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Change Your Thoughts And Change Your Body

 I don’t know if it’s every been designated as such but if not I’m going to be the first to declare the first Monday after New Year’s to be the national “Start Your Diet Day.”

There’s no question that more diets are started today than any other time of the year.

But as we know the majority of these diets will be broken in a few weeks along with the New Year’s resolutions that went with them.

I wrote last week about the problems with New Year’s resolutions and wanted to expand on that today specifically from a diet and weight loss standpoint.

Here’s a typical weight loss resolution that someone might have made going into 2011.

Typical New Year’s Resolution For Weight Loss…

“I’m going to go on <fill in the blank> diet with the goal of losing <fill in the blank> lbs.”

The person vows to give up the donuts, cheeseburgers, and all their other favorite junk foods and treats to get it done. No matter what it takes, they tell themselves that this time will-power and discipline is going to be the difference maker.

Ha…Ha. Sorry, I had to chuckle with the will-power and discipline part. If you’ve heard me say it once you’ve heard me say it a thousand times…will-power is way over-rated!

Trust me if that’s your strategy the eight ball says “outlook not so good.”

8ball_outlook

I Hear Voices…

If you start ANY diet and all you can think about is what you’re missing out on, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll give into the cravings. Those voices in your head will eventually win out in a moment of weakness, no matter how high your motivation was when you started.

Let me save you from the frustration and feelings of failure right now. I know a lot of people beat themselves up when they can’t stick to their diet when the truth is they never really had a chance…that is unless they learn to take a different approach.

You see it all starts with your brain, more specifically your subconscious thoughts.

Read the following statement a couple of times to let it really sink in.

“There’s always a thinking problem…before there’s an eating problem…before there’s a weight problem.”

How many people even consider their subconscious thoughts when starting a diet? Not too many, which is exactly the reason most people aren’t able to stick with it.

Consider for minute the countless subconscious triggers that you might encounter on any given day. The smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies when you walk into your favorite coffee shop. The bright red light on the Krispy Kreme sign that reads “hot donuts ready.”

krispy_kreme

The cues are everywhere and you know there’s going to be that voice in your head that pulls you in like a magnet.

So how in the heck are you supposed to use will-power to resist this all the time?

The answer is you don’t! You change your subconscious thoughts through the programming of new associations.

Huh, say what Shane? Let me explain…

There are two items on a table side by side and nothing else. One is an orange and the other is a hot Krispy Kreme donut.

What makes one person choose the orange and not the donut or vice-versa?

It all comes down to the associations you have with both foods. If you’d like to get to the point where you could choose the orange pretty much without fail here’s how you do it.

You start by determining what’s really important to you in your life and getting this down on paper. Find a quiet place to sit down and do this exercise. I’m serious when I tell you it could be a turning point for you in your life.

What Do You Really Want?

When you get to the bottom of everything, what do you really desire to have from this thing called life? If you’re like me it will be things like having the health, energy, and vitality to be there for my kids.

To hopefully be around to enjoy time with my grandchildren. To live life to the fullest and grow old with clear thinking, mobility, independence, free from sickness and disease.

I don’t want to miss out on anything because my life was cut short due to heart disease, diabetes, or some preventable illness. I don’t want to get Alzheimer’s or spend my later years in a daze looking out a window not being able to think clearly or remember my loved ones names.

I could go on and on but you get my point. To me this is REAL pain and exactly what I don’t want for my life.

The evidence is clear, you eat the wrong foods more often than not and your chances for heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other illnesses increases exponentially.

Spare me the talk about your uncle who smoked a pack of non-filter Camel’s and drank a case of beer a day and lived to be eighty-five. Or the health conscious person who got cancer and had their life cut short at an early age.

Look, I don’t have all the answers and I’m not going to pretend to play God. All any of us can do is take care of our health and assume control over what we have control of.

To think that the odds are in our favor that what we can eat whatever we want and it won’t factor into our quality of life and longevity is just kidding ourselves. 

A Liar And A Thief!

When I look at a donut I see a liar and a thief. I know this sounds crazy but I’m serious. I see it wooing me with temptation about being sweet, comforting, and pleasing. That is of course on the way down. But then once in my body it’s robbing me of my health, energy, strength, and vitality.

When I look at the orange I see it giving me life, providing me with energy, strength, clear thinking, and a sound body.

One giveth and one taketh away…

Didn’t think of this from a spiritual standpoint until just now but it certainly ties in. Don’t worry I’m not going to go into a sermon, but I’m not ashamed to proclaim my faith as it’s certainly a foundation in my life and I write what’s in my heart…

Did I always think this way about certain foods robbing me of the things that were really important? Of course not…it wasn’t until I understood what it was like to really feel good before I could grasp what the junk food was actually taking from me.

Try going a month without eating any junk food what-so-ever and then go eat a couple of donuts or a Big Mac value meal and tell me what you think. When you feel like crap after eating it, which is exactly what will happen, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

I don’t want to come across extreme like I never eat anything that isn’t good for me. Sure, I’ll have a dessert every now and then or have something sweet but the majority of time I’m eating from a Primal Blueprint Diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, omega-3 fats and oils.

I choose these foods for what they give me and regularly avoid man-made processed and refined foods for what they take away.

How To Succeed With Making REAL Changes In Your Life…

Since will-power doesn’t work and you now know it’s all about associations, don’t just go on a diet but rather look to change the way you think which will in turn change the way you eat.

Make the decision to live for what’s really important in your life. Think about these things often. Put up pictures of your family on the fridge, at the office, on the pantry door, anywhere you might be tempted to make a bad decision.

Don’t just write your resolutions or goals out to be something that’s superficial and vague. Be descriptive and detail out what you want your life to be like two months from now, six months from now, 5-10-20 years from now.

Give your brain a clear target and program your subconscious thoughts regularly by reading these goals and practicing visualization.

Remember, if there’s no emotion associated with your goals it’s just ink on paper, powerless to help you change.

Commit to the long-haul and the big picture. If you slip up, let it go and press forward.

It’s little and often over the long haul that makes the difference.

You can have the body you desire, one that’s healthy, strong, and full of energy. I believe in you and I know you can make it happen if you just believe in it as well.

Don’t let anything or anybody convince you otherwise or keep you from having the life you want.

If you’d like coaching, support, motivation, and encouragement to help you on your journey that’s what I’m here for. Don’t take the walk alone when you’re trying to set new habits and routines.

If weight loss is goal of yours I’d encourage you to check out the 2011 Charleston Biggest Loser Contest. Registration starts now and the contest starts January 17th.

Not only can you get a ton of resources from yours truly for less than the cost of dinner out and qualify to win a $500 grand prize, but you’ll also be helping to support the Dream Center Clinic.

Until next time…eat primal, exercise with purpose, live with passion.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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Category: Shane's Commentary.