Motivate Your Mind: Stay Positive

Anyone who has ever tried to seriously lose weight knows that the biggest challenge is your mind. Why your mind sabotages your health so readily is beyond me. You’d think your mind would want to help!

There are some ways to get past mind blocks however, and in my opinion, the strongest method is staying positive. I realize that’s cliché, and easier said than done. Here are some tips on how to do it.

1. Think “I want,” and stay away from, “I don’t want.” Believe it or not, that makes a huge difference. I’ve talked to nurses that help people with addiction…whether to drugs, alcohol, or some other vice. If you think, “I want to eat healthy food and exercise,” you’re more likely to do it than if you think, “I don’t want to eat junk food and sit on the couch all day.”

While that may not seem like a huge mind switch, thinking about what you want focuses on positive things. If you’re thinking about junk food and the couch (even though you’re telling yourself that’s not what you want), where do you think you’ll end up?

Try it right now. Think about a plethora of beautiful fruit with all sorts of beautiful colors. Think of swimming in a cool, clear pool. What do you want to do? I’m guessing it doesn’t involve anything related to unhealthy behavior.

2. Put up positive visuals for yourself. Visuals can include a picture of yourself a few years younger at a realistic weight you want to achieve. I don’t recommend going back too many years…you want the picture to create a realistic goal for yourself. So a couple of years is a good idea, since weight loss usually knocks a few years from your appearance.

A lot of people put negative pictures around their house to remind them to be good. That’s not what I’m talking about. Hanging a picture of yourself stuffed into a pair of super tight blue jeans with a good sized muffin top spilling out is just going to depress you. And you know what that’s going to result in? Emotional eating, and therefore more muffin top.

Fresh Ingredients for Pasta SaladVisuals can also include pictures that remind you of your goals, like someone who inspires you with their own weight loss achievements, or photos of fresh vegetables, or even posters of someone jogging on the beach. They’re called motivational posters for a reason.

You can also write notes to yourself and stick them somewhere that will help you. One example is, “I want to lose a pound this week so that dress fits a little better at the picnic Saturday.” Or they can be shorter. “I can do this!” works just fine.

3. Get yourself an “accountabili-buddy.” Find at least one person who you know will offer you positive encouragement and talk to them about your weight loss journey. There’s nothing better than being able to call the person who’s keeping tabs on you to say, “I lost another pound this week!”

Ideally, find someone who you don’t mind admitting your faults to, especially when you occasionally slip up. Make sure your “accountabili-buddy” isn’t too negative, because that’s never helpful. Really, you want someone who will encourage you to get back on the horse.

More than one supporter is helpful too. Personally, I like to talk to my sister and my mom weekly so that it keeps me on a week by week baby-weight-loss journey. My husband is always my beacon of strength, so I tell him everything and he’s very encouraging. I also have a friend who is trying to lose weight too. We really only tell each other the positive results we’re having when we see each other, and that’s additionally helpful.

Then, of course, there’s my Jenny Craig consultant/ previous manager/ very, very good friend Barb. I’m not sure she wants me writing about her, but I think having a weight loss consultant is very handy when it comes to weight loss, so I’m mentioning her anyway.

So that’s it. Surround yourself with positive reinforcement. Believe me, it will make a huge difference. And don’t forget…smiling burns more calories than frowning.Jenny Craig

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