Motivation is one of the key variables for the equation that yields long term weight loss success. The question is how do you maintain the motivation to attain the ultimate goal? Regardless if your weight loss goal is 20 pounds or 100 pounds you must change your thinking to change your behavior and writing makes that happen.
Weight loss really does begin in your head. Every successful athlete understands that his thinking process is either working for him or against him. The same holds true with weight loss. If your internal dialogue is negative, your results will eventually manifest the same result! You can’t degrade yourself to a healthy new you! You must change your thinking to work for you, to build your resolve, and to maintain that all important motivational factor.
Writing is an exercise that will help your mind change its thinking! It allows you to process the negative emotions and helps to instill the positive changes. Start with these simple exercises:
1. The Negative Emotions Daily Dump: Many success coaches advocate writing out your negative thinking on a daily basis. Simply spend approximately 15 minutes writing out all the frustrations, bad feelings, and discouragement. This helps you to process these bad feelings out of your system so that you can make room for positive affirmations. Do not reread the entries and do not keep them. Write it out, and then throw it out. We call this the Negative Emotions Daily Dump.
2. Affirm Your Goals: Prepare a list of affirmations that will help your subconscious work with your conscious brain to make those all important behavioral changes. Then write your affirmations at least twice a day. Write them once after you have written your Negative Emotions Daily Dump. Don’t do the Negative Dump without filling it with the positive affirmations. You should always end with this. Write the second set of affirmations either right before you go to bed or first thing in the morning. Read your affirmations several times a day.
3. Understand your Motivations: In order to stay motivated you must understand your real reasons for losing weight. In other words, understand why YOU want to lose weight. Not why your spouse or friends want you to lose weight but why losing the weight is important to you. Do you really want more energy? Do you just love skinny clothes? Do you want to participate in an activity that would be easier if you were slim and healthy? Write these motivations out in detail so that you can solidify them in your head and they can continue to motivate you through the entire weight loss journey.
4. Accountability: Keep a food diary. Keeping a food diary has been proven time and time again to increase your weight loss success by as much as 50%! A food log is your accountability factor. It keeps you honest with yourself.
5. Visualize: Visualize yourself enjoying the portions of your weight loss program that you are currently struggling to do. For instance if you hate the cardio portion of your day, start seeing yourself loving it. See it as “”your time”. It can be your time to read while you’re on the stationary bike. Or your time to watch all those movies you feel guilty watching any other time. Once you begin to visualize positive feelings about a certain activity the easier that activity will become.
6. The Pat-On-The-Back: Keep a written log of your weight loss success. By writing down your weight loss on a weekly basis you are validating your efforts and giving yourself a pat-on-the-back. This will go a long way to keeping you on track.
Keep in mind that if you are utilizing the assistance of a personal fitness trainer or weight loss professional that they may use techniques to help you face your self-defeating habits. This might feel harsh and negative, however it isn’t. Honesty is necessary to motivate change and this is different than running yourself down! Sometimes we have to hear the hard words to make the hard changes. Keep in mind that these professionals are seeking your ultimate success. Your success is their success. Let’s face it, the weight gain started with you and to change that behavior you may have to deal with some uncomfortable feelings. A good trainer will help you feel cared about while still insisting that you deal with your bad habits. It’s a good thing to be pushed past your comfort zone to becoming a better you!
Writing is the new “exercise” that can make all the rest of your weight loss efforts including good nutrition, exercise, and resistance training work for you because you will be working with these principles instead of against them. You will start seeing these weight loss techniques as a positive and permanent part of your life, instead of a temporary device. That will result in faster results that last forever!