As you probably know many people in Australia are overweight or obese, over half the adult population in fact, this is an alarming problem for a number of reasons.
“In 2004-05, more than half (54%) of all adults, or 7.4 million people aged 18 years and over were either overweight or obese, an increase from 44% (5.4 million adults) in 1995,” – Australian Bureau of Statistics
Many of these people if not all, would have tried, at some time or other to lose weight. “Lose weight” seems to be the catch-cry of the overweight. If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a few weeks, months or years, ask yourself this question: ”How’s that working out for you?”
There are a number of inherent flaws in this statement from a psychological point of view, I am not surprised at all that we have such a problem with “weight” when people have been focussing on “losing weight” for so long.
Let’s look at this statement and dissect it: “I’m trying to lose weight”
Flaw #1: Lose weight is a negative statement
Have you ever lost your keys? When you did, what did your mind immediately do…. (start looking for them) When ever you lose something, you are attuned to want to find it again.
OK, now, don’t think of a purple elephant. Don’t think about it! You can’t not think of a purple elephant when I write that because you have to think of it, in order to not think of it. Losing weight is the same. It is a negative statement, meaning you’re talking about what you don’t want. The problem with thinking about what you don’t want, is by thinking about it, you’re setting your mind to create it. Every time you say to yourself I’ve got to lose weight. Your mind only hears “weight” and it creates weight for you. As a society we have been focussing on losing weight and it hasn’t worked. Are you ready to think of something else?
Flaw #2: I’m fat. Underlying negative presupposition
The underlying statement or presupposition under “Im trying to lose weight” is “I’m fat” When you think, “I’m fat” you don’t feel very good about yourself. You feel defeated before you’ve started and it often conjures up emotions and thoughts around failure and negativity.
Flaw #3: Trying not doing
Try and pick up a pen. Go ahead and try, really try hard. If you picked it up, you didn’t try. You did it. Trying implies failure from the start. If you’re going to do it, say you’re going to do it!
The solution: Change the words, change the outcome…
There is a solution to this major paradigm problem. You can change it for yourself by consciously changing your thoughts. Here are your substitutions, whenever you think the statement on the left substitute it for the one on the right.
•I’m trying to lose weight - I’m a fat-burning machine.
•I’m losing weight – I’m becoming slimmer every day
•I’m fat - I’m becoming slimmer every day
•I can’t stop eating chocolate - I am enjoying new healthy foods
I’m sure you can understand that burning fat, or becoming slim is a positive statement, talking about what you do want rather than what you don’t want. When you say I’m becoming slim, it focusses your mind on your future slim self, not on your current overweight one. Also, when you burn something, it’s gone forever. You want that fat burnt off though exercise and healthy eating, not just lost, waiting for you to find it again…
Does this make sense to you? Have you been trying to “become slim” or “lose weight”?
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