What thoughts, beliefs, and emotions are you carrying with you that are preventing you from achieving better health?
If you’re tempted to think ‘nothing,’ then you might be in denial, not aware of your thoughts, or aware of them but don’t realize that they’re the first barrier that needs to come down.
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Examples of sabotaging thoughts, beliefs, and emotions:
- Diabetes, high blood pressure, etc runs in my family, and there’s nothing I can change about my genes.
- My life is too busy. I can’t find time to cook, sit down to eat, or exercise.
- I can’t control my eating because my coworkers always bring dessert to work, there’s so much food everywhere I go, the vending machine has unhealthy foods, my spouse likes to eat fried foods, etc.
- Food and agriculture politics are making America obese and sick.
- I have slow metabolism, I can’t lose weight.
- I don’t know how to cook.
- My parents never ate healthy, I never learned how to eat healthy.
- Eating healthy is boring, difficult, not delicious, expensive, etc.
- It doesn’t matter what I eat. I’m not going to get sick.
- It doesn’t matter what I eat. I’m going to get sick anyways.
- I’m not good at eating healthy. I tried it so many times and I keep failing.
If you find yourself engaging in such thoughts, beliefs, or emotions, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Some are true (like you can’t change your genes), but others are related to how you perceive your life and the amount of control you have over it (like you’re too busy). You made yourself think of them as the truths when they don’t necessarily have to be.
Challenge yourself and question if this is the only way to think. What would it be like to think otherwise? What can you accomplish if you started to think differently?
Three beliefs and thoughts that will change your life:
1. Me Matters.
I care about me. My health is important. I’m going to put myself first, and I’m not going to feel guilty about it. If I take the time to make and eat something healthy, exercise, or rest, it doesn’t mean I’m slacking or not caring for my family. I’m going to be compassionate and respectful of myself; I’m a good person no matter what I eat or whether I work out or not.
2. I’m in control.
Genes can predispose me to certain diseases, but I can change my environment. I’m going to make the best of it. The food environment is toxic, but I will stop blaming everyone because my body and my health are my own. If I can’t control the people around me, I can control my thoughts and emotions. I’ll do my best to make a difference in the world, my work environment, my home, etc, but I realize there are things I can’t change, so I’m going to stop blaming them. I’m going to take responsibility for my behaviors and thoughts. I’m strong; I can do this.
3. I can change.
I don’t have to keep doing the same things over and over because they’re easy or because that’s how I was raised. I’m going to be open minded about trying new foods and learning new skills (cooking, time management, grocery shopping, relaxation, etc). I won’t be perfect, but it’s a journey not a destination. I can make one change at a time, then celebrate my success by challenging myself even more. Change needs persistence and consistency, it doesn’t happen over night. I don’t have to flip my life upside down, one change at a time.
“I matter… I’m in control… I can change “
If you’re a dietitian, nutritionist, or health coach, what other beliefs or thoughts you encounter with your clients/patients? Do you have additional tips or words of wisdom?
For everyone else: do you feel you can relate to this article? Were you able to overcome belief and thought obstacles? Do you have additional tips or words of wisdom?