After receiving some requests from friends and readers (and friends who are readers) about managing their weight, becoming fit and wanting to be healthier, I thought it would be fitting to publish a weeks worth of posts dedicated to this topic. I understand entire books are devoted to such things, but I will do my best to try and deliver as much as I can, and as much as I know (through research and experience) in a week.
Before I do begin, however, I want to reiterate that I will NOT use the word “diet” in any of these posts as related to calorie restriction, weird food combinations or avoidances and insane exercise programs. Diets, in all their strange and wacky forms, don’t work. I’m sure you have heard of this before, but it is so true. Sure, they work in the short term. There is no argument there. But, the body is a smart and an adaptable machine. After a while, our bodies will cry out for nourishment, perhaps leading to binging or, if you are prone to addictive behavior, even death.
Death and diet are linked very clearly. The first three letters, after all, spell die. When one who is prone to addictive behavior, as I said earlier, one symptom can be death in the hands of a diet gone wrong. One could get so addicted to dieting, weight loss and calorie control that their bodies cry out for nutrients, stealing it from various sources already in the body, ultimately killing the body. Your body doesn’t want to die, but it will do everything in its power to stay alive right now, even if that means killing itself very soon by taking nutrients from stores in your body that actually need it, like your internal organs–heart, lungs, kidney, etc.
This is why I do not like diets. This is why I am a little scared in giving my advice on achieving weight loss or management. I would much rather speak about weight gain in those individuals who need and want it. When I was younger I actually wanted to become bigger, not be so skinny, and fit in. I’m now happy with where I’m at, and realize that being thin and a male isn’t necessarily a bad thing, that I can still fit in. As long as I am healthy, happy and doing what I love in life, I know that my body will follow the tune and that I can be comfortable in my own skin. It might not make sense to another, but it does to me, and that’s what matters in my life. Find something that makes sense to you, if you can, about being comfortable in your own body. If you can’t, and you need a change for health reasons, then it is time to change in a healthy way.
By the way, I’m sorry about all the italicized words. I love italicizing words that I want to emphasize, or the ones I believe are the most valuable to you, my readers and my friends. If you become too annoyed just tell me; I’ll stop.
The very first thing you want to do when becoming healthy, losing weight (or gaining or maintaing), is not to first change your diet or lifestyle pattern, but to change your mind. Your mind–your thoughts and beliefs–are what influence your actions in your own life. If you start of the bat by saying you will change the way you eat and exercise, it won’t last for very long. At least, you won’t maintain this because you first need the mindset and the belief that you CAN do this for yourself.
The Way Your Mind Works
When we believe something, we usually act on those beliefs. There is no question about this. When we believe that we will become dirty if we do not bathe, we bathe. When we believe that there are dangers on the road, we wear a seatbelt. Our beliefs affect our actions in our lives.
If we change our diet while still holding on to a deep seated belief that we’re not good enough, we can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle, we don’t deserve a healthier or happier life, we can’t do it, etc., our diet will fail miserably. This is because these beliefs will influence our actions toward the diet, sabatoging ourselves at the beginning or in the middle of a very good intention.
Changing your beliefs about yourself and the way you do things is an incredible important first step in achieving any goal you set. To fully see yourself doing something and achieving your goal is believing that it is possible, and knowing deep within that your goal will be reached no matter what.
How to Change Your Beliefs
Changing your beliefs about yourself can be difficult, if all you were to do was repeat affirmations over and over again in the mirror. Affirmations are good, but they won’t get the job done, in the shortest amount of time possible. I’m always glad to hear someone uses affirmations, but if your not engaging your mind with visualizations and sensory feelings, you are not going to reach your goal to its fullest extent, if at all.
I have written extensively on using your mind for the purpose of changing your thoughts, emotions and beliefs in order to change almost anything in your life. In fact, you can check out my other blog here
, at Hypnotic Subliminals, where I tell you want you can do to really change those beliefs.
The reason why affirmations don’t work, or very rarely do, is because it doesn’t go deep within your mind to change those deep seated beliefs and it doesn’t engage every part of your mind associated with your goal. Here are a few steps that you can take right now to achieve your goal of losing weight, being healthy and maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
- Make sure you can relax. Before beginning any mind altering exercise, you need to relax your body completely. Not to the point of absolute sleep, but the point before that. You want to get your body in a deep state of relaxation before you begin your visualization exercise. Even if you can’t get to that “deep” state, still try to find a state of complete calm.
The reason you want to relax is because when our bodies are relaxed, and when we close our eyes, we become more “in tune” with out inner selves. We also have access to our subconscious mind during the times we are relaxing, which is what you want. Your subconscious mind holds all the beliefs, thoughts and ideas you have ever had and we want to access it in order to submit a new belief into its network.
Focusing on your breathing seems to be a good relaxation technique for most people, and notice it slowing down as you continue to relax. Many people also like to imagine every single muscle, from the top of their head to the tip of their toes relaxing and letting go. This helps you focus on areas of the body that you might be holding tension in, and allows you to release it.
2. Imagine, Visualize or Feel. The reason why I say, “…or feel” is because some people complain that they cannot visualize effectively, therefore self hypnosis (what you are doing right now) won’t work for them. In essence, self hypnosis will work for everyone, regardless of their visualization skills. If you have trouble visualizing, just feel the emotions I will tell you to feel in just a moment.
Since you are in this relaxed state, you now have access to your subconscious. You are now going to start visualizing yourself being healthy, at the weight that you want, looking great in the mirror, loving everything about yourself, loving to eat healthy, loving to exercise and drink plenty of water, etc. As you are doing this, and imagining the moment you achieved your goal as if you are actually experiencing it makes your brain believe it is possible, or that it’s real. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between a real or imagined event, and will look and force itself to find ways of making that imagination true.
However, just visualizing it won’t do as well unless you incorporate all of your five senses. Hear the sound of the water being poured in the glass, or feel the amazing burn after your favorite workout. Or, perhaps, you see the number on the scale or your body in the mirror, and it fills your emotions with an amazing feeling that you took steps to be at a healthy weight. Also, you can “touch” and feel the muscles that you have built (you are allowed to touch yourself in this visualization, but don’t go overboard!).
It is also important to incorporate your emotions into the visualization. This is the most powerful sense, being probably the sixth. It is your emotions that tie all the other senses together and makes the imagined event more real to your mind. This will tell your mind that this is achievable, or that you have already achieved it, and will put your brain in a mode that says you are this person that you are imagining.
3. Say your affirmations. Sending direct suggestions into your subconscious is also very powerful, as they put into words what you were imagining. This would be a good avenue to go for those who feel as though they cannot imagine as well as others. However, it is always important to incorporate those emotions. Also, when saying affirmations, you need to put them in present tense. This way you insert a belief that you have already achieved your goal, making your brain work hard to support this belief.
So there you have it for today’s post on healthy weight management. This will start you off. I didn’t want to start you out with nutrition or exercise, because you need a good foundation in order to begin with these subjects if you are trying to become healthier. Changing your mind will first change your thoughts and then your behaviors, which will in turn be more helpful in following through on the advice given in the next posts.
P.S. I am giving away a hypnosis program FOR FREE on helping to lose weight, love to eat healthy and exercise and become healthier. It is called, “Hypnosis for a Healthy Lifestyle”. It helped me immensely when I first put it together, and I hope it can help you too. If you would like it, please email me or send me a comment below (or Twitter/Facebook me!). I will give you the details on how to get it. It’s open for anyone, so why not give it a try?
This is The Healthy Advocate