How to Lose Weight: Use Your Brain

September 15, 2008 at 12:00 pm 5 comments

 

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As some of you know, my current profession is as an interior designer.  I say “current” profession, because I have previously been an opera singer and biochemist, and will probably try other paths in the future.  You may also know that I lost about 25 pounds last year, and have managed to keep them off.  (Ok, it took me two tries, but that’s another story.)  How do these things relate to one another?  I shall explain in my usual (circuitous) fashion.

Losing weight (or getting in shape) requires more than willpower – it requires motivation, belief, and creativity… lots and lot of creativity.  Boredom and deprivation are two of the top three killers of most people’s good health intentions.  The third is something fitness gurus don’t talk about much, but is perhaps the most insidious, in that it is totally unavoidable… REAL LIFE!!  (DUM DUM DUM!)  This is where the creativity comes in.

Last night I did some major Tae-Bo – major in the sense that the soreness didn’t even wait till the next day to settle in – major like I was feeling the burn before the workout even ended.  (It was great!)  My intention this morning had been to get up and do some strength training.  We’re having the parents for dinner tonight (as guests, not food) so I knew I wouldn’t have time after work.  Well, real life dictated otherwise.  When I got up this morning, the effects of my Tae-Bo-of-Doom session were evident, and strength training was not happening.  Now here I am, eight hours later, sitting at my desk.  It’s raining cats and dogs, so folks aren’t really out seeking an interior designer, and for this one brief, shining moment, I seem to be caught up on all my projects… whoa.  Thus, I find myself with some down time, and I’m feeling rather recovered from last night’s exertion.  Guess what I’m doing?

Remember how I promised to get back to the relationship between my being an interior designer, and successfully losing 25 pounds?  Here we are:  creativity, people.  When “real life” intervenes with your carefully laid plans, you must adapt – you must be on the alert for opportunity!  My high heels are on the floor beside me as I do two sets each of squats and lunges.  I don’t have a yoga ball, but I do have a small tufted ottoman which is supporting me nicely through some crunches and bridges.  Bicep and tricep curls?  Well, I don’t have any dumbbells, but I do have… lamps without shades!  (And let me tell you, our lamps are no joke in the weight department!)  Whew!  This was awesome!  I should totally market this as the Designer’s Workout.  🙂   Your brain can do more than just talk you OUT of something (although it will if you let it)… if you force it to do so, it can also come up with some great solutions.

But wait, do you still have thoughts like “lazy,” and “fat-ass,” running around in your head when you think of yourself?  You seriously need to stop that.  You ARE what you think – no more, and no less!  You’ve all heard about the power of affirmations, positive thinking, and visualization.  Maybe you even think you’ve tried them, and they haven’t worked.  That’s because underneath your conscious positive thoughts, the negative ones were still running SUBconsciously.  I had read about folks who managed to lose weight just by “thinking thin.”  I’m here to tell you, this made a huge difference for me in my second time around the weight-loss track.  When I stopped abusing myself mentally, and started thanking my body for all of the wonderful things it does for me, my fitness world changed dramatically.  I now eat almost totally intuitively (with no calorie counting).  My fitness is improving and my weight is lowering even WITHOUT an hour and a half of exercise every day (which is what I was doing the first time around).  Pounds are shedding just because I THINK they are.  I feel lighter, airier… happier.  Now don’t think this is some sort of miracle where I just woke up at my goal weight one morning, cuz not so much.  (I’m still not quite at my goal weight, but I should be soon.)  It’s more like I’m not at ODDS with my efforts, and everything is happening with greater… simplicity.  Keep in mind the entire rest of this article.  It’s not as if I’m sitting on my sofa, meditating on my perfect health goals, and expecting to open my eyes and see it manifest (although I believe that’s theoretically possible!).  I’m still eating sensibly, I work out regularly, and I get at least eight hours of sleep a night so that my body can rejuvenate.  The difference is now that I have my brain’s cooperation, it no longer feels like such a struggle.

So if you’re trying to lose weight, get fit, or improve your health, follow these two important steps:

1.  Be kind to yourself.  Be grateful for all that you possess, physically and mentally.  See yourself as you wish the world to see you.
2.  Don’t fear life’s regular interruptions, because that’s what LIVING is all about!  Just keep your eyes open for unexpected opportunity, and be creative with how you approach your diet and exercise… it doesn’t always have to occur in the gym at 6:00pm sharp.

Here’s to your health!
All my love,
Kristy

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Entry filed under: Fitness, Food and Nutrition, Health, Time Management. Tags: , , , .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rachelle  |  September 15, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    thanks for the tips…

    i suppose my first step is to redefine why i feel like i need to lose weight. i’m at a healthy BMI, i fit into all of my clothes, i feel strong…but i’m not happy? rawgh…

    Reply
  • 2. Paintandsoul  |  September 16, 2008 at 12:11 am

    So true, so very, very true! It’s really all in our heads, we can easily do the right thing by ourselves in terms of taking in the right amount of calories and finding ways to just NOT BE sedentary if we just get comfy with a new mindset and approach to it all.

    Reply
  • 3. averagegoddess  |  September 16, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Rachelle – I think that’s an excellent idea. So often we get caught up in the “numbers game,” only to discover that the number never actually satisfies us. What do you want to DO with your weight loss? Is there some other avenue you should be pursuing… fitness for something other than “fitness’s sake?” Maybe you need to reach for some sort of athletic goal, or just a personal one, and see how the fitness relates.

    Reply
  • 4. averagegoddess  |  September 16, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Paint – Lol… as we all know, “EASILY” might not be exactly the right word, but you’ve got it exactly when you say it’s a shift in mindset. You have to make a commitment to taking control of your life, instead of letting life control you. After all, that’s really what being an average goddess is all about!!

    Reply
  • 5. limeliteshines  |  September 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    I think this is the biggest thing that has made my weight loss goals so . . . possible recently. I’m not losing weight because “I’m a horrible fat cow and how can I live like this?” . . . nope . . I’m losing because I made a promise to myself to learn how to be healthy . . and by learn . . I mean trial and error. I want to try new things and give my body healthy food because I deserve it. I may be overweight, but it’s an opportunity to be even STRONGER in the end . . because I’ve had to work through such a bigger goal than most everyone else! 🙂 And . . that’s why it’s working.

    That . . and you. 🙂 The Average Goddess is quite a factor in my success!! and will continue to be . . . of this I’m sure!

    Reply

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