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Weight Loss Begins in the Mind
Not only was I fat, I was in poor health too.
Constantly fatigued, constipated through over-eating, with an aching knee to boot, housework almost left me dead!
The last time I was pregnant, I suffered sleep apnoea, the folds of fat around my neck playing tricks on me at night. After the baby, I returned to pre-pregnancy weight. But don't congratulate me, I was still over weight!
I hated the way I looked and felt. In fact, I was disgusted. Slim and athletic in my younger years, what had become of me now? As I pondered my plight, I came to one conclusion - I had begun to "think fat".
The only way to undo the damage was to re-learn "slim thinking."
Years ago I had read extensively about health and fitness and had exercised daily. Consequently, I made informed decisions that led to a healthy lifestyle. This in turn manifested in being trim and healthy - the results of slim thinking.
Now I found myself eating "to support my large frame." I knew the benefits of exercise but, like most overweight people, I just "could not find the time." Typical "fat thinking."
So, with renewed zeal (and heightened disgust at being fat), I read all I could find on weight loss. Over time this information was internalized. My thinking was put right and my habits changed accordingly. Once again I was "thinking thin", "doing thin" and therefore becoming thin. It actually doesn't work any other way.
You could diet all you wanted, and even start an exercise program. But it's quite unlikely that you'd keep it up, if you're still thinking fat.
Your inner mental programming would always draw you back, to those detrimental fat-inducing habits, like a thermostat.
Without a renewed mind, you would not be able to sustain the commitment required to reach your goals. This is perhaps why many people find it hard to stay on track.
Losing weight, and keeping it off, is hard work.
Your inner programming must first be changed, and then your actions, and consequently, your results, will be different.
Many people work on their actions in order to change their results. But as you can see, they're missing the most vital step.
The battle against weight loss must begin in the mind.
A safe place to begin is with re-education.
Albert Einstein once said, "You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it." You've got to change, or renew your mind on the issue. I learned the way the body works at burning and storing calories. What I needed was not some magic potion or some miracle Get Thin Quick scheme.
I needed to consume fewer calories, and burn more up. I achieved this by gradually trimming down, or totally cutting out, unwholesome foods and cooking methods, and by taking up daily exercise. It might surprise you to know that I lost most of the weight taking a daily thirty minute walk. Nothing fancy!
Of course there are still days when I don't feel like it (today for instance!) but it has reached a point where I don't listen to my feelings any more.
I pay attention to what I know: Burn calories, stay slim. Don't burn them, get fat! And I never, ever want to be fat again!
In summary, my mental re-programming revolves around five facts:
1) Being overweight or obese is a serious, life-threatening condition, not a mild aesthetic problem. We're talking survival here. Many die from obesity-related conditions each year, so wake up! My major goal with weight loss is my health. Any other reason - to fit into a wedding dress, to get attention etc - is a short-term goal. And once you achieve such goals, you go back to Fatland. Survival, or self-preservation, is a life-long goal. The consequences of neglecting it are startling enough to get and keep your attention.
2) Your success with anything is up to you, including weight loss. You need to accept that, barring any medical conditions, or weight-gain-inducing medication, you are responsible for your weight. I had to be blunt with myself and accept that I over-ate and "under-moved" and this was why I gained the weight. The sooner you take responsibility for the problem, the easier you'll adjust to responsibility for the solution.
3) While you don't need a plan to gain weight, you definitely need one that works, to lose it! Unfair, isn't it! Without a plan, any success will be temporary. When the hard times come, you'll quit. With a plan, you know exactly what you need to do, when and how. You even have a back-up plan for if you slip up! And if ever the "Don't-Feel-Like-It" days come, you don't need to figure anything out, just get with the program! You'll soon reach the days, like I have, when your feelings don't have a say in the matter!
4) Healthy weight loss is gradual; after all, you didn't put it on overnight. You need to run as fast as you can from any Get Thin Quick schemes, or magic potions claiming to melt the pounds before your eyes. These exist simply to part the gullible from their money. Whatever weight you lose with such schemes is most likely water-weight (which could leave you dangerously dehydrated), lean body mass and/or muscle, which you need to function properly. A healthy weight loss program targets body fat. This you should seek to lose gradually, as a drastic drop is unhealthy.
5) Losing weight, and keeping it off, isn't going to be easy. The key to permanent weight loss is to keep burning up more calories than you consume. To achieve this you'll need to make permanent lifestyle changes e.g. healthy eating and regular exercise. This is the healthy way to stay slim, and has many other health benefits, such as improving over-all health and giving a boost to your sex life (I can tell you that!)
Keeping these five facts in mind helps me stay on track, and continue to "think slim."
I find that:
? if you re-educate your mind on the workings of weight loss and weight gain,
? if you settle it in your mind that you really do need to lose weight, and you can,
? if you determine that you will do whatever it takes to lose it, you will have programmed your mind to co-operate with your body. You would have won half the battle, in your mind.
Then your inner programming causes you to do those things that shed the weight, and avoid those things that pile it on, even without thinking about it! Much easier and more fun than all the fruitless striving you've been doing.
I found that I just did not want to eat certain high calorie foods any more. Previously, I could not do without them! And when my feelings say, "No exercising today," my mind says, "Sorry, just do it." And after I get started, I find that I'm enjoying it!
It's something you need to try, to believe.
Paying the price will never be easy. But no way would I give up my now healthy, agile body, or healthy energy levels.
Even my skin is taking on a shine! No way would I ever go back to constipation and sleep apnoea. I'll be exercising and eating healthily for the rest of my life. And thinking slim! For me, it's goodbye to fat FOR EVER!
Copyright 2005 Oma Edoja
This article may be reproduced, but only if left as is. It must also contain the author's resource box and contact information below.
Oma Edoja is a published writer, motivational speaker and infopreneur. Having succeeded at weight loss she has packaged a number of resources to help those still in the fight! For help with your weight loss plan, and motivation to stick with it, please email Oma at firstname.lastname@example.org Remember, "You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it!"
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