When you set goals for anything in life, what is it that usually starts to hold you back? What is it that is your worst enemy? Your mind is. Lies go through our head of "I am not strong enough" or "I just am not capable." This ever so strongly applies to our weight goals, too.
In the health industry I am familiar with, we have a saying that we tell our clients. Your journey is 80 percent nutrition, 20 percent fitness and 100 percent mental. You can have your good balance of nutrition with your healthy activity levels, but if your mindset is not in a determined and strong spot, it is going to be hard to keep up.
So, I have laid out three steps based on my experience and things I have learned on building a good mentality to reach weight goals.
Step No. 1- Evaluate your relationship with your scale
Think about that number on the scale for a minute. There is really so much fear behind such a mere number. To our culture, it can tend to define us. It defines our health status. It defines how we might look, whether to others or just ourselves. It defines our proportion to the earth's gravitational pull. So many of us stand in front of the scale and have to take a deep breath before stepping on it in case we might not like what we see.
Imagine what the world would be like if we took away the scale and if we based our journey toward better health solely on how we feel. How many people would reach their goals faster?
In my experience with myself and my clients, discouragement happens when checking the scale too often. We either see that the numbers do not change or that they go up and we panic, even though we have been doing pretty well. Discouragement, if not addressed, can lead to backsliding. So the question I ask is, "How do your clothes feel?"
See, our weight depends on several things in our bodies. These are fat, water and muscle. With a regular scale, it is impossible to tell which of those factors is contributing to the weight loss or gain. When we keep looking at that number on the scale, it's hard to remember those things with the significance our society has put on the number on the scale.
So, the first step to take in our mentality of our weight goals is to evaluate our relationship with our scale. My general rule of thumb for my clients is to check their weight no more than once a week. If they have trouble staying off of it, I tell them to put it in a place that they have to work harder to get to. For example, mine went from the bathroom to my garage behind a whole bunch of junk we are storing.
If it still is hard even once a week, I recommend just eliminating it all together for a while. You would be surprised the effect it has on you just to depend on the way that you are feeling. The way your clothes fit, the energy you have and how happy you feel are all that truly matters.
Step No. 2- Get accountability
We were never meant to be alone or to carry burdens beyond our capabilities by ourselves. We were meant to have relationships with others to build each other up. Here is something else – we are also not alone. There are so many others out there going through the same struggles or those who have already been through those struggles.
Weight is a common struggle due to the growing industry in processed foods and the lack of education out there on proper nutrition. The most common cause of death, according to the CDC, is heart disease, with 1 in every 4 deaths. The most common cause for this is lack of a good diet. It is an epidemic.
That being said, we need people. We need the support of others.
So, find a buddy. Find a coach. Find a class. Just find some sort of connection in the community where you can work together toward better health. Nothing is more encouraging than having someone by your side to remind you that the doubts you have in your mind are lies.
As a health coach, I do not put myself above my clients. I am human, and I still have my struggles. I let them know that we are in this together. I am just helping serve them by giving them education in the same way that I was given it.
So find someone that will keep you accountable. Find someone who will say, "Hey, get up," "put that cookie down," or "You are better than that!" You want to be pushed and challenged. The reward is how great you feel when you complete the challenge.
Step No. 3 – Develop yourself
This is what I think is the most important step anyone can take in life. Things can only change if we change. The whole process is changing our mindset of who we have potential to be. If we just stay the same person, our lives and the way we have been living stay the same. It is as simple as that.
So how do we develop ourselves? Well, personally, I go for books, podcasts and so forth. You look for things on the struggles you have. For example, my biggest struggle has been emotional eating. There is a book called "Made to Crave." It fits me perfectly because of the cravings I have struggled with. Plus, it offers a Christian element. Being someone of faith, it spoke to me and encouraged me in many ways.
The topics you search for do not even have to be on weight loss struggles either. Any topic that will help you grow as an individual is perfect for shaping your mindset in all aspects of life. Different topics that I have read up on or listened to are things like self esteem, building a business, parenting, marriage, and so forth. They have all helped me in my physical journey as well.
Another thing I do often is look for encouraging quotes. It can be Bible verses, things past famous people have said, or even just searching for a quote on Pinterest.
The point is, becoming who you are meant to be on the inside will set you up for success in all of your goals you have ever set, including whatever weight goals you have.
There are so many different elements to our our mentality of weight goals. These three that I have mentioned I believe are the most important. So, in closing, I would like to say, get out there and do it because you can! Remind yourself of that often.