What unconscious beliefs do you have that are keeping you from reaching your goals about weight loss, food and body image?
I’m a big believer in beliefs. I agree with Teddy Roosevelt, who said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there,” and Mohandas Gandhi, who said, “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”
Yet every day, I hear people say things they think about themselves that are so counterproductive. Beliefs that aren’t true. Beliefs that get in the way of moving forward and having the kind of body and life they want.
I hear people believing things like, “I can’t lose weight because everyone in my family is fat” or “I can’t control myself around chocolate.” If they believe they can’t control themselves around chocolate, they won’t.
Many of us learn these beliefs from our parents. Maybe your parents or siblings are overweight, and they’ve led to you believe that is your fate. Yet so often, the reason whole families are overweight is because they practice poor eating habits and overeating at home, not because anyone has inherited “fat” genes or they’re destined to be heavy.
Some people believe that they shouldn’t have to put in much effort to lose weight. They believe weight loss should be fast and easy. But they didn’t gain the weight in a few months, and shouldn’t expect to lose it that fast either. Losing weight requires us to change our eating habits, and that takes time. Months and years.
I talk to people who believe they can’t lose weight if they allow themselves to eat the foods they love. They believe they won’t be able to stop eating, or that enjoying anything with carbs will make them fat. Yet they go on diets which restrict what they eat, causing them to ultimately binge on the restricted foods, and they end up weighing more than when they started their diet.
I believe that restrictive diets are why people can’t sustain weight loss, and that eating and enjoying what we love can actually help us stop overeating and drop those excess pounds for good. Every day, I teach people how to eat what they love, and they are amazed at how satisfied they are with a lot less food than the boring stuff they were eating on their latest diet.
When I start working with new client, often one of the first issues we have to address is their doubt that they will succeed in permanently losing weight this time. They start with a belief that they can’t do it, a belief supported by their past failures. But their past failures are only more evidence that diets don’t work, not that they can’t lose weight. Yet they obviously have some hope of success or they would not have invested the money to work with me. So we start by changing their beliefs.
Because their belief is a big part of their inability to lose weight. If they believe they can’t lose weight, they won’t. They’ll prove themselves right. But being right is greatly overrated. Would you rather be right or slim down?
To lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way without dieting, it is important to question unproductive beliefs like these, abandon them and adopt new ones.
Think about your beliefs and stories that are keeping you from losing weight or being your best self. Write them down.
Let’s say your belief is that you can’t lose weight. Is this really true? Could you prove it to a jury in a court of law? Probably not.
How is that belief working for you anyway? If you’ve been unsuccessful at losing weight, maybe it’s time to drop that belief and open your mind to new ways of thinking about food, eating and diets. There are lots of posts about this in my blog to get you started.
What if you believed, “It’s not my fault I haven’t been able to lose weight because diets don’t work. I believe I can lose weight by changing my eating habits and eating in tune with my body’s needs.”
What if you believed you could trust your body’s wisdom? That you could lose weight for good by actually listening to your body and giving it what it asks for? It’s miraculous and it works. I have proved it to myself and my clients, and I can prove it to you.
Hi Shari! I so agree with you on this. While I don’t write about weight loss on my own blog, I do write about how our thoughts and beliefs have a tremendous influence on our body and the quality of our life. Good for you for pointing this out to everyone who will listen. ~Kathy
The quote you included is such a great reminder, regarding both weight loss and goals in general! It is so important for us to remember that our attitude plays a huge part in how successful we are going to be.