Constantly, so many people are struggling with their extra pounds. For months and even years, they follow different diets and vigorously exercise. In some cases, this behavior helps many of us successfully reach our desired weight. However, only 10% of people are able to keep that weight for more than one year. Think about that statistic. After all that struggling, nine out of ten people will be back to their previous weight in less than only ONE YEAR! If the statistics were the opposite and only one person out of ten could not keep his/her weight, we would probably attribute it to the individual's weak personality and irresponsibility. But, could nine out of ten really be weak and irresponsible people? It sounds unbelievable. Why can't people keep what they have already achieved?
The answer is simple. No diet can last forever. When the plan is over - the weight is back. The problem needs to be addressed on a much deeper level: first in your mind, then on your plate. Willpower is not enough. The truth is that it is almost impossible to change habits using only willpower. We need to manage our thoughts and reprogram our mind, to make it work.
There are five major steps in the process of reprogramming:
• Awareness, recognition.
• Admitting the situation
• Focusing on values vs. results and the process
• Setting a clear goal
• Using imagination and feelings vs. willpower
AWARENESS is the first step in the reprogramming your mind. Before you even plan any actions, you need to be AWARE of your current situation, your extra weight, and health problems related to it.
ADMITTING seems very similar to awareness and a relatively short phase in reprogramming process. Admitting means that you are not only aware about your situation, but you're taking responsibility for that; now you know where you are, and are ready to take action.
First, admit the things that you don't like - ALL OF THEM. Do not lie to yourself. It's important that you're honest. Don't be afraid or embarrassed. Say it OUT LOUD and then write it down. Write down everything you hate about yourself, everything you see and FEEL. This is not about the number; this is about your FEELINGS regarding that number. This is not about counting; this is about disengagement and growing.
It's also a perfect time to enhance all your fears. If you are obese, do you want to die suddenly on the street from a cardiovascular attack, or end up paralyzed after suffering a stroke? Do you want to suffer from diabetes and end up with vision problems and skin wounds? All those things happen to thousands of people every year, and may happen to you-- if you ignore your weight and don't take care of yourself.
Unfortunately, most people prefer to AVOID the situation. They avoid admitting their extra pounds and bad health. This is a big mistake. If you find yourself in a hole, - stop digging! ADMIT IT!!!! Avoiding doesn't accomplish anything. Admitting will rescue you. This is not the starting point for transformation; this is the first step IN transformation. There is no future success without this step, which means that your life will stay the same. Admitting is your new BEGINNING.
FOCUS on VALUES vs. results. When people make a decision about dieting, they usually think about the process itself and about results. However, focusing on dieting and avoiding fattening foods makes you think about the problem, not the solution. This is negative thinking, because you are focusing on what you DON'T want - losing the food you have always liked. This will not take you far. Instead, focus on what you WANT, on your NEW desire, new behavior, and on your new CHOICE. Here you need a real REASON, a DESIRE which drives you to that. Is it better health? Is it being better looking? Lighter? Sexier? WHY do you want to lose weight? In what way your life will be different after you achieve your desired weight? Answering all these questions will help you to create your vision and set clear goals.
SETTING a clear GOAL is another important step, which is usually ignored, but critical to success. If you don't set up your trip destination, how can you get there? You can't. You'll be going around again and again, and then come back exhausted and disappointed. Then you'll say, "Setting goals doesn't work!" What doesn't work is NOT setting a goal, or setting it incorrectly.
Setting goals correctly helps us to focus and to keep the commitment, they also keep us motivated and influence our success oriented behavior.
Have a clear idea in mind. Thinking something like "It would be good to lose several pounds by Christmas" doesn't help and doesn't work. Your real goal should be:
• Specific and measurable
• Challenging, but realistic and achievable
• Stated in a present tense rather than in a future tense
Think about a certain number of pounds by which you can reduce your weight over a certain period of time. Promising yourself to be 10 pound less by next week is obviously a promise to fail and would also be dangerous to your health.
IMAGINATION is a good way to overcome a negative habit and move toward your desired life. Imagine yourself already DOING that, and experiencing the feelings associated with it. Experience it completely, as if it has already happened. Live the life of your dreams NOW. Visualize yourself being a smaller size, and feeling elegant and attractive. Imagine how you FEEL buying new clothes, FEEL how they touch your elegant body. Imagine choosing new styles and colors. Imagine how other people are looking at you, and enjoy it! Remember these feelings and let them inspire you.
And know, it is not just about your weight; it's about health, relationships, success, and whole life! YOUR life.
"You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."
To Your Health and Success,
Dr. Irina Koles
Professional Weight Loss and Life Coach, author of the book "Taste of Thoughts. Improve Your Health and Whole Life," motivational speaker.