“Weight Loss: It’s a Mindset” Written By Donald McCarthy Being someone who was once of a larger size, I always feel empathy for anyone who tells me that they are trying to lose weight. It’s a tough battle to shed pounds and most people start from a bad spot; they decide they are going to lose the physical weight but not the mental weight. What do I mean by this? When people decide they’re going to lose ten, twenty or thirty pounds they look in the mirror and say, “When I’m down to the size I want to be I’ll be a freaking rock star at school/work/campus.” While that may sound like positive thinking it’s in fact the wrong mindset. Losing weight is not easy. For me, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It took time, a lot of energy and some self-doubting. In total, it took me about two years to lose 70 pounds and there were a lot of times that I almost fell of the path and gave up. Luckily, I didn’t and I learned a lot about what it takes to lose weight. We can talk about the right foods and the perfect exercises until the sun explodes but if the mindset isn’t there then the weight will stay. In order to lose the weight you have to know that you are worth going through what will be a rough time. If you start off thinking that the only way you can be a worthy person is if you lose the weight then you’ve already lost the battle. You have to value yourself in order to go through with the exercising and the cutting back of food without losing your mind and giving up. How do you do this? First, you need to recognize that you’re already a person worth knowing, loving and spending time with. You’re losing weight for yourself, not for others. You’re already an awesome person and if someone can only see that when you lose weight then that person is not worth spending time with. If you’re trying to lose weight to impress a man or a woman then your plan has a huge flaw in it. Dropping pounds is a personal battle and it needs to be done because of you, not because of someone else. Second, ask yourself what you want to do when you lose weight. Then do that right now, don’t wait until you lose the extra baggage. You’re a living, breathing person with bad days who could use some extracurricular activities to blow off some steam. Just because you’re overweight doesn’t mean you’re only allowed to sit at home. Go out and enjoy yourself. Once you begin to find yourself feeling happier, adding in some exercising will seem like just another way to express yourself as opposed to it being a god-awful task that you have to go through. After beginning exercising you’ll soon find that it is also a great way to reduce stress which might sound odd considering that exercising can seem stressful and daunting the first time you’re joining the gym. But I guarantee that before long you’ll be going to the gym not just to look good but to feel good, too. Third, you need to do what I did and recognize what food really is. For me, I used to think food was a drug, something that helped me escape whatever was bothering me. The problem is, shoveling down food to bury emotions will only add more weight which will in turn make you more depressed and therefore… yep, want more food! Food is not something that you should be using to get rid of a bad day. Food is simply there to give you energy to get through the day. Once you hit a certain amount anymore is just wasteful and adds on layers you do not need. Once you can recognize that you are using food as a drug it might not seem so appealing anymore. Fourthly, don’t go around telling people that you’re trying to lose weight. Tell people that you’re doing it. Saying, “I’m losing weight” is a lot more productive than “I’m trying to lose weight.” It doesn’t matter if you haven’t started shedding those pounds yet because you’re already in the mindset to lose weight and that’s the big first step. Saying you’re trying to do something is self-defeating. When people are asked to do something saying, “I’ll try” in reply is usually just a nicer way of saying “No.” Once you feel like you have the right mindset the exercising and the cutting back of foods will be easier but still not easy. That’s okay. If it were easy then anyone could do it. So long as you know that you’re worth it then you’ll be one of the people who can say that you lost weight instead of one of the ones who say that they know where my lost weight went.
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