With summer and bikini season quickly approaching, many of us will put ourselves on a “diet”. When I think about the word diet, it often evokes feelings of misery, unhappiness, suffering and hunger. For some of us we think about the day that we plan on starting our diet almost as doomsday, and dread having to eat the same bland foods day in and out. Every day while on our diet we dream of what we could be eating, and find ourselves feeling miserable and tempting to quit in lieu of what we think we could be enjoying. But what if we could change the way that we think about dieting and eating healthy and instead look at it not as something we have to do, but as something we want to do. We all know that positive thoughts are empowering! Instead of looking at your portioned out tilapia and asparagus and dreading the same bland taste and texture, look at it and say: I Don’t Have to eat this, but I Want To! I want to eat this instead of a greasy hamburger, I want to look amazing this summer and feel confident in my bikini. When we change the way we think about something, we change the way we feel about it, and this in turn has an effect on our results. Positive thinking plays a significant role in your weight loss efforts. Perpetual negative thoughts can lead to self-defeating behaviors such as going off your diet, overeating and skipping your exercise routine. Positive thoughts, on the other hand, can increase your motivation and energy level.
Dining out with friends can often be the most discouraging and frustrating aspect of a diet. You find yourself suffering and feeling depressed that you can’t enjoy the pizza and wine and desserts with them, and then slowly you find yourself skipping out on socializing or going out all together in order to avoid the torture of not being able to indulge with them. There should be no reason why you can’t spend time with your friends and not cheat on your diet, so the next time you are out with your friends and they are all eating pizza and drinking beer, pressuring you to just have a bite, instead of saying “oh I want it but I can’t have it because I’m on a diet”, turn that phrase into a positive. “I can have it, but I don’t want it!” You will see what a difference in makes within you. When you don’t get what you want, you want it even more. When you are on a restricted diet, you sometimes get too focused on what you “can’t” eat. This heightened attention — which can escalate into obsession — makes the forbidden food seem very important. Your inner brat takes advantage of this, and tries to convince you that you MUST have that chocolate cake or pizza. We often find ourselves desiring something (that piece of chocolate cake) because we feel it will bring us happiness. But, if happiness is what you truly desire then don’t focus on the piece of chocolate cake-focus on the happiness and it will be yours and it will be expressed in a happy way.
If you have a positive mental attitude, you will find ways to motivate yourself while you are going on a strict diet. You may use positive visualization methods to encourage yourself to lose weight, such as creating mental pictures of how you will look, feel or dress when you have achieved your weight loss goals, or post pictures of your slimmer self on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror. With a positive mindset, you will be more focused on the rewards, and not the process of your weight loss endeavor. Turn your “I CAN’T’s into I CAN” and watch the world around you and your body change into what you imagined and dreamed it to be.