Question your thoughts, not your willpower. Make 2017 YOUR year, for reals.
Welcome to the first week of our 4-part series. I will help you conquer your overeating so that you can lose the weight, for good.
Let me guess, it’s the beginning of January and this is YOUR year. Your New Year’s resolutions are written in stone. IN STONE, I SAY! 2017 is the year that you’re going to get back to your high school weight, maybe even lower. You’re finally going to be skinny and your entire life will finally fall into place. You’ve researched the latest and greatest diet and written out a workout schedule. You’re excited and ready to go. 2017 will be your year.
I made the most detailed weight loss plans and “resolutions” for the first 30 or so years of my life. In fact, I remember making diet and exercise charts when I was as young as 5 years old. My mom had an exercise record, yes record, with little foot-printed sheets that went inside the record cover. My sister and I used to have fun fumbling through the routines in our farmhouse living room. I remember the cool-down song was none other than Billy Joel’s, I Love You Just the Way You Are. Interesting song choice.
Here’s the thing about 30 years of detailed, well-laid diet and weight loss plans. They have failed me every single time. I would bet the tiny testicle lost in my wiener dog’s abdomen that they’ve failed you every single time too.
Stop to consider this idea for one hot second; what if your weight problem is a thinking problem? What if you’re starting the year off totally wrong, not right? What if you are actually setting yourself up for failure, not success?
The very first thing I work on with my weight-loss clients is finding the crappy thought that is keeping them stuck. I don’t ask for food journals or calorie counts or try to figure out their resting metabolic rate. I don’t encourage excruciating exercise routines or crazy bootcamps. None of that matters until you find out the WHY behind the WHAT.
Since I’ve been making and failing at cruel and unusual diet and exercise plans since Billy Joel became a household name, one of the the crappy thoughts dominating my brain was, “I never lose weight anyway, so why even bother?” This crappy thought gave me the justification to give up on myself very early in every single diet game. As soon as an overwhelming emotion visited me, as soon as I was happy, sad, or anywhere in between, I could rely on my crappy thought to pop up and assume position at the forefront of my unquestioned thought process. Why not eat a dozen Tim Bits? After all, diets never work and I never lose any weight anyway so why bother?
Your willpower is not weak, your thoughts are.
Here are some crappy thoughts that are regular attendees in my coaching calls:
I don’t deserve to lose weight.
I’m too busy to focus on my weight, plus I hate exercise.
I can’t live without my McDonald’s drive through.
My husband tells me to stop dieting, it never works anyway.
I can’t make it through a day without having a Coke.
It’s impossible to lose weight once you hit 40.
I feel selfish devoting too much time and thought to my weight loss.
Do any of these sound familiar? What are your negative thoughts?
Here is, quite literally, the million dollar question: Who would you be without THAT thought?
Rewind the record back to my crappy thought, “I never lose weight anyway, so why even bother?”
Let me tell you who I was with that thought. I was a woman who gave up on herself at the faintest whiff of a doughnut. Even the jam-filled ones that only grandmas like. I was a woman who used food to eat my way out of uncomfortable social situations. I was a woman who stopped herself from even getting started, because I justified my crappy choices by telling myself they didn’t matter, because, I never lose weight anyway, so why even bother?
This one crappy thought kept leading to no results, because our thoughts create our results. Instead of questioning my thoughts that were leading to my failure, I labeled myself as a “willpower weakling-a fat, lazy pig of a woman.” How lovely.
When I studied Byron Katie, whose work is all about questioning your thoughts, life changed. When I considered who I would be without the thought, “I never lose weight anyway, so why even bother?” I decided I would be a woman who bothered. I would be a woman who takes great care of herself, regardless of any situation. I would be a woman who paid attention to why I ate. I decided that something deep in me would work and that I definitely was worth the bother. I decided I would be a woman who would lose weight, so I did bother, and I did lose the weight.
Thought work is revolutionary. Try it. Don’t just read this. Do the work and change your thoughts. It’s easier said than done, so put in the time, make the effort and then see the results.
Your Challenge This Week
Set the timer for 10 minutes. Consider your weight-loss struggles and do a thought download. Free write any thoughts about your weight loss, good or bad. Then review them and pick out the one thought that pesters your mind the most. What do you do or not do when you think that thought? Now, consider who you would be without that thought? How would you treat yourself, how would you treat others? How would you show up in the world?
Looking for BIG changes this year?
Book a 20 minute mini-session. Let’s pinpoint that crappy thought that’s preventing you from reaching your goals. That thought that makes your well-laid plans completely useless. Let’s explore who you would be without THAT thought. It’s a New Year and it’s time for a new approach.
You’ve got nothing to lose except that same old crappy thought. Ditch the thought and flourish!