Did you know that the average person has more than 60,000 thoughts per day, and that we have 95 percent of them over and over? Did you know that 80 percent of these thoughts are negative?
What are your recurring thoughts? The ones you get stuck on like a broken record? For many of us, the thoughts center on our weight and body image. How many times have you tried on a pair of jeans, looked in the mirror, and cringed? How many times have you gotten upset and said, “I’m too fat; I’m never eating again; or I can’t stand the way I look today.”
These thoughts may seem harmless, but if we constantly tell ourselves these things, our bodies start to believe it and reflect it. We become what we think.
To become the person we want to be, we need to believe it. If healthy and happy is how we want to be, we need to think like a healthy, happy person. Here are tips to help you reprogram your thoughts and think like the slimmer, healthier future you.
- Ban the word "diet." Nine out of 10 people who go on a diet regain the weight. Diets just don’t work, because the minute you go off the diet and start eating as you had, you end up back where you started. The key to long-term weight loss and maintenance is proper food choices and portion size, as well as changing both your behaviors and thoughts regarding food and exercise.
- Listen before you eat. Before you take that second cookie, step back and think about it. Are you hungry or just bored, mad, tired, or depressed? Are you just falling into the pattern of eating ice cream after dinner because that is what you usually do, or do you really want it? Don’t indulge in a craving the minute you have it. Take some time to listen to your body's cues.
- Visualize your success. Replace your negative, self-defeating thoughts with positive feelings of success. Choose a statement signifying where you want to be in life, such as “I am happy and healthy,” or “I am at the perfect weight and love the body I am in.” It is important to visualize your success in the present rather than wishing it for the future.
- Don’t rush. It seems like everything is go, go, go, including eating. Many of us are finished with our dinner before we even realize that we sat down to the table. It takes your body at least 20 minutes to recognize that it is full, so eating too fast can lead to overeating. Take your time and savor the flavors of your meals. You may find that the healthy, natural foods begin to taste more real and that processed, junk foods do not.
- Banish negativity. If you happen to indulge and are upset with yourself, get over it. Don’t beat yourself up. We're all human and not every food choice we make is a good one. Don’t punish yourself with thoughts of how you have no willpower or how one cookie is proof of a life sentence to be unhealthy. Remember your positive statement, “I am happy and healthy,” and move forward. Leave the negativity in the past.
- Choose your friends wisely. It is said that we become the five people that we surround ourselves with most. Who will you become? Do your friends and family constantly complain about their weight and beat themselves up? Do they have only negative things to say about others? Our friends’ thoughts are almost as powerful as our own. Surround yourself with positive influences.