When it comes to weight loss and exercise, there is a missing ingredient in those diets and fitness routines that rarely, if ever, gets included and talked about. And, it has a greater impact on how successful you can be reaching your weight loss and fitness goals, and being able to perform your best both professionally and personally. That is, what you tell yourself matters.
Successfully Lose Weight and Keep it Off – Start by Eliminating These 2 Words from Your Vocabulary
Your thoughts and feelings have a great influence on how you act, or not, on something. If you have a negative emotion towards it, say about exercising, then it’s likely you will not be rushing to do that cardio workout or pick up those weights. This limits how often you exercise, and increases the chances you won’t lose weight or have the energy to perform your best. Alternatively, if you have a positive emotion towards something, say eating a healthy diet, then it’s likely you will find ways to eat better more often.
But, telling yourself to be more positive likely isn’t going to solve the problem of exercising more often or eating a healthy diet. Instead, consider the words you use. Avoid saying these 2 words to yourself – “Should” and “Can’t,” and replace them with something different.
Why is “Should” so Bad?
Think about how it sounds, feels, or looks like when you say, “I should have exercised this week,” “I should exercise tomorrow,” “I should eat better.” I should, I should, I should. That word strongly implies an obligation or a sense of duty of having to do something, not out of choice. Here’s what happens:
- It decreases the feeling of having a personal choice, desire, and empowerment to act.
- It’s a form of self-criticism and we feel bad about ourselves for not doing something that we know is good.
- It decreases self-esteem, confidence, and motivation.
Contrast this with saying, “I want to exercise so I can lose weight,” “I am eating healthier (even if all you’ve done is substitute one unhealthy item for a healthier one),” “I desire to be stronger and more fit.” Words like these are much more empowering and create a greater desire to do something that is good.
Why “Can’t” is Bad
The reason for avoiding this word is obvious. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, well then you’ve convinced yourself you can’t. It will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, have you ever said to yourself, “no matter how hard I try I can’t lose weight,” or “I’ve tried a handful of diets and I still can’t lose weight,” or “I can’t exercise, I’m too busy today.”
The key is to be aware of the word when you use it. With awareness comes change. When you catch yourself saying “can’t,” ask yourself what you can do. It could be as simple as, “I can eat a piece of fruit today,” or “I will get up from my desk and take a short brisk walk to get a bit of exercise and clear my head.”
What you tell yourself matters. It matters if you want to lose weight, be more fit, eat a healthier diet, or perform your best personally and professionally. So, tell yourself nice things and this will increase your chances of achieving your goals.