Sometimes the biggest obstacle in the way of achieving your weight-loss is in your head. Here’s how to tackle the ways your mind might set you up for failure and how to get you back on track.
1. You say: “I hate my body.”
Solution: Stop negative self-talk.
Thinking that your body is fat, that you aren’t fit enough or that you’ll never be able to fit into a certain size isn’t just negative – it’s discouraging. Thinking and talking to yourself in a negative way doesn’t help you create strategies to achieving your goals. But how do you recognize negative self-talk? According to the mental health website psychcentral.com, you should ask yourself if your thoughts are realistic and factual, how you could spin them more positively and if the situation is as bad or as severe as you think it is. Talking to a supportive friend can help you see the light.
2. You say: “I need to lose a ton of weight fast.”
Solution: Set a realistic goal.
They say, “Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” But that’s not always the case with fitness and weight loss. Achievable goals (say five pounds, or working out three days a week) work better than lofty ones (such as 50 pounds or training for a marathon in four weeks). Why? We are all results-oriented. And if a goal is too big or takes to long to reach, it can be discouraging. Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D, tells womenshealthmag.com says the beginning of a weight-loss program can have the most drastic drop in pounds (up to five pounds a week), but eventually it slows down to about a half pound to two pounds per week. That’s normal and healthy. Be patient and give yourself a realistic amount of time to lose the weight.
3. You say: “I hate exercise.”
Solution: Find ways to enjoy getting fit.
There are a few important motivators to working out, such as physique and health. But the problem is, the goals are vague and sometimes unreachable, Michelle Segar, PhD, a motivation psychologist at the University of Michigan and associate director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center for Women and Girls, tells elle.com. “The problem is that this negative message frames exercise as something we should force our bodies to do, whether we like it or not, to meet an impossible standard. It’s fitness as the modern corset. […] Health is too vague and long term. You aren’t worrying about having a heart attack at 60 when you make the decision to sleep through your morning run today.”
The key is to find physical activity you enjoy, not something you dread or punish yourself with. Remember what you liked doing as a kid? Was it a certain sport, group activity or solitary things like running? Try taking a workout personality quiz, like this one from webmd.com.
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