For many years, I focused on my need to lose weight, the latest diet trends, and all the failed attempts at weight loss of my past. I spent years stuck in self-loathing and judgement about my obesity. I had a fierce inner bully that was extremely critical and made me feel unworthy.
I had a brain filled with negative thoughts such as,
"You'll never lose weight and keep it off."
"Why are you going to try to lose again, you'll only gain it all back?"
"Who are you fooling, you are destined to be a big girl."
"You are a fat-ass!"
"You've disappointed yourself so many times, why is this time different?"
I bought into all the myths surrounding weight loss such as...
Setbacks mean failure
Big results require big goals
You need to power through alone
You have to hate your body to lose weight
I'll be happy when I hit my goal weight.
On my weight loss journey, I realized that I had to pay attention to my thoughts and notice when my thoughts were taking me away from my goals. I focused on action rather than outcomes and I learned to value non-scale victories more than a number on the scale.
The top 3 mindset shifts that helped me on my journey included
Adopting the practice of self-compassion
Leaning into my strengths rather than trying to fix weaknesses
Appreciating the power of small steps and more frequent rewards
The first mindset shift for me was self-compassion and finally realizing that I didn’t have to be hard on myself while I was losing weight. Seeing weight loss and health transformation as a form of self-care and practicing compassion along the way helped a lot. I believe that being gentle and kind with yourself is the best way to achieve your goals. When you treat yourself like you would a best friend or small child you treat yourself with kindness. You learn to give yourself grace when you are not perfect and start to notice negative, critical thoughts (that likely are not true) before they derail your efforts. I also learned how to trust myself and listen to my body and honor its needs.
The second mindset shift I applied was focusing on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. I looked for evidence of success and follow thorough in other areas of my life and knew that I could use these same skills to be successful at weight loss. For example, I have always been a well respected and dedicated employee known for my dedication and work ethic. I started focusing on this while on my journey to improved health rather than focusing on my past weight loss failures. I knew if I didn't give up and stayed committed, I would achieve all of my wellness goals and finally be at peace with my body.
The third mindset shift I applied was recognizing the power of small goals, small changes, and being sure to celebrate my successes along the way. My coach helped me focus on creating small, manageable changes that I could stick with over time. As I mastered one habit, I would add another. This helped keep me from feeling overwhelmed in the beginning as I did not have to change everything at once. Celebrating wins and focusing on the positive changes I was implementing created momentum for me and made me feel unstoppable.
Overall, the key takeaways for me were to forgive myself when I messed up, practice patience, and to be kind to myself.
Remember that your weight is not your worth; that you are worth taking care of no matter what you weigh. You are valuable as you are, as-is, today, right now. You get to love yourself on the way down.
If you would like support on your weight loss journey, let's talk! Find out if working with me would support you on the road to improved health. Book a free call with me. Click button below to access my calendar.
I look forward to connecting with you soon.
Mary Welch, NP