Successful Dieting & Exercise Is Mostly Mental
Was it finding the perfect diet? Was it finding the perfect exercise program? Nope, it was being in the right state of mind and that’s what made me lose the weight and keep it off.
I’ve dieted and exercised before but none of them stuck. They were popular diets that a lot of people had success with but I failed miserably.
I ran into someone today that hadn’t seen me in a long time, I mean, I lost a ton of weight, and they wouldn’t have recognized me if I didn’t say hi first. The first question they had was how did I lose the weight.
I was going to say some quick answer but then I got thinking about what finally sparked me to keep a diet, lose weight, and exercise. It was all about a change of attitude. I was in the right mental framework to make a lifestyle change.
The right mental framework didn’t just happen one day. I didn’t wake up and have the willpower of 10 men. I created that right mental framework by doing a few things.
1. I learned the power of creating habits. If that’s the one thing I want you to take away from this post is to get as many books as you can about creating habits. In brief though, habits allow your brain not to expend willpower, which comes at a premium, instead it allows you to do things on autopilot and let your subconscious do most of the heavy lifting.
Let me ask you, how hard do you have to think about brushing your teeth before bed? Most of us have been doing it eversince we were little children. It’s a habit that you don’t even have to think of anymore. It’s not like there’s this huge debate every night whether or not you have to brush your teeth, you just do, and for many people that habit is a no cost mental habit.
Bad habits are also subconscious in nature. Eating anything before meant that I had to have a coca cola with it. Recognizing the bad habits are almost as important as creating good habits. Good habits and bad habits are in a constant battle for dominance. The question becomes how to make good always win? It’s simple, slowly change habits, soon the good ones will outnumber the bad ones.
I had so many bad habits you that I couldn’t even begin to list them all. If I had tackled all the bad ones at once I would have failed miserably. Instead I tackled one bad habit at a time. I allowed a good habit to take it’s place and I didn’t move on until I was sure that the good habit had taken root and the bad one was gone forever. This leads to the second point:
2. It takes time. Lots and lots of time. Right now I want you to forget about how long it’s going to take, instead focus on making yourself better. One thing that I always did was put some unrealistic time frame on getting thin.
When you first go on a diet you lose weight quick. That’s mostly water weight and it’s fun to step on the scale. The problem is when the numbers stop moving. I would starve myself, stomach growling, and I would step on the scale the next day and I’d lose nothing. That was a sure trigger for me to break my diet.
Being obsessed with the scale is probably the number 1 reason most people break their diet and lose their minds. It’s necessary to track your progress, but more important to realize that everything takes time. You didn’t get fat overnight, so trying to get thin overnight is just as crazy.
Let the good healthy habits take hold. Don’t worry abaout how long it’s going to take. As long as you’re steadily progressing to change the bad habits into good habits, that’s what really counts.
3. Read a lot. Not necessarily diet books, because most of them write with that unrealistic promise of instant change. Instead read a lot of topics that would help create lasting change. Meditation, Self Help, Famous Quotes, Diet (Some are good), exercise, etc, etc, etc. Expand you mind.
4. Don’t put your life on hold. If you’re fat right now you might not be able to run that marathon that’s been on your bucket list, but I can bet there’s a lot of other things you wanted to do that you can do right now. Fill your life with living while you take the time necessary to create the right mental framework for weight loss.
So, in brief, take your time, create good habits to replace bad habits, and create that right mental framework to successfully diet. Without the proper foundation you’re just building a house of cards.