Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight
This audio teaches you about how to think about your body and weight in a different way. Instead of thinking of weight loss
in perfectionistic terms that lead to a cycle of dieting and failure, you can learn to think about caring for your body and
setting manageable healthy goals. The audio is meant to be listened to repeatedly so that the thinking style can become
more automatic. About 13 minutes. Also, read article: Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight
Transcript: Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight
This audio is not about rapid weight loss and the perfect body. It is about thinking your way to a healthy weight. The problem many people have with weight and eating compulsively is how they think. Most people know HOW to diet. They know what foods are high in calories and that regular exercise helps with weight loss. But this information does not lead to controlled eating or healthy weight. Why is that?
The reason is how people perceive their bodies and how they think of weight loss. Too often they are unhappy with their bodies and are highly critical of their weight. Such an attitude leads to feelings of self-loathing and feelings of failure or discouragement which does not contribute to healthy habits. In fact, the reverse is often true. They demand that they must lose weight immediately in order to feel better about themselves and set impossible goals that usually only further contribute to a negative cycle of feeling more critical of themselves and eating more.
However, it doesn't have to be that way! The first step to healthy eating is to love your body. Your body IS flawed and imperfect and that is okay. It's okay because perfection is not achievable and is not necessary in order to be healthy. However, what IS possible is to take care of your body so that it can function at its best. The more you think about taking care of yourself, the more you tell yourself “I want to take care of my body,” the more you will find ways to do so.
Taking care of your body isn't a race. There isn't a time limit. So often people think of losing a certain about of weight in usually an impossibly short time period. As a result, they often fail, become discouraged and convinced that they can't achieve a healthy weight. However, you don't have to do everything at once. All you need to do is think of one thing today that you will do to take care of your body. It doesn't matter what that one thing is but that you set a goal that you can achieve. Set a goal that you know you can do. Whether that goal is taking a short walk or it is eating more vegetables or it is drinking a diet soda instead of regular soda, set a goal you know you can meet.
You don't have to do everything at once! Choose one manageable thing to focus on and make it a habit. Once you are comfortable with that habit, then you can choose something else. As you do things to take care of your body you will begin to feel the benefit from those choices and you will want to take care of your body even more.
It feels good to take care of your body. You deserve to take care of yourself. You want to take care of yourself. You know that as you do, over time, you will feel more energy, you will improve your mood, you will sleep better, you will feel physically stronger. It feels so good to take care of yourself.
But you only need to take one step at a time. This isn't a competition. It is only about you wanting to feel better. You don't need to prove anything to anybody. All you need to do is focus on the step you choose today. Focus on what you will do to take care of your body today.
Taking care of yourself isn't about willpower—it is about a daily choice. And when you slip and have trouble taking care of yourself, that is okay, too. No one is perfect. Each time you try, the closer it brings you to success. Also, a slip can allow you to evaluate whether you are making a realistic choice. Did you try to do too much at once? Is there another goal you can create that is easier to maintain? For instance, if you say “I choose to reduce the amount of sweets I eat” rather than “I'm not going to eat sweets” you are creating a goal that is not as black-and-white, and therefore, easier to meet.
A slip can also help you determine if certain triggers are a problem for you. For instance, if you tend to eat around certain family members or snack on your way home from work, by recognizing the pattern you can develop a plan. Perhaps you might have a healthy snack before you see those family members or before you leave work. Or perhaps you might choose to invite those family members to other activities where food isn't the center of attraction. Whatever your plan is, just try it and see if it works. If not, develop a new plan.
Part of learning to love your body and to take care of your body is developing a new relationship with food. Many people who overeat aren't even enjoying the foods they are eating. Often they feel guilty or bad about the indulgence, and as a result, they eat mindlessly and can't fully savor what they are eating. So instead, if you choose to indulge, allow yourself to fully enjoy every bite that you take. Allow yourself to notice the smell, the taste, the texture of every single bite. By eating more mindfully, you are more likely to experience satisfaction. And if not, at least you can avoid the negative guilt cycle.
Think of each step you take as an experiment. This isn't about success or failure. It is about learning how to best take care of your body. Find out what works best for you. Although there are certain principles that are advocated by the experts, each person's body is different and you need to determine what works for you. For instance, some people do better eating right before bed although it is generally not recommended. Some people do better when they keep a daily tab of their weight whereas for others it is discouraging.
When you try something you read about and it doesn't work, all it means is that technique did not work for you. It doesn't mean that nothing will work. The more things you try with the attitude of discovery rather than the attitude of failure, eventually you will find the formula that works for you.
What you do know is that you want to take care of your body. You want your body to feel good. You want to be healthy. And that IS within your capability. There are many choices you make every day that concern your health. All you need to do is focus on taking simple healthy steps in the direction of caring for your body.
When people think in terms of failure, they often feel deflated and give up. They often think “I messed up today so I might as well just have another piece of that cake.” Sometimes they believe that they need to wait until another day to start with a clean slate. But there isn't anything magical about a new day! Each moment of each day you make choices. So you don't need to wait until tomorrow or next week to make better choices. You can choose right now what you are going to do this moment to take care of your body.
Those choices don't need to be overwhelming. You can choose to eat an apple. You can choose to do some relaxing breathing. You can choose to walk up the stairs rather than take the elevator. You can choose to call somebody who is uplifting to talk to. You can choose to have a glass of ice water. You can choose to read a book rather than watch TV. You can choose so many things that can allow you to take better care of your body. Every moment of every day you can make healthy choices. Don't wait until tomorrow. Make a choice now.
The more you make these healthy choices they will create healthy habits. Each healthy habit will contribute to you feeling better and better. It feels so good to take care of yourself. Your body feels so good the more active you are. Your body feels so good when you eat healthy foods. As you take care of yourself you will find yourself in a positive cycle. You will WANT to do more and more healthy things for yourself. Not because you “should” but because it feels good. It feels good to do these healthy things for yourself and you will want to do more and more.
This audio is about changing your attitude towards taking care of yourself and developing healthy habits. It is about learning to think in a healthy way about your body. As with all new habits, learning to think differently requires repetition and practice. The more you listen to this audio, the more you will learn to think in this way. You will begin to think about taking care of yourself and developing simple plans for how to do that. You will focus on daily choices that allow you to feel good about yourself. And over time, you will develop healthier habits that will create more energy, that will help you sleep better, that will improve your mood, and that will help you think your way to a healthier body.
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