“But how do I get my mind to stop thinking this way?! How do I change my mindset??”
I was talking with a client who’s been struggling with her weight for years. She wants to get away from being so all-or-nothing, but it feels impossible. I mentioned that we needed to keep working on her mindset and this is what she blurted out.
The way she asked it really struck me because I totally know that feeling. That feeling of frustration and desperation, of “I really do want to, but HOW?!?!”
For years, I could see the terrible cycle I was in and yet I could not get out of it…
I would look back at old pictures of myself and think, “Wow, why did I hate my body back then? I looked pretty good!” I knew I didn’t want to go my entire life never appreciating my body in it’s current form, but I honestly could not figure out how to stop seeing all the imperfections and things I hated about it. I understand the frustration.
But is mindset really that important?? Is mindset what really makes the difference in a transformation?
Usually people with health and fitness goals struggle in one of two ways:
- They struggle to make changes, even when we want to make them.
- They struggle to maintain the changes they’ve made. (I believe the statistics are somewhere around 5% for people who lose weight actually keep it off for more than a year.)
In the first category, we have people who are completely physically capable of making the physical changes but they just can’t seem to stick to them. In the second category, as evidenced by 95% of the people who make the physical changes and achieve the physical goal, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE PHYSICAL. It’s almost always about the mindset.
Traditional eastern medicine and religions have known for centuries the vital role the mind plays in the physical. You see it woven into their everyday life with things like meditation and in every physical activity from martial arts to yoga. Unfortunately, over here, we’ve got it backwards. We’ve made our health purely about a certain look and size. So we put all of our focus and energy into the physical (working out, what we eat) thinking that if we can fix that then the mental side will automatically fix itself. We think once we look a certain way then we’ll be happier and it’ll make our relationships and our lives better.
If this were true, then there wouldn’t be so many fit & healthy people who still have low self-esteem and hate their bodies OR people who’ve lost sometimes hundreds of pounds but still can only see their imperfections. If the mental weren’t that important, if all we had to do was practice a habit for 3 weeks in order for it to stick, then we’d all be happy and healthy!!
Here’s the real truth….
“Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~Romans 12:2
“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” ~Luke 6:45
What we think and believe determines what we do. True transformation happens from the inside out. This is why your mindset is so important.
Thankfully, our mindsets are not fixed. I promise. While you may feel like you lean heavily one way, that’s just because you’ve been thinking that way for a long time. But the mind is constantly taking in it’s environment and developing and adapting from what it learns. Change how it does that and you can absolutely change your mindset.
You just have to be willing to put some focused time and effort into it. You have to cultivate it in your heart and in your life.
For how to do this, check out part 2—> How do I change my mindset?