
  • What caused us to stop working for what we want and surrender to what we have?
  • Was it something somebody said?

Try and find out what these triggers are. Think back to previous times when you ‘fell off the wagon’; was it a particularly stressful period? A holiday? Or had you just wanted to have that ‘feel good feeling’ that you think only food can provide?

And write them down as they happen, no matter how much you DON’T want to at the time!

Knowing what these triggers are beforehand makes it easier to anticipate them; use exercises on them (like tapping), and ultimately stop them before they do too much damage.


h. When You Don’t Want To Fight

There are those times unfortunately, when you don’t want to fight the negativity and you don’t care about the consequences. 

Sometimes you just WANT to give in. You want to have that comfort that only food can give you.

You don’t want it to stop or for the feeling to go away by reading your journal and robbing you of that pleasure you crave so much.

And that’s okay.

But in that moment, before you have the cookie (or whatever it is you want to eat), just pause for a moment.

Don’t think about having the food or not having the food.

Think about why.

  • Why do you want to give it all up?
  • Why do you want to go against what you have been working to achieve?
  • When the comfort in that food you are about to eat is over so quickly, why do you want to sabotage all of those other times when you worked so hard to resist?

Don’t think of this as a way of stopping yourself from having the food – you can still have it – just take a few seconds to think about what it is that makes you want to give up all reasoning.

This little distraction could be all it takes to shift your mind away from negative determination so you can get in there with other aversion tactics. 

Write this exercise in your journal as a reminder to do when the time comes. Read it often so it almost becomes like an instinct to ask yourself why.

This little challenge to yourself could be all that is needed for instant triumph.

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i. Response Cards

Judith S Beck, the creator of The Beck Diet Solution uses response cards which can be extremely powerful in fighting off attacks of negativity and self-sabotage.

The idea is to create written cards for situations you encounter that may cause you to make the wrong choices.

There are lots of examples on How to Write Response Cards including this one at the Beck Institute:

Even though it’s hard, it doesn’t mean I can’t do this.
Get away from it.
This is just a craving and cravings always go away.
I will  feel so much better in the long run (and in the short run)
when I overcome it.

For more information see What is The Beck Diet Solution? 


j. Attack Negative Thoughts

Try and preempt the negative thinking that you know will pop into your head – these are similar to triggers but usually more obvious.

Write them all down. It doesn’t matter how silly you think they are – this is just for you.

And when you suddenly have a negative thought – add it to your journal (at this point you don’t have to do anything about it, just document it so an attack can be prepared for next time.)

An example of a negative thought could be:
‘I really want to have that pizza for lunch instead of my boring chicken salad’

Attack!!

Now, find an argument against the negative thought, for example:

Of course, you really want that pizza, it tastes lovely and much, much better than what you should be having.
But what about that feeling afterwards? That horrible feeling of disappointment.
The pizza will be gone; your stomach will feel uncomfortable.
You will hate yourself. And for what? Five minutes of a high – because that’s all it will be.

Look back at your journal and remind yourself of those why’s – make new ones up if you can.

Write a response card like the example from The Beck Solution:

The pizza is going to be really nice, and I am going to want it
but I can resist it.
It’s more important to me to lose weight.
If I eat the pizza, I will get momentary pleasure,
but afterwards I’ll feel worse.

Try and think of every negative thought or excuse that has risen in the past and find a good counter attack for it. 

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k. Highlight Challenges and Prepare

Challenges in life can become triggers so it is important to recognise and plan around them so they don’t end up causing significant damage.

Challenges are things like social events, picnics, cooking disasters, weekends, hot summer days, afternoon lows, family/friends’ birthdays, conferences, spontaneous activities etc.

The best line of defense is to have back-ups in the form of healthy snacks, low fat recipes and quick and easy alternatives to dishes that won’t break the calorie bank.

These back-ups will depend on the type of challenge e.g.:

Picnics

Sandwiches, sausage rolls, crisps/chips, pork pies… all great for picnics but not if you’re trying to stick to plan. Try thinking of foods that you could take instead and that you will enjoy just as much:

  • Chicken salad with a low-calorie dressing but add things that you wouldn’t normally like pickles, sweetcorn or grated carrot.
  • Egg mayonnaise on whole meal rolls and use low fat mayo and no butter
  • Low fat chicken sausages cut up on sticks
  • Wraps packed generously with low fat meats and cucumber or pickles

Cooking Disasters

This has happened to me on more than one occasion and can unfortunately lead to a trip to the nearest take-away!

Keeping cupboards stocked with healthy, quick-and-easy meals has been a life-saver on the occasions when I have managed to ruin dinner.

And if the take-away does happen then that’s okay too…

Let it go but allow it to yourself. 
Don’t look on it as you have given up on your diet,
it’s a bump in the road – accept it and move on. 
It’s no detriment, you will enjoy it, and the world will be okay again.

It is amazing how life gets in the way – constantly, and if you’re not prepared for it, you will blame yourself for failings that are not there.

Find alternatives but make sure those alternatives are enjoyable or they may not work…

The lure of the pizza shop can be a strong incentive to beat.

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l. Send a Message

If you know a friend or relative is feeling down or is going through a rough time, chances are you would send them a message. Even if it’s just a short text to let them know you are there and to provide some words of comfort.

So why don’t you do that for yourself?

You know there will be times when you are going to struggle. You know there will be times when you will just want to give up. And you know that sometimes all you need is somebody to say…

‘it’s okay, I’m here and everything will be fine’.

Well you know what…? You have that somebody with you at all times, reminding you of why you’re doing this and being your very own cheerleader.

And best of all that somebody knows you inside and out, and knows exactly what to say to keep you going through the tough times…

That person is YOU.

In your journal, start to write down messages to yourself that you know will give you encouragement, for example:

‘Hey, it’s me. I know how you’re feeling and it’s okay because we knew it wouldn’t be easy but just remember all those things we want to do when we’re much slimmer, and the clothes…remember the clothes we want to wear…? I’m here for you to let you know you’re not alone and you can totally do this.’

or

‘Hey, it’s me. You will be fine and I am so proud of you. What you are feeling now is temporary – it will not last. Just ride it out, ignore it and think of all those things we are going to do when we have lost more weight. Keep on in there, I am here with you – every step of the way.’

And when you’re thinking of giving in, look back at those messages that you have written to yourself and know that the negative feelings will pass and your brain will be shifted.

You will then be able to rejoice in the most satisfying outcome of success that will last a lot longer, and be way more powerful than any temptation to jeopardise your diet, no matter how overwhelming it felt at the time. 


m. Accept Not Doing Everything Perfectly

There are so many tips, guidelines and advice about losing weight, it is easy to think we have to do them all if we want to see true success.

And we get bogged down, we get obsessed with doing things perfectly that we get discouraged, fed up and disheartened when we don’t.

It is always the same…

At the beginning of any diet, we do all the right things; from calorie counting and smaller portions, to drinking litres of water and visiting the gym three times a week.

We don’t sneak a cookie or use high fat dressings; everything is low calorie, low fat and low carbs.

And we RELY on the scales to reward us each and every week – with no option of failure.

But being perfect is hard and we start to slip-up…

The gym gets missed two weeks running and we’ve not had any water today.

There’s a discrepancy on the scales and we’re convinced it’s down to the extra helping of potatoes…

We feel like we are failing, and we start to convince ourselves that we will never succeed at losing what now seems to be a huge amount of weight.

STOP!

It’s okay not to do everything perfectly…

  • It doesn’t matter if we don’t have 8 glasses of water.
  • It doesn’t matter if we had an extra helping of pasta on Tuesday.
  • It doesn’t matter if we don’t work out.
  • It doesn’t matter if we have the odd slip-up at the weekend.
  • It doesn’t matter if we don’t do everything perfectly.

And it doesn’t matter if this week we put weight on.

Dr Ailis Brosnan, who specializes in diet philosophy advised that losing weight successfully is not about the ‘all or nothing’ mentality and had this to say ‘…the idea is to make as many healthy choices as you can. Start to see your efforts one decision at a time – if you don’t make a healthy choice for lunch, that’s okay, learn from it, move on and make a healthier choice for dinner.’

Concentrate on keeping going which is far more important than getting everything right.

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n. Go CAM (Complimentary and Alternative Medicines)

Alternative therapy can be extremely powerful and it can be a huge advantage in your fight for positivity. Practising self-help can mean you have more control over what happens to you, and this brings confidence in tackling situations when they arise.

So be open-minded and up for trying new things because one of them might just be the weapon that works for you.

Hypnotherapy

I am a great believer in hypnosis, as you will see from my earlier posts on losing weight with hypnosis. It is by no means a miracle cure; it just lends a helping hand so I can get over some of the challenges along the way. If you want some more information on hypnosis and my experience with it then head over to Hypnosis – Day One of my Journey.

Yoga

Everybody I have ever spoken to who practices Yoga swears by it; it is a powerful technique for your mind, body and soul.

Yoga…when you stop living obsessively in your head and start identifying with the voice [in your head], positive change always follows – Jennifer Niles

Jennifer Niles over at Mindbodygreen says this about practising yoga ‘…you begin to realise that life has deeper meaning. You come to understand that destructive habits no longer serve your ultimate goal. This awakening directly affects weight loss because it encourages the elimination of unhealthy habits’.

Yoga transforms from the inside out so it tackles negativity from within and helps to focus your mind on what is more important to you and your well-being.

Meditation

Hot on the heels of yoga is meditation. A powerful stress reliever; meditation calms the mind and allows better channeling to inner-peace, enabling you to focus on what is truly desired.

Our daily lives are constant triggers for stress and interestingly, EOC Institute explains that stress is one of the reasons our body produces extra cortisol. This chemical makes the body think something is on its way that will affect our food consumption, and the body protects us by storing fat!

By meditating we can help to clear the layers of worry, negativity and fear, which in turn reduces the body’s natural response of producing extra cortisol therefore releasing our fat stores.

Meditation: stress and negativity reliever = fat loss = PERFECT

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

EFT or Tapping is a great exercise to perfect as it’s an in-the-moment-as-you’re-having-it technique. A distraction method that uses pressure points on certain parts of your body, and in turn, changes the intensity of a feeling so you don’t act on it.

EFT was created by Gary Craig and on his retirement, he released EFT into the public domain. Further information can be found on his website at EmoFree.com, with instructions on how to use EFT at How To Do EFT. You can also download a free ebook at The Tapping Solution.

Researching the various areas of complimentary alternative medicine and learning them are further tactics to go into your journal…even more powerful weapons to help in your fight against negativity. 


Further Reading

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3. Fighting Negativity

Unfortunately, no matter how much you have prepared yourself for the journey ahead, negative thoughts are still going to creep in and can knock down the defensive walls you have managed to build in readiness for such attacks.

The following are some tips to use while you are in the moment and are faced with either having that chocolate bar or not!


a. Your All Knowing, All Seeing Journal

Your most important weapon of all is your journal which should be packed with thoughts, memories, exercises and encouraging words.

But you must use it; keep adding to it and filling it with everything that will help you along the way – and when the going gets tough, immerse yourself in its pages of pure positivity.

Distract your mind,
plant new programs,
and remember the reasons why
you started your weight loss journey in the first place.


b. Be Ignorant

When negativity strikes you have an option. You can either listen to it, dwell on it and finally act on it, or you can simply ignore it. Ignore the voice.

You know the voice in your head that says ‘go on have the muffin…it doesn’t matter…just think of the taste, it will be lovely…and think of what you’ll feel like when you’re eating it…that enjoyment…that break from the world…’

Everything the voice says is true.

Except for one little thing.

It Does Matter.

If you haven’t allowed it, if it takes the control away from you and leads to negative consequences, then it does matter.

Logically – you know it matters, and any other time – you know it matters.

But in the moment, your judgement gets fuzzy, you’re arguing against it but every time you argue, the voice gets louder until you start to agree…and then it’s too late.

But what if you just ignored it. Ignored the voice in your head. Don’t argue with it. Don’t give it any attention.

According to Kathryn Hansen who wrote Brain Over Binge, it is possible to retrain your brain to ignore the part of it that leads you to negative thoughts until you barely hear it anymore.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to finally quieten the voice and take back that control?

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c. Media Maker

Turn to distractions of the media kind!

Favourite movies, soundtracks, video clips and music are fantastic for turning negativity away and losing oneself in a different world.

And what a great stress reliever too. 

In movies we can get wrapped up in somebody else’s life, mentally experiencing what they are feeling and massaging our brains with feel-good endorphins that the story-telling is creating for us.

But it doesn’t have to be a full blockbuster – a simple YouTube clip can give you the boost you need when you’re having a tough time.

And how about turning to motivational tips like this one from Tony Robbins:

Or soundtrack videos that stir a great inner fire:

Create a section in your journal for your collection of films, YouTube videos, music songs and anything else that inspires you, brings some happiness and that feel good feeling.

Keep the list growing, include the links to them so whenever you need a ‘positive hit’, head over to your journal and click the link!


d. Tap it Out

If you have been learning EFT as highlighted in the previous section then you will already know how to tap out negative thoughts when they arise. 

This method is highly effective, can be used anywhere and with no special equipment needed.

The techniques allow for ‘on the spot’ relief when you need it.

Find out more either with Gary Craig himself or with The Tapping Solution.


e. Treat or Not to Treat

One of the reasons we go overboard when we have a treat, is because we have been thinking about allowing ourselves that treat so much, that it gets overwhelming, and we feel we need to binge on all that we have been missing out on.

Unfortunately, this makes it so much harder to return to better eating afterwards.

Instead of ‘treating’ with food, do something different, for example:

Friday night binges…why does the end of the week – a time to enjoy a break from the 9-5 grind – be a reason for us to eat? 

Shouldn’t it be a time to do things we wouldn’t normally do on a week night?

  • Get dressed up and hit the town…
  • visit a friend we haven’t seen in ages…
  • see a show…
  • go late night shopping and indulge…
  • join that club/class we’ve always wanted to…
  • or just have a long, hot bath with a gripping book.

Or maybe spend quality time with friends or family at a lovely restaurant, but regard the treat as the activity and not the meal.

Stop using food as a reward – you are just sending yourself the wrong message, and your subconscious mind the wrong program.

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f. Loosen the Reins

If you think you need a break from your diet, perhaps it’s time to make a change.

Maybe re-evaluate your expectations by relaxing the reins a little and releasing some of the pressure.

How about aiming to lose 1lb* a month instead? (*about 4.45kg)

A voice I hear screaming at me: ‘I’m sorry what…?!’

Seriously, what is the worst thing about losing one pound a month?

The same voice: ‘…because it will take FOREVER!’

Okay, so where are you now?

If you have been dieting for a long time, think back to when you first started – are you finally at the weight you want to be?

If not, then why not?

  • Is it because you couldn’t sustain the strictness of a diet for the length of time needed to lose all of it, so you gave up and piled more weight on?
  • Did you lose all of the weight but had no ‘forever’ plan in place that you could live by, so the weight started to creep back on again?
  • Or do you just keep falling off the wagon, yo-yo’ing but slowly adding more pounds to the scales?

Now think of it this way…if you had only lost one pound or 0.45kg per month, from the date you first ever started dieting, how much would you have lost up to now?

If it was me, I would have lost my body weight multiple times over!

Makes you think though, doesn’t it? And losing 1lb, or even 2lb a month is much easier than trying to lose 2-3lb a week and feeling restricted and so miserable that you end up giving up.

I will tell you a story from a slimming group I attended many years ago about a member who, on average, lost half a pound a week (about 0.23kg). It was an ongoing, lighthearted joke within the group. But she kept going, and although she was disheartened at times, she knew that enjoying life mattered more. Eventually she got to ‘goal’ and was obviously delighted but had some words of wisdom to share. She said at times she felt envious of others who had lost weight so quickly but soon realised they were miserable; they started to give up and when the weight returned they either ended up back where they started or left the group to try something else.

She said if they had only slowed down, aimed to lose ‘little and often’ while still enjoying life, they might have been sharing their success too.

I was one of those she was talking about and I left shortly after to try something else…

Instead of being in a constant cycle of starving and bingeing – and actually being on a diet forever – enjoy life, accept the time it will take and reach your goal in a way that is much easier to maintain long-term.

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g. Cancel the Argument

We tend to spend more time arguing with ourselves about whether or not to eat than we do actually eating!

Wouldn’t it be nice to end an argument before it even starts?

For example:

You have been on holiday for a wonderful week of eating what you love and not caring about fat, carbs or calories! You have ‘pigged out’ but thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

Now it’s Monday.

The holiday is over and the thought of a measly bowl of dry cereal is all you have to look forward to which sends your ‘feeling good’ endorphins crashing to the floor.

You know there is still a packet of chocolate cookies in the cupboard…

The Argument

  • Just one cookie wouldn’t hurt.
  • You only need one more time of enjoyment. One more hit.
  • But then the packet will be opened and you know one isn’t going to be enough.
  • Maybe they can be ‘brunch’ and you can have salad for the rest of the day.
  • Or you can do that intense aerobic workout – purchased on DVD months ago and only been viewed once (to check how painful it was and wished you had the instructor’s body…)
  • Or maybe one more day of enjoying food won’t matter too much, and you promise to eat in moderation.

And the argument goes on.

But let’s be real here. You won’t starve yourself for the rest of the day, you won’t even look for the workout DVD (that wasn’t ever seen again after you realised your body will never end up like the instructor’s) and eating in moderation; it’s the last day so you will eat everything you won’t be allowed to eat tomorrow!

Sigh…

It goes on. The next day there will be a different temptation but your fight won’t be as strong and the argument will be shorter. Then it’s Wednesday and the week will already be ruined…! You promise yourself that next Monday will be different and you will be 100% ‘on it’.

The battle is over. The battle has been won…just not by you.

And that ‘Monday’ never actually comes around again…for a long time.

REWIND.

Cancelling The Argument

You know there is still a packet of chocolate cookies in the cupboard…

First of all let’s not deny ourselves anything. We first reassure ourselves (important) that we can still have the cookies – if we do a few things beforehand.

  1. Open your journal. Read EVERYTHING.
  2. Remember all the reasons why you want to lose weight: health, self-confidence, to look great for the opposite sex, to wear exactly what you want.
  3. Imagine yourself when you are at your ideal weight, close your eyes and take in everything: the place where you are, the scenery around you, the people you are with and exactly how wonderful you look.
  4. Imagine how you will feel when you look this way.
  5. Read your response cards.
  6. Tap it out.
  7. Watch the following video:

How do you feel about the cookies now? Is the need to have them subsided any? And is that argument worth having anymore?

Hopefully, your answers will reflect that the intensity you once had for the argument has now lessened and those cookies just don’t have the same appeal.

You can now carry on with the rest of your day, knowing you have finally won the argument.

That feeling you’re now feeling is just the best. Own it. There’s plenty more where that came from.

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h. Be Excited: Motivation to Lose Weight

And lastly…allow yourself to be excited.

You don’t have to rely anymore on temperamental willpower that may or may not show up when you need it and very rarely sticks around.

You now have actions that you can take to help you be in control. Use them, perfect them and make them a part of your everyday life – instead of just hoping that ‘this time’ will be different.

Be excited for the journey because the achievements you will experience along the way will outshine the battle.

You can do this.

The slimmer person that you have always wanted to be is now not only possible but is well in your sights.

AND YOU ARE TOTALLY ALLOWED TO BELIEVE THAT.


4. Conclusion

A lot has been covered in this article and I hope it has been of some benefit to you, even if it has just made you aware of techniques that you hadn’t heard of before.

Experiment by using a combination of these methods and get to know what suits you, and practice them until they are second nature. 

And if you get it wrong today don’t wait for a new day…

The journey to tomorrow is filled with
wasted time…

EVERY MINUTE is a brand new chance to get it right.

One more point I will make and the most important one – do something. It is no good skimming this article, thinking maybe one or two points could be a good idea and then leave. If you do nothing else sign up to asana.com, create your first task in a new project and ‘right-click’ and copy the following link into it:

http://www.feelgooddiet.com/the-power-of-positive-thinking/

Then at least you have a start and an action.

Not one thing will win the battle but a truck load of ammunition will certainly do some great damage.

We need to keep fighting the negative thoughts that take up so much of our attention, and start living the one and only life we have been given…

…With Positive Thinking And A Strong Focus On What We Truly Want.

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5. Quick Checklist

There’s a lot of information to digest so I’ve pulled out the major points as a reminder of what has been covered. Copy this into your journal or task planner to help you remember each one.Motivation to Lose weight

  1. Remember these words: YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS IS MORE POWERFUL THAN YOUR CONSCIOUS MIND AND IF YOU TELL YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS SOMETHING, IT WILL DO EVERYTHING IT CAN TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. {Can Positive Thinking Help You To Lose Weight}
  2. A list of some journal ideas. {Journaling}
  3. Realise and believe that YOU are in control of your decisions and whether or not to succeed or fail. {Believe Who is in Control}
  4. Write in your journal who you are, what you like and don’t like; catalog you so it makes it easier to tackle situations and plan for your weight loss journey. {Know Thyself}
  5. Remember and record everything good that has happened to you in your life and keep it ongoing with daily positive experiences. {Positive Reflections}
  6. Note all physical and emotional ailments that you suffer with by having excess weight, and what benefits you will have by losing that weight. {Reasons for Weight Loss}
  7. Identify those true friends who lift your positivity, and try to reduce negative friendships. {The Right Company}
  8. Identify the triggers that cause you to lapse into bad habits and unhealthy eating. {Capture Triggers}
  9. What do you do when you don’t want to fight and you just want to eat? Concentrating on the ‘why’ is a little exercise we can do to create a slight diversion to go in for the attack! {When You Don’t Want To Fight}
  10. Create a selection of response cards by The Beck Diet Solution; identifying common triggers that tempt you to over-indulge. {Response Cards}
  11. Make a list of all the negative thoughts and excuses that you have made to overeat and make a counter attack against them. {Attack Negative Thoughts}
  12. Identify external events that may happen that affect your routine and healthy eating, and come up with a way to ride over them so their effect is lessened. {Highlight Challenges and Prepare}
  13. Send a message to yourself to provide support and encouragement in readiness for the tough times you are going to experience. {Send a Message}
  14. Realise that you don’t have to do everything right when trying to lose weight and give yourself some slack. {Accept Not Doing Everything Perfectly}
  15. Research the types of self-help techniques and find one that suits you. {Go CAM!}
  16. When you are faced with that little voice in your head urging you to do something – ignore it. According to Kathryn Hansen it is possible to retrain your brain to be ignorant of that little destructive voice. {Be Ignorant}
  17. How about turning off the outside world by losing yourself in a good movie or sing your heart out to a timeless classic; actions that can distract your mind and its incessant mutterings. {Media Maker}
  18. Stop the habit of treating yourself with food and find other things that you can look forward to after a week’s daily/nightly grind. {Treat or Not to Treat}
  19. Maybe we shouldn’t be in such a rush to lose the weight so quickly, instead take the time to enjoy life, the weight loss might be slower but at least we won’t be miserable 24/7.  {Loosen the Reins}
  20. How many times do we argue with ourselves about food and whether or not to have the last piece of pie or the bag of crisps/chips? Wouldn’t it be much nicer to not have the argument in the first place and just get on with our day? {Cancel The Argument}
  21. You know that excitement you feel when you first start a diet plan and think this time it’s going to be the one? Now you are allowed to be excited because you’ve built up some pretty powerful weapons in your fight for negativity, and finally having a decent chance to beat your weight loss challenges. {Be Excited}