How to stop your negative thoughts from hindering your journey to a healthier life*

Saturday, 5 March 2016, By Jack Smith

As it stands over 60% of Australia's population is overweight or obese, with this number quickly and alarmingly rising.  It's estimated as a nation Australia spends over $700 000000 a year on weight loss aids, gym memberships, weight loss surgeries and meal programs.  There are over 11 000 registered diets.  It seems there is a gym or studio on every street corner.  Why is it that as a nation we are getting fatter and more unhealthy with all these resourses available to us?

It comes down to the individual, their comfort/pain levels & readiness to change and the limiting beliefs and expectations they place on themselves.  Too often we expect too much too soon, then get disheartened when we don't reach our unrealistic expectations and give up all together.  We then enter into a shame cycle where our embarrassment and pain cause us to seek relief, which often comes in the form of food.  This food provides a short term feeling of satisfaction, followed by more shame as the source of our relief is actually further contributing to the original problem of being unhealthy and overweight with poor image of self.  We need to break this cycle!  Empower ourselves to make lasting change!

Set SMART goals

To keep ourselves engaged it's vital to set SMART goals.  These goals are specific to us, measureable, achieveable, realistic and time bound.  For example "run 5km in under 30mins at the Gold Coast Marathon on July 3"  This provides something we can constantly work towards and on.

Break the long term goal into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Often a goal that seems large or distant in the future is difficult to keep engaged with as it may seem to large a mountain to climb.  Set mini goals or checkpoints along the way to the long term goal.  This way we feel as though we are constantly achieving and improving.

Make a plan

Set up a training and eating plan that works for you.  It needs to fit into your lifestyle and have components that you know you can continue on a long term basis.  This is about long term health change, not a sprint!

Don't bite off more than you can chew!

Make sure the goal is something that you truly believe you can achieve and have set a plan that you can follow, then track towards success.  Setting yourself too high a goal or too busy a plan is the easiest way to set up for failure.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone for something that scares or excites you, but don't go from a walk to a marathon in a week.

Be comfortable that on occasion you may miss a session or have a bad meal

Too often we have one bad meal or miss a session then go into the guilt cycle where we belive all our hard work is ruined so we may as well give up.  If you eat 42 meals in a week and have 1 bad option then you are eating perfectly 41/42 meals or 97% of our week!  Do not let that one bad meal turn into a bad day, bad week or into a bad eating pattern.

Find a healthy circle of influence or trainer

Spending time with positive successful people is more likely to change your mindset to a positive successful one.  You are a product of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so choose your circle of influence wisely.

Practice Mindfullness

Realise negative thoughts are not your state of being, simply thoughts and emotions that your brain is feeling.  The more your can recognise this, the easier it is to move away from letting the negative thinking consume you.  If you know that a negative thought is just a thought, and you are not a negative person then you are more in control of how you can react to a situation and work through it

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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