How to re-set your mind to take back control of your weight, health and fitness for good
THREE STEP FORMULA
People often set their minds based on what they don’t want. They don’t want to look silly trying something new, so keep doing the same thing again and again. They don’t want to fail, so don’t try. The don’t want to get hurt, so stay safe. They don’t want to be so overweight, and so diet. You get the idea.
The problem is our minds think in pictures. And there is no such picture for NOT wanting to look silly, only one of looking silly. There is no such picture for NOT failing only one of failing, there is no such picture of NOT getting hurt, only one of hurting and there is no such picture for NOT being overweight, only one of being overweight. And this is a problem.
If you search in Google-pictures right now “not looking silly” you get back pictures of people looking silly, as opposed to people looking happy and confident.
If you search for "not failing", you don’t get pictures of success – you get images of failure. If you search for "not getting hurt" you get back images of people getting hurt. And if you search for "not overweight", you don’t get pictures of thin people – you get pictures of people struggling with their weight.
Our unconscious minds are a bit like Google. They can’t process not, and they can’t think for themselves. They just give us what we focus on. The way we program our minds and go about searching on Google are, therefore, important and determines the outcomes we experience as a consequence.
The secret to success isn’t “being positive”. Just being positive isn’t enough. We need to hold vivid images in our minds of what we want, not what we don’t want. We need to learn how to visualise and focus on what we are moving towards, not away from. And we need to break the patterns we are currently running and replace them with new.
See yourself healthy and fit, not – not overweight. See yourself winning, not – not losing. See yourself happy (and know what this looks like), not – not miserable anymore.
THIS IS STEP ONE.
Step two is about permanently re-setting our minds and we do this by not only visualising better but by activating the images we are now beginning to hold in our minds. When we activate these images we create emotion. Emotion fuels our unconscious mind into new patterns of thinking. And the best way to activate the new and clearer images we have in our mind in terms of what we want, is action.
Action changes everything.
New actions break old habits and re-directs our attention away from where it has been towards where it can better serve us. It doesn’t matter what action, but it needs to be consistent, as in daily action.
Our unconscious mind does not operate on logic or common sense. It is primitive although extremely powerful and operates on a completely different system to that of our conscious mind. This primitive and yet powerful part of our mind is controlled by three major factors.
Firstly, it follows the instructions of our conscious mind. This is the self-talk and consistent images we purposely put in there.
Second it is influenced by others – we are social beings and often follow others against our best interests.
And we, lastly, are governed by our environment. The content of our fridges and cupboards, the messages we display around the house and workplace, even the weather affects our outcomes.
Taking new daily action, managing our relationships with others and setting up our environment for success is the next step.
THIS IS STEP TWO.
Your mind will lead you to the new place you visualise about. Your body will take you there. Fuel this journey right, not by dieting. Not with thoughts of eating and drinking “to lose weight”, this will undo the great work we have been doing. But fuel your body to create the outcomes you most desire. Fuel your body and mind not to lose weight but to gain the body shape, the energy levels and the confidence you visualised.
The trouble is most people have been fuelling their past focus. Food and drink is often used to comfort oneself, to deal with stress and even connect with others. When the unconscious mind links food and drink with pleasure, as it has been doing by drinking alcohol to feel better at the end of a long day, eating food that is sweet to better deal with feeling of being rushed off your feet or consuming takeaways to make life that little bit easier – it builds up what are called reward pathways in our minds. This is simple bio-chemistry. Dopamine production creates strong addiction-like connections between the tasty but perhaps not very healthy food we consume and the reward – feeling relaxed, de-stressed or connected with others. And this is the pattern we will need to break. And we don’t do it through dieting!
We do it through mindfully taking back control of what we eat and drink, and why we eat and drink it. Sure, we can still reduce our calories, accelerate a fat-burning response and create faster results. But, we need to do it in a way that will not trigger our unconscious mind to resist.
Our minds do not like change, and our unconscious mind is the gate keeper of change. It’s like when you search again on Google and start to type in what you are now looking for it throws up predictive text to auto fill the search box. And we have to ignore this and start searching for completely new outcomes.
Our unconscious mind does the same. It can stimulate the production of our hunger hormone Ghrelin to make us eat more, it can lower serotonin production to lower our mood, increase anxiety and even stop us sleeping so well. So, we need to tackle making changes to our eating and drinking behaviours in a more strategic way than in the past. Being more mindful, habit-orientated and moderate in our approach simply is the way.
THIS IS STEP THREE.
1] You need to positively visualise around what you want not what you don't want. This needs to be a daily practice using visual cues in your environment.
2] Take action to breaks old patterns and establishes new giving your unconscious something new to focus on.
3] Refuel your body and mind without triggering resistance