Something which comes up quite often in our groups is “being in the right mindset” to make a change, start a diet or exercising. Until you get into the right mindset, there is nothing you can do, right?
Luckily, that’s a rhetorical question because it’s really difficult to say “wrong!” when it feels so true. It sure does seem a bit magical when on Tuesday I couldn’t resist the food I wanted to eat but on Wednesday I have the power to turn away from anything other than what’s good for me.
Why does this happen?
I think it’s a lot of reasons for different people. For some, it’s getting to the stage of being utterly fed-up (a rock bottom kind of scenario), for others it’s just a vague sense of being ready or a sudden sense of purpose and direction.
My question to you, if you believe in mindset, is this: What happens when you’re where you want to be and you’re tempted? What happens then if you’re not in the right mindset?
Let’s say you were a size 20, weighing in at 18 stone. Five months in, you’ve lost just over five stone with LighterLife; you look and feel fantastic. You’re happy with where you are, you’re experiencing all the things you wanted to do which being larger had held you back from.
Fast forward to 6 months after this amazing loss. It’s Christmas and you’ve made the decision to enjoy it, to treat yourself – you’ve earned it! This is exactly what you do. You spend time with family, break open the chocolates (one or two won’t hurt!), you’re more stuffed than the turkey on Christmas Day but are already planning the delicious things to come on Boxing Day and beyond.
You’d started out by saying you’d have just Christmas and Boxing Day to eat as you used to but it’s been so enjoyable not having to think about food or restrict yourself! Those two days become a week but that’s okay because you can start again on 1st January.
By the 1st, your new size 12 skinny jeans are feeling a little tight – probably it’s water weight or, for the ladies, that time of the month – and you realise you can’t start on the 1st because you have family and friends coming to see you. You decide instead to start when you go back to work, which makes sense.
By the 4th, you’ve found a pair of size 14’s just until you get back on track and get those few Christmas pounds off. You decide not to go to group until you’ve got it under control because you don’t want the Christmas gains on the scales… and so on and so on.
I know when I’ve lost weight and gained it back, it has been because I’ve felt so fantastic, I felt confident I would never gain weight again. Why would I do that to myself, I asked… I let one meal turn into hundreds and before I knew it, I was right back where I started, facing the prospect of having to find the magical mindset to do it all over again.
Start thinking now – wherever you are in your journey – about how you’re going to keep yourself moving forward when you don’t quite feel like it because the key to keeping weight off long-term is the realisation that the journey doesn’t end with the loss itself. If you go back to doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always had: size 20, 18 stone, unhappy. Being mindful of what you eat and more importantly, why, is an amazing habit to cultivate and it will take a little work every day but, aren’t you worth it?