Today’s exercise on Day 9 of Loving Yourself Thin is to identify your greatest fear about losing weight. You don’t have any fears about losing weight, you say? Well, if you have not successfully lost weight and kept it off then do the exercise anyway and you just might turn up some thoughts that have been sabotaging your weight loss efforts, thoughts that you weren’t even aware of. 😉
Begin with pulling out your journal, notebook, or a piece of paper and write down anything that comes to mind that brings up fear for you regarding losing weight. Here are some examples of thoughts that you might have that are holding you back from achieving your dream of lasting weight loss:
- I’m afraid I will always be hungry.
- I’ll be bored if I cannot eat sugary foods every day, or at every meal (afraid to let go of sugar and possibly sugar addiction).
- I can’t live without my sodas.
- I don’t like the taste of water.
- I’ve never succeeded before, why should I try now? (afraid of failure).
- If I don’t eat like I always do, what will I do with my friends when we meet for lunch? (afraid to be different, of possibly losing friends, or of suggesting something new and meeting for an activity that doesn’t involve eating).
While most of these thoughts don’t include the words “I am afraid” you can see that when you break them down they all come back to fear. You might find completely different thoughts than what I wrote as examples and that’s great if they are fears you have regarding weight loss. The ones I’ve listed are only examples to use to show you how to turn these in to positive affirmations.
Once you’ve written down your negative thoughts, pick one that is the strongest fear for you and turn it into a positive affirmation. Write that affirmation 10 times in your notebook or journal and note any thoughts that come up from doing this. Just like with the exercises in days 1 – 8, you might have resistance in the form of additional negative thoughts that surface and if so, just jot them down.
Think of this as weeding out the negatives from your mind. You are becoming aware of the negative thoughts now so that they aren’t just lurking around in your subconscious and sabotaging your conscious actions to lose weight. It’s especially productive if you have an “a-ha” moment, an awareness about why you haven’t been successful with either losing weight or keeping off the weight that you lose.
For a refresher on how to turn your negative fear-filled thoughts into positive affirmations, here’s what the above list would look like as positive affirmations:
- I always have enough to eat.
- I am satisfied when I eat foods that are both highly nutritious and tasty.
- I am willing to change and allow my body to heal (this affirmation is releasing the dependency on sugar and sugary sodas).
- My body craves pure, clean water.
- When I combine positive physical action with positive mental action I am bound to succeed.
- My true friends love and support me as I am.
You can also refer back to this exercise for more on how to write your positive affirmations.
Remember that when you have negative, fearful beliefs about weight loss and you only focus on the physical (diet and exercise) without paying attention to your mind, you are missing out on the most powerful energy in your weight loss tool box: your thoughts. If you have negative beliefs about the process of weight loss you might be able to eek by for awhile and even successfully lose weight, however if you never turn those negative beliefs around, they will end up aiding you in getting right back into the previous habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place.