Resources, personal stories, communication techniques, and strategies for survivors of sexual abuse who are ready to break free from the past and return to their genuine self.
December 15, 2015
Mind Does Matter: How Thoughts Impact Your Weight Loss Goals
Today we conclude our series with Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. I hope you'll leave a comment to let here know what you've gained from this series!
Whether you think you can, or think you can’t -- you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Earlier in the week, I went up to the attic to bring down the storage bins with all my holiday decorations. My fiancée warned me not to do it alone and since he wasn’t available, he suggested my son help. I have done this many times over the years by myself, so I didn’t see the need for help. As I pulled the steps down, I wondered how much stuff was up there. Was it really cluttered? And as I climbed the ladder it all came into view and yes, there was a lot of stuff. As I started pulling out the bins, one thought kept rolling through my mind, “I have to get rid of some of this stuff.” This played through my mind over and over as I grabbed the bins and started down the ladder. Some of the bins were heavy, some were light, but I was pretty good at getting everything down, except for this one bin; it kind of got stuck on the way down. I tried to maneuver it. It was really light so it surprised me when I lost my grip and it crashed down to the floor. I wondered what was in it.
Downstairs, in front of the tree, I started opening the bins. Everything seemed well packed from last year and then I opened the last bin. As I lifted the top I could hear the broken glass tinkling on the bottom. Everything had broken in the bin I dropped. And what was in there? Handmade things my children made through the years. An adorable framed Santa picture that survived nearly 20 Christmases. Everything had a memory attached and I was heart-broken, especially since one of the pieces was a reindeer painted on glass that my daughter actually made for her brother and not for me. My mind immediately went to my thought in the attic, “I have to get rid of some of this stuff.” Effectively, there would be one less bin in the attic now. I, indeed, found a way to “get rid of some of this stuff.” This was not the way I planned it, but it was going to happen nevertheless.
So I know you are reading this and thinking this is a mere coincidence. Isn’t it? Well, my education is in psychology and one of my strong areas of interest is in research and showing cause and effect. And this one-off situation is not concrete proof of cause and effect. However, I do think you will agree with me that our thoughts can cloud our perception of things. That when we feel sad, all we see is sadness in the world. When we feel anger, we curse more things in our lives that make us angry and feel angrier. Our thoughts seem to set us up for what we accept, see and do. Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction, are spiritual or even scientific you would probably agree that there is a connection between what we think, what we expect and what we choose to happen next, consciously or unconsciously.
If we do have this power to create worlds for ourselves by our thoughts how do we harness this power to make change in our lives? First, is to acknowledge that it is there. Acknowledge that you can create your world. Next, is to focus on the positive and on what you desire without focusing on what you lack or what you don’t want.
So if you are struggling with your weight and all you are thinking about is how you can’t lose weight, you are really believing that it can’t be done and may even be sabotaging yourself in this area without even knowing it. If we believe it, we make it so. You may have heard the expression, “keep your eyes on the prize.” And literally, this is the way to go. Think about what it will feel like to get where you want to be. Think about what it will be like to reach your goal and FEEL that JOY inside of you. When you think about how far you need to go, you will feel doubt and discontent. This frame of mind will keep you in doubt and discontent. Many people also tell me they initially lose weight and then can’t keep the motivation and start gaining it back again. Usually, they are still focusing on how long they still have to go and so, the road becomes even longer.
One of the things I help people focus on is creating one new small habit. A habit that fits in with the change they want to make. First we work on discovering the BIG GOAL. The goal might be something like losing 50 lbs. Next, we focus on creating the best habit that will help that person reach that goal and then incorporate it into his or her life. We don’t focus on how long the road is to get to the goal. We really focus on the “here and now” of doing that habit each day, because I know when you add in a new, healthy behavior and it becomes part of your life you cannot go wrong. Try it. Try just adding in something new that you can do every day. Make it your ritual. Like drinking water, or experimenting with a new healthy food. Then use the power of your mind to set your intention on doing that particular habit for the day. You can write down your intention, too. I do this each day. I set my intention on what is important for me accomplish that day in mind, body and soul. I put it out there and create that intention and follow it through the day. I am not thinking about tomorrow or two weeks from now. There is much power in the “here and now.”
We make our choices in the here and now and then we CHOOSE to follow through. Your choices are powerful. Make choices intentionally, and create your thoughts intentionally. We don’t have to allow life to pick us up and drag us through. Yes, situations occur and there are things we have no control over. However, you always have control over your thoughts. Make them positive and make them serve you in the best possible way. Henry Ford really said it best.
I hope you will think you can reach your goals, because even if you don’t believe that today, that is my hope for you and I will carry it around for you until you are ready.
Toni Genovese, is a Certified Professional Coach with a specialty in Wellness Coaching. She has been in the field of social work for 20 years and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She started Strong at the Core Coaching to help others who are struggling with health and wellness issues and are overwhelmed at how to begin making changes in their lives. Toni is a single mom with 3 kids, one of whom has autism. She learned how to turn her challenges into opportunities to create an amazing life. She uses this knowledge and experience to help her clients unlock their core strengths and turn their own challenges into opportunities to reach their goals. Toni loves running, strength training and yoga. She earned her coaching credential with the World Coach Institute and is a member of International Coaching Federation.