Many people have heard this old joke: the problem with diets is they include the word ‘die.’ Jokes like this highlight the fact that diets are viewed by most people as a chore. Diets are something unpleasant. As a result, most people who diet fail. Or they succeed for a few weeks, months, even years then something happens to trigger their old eating habits and they are back to where they started from. Others get even more obese after a diet. This sad reality highlights the even deeper reality that losing weight and keeping it off cannot be done with diets. Finding a doable way how to lose weight can only be done with a lifestyle change. Easier said than done, right? A lifestyle change is difficult primarily because people misunderstand it. The truth is a lifestyle change involves more than just changing how you do things. It goes much deeper than that. It involves changing why you do things. It involves changing your mind. As the old saying goes: what your mind believes, your mind achieves. Our minds provide the software program our bodies, our hardware, executes. Change the way you think, and you change the way you live.
Lifestyle change happens when you change your mindset
If you are truly serious about losing your excess pounds and keeping them off, you have to be prepared to change yourself. Changing yourself means, at many levels, discarding or destroying the old self. This begins with the acknowledgment that how we look now reflects our choices. If you look bad, it is because you made bad choices. Notice how different this is from the mindset that bad things happen because of bad luck or because of things people or circumstances we don’t control did? The initial step to changing one’s mindset is all about taking ownership of one’s decisions and current reality. By doing this we stop giving someone or something else power over our circumstances, we reclaim the most powerful force in our lives: permission to do something with our lives. When we blame other people, we give them permission. When we blame our past or refuse to forgive, we give them permission and we lose power. Saying ‘I am wrong’ and ‘I am responsible for my life’ reclaims the power of permission. We give ourselves permission. It may be painful, but no real change happens without pain. Our old ways of doing things have become so comfortable that it is no wonder things are painful when we decide not to do things the old way.
Weight loss is just a by-product of a changed mind
If you decide to own your life again, you get will power. Once you have established this will power, you are able to set a goal which is made real by plans. Your will power gives you the motivation, energy, and personal means to follow through on your plans. The more plans you execute and consistently perform, the more goals you reach. The more you achieve, the more you change. It becomes a habit. This applies to your finances, to your relationships with other people, and yes, weight loss through the right diet and exercise (like running or swimming for weight loss). Keep in mind that losing weight is just a by product of a changed life. It is just the change people can see. What is more important is not as easily seen-it is a changed mindset that transformed you from a victim of life’s forces to the victor who actively shapes your waking moments and personal reality.