Does your scale say you’ve lost weight but you don’t see it? Are you doing everything right but the weight is not coming off as easily as it once did? Impatience and plateaus make it easy to fall into criticizing yourself even though you know you’re making progress. But watch out—negative self-talk can potentially hurt your physical, mental and emotional health. It’s positivity that will help you finish the journey ahead (because you know you can do this!). Here are three ways to help overcome negative self-talk.
1. Respect your body for the hard work it’s doing
Did you know that losing one pound reduces four pounds of pressure on your knees?1 Imagine what losing just 10 or 20 pounds can do for your knees! As you begin to incorporate healthier foods into your routine and start increasing your physical activity, your body is working hard to change behind-the-scenes—building muscle mass and shedding excess weight.2 Keep notes of what your body does for you and how, as you change your lifestyle, it’s improving your life. For example, while you may not see your body changing immediately in the mirror, you may notice you can walk further without getting out of breath or you’re able to sleep a little sounder at night. Take these successes and celebrate them—your body is showing you it’s appreciative for your hard work.
2. Stay in the present
You may feel overwhelmed as you embark on a weight loss journey, and unfortunately, life doesn’t stop because you’ve decided to take on this change. However, by staying in the present and focusing on smaller steps—it may help you achieve your goals.3 A Harvard study found that people who are keenly focused are happier and more aware of the present, especially during conversation and exercise.4 There are methods to regain the sense of being present in other ways, such as mini-meditation breaks to help you become less reactive and feel more balanced.5
One of the best ways to stay in the present is gratitude. By practicing gratitude, you can consider your present circumstances – your relationships, your improving health, even the bed you wake up in every morning—which in turn can become conscious satisfaction. Research has found being grateful may increase your feelings of well-being, optimism and even your health.6
Another way to help you stay in the present and battle negative self-talk: practicing self-affirmations. Keep them short and to the point: “You took care of yourself today,” “You ate a healthy breakfast.” Speaking to yourself in the second person makes it more objective, and by impartially stating your success and determination, you may internalize your thoughts as facts. The science on affirmations is clear: it can reduce stress and anxiety7, which can affect your weight loss and your overall health.8
One way to keep your affirmations top-of-mind: consider starting a Pinterest board to keep them all in one place for easy access. Start another board to remind yourself of your original motivations for improving your health, as well as new ones you find along the way.
3. Talk to people who understand what you’re going through
You don’t need to tackle the challenge of losing weight all on your own, and the more you talk about your experiences, the lighter the burden you’ll carry.9 Not only could talking to someone help your emotional well-being, but it could also help the person with whom you’re confiding. Having a weight loss buddy to talk to may help you feel more understood, and what’s more, they can help you stay on track when you’re feeling negative thoughts arise.
As you begin or continue your weight loss journey, finding ways to combat negative thoughts may help you reach your ultimate goal. While self-doubt may be natural, know that you have the strength and will-power to achieve better health.
If you’re looking for a weight loss program with dedicated support and delicious, real food, contact Jenny Craig to schedule your free appointment.