If weight loss affirmations are failing you, try this instead…
September 21, 2017 Ashley 0 Comments
“You can do it.”
“You’re strong – keep going.”
“You’re gonna totally have a ‘Beach Body’ by the end of this – whatever that means!”
Yes, many an affirmation or visual article of inspiration exist to light a fire under our bums. And those are great. But I can’t tell you how many of my friends’ fitness charts this year would look like a sine wave if we actually graphed ‘em out. Why? Well, because the hard part’s not always just getting started, is it? It’s staying the path after you’re started.
Indeed, that’s just about the biggest bit of lasting weight loss: staying the path. And that’s why this one woman’s 220 pound weight loss story I just read about is so fascinating to me. See, Katie Patterson started off at 409 pounds. And, when she stopped breathing (thanks to an obesity induced apnea episode), her fam called for an intervention. Long story short is that she found the right program for her, started moderating her eating with exercise she liked doing, and boom. She lost the equivalent of 12 feet all over her body in fat.
And did she do that by just working out, dieting right, and quitting after a month?
Obviously not. It’s simple advice to stay the course. But how tough is it in application? Especially when healthy habits are so unnatural to you? I think we all know it’s far from simple. Which is why I loved what Katie’s trainer tried in lieu of having her tell herself meaningless phrases. See, so many of us try the same fail-fodder for our fitspo. We hit instagram or go all Rob Schneider a la The Waterboy” on ourselves. (“You can DO eeet!”) And, if that works for you, awesome. I’m not knocking it. You do you, boo. But, for a larger percentage of us, it often ends up less successful than we’d hoped. Why? Because when we tell ourselves a statement (like a positive affirmation) that we legitimately don’t believe, our subconscious calls B.S. on us. It doesn’t stick. So we don’t stick with the fitness regimen. Katie’s trainer, on the contrary, tried inquiring of Katie a series of questions that forced her to paint that reality into her brain. What’s more, she had Katie ask herself questions like, “What do you wanna attain out’ve weight loss?” The add-on to that was, “Why do you want it?” Along with: “How will your life look once you reach your healthy weight?”
And, for fun, my fave add on to that is: “Does it look better than it does now?”
The reason I love this is because you can’t just shut down a question.
The second someone asks you something, whether or not you like it, you’re summoning up an answer in your brain. And when that answer’s tantamount to an affirmation, then your brain can believe and run with it. That’s when the motivation can come and move you to action. It can even turn into a line of questioning: “Why do I want to lose weight?” could be answered with, “Because I’ll feel better than I do now”. Your brain might then jump in with, “Well, how do you know you’ll feel better?” And then you can say, “Because I feel better every time I hit a new milestone. I felt and looked comparatively amazing the last time I lost weight.” Knowing a genuine potential to feel great exists (based off history – or the fact that many others have done it) is far more logical than an empty promise with zero evidence, to your knowledge.
And how can you convince your own brain that this works?
Well, you’ve probably done it before with stuff you knew you had to do. (“What’ll happen if I call in sick to work today to catch up on sleep?”) My own brain immediately fastforwards to me shivering under a box on Dale Boulevard ’cause I got fired from my job and lost lodgings. (I’m a bit extra, I know – but you get the gist.) Then, I get up and head to work. But, on a more fitness-related, less dramatic scale, I also do this with myself any time I’m thinking about skipping MMA training. (Which’s just as much a weight loss activity as it is a sanity restoring one for yours truly.) See, I know that I’ll feel better after I go. But sometimes that’s not enough to overcome the lazy. That’s when I have to ask myself, “How did you feel last time you skipped training?” (Cut to an endorphin deprived me, crying on the couch.) My follow up question’s then, “How did you feel after the last time you did hit up MMA class?” After mentally juxtaposing the internal visual of those two answers, it takes me exactly five seconds to fall into a Pavlovian adrenaline response, get my gloves, and get out the door.
So, try it out, my fit friends.
When the going gets tough on your weight loss path, lose the affirmations.
And try some askirmations.