I am down 25 pounds now. I’ve done it before. I’ve lost weight. I am and have been healthy, but how do you keep it? How do you keep the momentum? Keep the healthy habits? The smoking hot body? How do we capture the habits that lead us to success? That make us successful? This weekend while my wonderful friends were visiting, a conversation with my friend Tab spurned the topic in my mind. I know with crystal clarity that thoughts more than anything are the key to living a long healthy life. To change your body you’ve got to change your perspective. You’ve got to change your habits. Break the bad cycles that are denying you what it is you want.
Scene: Downtown Denver on Halloween weekend, three small town crazy girls from Indiana overwhelmed in a big city bulging with people and energy. Women and men scantily clad in spandex, lingerie and a complete lack of pants anywhere. Adventure, music pumping, friendship all around. And then my car dies. Hmm..thoughts of money and what am I supposed to do creep in. The worry has me in it’s grasps. Those old habits I’ve had conditioned in, a part of my history start to surface. Boom: you need something to eat rise up in my growing panic as my thoughts start to shut down (confession: I struggle most with my thoughts later in the day and 2 am is late). Like somehow eating will provide clarity and erase the situation (how silly I used to be). But this is a part of my past cycle. We’ve all got our own demons to deal with (bad thoughts) and we all have our own ways of coping with them: alcohol, drugs, food, exercise, sex. We fight the cycles of depression, we fight to feel alive. But how do we break this cycle and create one that allows us to flourish and flow?
Ah create is a powerful word here. We have the ability to create and change our world at any moment. To change our story. But how do you stick to the new plot line? In order for me to create an environment that has allowed me to lose weight and get in the best shape, I had to commit to changing my thoughts, to break the cycle. I had to concentrate on my thoughts: positive thoughts about myself, about my body, about the potential for what I was capable of. I had to find activities and adjust my lifestyle, so that it worked for me (and wasn’t me just doing what I was told, as has been my previous experiences with weight loss), so that it was pleasurable (not comfortable-not uncomfortable) and something I can continue to do. Do more of things that bring you joy, is a round about quote that I believe can be applied here. Finding exercise that you like. As I reiterate quite frequently, for me that is hiking. Slow aerobic training that doesn’t wear on my body, that makes me feel reconnected, that recharges me and gives me the clarity to stay committed. Because Nature dwarfs my problems, yet simultaneously its own vastness makes me feel like the world (I) am full of potential. It’s about getting in a flow with my eating. Finding a pattern that works for me (for me that tends to be something that is very simple), with foods I like that tastes good. For some it’s variety and being creative in the kitchen. Regardless find foods and flavors that work for you that you can carry on and really make this a lifestyle. It’s about taking pride in nourishing myself, in doing the right things, in doing the things I say I’m going to do. We have this sign at the shop that says: Nothing tastes as good fit feels. That’s absolutely right, no amount of food or alcohol or drug is really going to make you feel better about yourself- usually it has the opposite effect (trust me I’ve seen and felt this one in action).
So when the conditioned thought or the habit returns, I’ve got to return to my new cycle. Seeing the positive, focusing my energy on gratitude, doing an activity that allows me to reconnect, to center my thoughts, whatever it is that breaks that cycle and lets the new one shine through. To change your habits you’ve also got to learn to be honest with yourself and become self-aware. How can you change a behavior if you’re in denial that you have it? Muster up some tough love and radical honesty. Don’t fight or feel guilty for it, embrace it and move on.
Commit to the new cycle. Live it, breathe it, think about it. Make it part of the energy you want to create. When the old habits, behaviors and cycles surface, channel this new energy.
Change your thoughts, change your life, change your body, break your habits, break the cycle. Be health! Lose weight!