I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
William Ernest Henley
One of my absolute favorite quotes. So, may I start by saying congratulations, you decided to take became the master of your fate. Change or transformation is merely rearranging the patterns that are already inside you. In other words, a big part of you is yearning to rise and shine. And, the biggest game-changer in the weight loss game is a mindset.
My Basic Stats
Before: 145 pounds (Age 23)
After: 114 pounds (Age 41)
Total pounds lost: 31 lb. (years maintained: 18)
Before: 119 pounds (Age 44, date: 6/28/2020)
After: 106 pounds (Age 44, date 7/15/2020)
So, how did I manage?
Five Easy Mental Strategies for Weight Loss (10x your results in a few minutes)
1) Commit yourself.
“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.”
Before embarking on my recent weigh-loss journey, I spent some time writing out why I want to lose weight. I did it in a free form – everything from vanity to health reasons. Finally, I took a piece of paper, noted the date, weight, time, the number on the scale that I’d like to see in the next three weeks. At the end of that note, I wrote my name and initials, date and time, and added the word “COMMIT.” Funny, in one of the programming languages (SQL code), the “COMMIT” statement means “the point of no return.” Of course, you can “ROLLBACK,” but it is costly with a bad reputation. So, I was committed! I shared my determination with my husband. And I reached out for help from the health mentor.
Exercise: Pause, look at your calendar, and pick a date to commit to weigh-loss. Write out your “WHY.” Mentally commit yourself and share.
2) Be kind to yourself.
Would you talk to your best friend or beloved like you speak to yourself?
A part of me is a spoiled little kid. She delves into tantrum attacks whenever she can’t get her lolly-pops and ice-creams. Habits that I learned as a little girl to either numb the pain or to escape reality are no longer serve me. Nonetheless, the pattern is a part of me. Whenever I get angry, stressed, and anxious, the little one awakes. I used to hate and curse her. Instead, I am learning to accept the little one. The trick I learned is to say, “thank you, little one” – I am okay. Sometimes, it helps to give yourself a heart-felt hug or place your palms on your heart and feel the warmth.
Interestingly, according to Dr. Gabor Maté, most mental health disorders (eating addition being one of them) originate from unresolved childhood trauma. And trauma doesn’t necessarily mean sexual and physical abuse. Anything that ranges from the lack of love to over nourishment can cause trauma. When we treat ourselves with kindness, we are reconnecting with your authentic self.
Exercise: When you hear your inner voice telling you that you are not worthy or that you can’t lose weight (or something like that), or you are at the cusp of breaking your commitment, PAUSE, STOP, get into the body. Take some deep breaths and ask yourself gently, and kindly, where is the feeling is? I found EFT tapping, rolling, listing to music are some of the excellent tools. Hug yourself! Talk to yourself as you would talk to your beloved.
3) Surround yourself with people who love and support you.
“You are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
― Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek
It is very challenging to change your mind when you are not supported and loved. Life is too short to spend it on assholes. A divorce followed within a year after I quit smoking. Friendships were broken as I stopped drinking. My circle of friends changed again when I became a vegetarian. Many times in my life, I was rolling with an awful crowd. People and places that didn’t feed my soul. So, I ate. The desire to change comes within. However, you need to surround yourself with people who love and support you. Imagine a beautiful flower without soil or water?
Exercise: Spend some time scrutinizing your close circle. Don’t make any hasty sessions, become an observer, listen, feel, ask questions, reflect.
4) Practice the Sacred Pause.
The sacred pause helps us to reconnect with the present moment. Especially when we are caught up in striving and obsessing and leaning into the future, pausing enables us to reenter the mystery and vitality only found here and now.
Who am I when I am not overeating? I know once I start chewing, I can’t stop. And, the PAUSE comes in handy. It is not easy to pause amid the storm, but with practice, you can do it! What I learned is when I pause whether leaving the kitchen or fasting, I start appreciating food even more. Your pause can take a few seconds or a few days, or you might take more time. Overeating and weigh-loss is a symptom, and there are typically other underline issues that are beyond the scope of this blog. But, being mindful will start you on the path towards success.
Exercise: Right now, explore pausing for a second and notice where the breath initiates. After you finished reading the practice, find a comfortable sitting position, and allow your eyes to close. Take a few deep breaths. Inhale and mentally say “let,” exhale and mentally say “go.” Repeat for a few times and observe your mind. What are you feeling in your body?
Incorporate pauses as much as possible. Simply became aware of your body, your surrounding, feed your eyes with sunshine, and your nose with fresh air.
You might find that you need a longer pause and allow the transformation to begin!
5) A bucket of things to do instead of eating.
- Leave the kitchen.
- Take a contrast shower (10 sec hot 10 seconds cold repeat for ten times).
- Take a bath.
- Call a friend.
- Take 12 slow breaths.
I hope you find it useful and I would love to hear what helped you?