Every time a thought forms in your mind, regardless of whether those words pass your lips or not, your subconscious mind is listening. The more we repeat certain words or thoughts, the more our subconscious mind will believe them to be true.
Here are some of the ways your words may be sabotaging your weight loss:
1. If you tell yourself losing weight is hard, it will be.
Many women who come to me wishing to lose weight have formed the belief that losing weight will always be a struggle. For so many years, they have repeatedly told themselves how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off, and their subconscious has helped to make that their reality. Every step towards our goal feels like an uphill climb. All of the sudden it becomes a struggle to make healthy choices with food, exercising begins to feel like a chore, and the stress of failing sends our fat storage hormones into overdrive.
These non-supportive beliefs and the mental chatter that comes with it can play a huge role in our self sabotage. We become more prone to emotional (over)eating, and our cravings become difficult to manage. You become much more likely to confuse your unhappiness with hunger and eat to fill that void.
2. Negative self-talk is more powerful than you think.
Each time you use a phrase like “I am so fat,” you are embedding those words into your subconscious. When you believe deep down you'll always be fat, you’re going to be far less motivated to take the appropriate steps to lose weight like exercising or eating healthier foods. If your self talk is mostly focused on the struggle and what you don’t want, you’ll be bathing every cell of your body in negative energy.
For many of us who have spent a large portion of our lives fixated on our weight, it can become difficult to change. As much as we would love to let go of the weight, we’ve identified so strongly with being overweight that anything else ends up feeling a bit foreign.
3. Using the term “weight loss” may actually be holding you back from actually losing weight.
When you lose something, what is your immediate reaction? Whether it’s your car keys or your pet, your instinct is to find whatever’s been lost. When we think of weight loss in this way, it starts to put into perspective why so many people who lose weight are unable to keep it off.
A powerful alternative to “weight loss” is to frame it instead as “weight release” or “weight reduction.” Letting go of weight feels so much more permanent than “losing” it.
Ready to change your self-talk? Here are three simple ways to start using your words to your advantage:
1. Be mindful of what you say and think.
Choose a time frame anywhere from 10 minutes, to an hour to a full day. During that time, write down every thought you have about your body, your weight or anything else that you feel is holding you back.
Keep track of where your mind habitually goes and you’ll start to get a clear picture of how your words may be standing in your way, and how you can shift them so they work with you rather than against you.
2. Reinforce the positive.
Affirmations can play a huge role in consciously shifting the words that become embedded in our subconscious. To be successful in using affirmations, repetition is key. The more you think, speak and believe what you are saying, the more your words will become your reality.
3. Shift your beliefs.
Often we hold onto beliefs that we aren’t even aware of. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a form of counseling that draws on theories of alternative medicine, can be a powerful tool to lessen the hold these thoughts and beliefs have on your subconscious. By tapping on a series of acupressure points while talking through your limiting beliefs, you can effectively turn off the negative emotional charge around them.