Fat Loss and the Mind-Body Connection
Losing weight is about far more than changing your diet and exercise routine. Of course, diet and exercise are key components of fat loss, but shifting your mindset is equally important. The emotional body controls the physical body, often without us recognizing it. Bring to mind a stressful situation. Maybe you had a long, awful day at work or a project you put a lot of work into failed. At the end of that terrible day, did you order a pizza? Reach for chocolate or a drink? In this situation, you experienced something stressful and then “rewarded” yourself with comfort food and drink.
So, the question is: How can you reset this thought process and strengthen the mind-body connection in a way that will help you reach your weight loss goals?
Change the Conversations You Have with Yourself
“Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is like saying, 'I don't want to.”
--- Lao Tzu
Often, we limit ourselves by saying things like, “I don’t have time to _____.” Changing the wording of limiting statements like this can help to create behavioral change.
- I don’t have time to work out today.
I will make time in my schedule to workout today because working out will boost my mood and productivity in other areas of my life.
- I’m too busy to cook a healthy dinner.
I will organize my time to cook healthy dinners during the week because ordering takeout every day will not help me reach my wellness goals.
- I’m too stressed out to _____.
I recognize that I am overwhelmed with stress. I will make small steps daily to deal with my stress so that it doesn’t build up and overwhelm me.
Try to catch yourself as “negative” thoughts come to mind. Write down the negative thought in a notebook or on your phone and then re-write it changing the statement to a positive. This action will bring awareness to your thought processes, and help you create positive change.
Create a Meditation Practice
Meditation is a great tool for calming and focusing the mind. Sitting quietly with yourself can be challenging at first. If you’ve never practiced meditation before, download a meditation app, or go to a meditation class in your area. Yoga studios often offer meditation classes and workshops.
When meditating at home, create a cozy space. Maybe light a candle, and find a comfortable seat. Take a deep breath in, and allow yourself the space to relax. With that first deep breath, you’ll start to release the stressors from your day, and when the mind starts to relax the body will, too.
Pick a mantra to focus on. A mantra should be something simple, just a couple of words that can hold your attention. Your mantra could be something that you need more of on a particular day.
- I am at peace.
- I am well.
- I am enough.
- I am content.
Repeat these words to yourself as you meditate. You can also write these words into your planner so that you can keep coming back to this intention throughout your day.
Create a Self-Care Routine
Self-care is a buzzword being thrown around a lot lately, but taking care of yourself is vital to leading a healthy, productive life. If you are not taking care of yourself physically and mentally, then you will struggle to succeed with your weight loss goals, with your relationships, and even at work. If you can learn to take care of yourself first, then you will have the capacity to better help those around you.
Self-care is no one-size-fits-all. It is whatever you want or need it to be. It can mean you carve out an hour in your week to take a restorative yoga class. Maybe you take a long bath or spend some time outdoors. Maybe every morning you give yourself enough time to enjoy a cup of coffee before bustling through your day. You know your body, what relaxes you, and what you need. Find your something that replenishes you. Don’t compromise your time here. Create your self-care routine and commit to it.
Remember as you start or continue your weight loss journey that there are three key ingredients for success: diet, exercise, and mindset. Find a balance between the three, and recognize that your mindset will affect your diet and exercise. You can create a positive mindset by changing the way you speak to yourself and managing stress with a meditation practice and a self-care routine.