We all have a critical voice — that nagging thing inside our own heads that has formed a pattern of negative thoughts that can bring down our self esteem. For some people, it’s a lot louder than others, and that can be detrimental. In fact, how you talk to yourself plays a big role in whether or not you achieve your weight loss goals. It’s important to learn how to counter your critical voice with a positive spin on things and look at life in a more optimistic way.
We put together a list of 5 ways to reframe your critical voice to achieve those weight loss goals and gain a happier lease on life.
1) Today, I ate badly.
Reframe it: What specific things did I do that led me off-course?
It’s natural to want to label things as “good” or “bad,” but that doesn’t help much when it comes to affecting change. Change that black-and-white, emotional thinking to something more practical by identifying what choices you made throughout the day that led to the decision to eat a high-calorie meal, engage in boredom snacking, etc.
Example: Instead of thinking, “I ate badly today,” think, “I skipped breakfast and that led me to be hungry and snack on chips instead later in the morning.”
2) I messed this up and now I have to start all over.
Reframe it: I am human and make mistakes, and I can move forward from here.
Almost nothing in life is all-or-nothing, and thinking in that way will only make you feel defeated and want to give up. Meeting weight loss goals is about taking one small step forward at a time. It’s about growth. It’s not about being perfect. No one is, and beating yourself up because you weren’t is not helpful.
Example: Instead of thinking, “I have to start from the beginning — AGAIN,” think, “One bad meal or unhealthy choice does not define my progress.”
3) I’m not seeing the numbers on the scale go down, so I’m doing it wrong.
Reframe it: I am seeing positive changes like more energy and sleeping better.
Remember, losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. There are going to be weeks you lose more, weeks where you lose less and weeks where you may see no change, and that’s ok! For the weeks you don’t see the number on the scale move, instead of feeling discouraged, think about the other positive changes you’re making for your overall health, such as lower blood pressure, improved heart health, lower cholesterol, better sleep or more energy.
And, if the pattern continues, consider keeping a journal about what you eat and any fitness you do during the week. That can help you identify areas of weakness that might be contributing to the lack of change.
Example: Instead of thinking, “This isn’t working because I still weigh the same,” think, “I played with my kids for an hour the other night and didn’t feel tired! I have so much more energy!”
4) Does this outfit make me look fat?
Reframe it: How does this outfit make me feel?
One of the most rewarding aspects of losing weight is buying new clothes — so why ruin it by asking yourself, or your friends, if an outfit makes you look fat? You shouldn’t even be thinking the word “fat.” That’s not a healthy word when it comes to your weight and will only diminish your sense of self-worth. At the end of the day, all that matters is how you feel in an outfit. Do you feel attractive when you put it on? Good. That’s all you need to wear it with pride and confidence.
Example: Instead of thinking, “My belly sticks out in this blouse,” think, “This blouse is a size smaller than I used to wear, I love the color, and it makes me feel pretty.”
5) I’m missing out because I can’t eat that.
Reframe it: I am making a healthy choice to stay on-track with my weight loss goals.
There are going to be plenty of occasions where you are tempted with unhealthy food — get-togethers with friends, restaurants, work, you name it. Instead of focusing on what you’re “missing out” on, focus on the fact that you’re making a healthy, positive choice to meet your goals. And, even if you do slip up, remember, one bad meal does not negate all the positive change you’ve made. It’s okay.
Example: Instead of thinking, “I’m bummed I can’t have a slice of the cake, this sucks!” think, “I may not be eating a slice of cake, but this is bringing me that much closer to reaching my goal!”
Ultimately, the power of positive thinking is a real thing that can work wonders for your self-esteem and achieving your goals. Always try that glass-half-full mindset, and you won’t just see the change, you’ll feel it!
What’s something you think about negatively that you can reframe into something positive? Share in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.