Do you struggle with losing weight? Do you feel out of shape? Are you frustrated with your state of health and well-being?
We often see people who have been in poor health or declining health for quite a long time and then they get frustrated when they are not better “over night”. We live in a world that expects things quickly. people order items on line and usually get them within a day or two. People text family and friends and get a quick response, and often get upset if they don’t hear back quickly.
All of us have gotten used to getting what we want when we want it. This may work when ordering a pair of shoes, but it is unrealistic to expect rapid change with our health. When expectations are high and results don’t happen quickly, frustration can ensue. This often results in a person “giving up” and believing that “nothing helps them”.
If a farmer planted a seed today and it had not sprouted and grown a food producing plant within a few weeks, should that farmer be upset and frustrated? Should the farmer give up on the seed and stop watering it? Of course not. No sane person would even think to be frustrated with the plant or the farmer. We know that it takes time, water, fertilization, sun, etc in order for the seed to grow into a plant that successfully produces food. Why would we think our bodies are any different?
For our bodies to feel optimal it takes time, the proper nutrition and supplementation, adequate sleep, detoxification, proper hormone balancing, regular exercise, etc. In addition, we must also address our mind set (beliefs, thought patterns,etc) and ensure that we unplug and unwind regularly.
Our mind and body are intimately connected and this can not be ignored. If you want lasting change in your physical body, the first step is to change things in your mind. After all, the actions you take in terms of food, sleep, exercise, etc all stem from the mind. It is imperative that you adopt a healthy mindset first before attempting to change your body. The reason that people do not eat healthy, exercise regularly, or follow other healthy habits stems from an unhealthy mindset. Success, or a lack of success, in adopting healthy habits is based upon the attitude and beliefs that a person has about themselves and about the thing that they are trying to change.
The first step in making positive physical changes in your body is to have a positive mindset about you. Learning to love who you are, no matter what has been done or said in the past, is a critical step. After all, if you don’t love you then why would you develop healthy habits that lead to good health?
Think about that for a moment…..If you truly loved yourself, would you eat the doughnut or would you eat the vegetable dish?? Would you sit on the couch or would you get your body moving? Would you keep your phone on, unable to set boundaries with others or would you turn your phone off at set times, allowing yourself to unplug and relax? Self love is about taking care of you and doing the things that help you to feel and look your best. In return, you are in a better mental and physical state of being and can now help those you care about.
The first step that you can take is to start each day by looking yourself in the mirror and saying “——–(your name), I love you”. It costs nothing. It may feel silly but if you do this regularly, it will build your self love. Do this step even if you don’t believe it. After time, you will start believing it.
The next step is to recognize that you own your thoughts. You control them, no one else does. Take the next few days and pay attention to what you say to yourself. You know what we are talking about–the things that people say to themselves inside their mind. People say things to themselves such as: “I can’t believe you did that”, “that was stupid”, “I am so fat”, “I can’t follow through on anything”, “this is just the way I am”, etc. The list goes on of the negative things that people say to themselves. For now, just be aware of them. Most people do not even recognize that they are saying these things since these thoughts have become commonplace to the person.
Once you are aware of these thoughts, you have the power to change them. The third step is to start reframing your thoughts. After all, you are in control of your thoughts. When negative self talk arises, stop it and replace it with something more positive. Instead of “I am so fat”, you could say to yourself “I am not in the shape I want to be YET, but I will be”. Instead of “that was so stupid”, you could say “that wasn’t the best choice but I needed to make it because I learned from it and will make a better choice next time”. Instead of “I want to eat food that I like”, you could say “I like to eat the food that makes me feel my best”. Take a minute and write down the list of things that you say to yourself that don’t serve you and then create more positive statements that you could say to yourself.
You may want the instant overnight miracle to having a healthy body. There is none. The miracle is getting your mindset to one that promotes health and wellness. To achieve optimal health, it involves recognizing that the choices (small and large) lead up to the great health, or to poor health. Start with loving yourself and adjusting your thoughts. Start making small changes in your daily diet that are healthier, creating healthy sleep habits, moving your body a little more than you do now, etc. Optimal health is the result of consistent effort done over a period of time. Have patience with yourself and recognize your positive progress.
John Grant is a life coach who specializes in assisting people in reframing their thoughts and finding their path to optimal health.