Fitness: Changing those weight loss beliefs

High performance coach Tanja Shaw recommends believing in yourself

By Tanja Shaw

If you believe it, you can achieve it. Undoubtedly, you’ve heard that quote before. We say it, we take it as lip service.

But take a moment to really think about what it means. Let it sink in.

If you believe it. You can achieve it.

The inverse would be: If you don’t believe it. You can’t achieve it.

Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe you can achieve your goals? Do you believe that you can make a change? That you can be successful?

That you can actually stick to a fitness regime, lose the weight and keep it off? That you can make a permanent lifestyle change?

Where you are right now is a direct result of your beliefs. And if you have started and “failed” so many times in the past, it can be pretty darn hard to believe in yourself.

“I’m really good at losing it, but terrible at keeping it off.”

“I do good for a little while, then I fall off track and gain the weight back, plus more.”

“Losing weight is going to be hard.”

“I’m going to be missing out if I don’t eat that.”

And each failed attempt chips away at our belief that we can actually be successful. That change is possible.

And slowly we stop trying with our full effort because we don’t want to experience the pain and disappointment from yet another failure. We stop trying because if we fail after not really trying, maybe it won’t hurt as much.

I get it.

I have so much respect and appreciation for that person who decides to start again. Who has the courage to step up and to try again. To have the courage to keep going.

So where are you at? Do you believe, without a shadow of a doubt that you can reach your goal?

If the answer is “no,” or you’re not sure, keep reading. But read beyond the words. Ask yourself “how am I going to apply this to what I’m currently doing?”

Believe in your ability to figure things out. We think that there’s a one size fits all approach to health and fitness. But there’s not. Your 36 failed attempts mean that you’ve learned 36 ways that don’t work and that also means you’re closer to finding a way that does work. You have failed in the past. You are not a failure. You have learned 36 things that don’t work. You’re closer. Don’t stop now.

Believe in your ability to do one small thing. There is so much power in starting small. You may not believe that you can lose 50 pounds, or 100 pounds, or drastically improve your fitness level. But you might believe in your ability to walk for 10 minutes today. Or to drink eight glasses of water today. Or to plan one healthy dinner for tonight. By focusing on one small thing, you start to build trust in yourself. You start to build momentum. Remember, you are changing your life. Choose consistency over intensity. Choose simplicity over complexity. Set yourself up for success.

Change your beliefs. I know, this is easier said than done (but isn’t everything in life?). Write a list of all the beliefs and thoughts you have. Some will be helpful (I have done hard things before, I have one more good choice in me, It will be challenging, so what?), and some won’t (if I “diet” I’ll be missing out, I’ll start after the kids are back in school, it’s too hard to do this while I’m on vacation, what if I get hungry after dinner?). Aim for 20 to 30 thoughts/beliefs. Identify which ones you want to keep. For the rest, change them. Yes, replace them. Thoughts will come and go. You get to choose which ones you want to believe and which ones you want to leave behind.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you, and your dreams. The strength of the wolf is in the wolf pack. Do you have a pack? A group of people, or a single person to encourage you, believe in you, to challenge you? You don’t need to do it on your own. If it’s important to you, it’s important enough to get help. Talk to a friend, a family member or a coach.

Sometimes, when we’re building up our belief in ourselves, we need others to believe in us.

And until you believe you yourself. I believe in you.

Tanja Shaw is a certified high performance coach, nutritional therapy practitioner, host of the Fit and Vibrant You podcast and founder of Ascend Fitness + Lifestyle.

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