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Winning the Mental Game of Weight Control

By Jeff Griswold

Are you struggling to lose weight? Are your diet and exercise programs not working for you? Are you finding it difficult to stay motivated? While it's essential to have a plan for proper nutrition and regular exercise, there's a one more thing you need to lose weight fast and maintain your ideal body weight. You also need to win the "Mental Game" of weight control.

Most people ignore the importance of the Mental Game in achieving your ideal weight. Deeply ingrained thoughts and beliefs are the source of bad eating and exercise habits and can result in a negative, overweight self-image. No diet or exercise program can succeed if your mind is working against you. To lose weight fast or maintain your ideal body weight, you need to combine proper nutrition and regular exercise with winning the Mental Game of weight control.

Love Comes First
Many people think, and often say aloud, "I'd love my body if I could just lose 10-20 pounds." The truth is that this thinking is completely backwards. If you don't love your body to begin with, it is next to impossible to improve your health or your weight. Think about it this way, why would you take care of something you don't already love?

Let's explore an analogy to help illustrate this point. Think about how you treat an old, beat-up car versus how you treat a brand new car just off the showroom floor. With an old "beater" you don't think twice about driving through the mud, over potholes, or fast over speed bumps. You don't mind spilling things on the seat and you put in the cheapest gas you can find. You feel fine abusing a car like this because you don't really care what it looks like.

With a new car, however, you drive very carefully, wash and wax it on a daily basis, and park far away just to avoid other cars. And when you see that first paint chip, within 2 minutes you re out there with the touch up paint and polish to keep it looking like new. You care about this car - you LOVE this car - and you take care of it to keep it looking and running new as long as possible.

It's the same thing with your body. Just like the old beat-up car, if you don't love your body, you probably won't take very good care of it. It becomes very easy to let yourself eat a whole box of cookies or "super-size" that order of fries. If you already "hate" your body, you feel like you can't really do any more damage, so why not have another cinnamon roll and watch some TV.

This reasoning applies to more than weight loss. It applies to all areas related to your health. Smoking is a great example. We know smoking does terrible things to our bodies. It destroys our lungs, causes cancer, and kills us. So how could somebody who truly loves their body do that to themselves?

Do You Treat Your New Car Better Than You Treat Yourself?
But what if your body is already in bad shape? It's kind of hard to love your body if it's already run down and out of shape, isn't it? Let's go back to the car analogy. It may be easy to love a shiny new car, but a little harder to love something that's old and broken down. That may be true, but think about when a rusted-out, beaten-up 1965 Mustang convertible ends up in the hands of an enthusiast. That person loves that car no matter what shape it's in. With wide eyes and ceaseless energy, he or she will spend a lot of time and effort restoring it until it's back in mint condition. When it's done, he or she is as proud as a parent with a newborn baby.

Why do enthusiasts do this? Where do they get the energy to restore something that to others appears to be a complete disaster and a hopeless cause? The answer is "LOVE!" Enthusiasts LOVE the objects of their attention. They see beauty where others don't. They see the promise and the possibilities. They can envision the future and know they can reach their goals.

Be Your Own Enthusiast
Your body is the same way. You can be an enthusiast for your own health and fitness. Love your body no matter what shape it's in. Become an enthusiast! Restore it and be proud of the work you do!

So, begin by loving yourself. Start today and you'll find it's much easier to succeed in your weight control efforts. The problem is that for most of us it's very difficult to change the way we think about ourselves. This is not something that comes naturally to us. It requires overcoming years of programming we ve received from our parents, friends, the media, and even ourselves. Here are some steps you can take to change the way you view yourself and begin to win the Mental Game of weight control:

  • Recognize your negative programming
  • Replace your negative programming with positive affirmations
  • Apply visualization techniques
  • Use guided imagery

You can use these techniques on your own or utilize audio programs such as those developed by Effective Learning Systems to guide you in using these techniques.

Copyright © 2005 Jeff Griswold, Effective Learning Systems, Inc.
Jeff Griswold is the President of Effective Learning Systems, Inc., the leading creator of audio CDs and tapes for helping you build self-esteem and self-confidence. With over 100 titles available, their programs are the bestselling self-improvement audio programs in national bookstores - including Barnes & Noble and Borders - and have been for over 20 years. Jeff can be reached by email or at 952-943-1660.

Healthy Balance
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