5 Mindset Shifts That Helped Me Lose 40 Pounds
Although many people focus on diet and exercise programs to achieve weight loss, I believe that the most important and often overlooked factor is a person’s mindset.
At the start of my career as a nutritionist I soon realized that losing weight and becoming healthy is not primarily about food, exercise or other lifestyle habits. Don’t get me wrong, what you put in your mouth and how you move your body matters. However, it is clear to me that having a huge appetite, craving unhealthy foods, and experiencing blood sugar swings, low energy and laziness, are just manifestations of some deep and real causes.
My own success at losing over 40 lbs. of fat, as well as my experience working with hundreds of women, has shown me that weight loss always starts from addressing your mindset to change your limiting beliefs, habits and behavioral patterns.
Once I removed the inner reasons for holding onto weight, I found myself finding more energy to exercise, craving healthy foods and being passionately motivated to improve myself. As a result – the weight melted.
Here are some of the most important mindset shifts that helped me achieve my ideal body:
1. I changed my beliefs about my body
Beliefs shape our reality. The thing is, beliefs are neither true nor false. They can only be beneficial or detrimental, in other words, either serve you or sabotage you. And the good news is that you can change your beliefs and reprogram your mind. As a result – your reality changes.
I have experienced it many times in my life. You have also experienced it whether you consciously acknowledged that or not.
I used to believe that being fat was in my genes, since almost all women in my family were overweight. Whenever I’d gain weight, I’d justify it by saying that it’s my genes and use it as an excuse to make poor life choices.
The truth is that although our genetics affect our health and body size, it’s not fatal. The new science of epigenetics shows that your lifestyle choices and your thinking can determine which genes will be expressed and which ones supressed.
Once I convinced myself that I’m not predestined to be obese and that I can control my own health and destiny, I was able to ignite my weight loss and continued to lose weight until I achieved my ideal shape.
There are many other beliefs that prevent people from losing weight. For example, that you’re not worthy to be that beautiful and hot girl or guy in a swimming suit. The thing is, they’re just beliefs and you can change them. As a result – your body and life changes too.
2. I released resistance
I resisted the fact that my body looked the way it did. It was just too painful to put up with this fact. In my mind I saw myself as an attractive beautiful woman, yet looking in the mirror stated otherwise. Shopping for new clothes was extremely uncomfortable and even ended in tears on few occasions.
Yet instead of taking action, I tried to relieve my pain with more… chocolate, bread, pizza, wine or coffee (with lots of sugar and milk). I resisted the current reality and tried to escape it.
Resistance is the reason for all suffering, sabotage and procrastination. And whatever you resist, persists.
It was only when I became completely honest with myself and accepted that my body was too unhealthy and too heavy that I was finally able to start making changes.
This might seem somewhat counterintuitive because it’s logical to think that if you accept something then it means it will stay forever and will never change. That’s why a lot of people are afraid of accepting their unhealthy and overweight bodies. They’re afraid that this way they will remain heavy and will only get sicker. But it works exactly the opposite. The only way to change is to fully and unconditionally accept your current situation.
3. I started practicing self-love
We need to love and appreciate ourselves in order to make good and healthy decisions. Yes, it is possible to lose weight while starving, pushing and restricting yourself but usually this only leads to gaining all the weight back or to some serious physical or mental health issues (nutrient deficiencies, chronic fatigue, anorexia or bulimia).
In order to permanently lose weight in a healthy way, you need to adopt what I call a Lovetarian lifestyle. It means eating the foods that nourish your body, thinking thoughts and taking actions that also nourish your mind and soul.
Whenever in doubt, ask yourself: what would a person who loves herself/himself do? Your body and soul already know what that is for you. Listen, then follow through.
4. I practice mindfulness
Practising mindfulness and meditation has made an enourmous difference in my life. And since fitness and my body is a part of my life, it made a big difference in how I look too.
When you train your mind to be mindful, you are aware of your choices, you sabotage yourself less (until eventually you don’t at all), are happier and no longer rely on food to make you “fulfilled”.
5. I declared to myself that “I am a fit slim person and it’s only a matter of time for the rest of the world to see it”
I remember that moment when I decided that this is it. I’m going to do it, I’m going to tranform my body and health. I decided that I was a fit, slim and healthy person, and it was only a matter of time until the rest of the world would see it.
In my mind the decision was made and I believe that is the single most important thing that separates those who succeed and those who do not. This doesn’t mean though, that you will not stumble and fall and that the journey is going to be all roses. Not at all. But once you’re convinced that you’re no longer a fat unhealthy person, it’s only a matter of time until you succeed.
So if you want to lose weight or achieve anything else, do not have doubts and mixed feelings about it. When you say that you want it but you also not sure if you can really follow through and succeed, you’re sending mixed and confusing messages to the Universe and to your own subconscious mind. That’s where self sabotage is born.
You have to make up your mind, get determined and decide to do it, no matter what or how long it takes.
If you’re struggling and failing to stick to a diet and exercise routine without addressing your mindset, you’re swimming against the stream. The moment you run out of willpower, and fall back into bad habits, all the lost weight comes back, often with interest. The only way to achieve permanent results is to get to the root cause, and resolve whatever issues you have at the mental level.