This summer, my husband's daughter came to live with us for a couple of months. During this time, unfortunately for her, she attended summer school as she is having some difficulty in math. As we were using flash cards to help her learn math basics, she had become frustrated and said "I just don't know them; I'm stupid." Heartbreaking.
In the midst of helping her, her comment reminded me of why people fail. They fail because doubt they can do it. So often when I'm coaching someone for weight loss, words of doubt creep in. And it's often disguised...as an excuse.
Excuses range from "I can't eat healthy because I need to buy food that the kids will actually eat" to "I have a lot of graduation parties and weddings to go to this summer and there is so much good food to eat, there's no way I'll be able to keep the weight off" to "My entire family is heavy, so I'm genetically doomed to be overweight"
These excuses really cover what is actually going on. You are doubting your ability to handle whatever consequences may result from making healthier life choices. If you start making healthy meals, you doubt that you will have the patience and energy to deal with the backlash from the kids (and maybe your spouse). It's just easier to avoid the dinnertime struggle. If you go to gatherings and don't partake in the culinary delights, you doubt that you will have as much enjoyment as the rest of the guests. And if your family is unhealthy and overweight, you doubt that you can make a difference in your own health by changing your behavior.
By getting rid of the underlying current of doubt, you free yourself to be able to reach your health goals. Just as in the case with our daughter. When she would get frustrated while studying her flash cards, I told her to change the messages in her head and the words that she speaks. Every time she starts to think that she is stupid and just doesn't know math, she is to tell herself that she is smart, she is capable, she can get it and she will conquer math. And guess what? She immediately started to get the right answers to the flash cards. Every night that she would become frustrated, we reminder her to change her thoughts and words and she was able to turn her attitude around and learn.
Just like our daughter, you too can influence your behavior and choices by changing the language in your head and conquering the doubt. With each challenge, take note of what you were just thinking. Realize the error in that thinking. Realize how you are doubting yourself. And then turn it around. Be determined to no longer doubt yourself. Pump yourself up. Tell yourself, "I am strong. I am capable. I'm in love with life. I can handle any negative feeling that comes my way." Replace any doubt with words of kindness and support. Over time, you will develop the self-confidence and stamina needed to consistently kick doubt to the curb and achieve your weight loss goals.
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