It’s all in our mind. Our thoughts can help us lose weight as well as find happiness

Mindset matters, and it matters way more than most of us give it credit for.  In all areas of our lives.  Our mindset or attitude can determine the success or failure of something as soon as we have the thought enter our head.

When we think positive, we usually end up with a positive outcome because we look for the positive in the outcome.  When we think negative, we generally end up with a negative outcome just because we expect it and look for all the negative things.  Mindset, like most things is habitual. Something we do every day without thinking about it.  We definitely want our mindset habit to be a positive one if we want to live a happy, healthy, productive and successful life.

 

The people who have a positive or abundance mindset are always happier and more successful at life. Not necessarily financially, but in general. Maybe they are perfectly happy with their life and how it is going and their happiness reflects that, or maybe they accept their life as it is and are grateful for what they currently have while continuing to strive for more or better or maybe just something different. These are the people who seem to always have good things happen to them.  Why?  because they have good energy, they think positive thoughts and work towards a positive outcome.  They are genuinely happy when good things happen to others even if it did not happen to them because they believe there is always enough to go around for everyone.  These people smile, laugh, enjoy life and accept whatever it throws at us and send out positive energy into the world which in turn attracts more positive energy.

 

Then we have the negative Nancy’s.  Those who have a negative, pessimistic or scarcity mindset.  You know who I am talking about.  Someone who is typically pretty cynical, or gloomy and maybe a defeatist. They can bring the energy down in a room sometimes just by walking in.   These are the people who tend to live in the past and want things the way they used to be and seldom or begrudgingly if at all accepting change. They have a difficult time having a nice word to say about others unless there is a derogatory comment along with the “compliment.” (She would be so pretty if she were not so muscular/fat/skinny or she’s so sweet but dang she wears a lot of makeup etc.)  Or maybe they feel the need to call someone names or call their intelligence into question in order to make them feel better about themselves.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not judging  those that do things like this.  Most often this is either a defense mechanism they have in place to protect them from something/someone that has hurt them in the past or it is just how they have been conditioned to act from a young age  or because the people they typically spend the most time with act the same way.  The negative energy these people give off attracts more negative energy and it ends up being a vicious circle.

 

Here’s the great thing though.  It can all be turned around with one single positive thought.  I am sure we have all been that negative person at sometime or another….or at least I assume we have probably all had at least one time in our lives where things were not going “right” and by right I mean the way we thought it should.  We were grumpy,  angry or disappointed and the angrier or more upset we got the worse the situation became?  Then one good thing happened that changed everything.  It did not have to be anything big, maybe it was something tiny but we were able to look at it and say OH WOW, this is good or even great or amazing.  Instantly something happened in our brains and our outlook changed just a bit more towards the positive.  If we can keep that positive outlook going instead of automatically going back to the negative thought process then the entire situation may slowly or even quickly turn into something fantastical.

Mindset is what I personally think is the 2nd most important thing when we are looking for weight loss.  Not just losing the weight either, but for keeping it off.  Not just a positive mindset that we are going to lose the weight, we are going to become healthy, but a positive mindset about ourselves, who we really are, what we are accomplishing on any level and about the journey itself.  The trouble we generally fall into with weight loss and mindset is that most of tend to believe that weight loss is linear.  That if we strictly adhere to a certain set of guidelines that a certain outcome will happen.  Let me tell you from experience that is definitely not the case.  I absolutely love this photo below about what we think success looks like and the reality.  It is exactly what weight loss looks like.

 

So you see why having our mindset in the right place is going to be a big deal. Thinking that weight loss is just a straight line to success is why we end up yo-yo dieting over and over.  We think we have failed when in actually the road just turned on us or we began going up hill, or maybe there was a dip or a curve in the path to sustainable weight loss.

We have absolutely no clue what is actually in store for us.  Shit, I mean LIFE happens.  Things do not always go as planned… wait, things NEVER go exactly as planned.  We have all these great intentions of doing everything just right, but then we have a hella stressful day at work, end up having to work late and miss our workout or our maybe our hormones are going haywire and we are feeling super out of of whack.  This is when we need to have our mindset tools in place to help us get over this challenge.  When we are able to create mindset practices that help us over the smaller daily challenges like above, then we are more likely to have some tools in our toolbox to handle the really big stuff that comes along.  What about death or divorce? Moving to a new place where you do not know anyone?  What if you get fired?  What if we got sick or hurt and could not workout or follow our diet for weeks on end.  Would we just give up?  Or would be able to look at this as just a turn in the path and find ways to make it work for us anyway? Having the right mindset can help us to not completely give up but have the resiliency to keep at it,  making small goals in short increments that are more than doable and that eventually lead us to the end goal of sustaining whatever weight we wanted/needed to get off anyway.

 

I am not going to tell you that when you change your mindset that the weight is just going to fall off of you.  What I am saying is that when you create healthy habits to change your mindset that you will be more likely to not let things throw you off of your nutrition and exercise program in a way that you end up quitting.  Because lets be honest.  This shit is hard, and a lot of times we want any old excuse to quit or just say I can’t.  Again, I know this first hand. The first photo was me the weekend before Memorial Day in May of 2012.  I went from a tight (obviously) size 26 and smoking 2 almost 3 packs of cigarettes a day  to a size 8 and being tobacco free.

The next morning.  The day after the 2nd photo on New Years Eve 2013, my mother passed away.  If I had not had some positive and healthy mindset practices already in place, there was no freaking way I would not have been able to have not gone back to at least smoking if not gained some of the weight back.  Then in 2015 Eric and I found out that he was being transferred from the Jackson, TN office where he had worked for 16 years to the corporate headquarters in Florence, AL.  What the What?  We had to leave everything and everyone we knew and move 3 hours away to a new state where we knew NO ONE.  How scary is that shit? I certainly could have let that get the better of me and let it de-rail my goals.  As a matter of fact, it is only due to the fact that I had these healthy nutrition and mindset habits already in place when we moved that I was able to accept the fact that I was probably going to gain a bit of weight the first year we were here because lets face it, we were definitely going to try ALL the different foods 🙂  I actually did go up a size in my britches, but when we were finished “sampling” ALL the food places we were interested in, and I went back to cooking more than we were eating out, I was able to get right back into my old britches again.  If I had not had those habits in place, I would have freaked out and probably done a completely restrictive diet again instead of just keeping my thoughts and mind in a healthy place and being able to stay with my habits.

So, I can say with conviction When you change your thought patterns you can change your world.  There are several things you can do to begin changing your mindset.  The easiest thing to begin with is to keep a gratitude journal. Any notebook will do, but the Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal is cute and has coloring pages and stuff on it to help you if you want to get started.  I also suggest Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself  It is a great little book that will go well with it.  You do not have to take a lot of time doing this.  Start small.  Take 5 minutes in the morning or at night before you go to bed to write down 1-3 things you are grateful for each day.  Keep it simple, it does not have to be a great big long written anything unless you want it to.  A short sentence saying I am thankful for _____ will do.  You do not have to qualify it unless you feel like it.  After a few days of being consistent, you will begin to notice a change in how feel.  You may begin to look for more things to be appreciative of.  SCORE!  You are on your way to changing your mindset.  Be patient with yourself though.  These things take time and work. It will not happen overnight.  But nothing worth having happens super duper fast unless you have done a LOT of prep work beforehand.

Considering the length of this blog, I think you may understand that I think mindset is super duper important.  This blog is just a little bitty taste.  Make sure to click the link to sign up for my newsletter to get more insights on things like what I am journal about, mindset practices, nutrition, exercise, random 80’s movie references and talk about coffee and ice cream.

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