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Wednesday
Aug202014

Self-Talk Sabotage: 5 Messages to Dump Today

“I’m too tired,” “I’ll never fit into those jeans,” or “Why can’t I look like him?” How do these messages make you feel? Not motivated and upbeat - I can tell you that much! We all deal with self-talk on some level, but how we respond to it can make or break our success. It can also make our journeys more emotionally affirming or stressful! In order to achieve the look and health we want, we need to lose the messages that undermine these visions. Read on for 5 common statements that sabotage our motivation, and consider the lessons you can take away to empower your healthy journey!

“I’ve never tried it, but I know I don’t like it.”

Growing up, I was rarely allowed to get away with something like this, and when I hear it now (especially from adults), I cringe! This mindset not only can stand in the way of achieving optimum health but also of experiencing your highest happiness and fulfillment. The chances of liking “it” (whatever it may be) are just as good as the chances of you learning maybe it isn’t your cup of tea (yet). What have you got to lose?! Take the risk of trying a new workout or activity, tasting a new food, daring to attempt a recipe, or experimenting with any number of choices you’re faced with on a daily basis. Regardless of your eventual conclusion, it will always be a learning experience. Don’t let your inner child run your life and cheat you out of opportunities for growth and success. The people who try new things and step outside their comfort zones more often than not are the ones who see the most sustainable success.

“I wish I could, but I can’t.”

Talk about setting yourself up for failure! Just because you’ve hit snags in the past and not had full success previously doesn’t give truth to this phrase. Fear shouldn’t dictate your future efforts—especially if it means giving up on your health. Having an optimistic mindset about this journey is critical and will drive how successful you make each day. Learn from each of your past experiences, and take something away from them. Why were you not as successful as you’d wanted? Were you initially successful but were unable to maintain the progress? (By the way, you wouldn’t be alone in that scenario: only 1 in 6 people who lose over 30 pounds is successful at keeping it off long term). Use what you’ve learned to your advantage to build drive and motivation, then set SMART goals for yourself and determine how you’re going to win this go-around!

“I worked out, so I deserve _____.”

Indulgences. For many people, this is where their weight loss efforts go awry. Having a gym membership, going for a jog, lifting weights – these are all great habits, but they will only get you so far. One of the ways to really drive this message home is to consider your time each week in hours. There are 168 hours in a week (obviously 24 hours in a day), and those who are really dedicated to their fitness routine might exercise 5-6 days a week for 1-2 hours (roughly 12 hours/week at best). Even for those fitness enthusiasts, that leaves 156 hours to completely negate those 12 hard-worked hours! This certainly shouldn’t make you second-guess putting in the time and effort for movement and exercise each day, but it can hopefully demonstrate how that one “well-deserved” large bowl of ice cream quickly sabotages your weight loss work. Note: a regular size Snicker bar may take the average adult a 2.5 mile run to burn off. While completely abstaining from self-reward isn’t necessarily the best or most realistic goal for many people, we can be mindful about what we select as indulgences, considering better options for ourselves. We can do better than entitle ourselves to sabotage. Choose wisely, and as you make progress in your transition to a healthier way of living (in which cravings considerably lessen over time), opt for healthier alternatives or recipes that do dessert right.

“I’ll start a healthier lifestyle after vacation/tomorrow/my friend’s wedding.”

Starting the transition to a healthy way of life is like getting a dog, having kids, and buying a new car. It seems like there’s never a good or “convenient” time. There will always be something that could delay the event. Let’s get real, however. There can and will always be something, which means it makes no sense to postpone. Tempting dinner dates, happy hours, birthday parties and the like will not stop as you begin your healthier lifestyle. You will be able to navigate them, however, with the practice and tools you’ll acquire over the course of your journey. This transition will require more planning ahead, having more whole-food based foods and snacks accessible, and staying true to yourself and your efforts. Think of the progress you could make in between today and whatever event feels like the “last” obstacle. Assess your readiness to change, and ensure you’re willing and committed. However, don’t let the future get in the way of your present.

“I just want/need to lose weight.”

The majority of people who say or think this will rarely lose the weight they want to lose. Can this outcome be changed? Absolutely (and not by eating less and working out more.) There are many misguided aspects to this statement, but the most unfortunate part involves the power you just relinquished. What many people don’t realize is that it’s not about losing weight or burning fat. Those are outcomes of daily behaviors that need to happen. You don’t have much control over how your body sheds pounds, but you do have absolute control over moving more, making better food choices, decreasing stressors, getting better sleep, minimizing screen time, and so much more. All of those decisions factor into what that number is on the scale, yet rarely are these factors people’s focus. Centering your journey in these basic choices allows you to be in your own power. With this perspective, every time you make a healthy choice for yourself you’ll be successful. The rest will take care of itself. Time and time again, I’ve seen it in my clients—the moment when it just clicks. The minute you stop trying to lose weight and instead focus on what daily behaviors you can change, you will lose those pounds and fat percentage points. The next time you catch yourself thinking “I just want to lose weight,” stop yourself and replace the thought with an action intention such as “I need to walk 5,000 steps today.” Trust that this mental shift will become the root of your physical transformation!

Thanks for reading today, everyone! What negative self-talk has held you back? How did you lose your sabotaging messages?

Written by Becca Hurt, MS, RD, Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

 

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