Reframing the messages you tell yourself may improve your success rate.
“I feel fat everyday.”
I hear this a lot when I first start working with clients. Truthfully, this is where a lot of women hang out, starting their days by opening up their closets only to stare at clothes that make them feel less than satisfied with themselves — because every pair of pants or blouse is uncomfortable to wear and reminds them that they are not where they want to be:
I want to confident in my body and my clothes. I want to feel at peace and alive. But I can’t seem to make it more than one day on my eating plan. I know WHAT I need to do, I just seem to refuse to do it. And I don’t know why. More than anything, I want to be motivated to take care of myself, to be happy to choose healthy foods, and for it to be easy to say no to a fourth (and third and second) helping.
On the surface it seems so simple, right? Eat these foods, do these workouts, and bingo, you get the body you see in the magazines and The Biggest Loser “after” show. Everybody else seems to be able to do it, so why can’t you?
When you hit this wall of resistance around making the healthy choices that are going to take you in the direction of what you crave for your body and your life, it can feel hopeless, overwhelming, and lonely.
I know because I have been there. I used to feel this exact same way.
I’ve worn jeans that are two sizes too small because I didn’t want to buy the bigger size, even though they cut into my legs and it was painful to sit. At the end of every day, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of my jeans and into my sweatpants so I could breathe!
I remember crying on the phone to my college boyfriend because I just couldn’t figure out why I was self-sabotaging every diet I went on. (Side note, now THAT’S a fun conversation for a 20-year-old guy). As you might guess, he was clueless on what to say to “fix it” on that topic!
So why is it so difficult to get on track with eating healthy and get motivated to work out? Furthermore, why is it so difficult to stay on track once you get going?
The truth is, there are two reasons.
Number one: Temptation is everywhere, and it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that eating healthy and working out sucks because it’s hard and uncomfortable.
Turn on the TV and 90 percent of the food-related commercials are for pepperoni pizza with cheese so gooey it stretches across the screen and charbroiled burgers that look so amazing you can practically smell them.
Of course you are going to crave this stuff: We are programmed to!
Number two: You’re disconnected from YOU. You have a hardline to what your boss, your spouse, your kids, your family, the media say — what evvvverybody else is telling you that you should be doing. But you rarely check in and/or listen to the wisdom that comes from within.
When you turn off the TV, close the magazine, turn down the volume on everybody else’s opinions, and start spending more time focused on taking care of yourself and your needs, those cravings begin to wane.
When you stop finishing all of your self-care wish-list sentences with “but I don’t have time because [EXCUSE GOES HERE],” then you open yourself up to allowing the healthier habits, ideas, and inspiration in.
Eating healthy and working out doesn’t have to be a chore. It’s a chore because that’s how you’ve viewed it up until now.
Combine that with the stress you are under and the fact that food is an easy thing to reach for when you want fast comfort, and it’s no wonder that you have a hard time sticking to any type of healthy plan.
So here is one simple thing you can start doing right now to get out of your rut and get pointed in the direction of achieving the goals you are after:
For more on how changing your mindset can improve success rate, read “Mindset”
Take 5 deep breaths, and then reframe. Remind yourself that things are not as bad as they seem. Remind yourself that you are actually pretty healthy. You have a lot of positive things going for you in your life. Make a list of those things.
Reframe your relationship with healthy food. You don’t have to eat spinach salads with bland dressing or grilled chicken and steamed broccoli in order to be healthy. Choose meal options that are nourishing and tasty, too.
I am a big fan of ranch dressing, so my go to favorite dressing is Bolthouse Farms Ranch. No, not every ingredient in it is a whole food, and yeah, it comes in a bottle. But I love it and I really look forward to eating salads with my Bolthouse Ranch.
Reframe your relationship with exercise. Let it be easy. The true benefit of exercise is that it gets you breathing. Your cells need oxygen and when you’re sitting at the office all day, you’re probably breathing pretty shallowly. So rather than forcing yourself to do exercise that you hate, why not just get up and move in ways that make you feel good in your body? Focus on breathing deeply as you do it.
Try a new workout class. Go for a girl-talk-walk with a good friend to catch up, rather than chatting over drinks or dinner (hit the gym and talk on the treadmill if it’s too cold to do this outside).
Make your healthy lifestyle fit you. Don’t think you have to change everything overnight. Take one baby step today and then another tomorrow until one day you wake up and instead of your first thought being, “I feel fat,” it’s instead, “I feel pretty darn good.”
Awareness is the first step. You see your unhealthy habits clear as day. Yeah, you may be struggling with what to do about it, but so what? You’re aware. Give yourself a big hug because you ARE on the right track.
Lots of people go their whole lives never even questioning what they are doing or why. You are tuning in to both, and you’re ready.
We don’t make the decision to change until it’s more uncomfortable to continue doing what we’re doing than it is to do something different. You’re uncomfortable. That’s a good thing. Use that momentum to your benefit.
If this resonates with you and you want more, check out my free video series, The Secret to ROCKIN’ Your Dream Body For Life, where I take you by the hand and show you my process for going from “diet living” to real living while getting the body of your dreams.