Weight Loss Starts In Your Head

Are you a​ 'look-and-lose' dieter? Have you studied every diet ever created,​ read a​ zillion diet books,​ and yet are still unhappy with your weight? Has your quest for the​ holy grail of​ dieting become a​ substitute for actually making changes required to​ take the​ ill health out of​ your current diet? if​ so,​ you may not realise your thoughts are key to​ your happiness and success.

Do you look at​ yourself and say,​ "I'm fat",​ or​ "My hips are too big"? Many of​ us look in​ the​ mirror and immediately compare ourselves to​ those 'perfect' human specimens we​ see every single day on​ TV,​ in​ magazines and in​ the​ newspapers.

Often we​ talk to​ ourself and make excuses,​ "It's my genes",​ "I'm much too busy to​ get fit",​ "I like myself this",​ as​ a​ way of​ protecting yourself from the​ way we​ see ourselves now and the​ way we​ want to​ be.

If we​ were to​ be truly honest with ourselves most people actually want to​ lose a​ few pounds - if​ we​ only knew how.

The good news is​ you CAN achieve your desired body shape with the​ right thinking about yourself,​ an​ understanding of​ how to​ get optimal nutrition,​ healthy eating habits and how to​ incorporate activity into your lifestyle to​ keep your muscles toned.

But most important of​ all,​ you need a​ regular mental workout to​ keep your self-image in​ shape.

Self-image is​ closely connected to​ the​ success or​ failure of​ any goal you choose to​ seek after,​ but none more so that the​ goal to​ get yourself fit and healthy.

So how do you go about strengthening your self-image? Well fortunately your self-image,​ just like your muscles,​ will respond well to​ a​ regular work out. You can actually strengthen your self-image with a​ few daily exercises.

Exercise One - Self Examination

Start by compiling a​ list of​ all those negative thoughts your have about yourself…I'm undisciplined,​ I can't manage my time,​ I let people down,​ I can't succeed,​ I don't exercise enough. You will need to​ decide before you start this process that you won't get discouraged….these are things that you will admit to​ yourself but they most certainly don't have to​ control your life.

Next,​ compile a​ second list including everything you LIKE about yourself. Keep going until this list is​ LONGER than the​ first list you compiled. You might include things such as,​ I am a​ good cook,​ I can make people laugh,​ I contribute to​ the​ soccer club,​ my daughter loves the​ way I decorate her room.

Then,​ take your 'negatives' list and turn it​ into your 'potentials' list. You do this by creating a​ positive self-image to​ every 'negative' you listed. Instead of​ "I can't succeed",​ write a​ counter belief,​ "I will succeed".

Ceremonially throw out the​ 'negatives' list - you are saying goodbye forever! Burn them,​ trash them,​ destroy them….they are no longer going to​ be a​ part of​ your thinking about yourself.

Now,​ keep your list of​ potentials in​ a​ prominent place. On your refrigerator door,​ in​ your daily journal,​ or​ in​ a​ picture frame on​ your desk. Make sure you have them in​ front on​ your every single day so that you are reading them constantly and reprogramming your daily thoughts.

Exercise Two: You Can Be What You Want to​ Be

Now that you have your list of​ potentials… run your own visualisation stories so that you can 'see' yourself in​ a​ new light. For example,​ if​ your list of​ potential includes "I eat just the​ right portions",​ visualise yourself with a​ moderate portion on​ your plate,​ and feeling completely satisfied at​ the​ conclusion of​ your meal.

Read through your list of​ potentials every day taking a​ few moments of​ personal quiet time to​ reflect strongly on​ your visualisations. Try starting your day first thing in​ the​ morning and finishing as​ the​ last thing at​ night with visualising yourself being the​ person on​ your list,​ and doing the​ things you want to​ do.

Exercise Three: Keep a​ Journal of​ Your Daily Successes

Keep a​ record of​ all the​ positive changes in​ thoughts you have about yourself. we​ all have triumphs and 'failures'. You must record and remind yourself of​ the​ positive changes because our human nature will replay the​ negatives - sometimes blowing them out of​ proportion. It's important to​ nurture and celebrate the​ small steps you make every day.

Exercise Four: Go Easy On Yourself - You Are Beautiful Work in​ Progress

Don't listen to​ the​ criticism…not your own nor that of​ others! Remember you are the​ designer of​ your self-esteem,​ do not hand this over to​ other people. You are way too important to​ give this away. Protect your role as​ creator of​ your own self-image and do not,​ take on​ board negative criticisms. we​ all make mistakes,​ and mistakes can be used to​ help us learn. Do not criticise yourself for being human and making a​ mistake. the​ only last mistake in​ the​ one from which we​ never learn to​ grow.

Exercise Five: Forget About the​ Past

The only moment you can live is​ the​ current one. You can't live in​ the​ future and you most certainly shouldn't live in​ the​ past….the challenge is​ to​ take charge of​ our thinking so that we​ think in​ the​ same time zone in​ which we​ live!

For example we​ may be tempted to​ think about yesterday's failures…"If only I hadn't eaten second helpings",​ "If only I didn't reach for the​ chocolate cookies". if​ we​ concentrate on​ the​ mistakes of​ yesterday this will our brains to​ replay our failures and reinforce them to​ us.

Yesterday is​ over,​ today is​ where you live….make sure that today you do NOT replay yesterday's failures and make your resolve to​ change TODAY.

Exercise Six: Resolve to​ Change Today

Just as​ you shouldn't live in​ the​ past,​ you can't live in​ the​ future. You can only live or​ change today. the​ oldest cliché in​ the​ world is​ perhaps one of​ the​ greatest truisms of​ all…'tomorrow NEVER comes!'

There is​ no better time than now. So,​ no matter what excuses you may have to​ wait to​ take those healthy steps you know you should take,​ none of​ them are valid. Do it​ now,​ do it​ today. Resolve to​ make a​ different in​ your own life before you go to​ sleep tonight.

Exercise Seven: Write a​ Plan For your Life

This is​ your success plan. if​ you have not already done so it​ is​ time for you to​ create direction and purpose in​ your plans for yourself. Review your list of​ potentials and record next to​ each potential when you want to​ achieve this by.

Exercise Eight: Carry Affirmation Cards About Yourself

This is​ one of​ the​ fastest tools for your success. You are what you think. Strengthen your self-image every day by reviewing your thoughts. One of​ the​ easiest ways to​ do this is​ to​ carry affirmation cards in​ your wallet and review regularly. Affirmation cards are short bursts of​ words in​ business card that prompt and remind your self-image of​ your intentions. an​ example might be:

* I can achieve anything that I put my mind to.

* I will be satisfied with single helpings.

Try it,​ you have absolutely nothing to​ lose and everything to​ gain!

Exercise Nine: Change Your Eating Habits

Now that you have set the​ groundwork in​ place,​ you are now ready to​ change your physical habits. You are ready to​ add a​ balanced nutritious diet,​ healthy eating habits,​ regular exercise and relaxation.

By using these nine exercises daily to​ change your thinking habits,​ you will be strengthening your self esteem and unlocking your internal power to​ make a​ change in​ your life. Before you can change lifelong eating habits,​ you must first change life long thinking habits. we​ are what we​ think. we​ can't be something other than what we​ believe we​ can be!

So,​ do yourself a​ favour,​ liberate your self-image and then,​ see how much more effective your healthy living plan becomes!

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