I’ll bet you never thought you’d hear me use the D word for this challenge, since Resolve to Love is about the exact opposite of dieting or putting in a lot of effort to look better (which tends to be a futile attempt, since many of us are never happy with the way we look, no matter how hard we try to improve our appearance). If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I passionately don’t believe in diets and I refuse to ever go on one again.
But for April, we’re going on a different kind of diet – a mental diet. This one is simple, but I think many will find it the hardest aspect of this year-long challenge. Here’s what I’m asking you to do:
::Every time you have any kind of negative thought about yourself (not just about how you look, but anything and everything about you), remind yourself that that was your inner critic talking and immediately replace the negative thought with a positive one.
::Be 100% committed to refrain from talking about your weight, your feelings about your weight, weight loss, diets and/or your feelings about how “bad” you look. No more, “I feel so fat today!” or “I wish I had a butt like you!” or “I’ve got to lose 10 pounds!” or “God, I look awful today!” Your commitment has to be super strong on this one because I know from experience how easy it is to think that just one little comment isn’t so bad. But it is. Enough is enough. You have better things to do with your life than complain about your perceived weight problems.
::Remember that like unhealthy foods, negative thoughts give you a temporary burst of energy, then leave you empty and needing more. They weigh you down, just like sugary, fatty foods and make you feel (and therefore appear) heavy. Choose your mental diet as carefully as you choose your gastronomical diet. Positive thoughts truly sustain you, give you energy and buoy your spirit, making you glow from the inside out.
I know many people, including myself, have found this to be the hardest diet of all. And others who think they don’t even need to try it, often find that the awareness of their negative thoughts only made them realize just how much their attitudes were dominated by these little gray clouds of self-doubt. Whether you think you need to try this or not, I hope you will. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Unfortunately, many of us have been taught that it’s not okay to think of ourselves too highly. Heaven forbid we have self-confidence! It’s okay for men to know their worth, but not always women. So how do you get around this, when feeding yourself positive thoughts at first seems like a forbidden feast of vanity? Pretend you are your own daughter or best friend. Would you allow someone to say to them what your inner critic says to you? Probably not. Be your own protective mother, your own best friend and turn your back on that voice over and over and over again. Give yourself the credit, support and love that you deserve.
I would love to hear your stories as the month goes on. Please leave them here in the comments section or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck, fellow dieters!