Weight Loss – Healing Old Wounds

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One of the main objectives of our mind is to keep us safe. That feeling in your stomach when you get too close to the edge of a cliff. The fear of walking down a dark street. The negative thoughts you get when you think about dieting. HUH?

Unfortunately, the mind won’t distinguish between real danger and perceived danger. In the instance of weight loss, the mind is protecting you from the pains of the past and fear of pain that would come from failure in the future. This reaction is brought on by how we think about weight loss. What our ever so clever mind doesn’t know is that the pain of being overweight can be debilitating and painful.

The mind isn’t against you losing weight. It doesn’t even understand what that is. It’s against you feeling bad and being stressed. This instinct keeps us from trying, let alone accomplishing many things in life.

Looking for a new job, starting a new hobby, leaving an unsatisfying relationship, getting in shape, etc. These can be considered unknowns and opportunities to fail to the mind and thus things to be avoided. And that is what our mind “protects” us from.

So how can we override this instinct when it comes to weight loss? Click here to find out.

When Goals Sabotage Weight Loss

Goals are great. They keep us focused and motivated. Except when they don’t.

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One problem with setting goals regarding weight loss is that we have less control over the success of the goal than we would like. Just because the calories in and out are where you want, your body may not respond as you would like. Stress and water retention alone can send the scale in the wrong direction despite your good execution.

One way of avoiding this disappointment is by changing the type of goal you set from a result driven goal to a behavioral goal.

End result goals should be secondary to behavioral goals when you are trying to lose weight or increase your fitness, and here is why.

You can’t always control when your body retains water or doesn’t drop the pound that the numbers say it should have. However, you can control the actions and decisions you make that are intended to get you to your goal. This is your behavior. Those daily and minute to minute actions and decisions should be the primary goal with some number on the scale being the secondary goal. Still important, but not primary.

When we set end result goals, we are generally not happy with ourselves until we reach that goal. Sometimes that goal is 6 months or a year out if everything goes perfect! That means you are delaying you happiness with yourself for 6 months.

Let’s look at a behavior goal strategy. Your goal is to live the life it will take to get to a healthy weight. While losing the weight is part of the goal, the focus is the life you are living instead of the number. The main difference here is that with a behavioral goal, you succeed every time you take action that benefits your end goal.

Eating breakfast before you take off to work = win.
Ordering the salad with vinaigrette and keeping your hands off the bread = win.
Workout as soon as you walk in the door instead of sitting on the couch = win.

These are behaviors and each behavior that supports your end goal is a victory and should be acknowledged and celebrated. It’s a great way to support yourself in your efforts.

This mentality allows you to feel good about yourself and your daily actions. Not only that, these actions are what it will take to hit that number on the scale.

Life is about execution so let that be the focus instead a number on the scale or a dress size. Set goals that you actually control. And what you control are your daily actions and decisions.

Check out our website at www.TruChoiceFitness.com
As always, your comments and questions are encouraged.

Sincerely,

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Take Your Health Back

When Nothing is Something – A Mental Rest

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Our minds are constantly racing. Sometimes into the future, sometimes back to the past. Even when we rest the body with sleep, our unconscious mind is still at work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always race to a good place. It tends to worry about real or perceived problems and it will race to the same place over and over again if we let it.

I call this type of ruminating thinking “not being present”. These are unconscious and often uncontrollable thoughts. And the problem with them is that they are exhausting and generally negative. This was a huge issue for me for most of my adult life. Here is one of the exercises I do to retake control of a runaway mind.

Think of nothing!

Sounds easy, but I bet you can’t do it for 30 seconds. Go ahead and give it a shot. I bet, that without even knowing it happens, you will begin thinking of something you have to do or some problem you have. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

TRY THIS:
A great way to shut down the minds obsessive need to race forward or back is to overload your senses. You can do this exercise anywhere and anytime which makes it a very useful tool.

While doing whatever you are doing (sitting at work, walking, driving, lying in bed) observe every sensation you can.

LISTEN to every sound. Cars, planes, people, typing, footsteps, the fan, your breath.
FEEL everything. Your chair, steering wheel, your heart beat, footsteps, the wind.
SEE everything around you. Cars, people, birds, buildings, clouds, your hands, everything.

And do all of it all at once. This isn’t zoning out or meditating so it is safe to do while driving or walking or running. It is the opposite of zoning out. It is observing and being present. This overload will force your mind to deal with NOW so it can’t race to the past or future. It is too busy processing.

As you do this exercise, do not allow yourself to think about these sensations. Don’t see the flower and think “that is beautiful”, don’t feel your heartbeat and think of your health, don’t hear the plane and wonder where it is going. Don’t think, just observe. No labels, no judgment, no questions.

I practice this when I go for walks or runs or while driving. At first it was difficult to see a hawk and not label it as “beautiful or amazing” or whatever. But as I learned to observe with all of my senses at the same time I could keep myself from thinking longer and be more present to what was actually around me.

THE BENEFIT:

It feels great! When you complete your moment of being present you will feel a great relief or joy wash over you. You have rested your mind. I have read that one minute of not thinking is equal to 20 minutes of sleep.

BEWARE! Your mind has been running the show your entire life and is a master at what it does (Race) so be aware that it will trick you into thinking again. It will do this by judging or labeling what you hear, fee and see. When this happens, simply start again. At first, you may only find 10 seconds of peace. But with practice, you will become more aware and take more control of your mind.

Give it a shot and let hear about your experiences with this.

As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Health                                                                                                               weightloss@TruChoiceFitness.com                                                                        www.TruChoiceFitness.com

Fitness From the Inside Out