In this week after Valentine’s Day, the topic of loving our bodies seems appropriate. Our last FitBriefing, Loving Our Bodies for Healthy Weight Loss Success, presents a good review of just how important this attitude is, even though it’s very difficult for many of us to embrace.
The bottom line is that our attitudes/thoughts dictate our behaviors. To quote the FitBriefing:
“…how we think about ourselves and our body image has a decisive impact on our behaviors. For example,
When we’re negative about ourselves, we’re less likely to feed ourselves well.
We rarely have the motivation or energy to get off the couch (or out of bed) and move to make our bodies feel better.
If we’re emotional eaters, negative thinking about ourselves can be a trigger to eat when we’re not hungry, or even binge.
Bingeing and isolating ourselves can represent forms of self-punishment that make us feel even more discouraged and depressed.”
Mimi and Teri, our behaviorists at Green Mountain, recently attended a conference at which much of the discussion centered around the significant effect our thinking has on who we become. Neural pathways get established with repeated thoughts, and those repeated thoughts become habits that dictate our behaviors.
The first step in changing thoughts and behaviors is to become aware of them. Because our habit of disliking our bodies can be so established, we don’t even notice when we disparage ourselves. The attitudes of mindfulness go a long way towards helping us become aware.
If you’re caught up in not liking your body, read the complete FitBriefing “Loving our Bodies.” It has some useful techniques for starting to change these thoughts and, ultimately, even move towards a healthier place that may find us actually liking our bodies. Positive thoughts can work just like negative ones, by taking us to the places we’re thinking about!