You’ve seen lists sort of like these, right? The ones with tips we can use to get our bodies back? I sure have, and yet I have never seen a top five about thoughts. Although it’s becoming mainstream by way of Weight Watchers with their new campaign that has a catchy slogan about losing weight beginning in your mind (but not so catchy that I can remember it!) A few books have been written about the power of our thoughts when it comes to weight loss as well. Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay, and one of my favorites, Geneen Roth. I read Roth’s books years ago and her words resonated deeply.
“It’s never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured by weighed, something deep inside us rebels.
“We don’t want to EAT hot fudge sundaes, we want to BE hot fudge sundaes. We want to come home to ourselves.”
– Geneen Roth, Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Anything
Wow, right? I guess this means I want to BE a bowl of hot cheese dip? I can recall feeling so overwhelmed that I couldn’t rip the box open fast enough. Feeling the cheese was some sort of crack to assuage my addictive need. Geneen also wrote a book called, “When Food is Love.” I recommend both of these books if compulsive eating is your thing.
The top five beliefs for weight loss are my personal favorites, but each of us has our own cross to bear. We often find the root of our belief system hidden in our family of origin. As I write my list, think about it; what beliefs do you need to change about yourself to lose weight?
1. I am good enough.
I can remember once when I was in high school… it was after my church youth group session. Word had gotten out that I was “doing things I shouldn’t do.” The gossip was accompanied by whispering and rejection. I remember feeling like crying. I felt worthless. I felt isolated and alone. I felt like ice cream – a big bucket of it. I stopped at the grocery store, hurried down the aisles and picked out a fatty confection to soothe my soul. On the way out, I also grabbed a couple of chocolate bars to eat in the car. I’m not sure when I began to associate food with love. Early memories were of my mom, who was also overweight, rewarding me with food. She would stop and get me ice cream and donuts because she had to take me to my grandparents to stay as early as when I was four years old. I didn’t want to go, so the sugary treats were my compensation. Let’s just say it goes way back.
2. I am happy with who I am.
I guess these are two sides of the same coin, yet worth going over. We have to be ok with where we are to move forward. Hating ourselves and waging war against our bodies is not going to give us the positive momentum to lose weight. The most successful bouts of weight loss I have ever had are when I am happy. If we greet each tiny move of the scale with a groan the scale is going to move that much slower. Accept yourself. Right where you are. You are beautiful. Powerful. Strong. You are amazing no matter your size or weight.
3. I am healthy.
That’s right, HEALTHY. I didn’t say thin. I didn’t say perfect. Healthy! I loved the post by my friend Gwen Irwin. She credits deciding to be healthy as the reason she was able to finally jump off the diet cycle and start losing weight. Another friend of mine, Margaret Reinhold, is a nutritional specialist. She said something profound to me the other day, “Don’t forget about Nutrition.” Claiming your health and finding your way to foods that feed you on a cellular level rather than an emotional level is key to vibrancy and longevity. We know this! But often our goal is anything but about being healthy. I can remember grapefruit diets, starvation diets, diet pills (fortunately I never went for the laxatives), but there are a slew of quick fixes out on the market that ramp up your blood pressure and make you feel like you are speeding all day long.
4. Eating well is easy.
Remember those thoughts that become things that Mike Dooley made famous? What are your thoughts surrounding eating? Let me just get you started: It’s hard to eat healthy. I can’t lose weight on vacation. I’m a foodie. It’s too hard to prepare food. It’s too time consuming to prepare food. I love to eat cheese. I have to have pizza. Are you with me yet? I had so many thoughts that supported eating poorly. I had convinced myself eating well was HARD and miserable. If you think that… well, it is!
5. I can do whatever I want.
More thoughts becoming things, and this is probably the most important of all. We can create whatever we want. If it’s a strong healthy body we can do it. Our thoughts are created by our beliefs and once we change our beliefs we can change our thoughts to create what we want rather than skinny jeans that are painfully tight. My diets in the past have been littered with thoughts of “I can’t do it.” I would then look at the excess roll around my waist and think, “That’s never going away,” or “I’m too old to lose weight.” Just yesterday a friend said, “Your age is fighting against you losing weight.” I can either buy into that, or I can believe, as I do, that I can create whatever I want in my life.
What’s on your top five? Take just a minute to think YOUR OWN thoughts about your body, your health, and your weight. What do you want? You can create it if you believe you can.