The Gift of a Guided Mind

Whenever I tried to lose weight in the past–notice all of the invitations to fail in that clause–I always focused on the negative. In other words, whenever I did something wrong, I tended to beat myself up for it. I’d like to believe that I am the only person out who has ever done that, but not even I am that naive!

I think the general approach that most people take towards a diet (which Garfield rightly pointed out was spelled “Die” with a “t” on the end) is punitive. Whenever you deviate from the plan, you punish yourself. Whenever I deviated from my diet, I would kill myself at the gym the next day to make up for it or I would just simply be amazingly rude to myself and, more importantly, about myself.

This time, I’ve jettisoned that doomed to fail strategy. Instead, I have chosen to shift my focus from what I’ve done wrong to what I have done right. Because when I do that, I realize that I do more things that are right than I do things that are wrong.

And not only do I notice what I do right–even when it’s just something as simple as drinking my water, exercising in my training zone, chewing my food well, being the last person to finish eating, leaving something on my plate, doing my deep breathing exercises, or taking my vitamins–I acknowledge them. Heck, not only do I acknowledge them, I celebrate them! I tell myself how awesome I am. I congratulate myself on my success and my determination. I applaud my dedication and my effort.

In other words, I don’t sweat the bad stuff; and I celebrate the good stuff. And the more I celebrate the good stuff, the more often I want to do more of it. Does that make sense? When’s the last time you celebrated a decision that you made when it came to food or exercise?

Beating yourself up is never a good strategy and, trust me, there will always be someone else out there who will do it for you. As trite as it sounds, be your own best friend, not your own worst enemy. Focus on the good stuff. Focus on the successes. You become that upon which you focus, so it’s imperative that you guide your mind where you want to go! Trust me, do this one small thing and the rest will follow.

p.s. I also no longer diet. Instead, I make conscious choices about food and exercise that give me energy and help me to feel better about myself and my body.

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