Intentions and Actions are NOT the same thing...
Do you need to make some mindset shifts in your weight loss journey? On the face of it losing weight is a simple equation of expending more calories than you intake.
Eat less, move more. – and there’s literally hundreds of ‘diet’ or fitness plans which can help you do exactly that.
So the question is, when the Intention to lose weight is clear, why do people still struggle?
People often talk about “poor discipline” and “self-sabotage”, or “lack of motivation”. (and how dis-empowering are those thoughts? It’s no wonder weight and self esteem have such an intricate cultural link)
I don’t think there’s many people who deliberately get up each day and actively seek ways to mess up their lives. On the most part we act in our own best interests. Everything we do comes from a place of Good intentions. Our behaviors have a positive intention for our lives.
We’re fulfilling our basic needs…it’s just that maybe, at some level, those needs have become confused – some have been given more importance than others. Our Intentions are usually positive, but our Actions could provide more skillful Outcomes.
The good news is that by “doing” – bringing your attention to and focusing on – the three things below you will start to notice those needs which are driving your ‘unconscious’ behaviors and eating habits.
You can begin to notice and reconnect with the underlying intentions and to the unmet needs driving your actions.
And what you notice, you can change – and find more skillful Actions which will provide better Outcomes. Maximize your results with these weight loss mindset shifts.
1- VISION: Get crystal clear on exactly what you want to achieve*.
Picture yourself at that point in the future as the person you’d like to be, looking and feeling the way you want to be – your ideal or dream self. Spend time thinking about that future version of you.
How do they act, what do they eat, what’s their routine? Make that image clear, compelling. Have it burned into your mind. Make that future you your best friend – and check in with them everyday, every mealtime, every visit to the fridge.
Is that something they’d eat? Will that choice lead you to being them?
*thinking; ‘I just need to lose a few lbs’ is vastly different from thinking; ‘In three months, I’m going to walk along the beach front, wearing that, feeling amazing, enjoying the appreciative looks, feeling healthy’…imagine what it feels like to BE that person…the more you build your vision, the more compelling it is, the more likely you are to achieve it.
2- SENSATIONS: Get in touch with your inner feelings and sensations. Is that Need you feel actually hunger? – are you really hungry for food? What else could it be?
Recognize that many emotional and physical needs have a similar feeling. The area of our brains responsible for sending out the signal for hunger, also sends signals for thirst and emotional needs.
We also have a lifetime of inner programming and beliefs about food and eating – and it takes time to unpick them all and check they’re still useful, or even correct.
Getting in tune with what you’re really feeling helps you notice those moments when something other than hunger is making you eat – guilt, fun, connection, avoidance, boredom. What if you only ate when you were actually hungry?
3- ATTENTION: Add some mindfulness to your eating. Being Mindful means you’re bringing the moment into your attention, you’re concentrating on the act and process of eating – experience it as though it’s the first time you’ve ever done it!
Start with one mouthful a day, then increase it up to one meal.
Become aware of every mouthful. Even as it’s on your plate, what do you notice? How do you automatically eat? What happens if you don’t.
What happens as you bring food to your lips, put it in your mouth, bite down, shift it with your tongue…reconnect with the experience of eating – taste, texture, temperature.
When is it time to start eating, and when is it time to stop?
What thoughts and feelings does this experience create? How is that different from usual? And what might those thoughts have to do with eating healthily?
Go, Do. Live a life you’re proud to love.