Updated: May 2
Eat fewer calories than you burn. Sounds simple enough, right? Then why is it so darn hard to lose weight?
As a nutritionist, I can tell you that my clients who've struggled with the scale did so for a variety of reasons, all of which are real and valid. And all of which we can push through with a bit of raised awareness and mindset work.
The truth is you can have all the food and fitness knowledge in the world, but if your mindset is the hot mess express, sooner or later you'll struggle.
Where to START?
Honestly, weight loss starts in the mind. We hear it starts in the kitchen or the gym, but think about what got you there? Your mindset. It stared with a choice to eat that healthy food or to get your butt into the gym. You cannot and will not achieve lasting weight loss until you're in the right frame of mind to do it. Because in my experience, no one was ever successful guilting, shaming and punishing themselves into a smaller body. When we talk about “willpower” and “motivation,” we’re talking about your mental game. And the truth is in order to live healthier, you've to get your head healthy too.
What kinds of MENTAL barriers keep you from losing the weight?
1. Poor Body Image. A poor body image has been proven to keep people from fully committing to weight loss. If you don’t feel good about yourself, you're much more likely to give up before you reach your goal. To improve your body image, try focusing on your best quality. Practice grooming and quality self-care. You don't have to be at your goal weight to style your hair, put on a bit of makeup or wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.
2. Emotional Eating. This is a BIG one. If you're looking for food to soothe and comfort you in times of stress, disappointment and overwhelm, you're eating your feelings. And it typically leads to one place: weight gain. Done repeatedly, it quickly becomes a habit, and before you know it you're reaching for the food and halfway through the bag of chips or tub of ice cream before you realize what's happening. To stop emotional eating, you’ve got to redirect that energy into new healthier places. Look for healthier outlets such as journaling, going for a walk and listening to an audiobook or podcast, or talking to a professional.
3. Comparing Yourself to Others. Simply put, when you compare yourself to others, you lose. Occasionally, comparisons can boost your ego or motivate you to work a little harder, but more often, the comparison trap results in a disastrous attack on your self-confidence and self-worth. Focus on your journey and stay in your lane. It's easy to judge based on what we see on the surface, but the truth is you really have no idea how well or easy someone else's journey is going. Don’t worry about the other guy. Your weight loss is all about YOU.
4. Making Yourself Low Priority. Even the flight attendant will tell you: before you can save someone else, you have to put on your own oxygen mask. You'll be better able to do your job, love your family, and show up as the best version of you learn how to take care of yourself first. Self-care is not selfish, it's necessary. And when you take conscious action to promote your physical, mental, and emotional health, you'll be better off for it. Start practicing putting yourself on your list.
5. Lack of Trust. If you don’t believe you can lose the weight, you won’t. It really is simple as that. You’ll find a million excuses to skip out on exercise and avoid eating better. You'll consistently find "reasons" you can't show up for yourself. And you'll talk yourself out of any progress made along the way. Basically, your self-talk and follow through will suck. If you're consistently saying things like, "I don't have time," "I lack willpower," "I just love food too much," the truth is you'll look for opportunities to sabotage your goals left and right. The saying really rings true: if you believe it, you can achieve it.
It all comes back to YOU.
To push through your mental barriers, you’ve got to learn how to love yourself, at any size. And that means knowing yourself, seeing yourself as you really are (not who you think you are), and being willing to treat yourself the way you would a friend or a loved one. It means identifying and leaning into your strengths, recognizing you are worthy, and connecting to the core of who you are. Because trust me when I tell you, you can have the worst day of your life and it will not magically be made better because you're in a smaller pant size.
Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.