MeditationAs someone who meditates on a daily basis, I cannot sing its praises highly enough; you may hear this type of thing a lot and be doubtful about how something as simple as sitting still could be so powerful. If I have learned one thing in life, the simplest things are often the most powerful things and are not to be dismissed. Meditation helps reduce stress, a major stumbling block to making any major change in life. If you find yourself fretting about weight loss, this ancient practice may be just the thing to get you in the right state of mind for success.
Stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol that triggers the fight or flight response that our ancestors used to save themselves from gigantic creatures that wanted to eat them. This hormone stimulated the appetite so they could replenish themselves after a good battler or running for their lives. Problem is, in modern day times, our stresses are things like work, our kids bickering with each other incessantly and other non-calorie burning problems. Yet, we are still prompted to eat, which leads to weight gain. Even more problematic is that this response causes us to crave foods that serve as quick sources of energy, which is our modern times, is usually some sugary treat or refined carbohydrates. Stress also leads us to care less about our health and suppress our emotions with food.
By meditating, you will gain greater awareness of how you are feeling and when we have this greater awareness, we start to respond rather than automatically react. We can sit with uncomfortable feelings longer and feel less inclined to try and make them go away as quickly as we can by doing things such as eating emotionally. You will work on finding more constructive ways to deal with negative emotions that will not interfere with your weight loss goals.
AffirmationsWhen you think of affirmations, you may think of the character Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live talking to himself in a mirror, telling himself that he is good enough, smart enough and that gosh darnit, people like him. It was amusing to watch and it may seem like a silly thing to do, but affirmations can be very powerful in changing our thought patterns, beliefs and the negative inner dialogue that blocks our efforts at losing weight or improving other aspects of our lives. True weight loss will come with tending to our minds and not just our bodies and this technique is a powerful way to do that. All the stuff going on inside our heads determines the decisions we make, our actions and how we view ourselves. A big part of our weight loss struggles come from seeing ourselves as incapable of change and the self-criticism and judgement that arises when we slip up.
The inner dialogue is toxic and we fall off the path, thinking we cannot succeed. We have a negative view of ourselves. All of this is very destructive to our efforts, but if we can learn to talk to ourselves differently and feed our minds more empowering thoughts, we can change course. Thoughts, beliefs and actions can be moulded , they are not set in stone and incapable of being changed. This is where affirmations come in. Some good affirmations for weight loss might include telling yourself things like’’ I value my body and want to nurture it with healthy food and exercise.’’ ‘’I am capable of taking control of my weight and my health.’’ ‘’I am thin and healthy.’’ Sometimes the things you are saying may not feel true, and that is okay; to counteract this, stick with more neutral statements, not things like ‘’I am a size 4’’ if you are currently a size 16. We want to keep that pesky ego at bay as much as we can.
ClosingLosing weight can be hard; it involves really making changes at deeper levels, not just counting calories. Getting your mind primed to make the choices that will help you get a healthier body is a key piece of the puzzle that many people are missing and that is why failure ensues. Before you can get that healthy body, you need to work on creating a healthier mind.
Kelli Cooper, a contributor to a number of blogs, has been writing about fitness, nutrition, weight loss and other health topics for the last several years. She is passionate about healthy living and is fully committed to achieving physical, mental and emotional health in her own life. She enjoys sharing advice that helped her make positive changes in hopes it will help others do the same.
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