Our thoughts create our reality. If we want to optimize our wellness, taking some time to pay attention to what we say and think is a good idea. We need to step back and look at our garden of thoughts, pull out the weeds, and replace with flowers and vegetables that will bring us joy and fuel for healthy growth and healing.
If you find the following “thought weeds” in your in garden, think about chucking them in the bucket and intentionally planting a new thought that serves you better.
- Weight loss is hard.
Weight loss does not have to be hard. In fact, if you want sustainable weight loss, you really don’t want it to be hard, otherwise, you won’t stick with it, and won’t be living a life that feels good. Our thoughts and words becomes our truth – we don’t want it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. To take it a step forward, I would suggest that it is more helpful to shift to thoughts of weight wellness instead of weight loss. Don’t the two terms conjure up different images for you?
If the thought, “weight loss is easy” doesn’t feel true to you, start with something more neutral. Like, “weight loss takes effort, but it doesn’t have to be hard.” Or, “I am working toward believing that weight loss can be done with ease.”
- I am battling with my weight.
What this is really saying is that you are at war with your body. Why would you want to be at war with your body? Isn’t being more fully aligned with your body what you really want? To have your body reflect how you want to feel and be in the world? This whole concept of battling your body is actually disrespecting your body, and dishonoring the mind/body/spirit integration of our whole selves. Overweightness requires healing, not warfare. And we can only heal a body that we treat with love, not with aggression, or as an enemy.
Try saying, “I am healing, and I love what my body does for me every day.” Or, “I am working on weight wellness every day.”
- Cheat day/meal/foods
To cheat is to indicate sneaking around, or doing something one shouldn’t. I dislike the term “cheat”. By saying that, we are defining foods as good or bad, as well as defining our behavior as good or bad. I don’t find either of those to be useful. If having some fun, less healthy foods is part of your plan, that’s totally fine. But, let’s not demonize it. Let’s recognize that part of a balanced life is not always having your plate look like a Clean Eating magazine cover. This is real life. It is good to give ourselves something that is pure enjoyment as part of having a healthy lifestyle. And if it is part of our plan, then how is it a cheat?
Instead of a replacement, I would just suggest eliminating the use of this word altogether.
- I need to exercise to burn off that _____ (ex. donut, beer, ice cream)
First off, exercise is not a punishment for some perceived diet misstep. Exercise should be something we want to do because it is good for our Selves (ok, maybe not all the time will we feel like it, but you know what I mean). Are you going to feel inclined to build a habit of movement if you view it as a punishment? Secondly, exercise sucks as a way to dial back the calorie meter. Our bodies are well-designed. They want to be efficient. They want to maximize our fuel as best they can. So, therefore, it is much easier to intake calories than burn through them. This is a beautiful thing when we think about our energy and survival.
How about saying, “I choose to exercise because ___________(it is a de-stressor, it is good for my heart, promotes brain health, is anti-aging, improves sleep, improves mental health, improves muscles and joint function… I could go on.)
- I am not a morning person.
I do believe I don’t nature towards being a morning person, however, saying that doesn’t serve me. I used to work 12 hour nursing shifts that required me to be at work at 7am. I was able to do that with no problem. I used to travel a lot and catch early morning flights with no problem. When my kids were babies, I was up early. So why is it hard now to get up early to exercise, meditate, or journal? Because I think I am not a morning person. And that thought can prevent me from really finding a pathway to improve my morning routine.
So, instead, we can try, “I may not automatically wake up early, but I can work towards getting up 30 minutes earlier (and going to sleep earlier) to improve the start of my day.”
I hope this has helped you give a little thought to your thoughts. Until next time, one parting thought: You are amazing, and you are exactly where you need to be to become your best self.