Cultivating a healthier lifestyle is the only research proven approach for healthy weight loss and this forms the foundation of the Green Mountain program.
Stopping Negative Self Talk
However, bridging that gap between insight and action can feel elusive when striving to undo years, and sometimes even decades, of ingrained behavior. As a result, the process of change can sometimes feel like swimming against a strong current because it requires letting go of the old approach while learning new skills for being different.
Creating Healthy Habits: Insight to Action
If you find yourself stuck between insight and action, here are five strategies that can help propel you out of idle and into acceleration within the process of change.
Often people are stuck in an all-or-nothing pattern with food and exercise because of ingrained patterns. As a result, the middle ground can feel like a mystery. Because you can’t change what you aren’t aware of, cultivating body awareness will help illuminate what the middle ground feels like with food portions and moderate activity, which is crucial for shifting behavior. This practice of mindfulness or present-centeredness allows for the cultivation of body and mind awareness in the here and now.
2Focus on Addition, not Restriction
When we focus on the foods we ‘shouldn’t’ have, the typical human response is to want it even more. This is the “forbidden fruit” mentality and this mindset inevitably sets up a deprivation/overeating of the “forbidden” foods.At Green Mountain we teach women to focus on the foods they need to ADD to their meals to help create more of a balanced intake of all foods. Adding what’s missing (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains) shifts the focus from ‘what I can’t have’ to the foods to add for optimal health. Not focusing on “can’t” can help reduce the fear of deprivation.
3Shift Your Negative Self-Talk
Self-criticism does NOT provide the motivation for positive change or help to keep you “in check.” But it CAN foster feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness. Because desperate thoughts often lead to desperate measures (think diets), it’s important to decrease the negative self-talk default setting. We can create new neural pathways in the brain with new thoughts. So, when a negative thought pops up, simply replace with something more compassionate, such as “may I be gentle with myself in this moment”, or whatever affirmation feels comforting and authentic to YOU. And repeat!
4Start Small and Build Up
Start with the molehills, not the mountains. Creating realistic and doable goals is key for success, but often we want to see and feels results yesterday. The unrealistic plans that often are created only set us up for failure, not success. Creating attainable goals and corresponding action plans are important when embarking on a healthier lifestyle. Slow and steady wins the race. It allows you to feel what is working or not working and to evaluate and adjust your approach as needed.
5Find Positive Support
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounding yourself with @*$holes.” ~ William Gibson
Take stock of who is truly supportive in your life and who is not. Sometimes those who are not supportive simply need guidance on how to be.
Asking for Support: A Letter to Your Loved Ones
Learn More About Our Nutrition and Eating Behaviors Program