Did you know that 95 percent of all weight re-gain stems from one organ? If you want a different body, a key place to work on is the brain. Stapling your stomach focusing ONLY on calories, grams of protein or grams of fat may, in fact, be working on the wrong organ. You literally have to think your way thin.
Losing weight is about change. The courage to change requires us to overcome some of the unconscious and conscious patterns we have adapted to gain the weight in the first place. Let’s take one of the common wishes of our clients as an example to explore this—to look better.
Our subconscious mind is the beliefs, values and thoughts you developed all your life as an internal map for you to navigate the world. This internal map helps you filter, sort, interpret and deal with all the decisions you must make in a day. You don’t think about how to put your footsteps together to walk, because your subconscious did it for you. Feeling safe is a feature of this map and your subconscious mind is busy 24/7 to guide you back to what it deems as a safer place for you to be. Familiar patterns help reduce the stress, tension and anxiety in our bodies.
If looking good was a motivation for weight loss, and suddenly you are, “sexy,” is this a comfortable place for your unconscious? Maybe. For many clients, the weight comes back, and they blame themselves for returning to old patterns. But was that a conscious, or an unconscious return to the old patterns and to the weight re-gain?
What are our beliefs about becoming attractive or having a slim body? The meanings we attach to our bodies are deeply personal, powerful and complex. We hold both positive and negative feelings about our bodies. We can feel great with our weight loss progress, but if we are getting more attention than our less-fit friends, feeling peer pressure from those who aren’t thin, or we begin to feel uncomfortable with the new attention our slimness brings, we open the door for our subconscious to guide us back to old patterns and away from the new, uncomfortable feelings associated with being slim.
Negative, unconscious associations can carry more weight and meaning than our conscious desires to be slimmer, and they’ll cause you to begin revert to the old patterns of behaving based on those beliefs.
Even as we are consciously longing for and working toward a certain kind of change, we may be unconsciously apprehensive and scared about how that desired change might affect us in our lives. If we’ve never been slim, what’s that going to feel like? How’s our family going to react? What if our spouse doesn’t change and stays overweight? How are my friends reacting to my weight loss when they are not losing? The unknown beckons us to discover what the answers will be.
Successful weight loss boils down to changing your old habits and replacing them with new habits that will transform your body. So, how do you change those habits, which are deeply ingrained in your subconscious mind?
The short answer is:
Become conscious of your habits so you can change them, hence think your way thin. One of the best ways to become more conscious of your habits is to journal everything you do for several weeks during weight loss.
What are your triggers for different emotions? For cravings? When do you eat and when do you skip meals? How does your body react? Record everything in your journal from your skin’s appearance to your tongue’s appearance and your body odor, to your bowel health to your emotional health and your challenges.
These are all manifestations of patterns of weight loss that we don’t even think of, and they build the reasons why journaling results in double the weight loss each week, compared to when you don’t journal.