Are you focusing on the wrong things?

Ever notice that when you decide to lose weight things get in the way? You wake up Monday to a busted water heater, and your plan to begin exercising that morning evaporates. The CEO calls you into a lunch meeting and you’re starving. Your plan for a salad vanishes with nothing but croissant sandwiches in front of you. You had every intention of doing the right thing, and it felt like forces were conspiring against you.

What you focus on in those moments makes all the difference.

Focus on what’s going wrong and you’ll get more of it. Focus on what’s right, and you’ll get more of that, too. It’s like my 3 questions that stop you from losing weight: choose your focus to choose your result.

“Yeah, I’ve heard it before… think positively… blah blah blah.”

Trust me. It’s not about pretending everything’s awesome when it’s not. (By the way, it’s not supposed to be awesome all the time. It’s called life, right?)

It’s about focusing on what will get you the result you want. To lose weight you’ve got to focus on what will get you there. Not what won’t.

To lose weight and keep it off, look at where you’re focused. Is it on: What you shouldn’t eat? What you have to do? Shift focus for a better result.
Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Our brains are wired to move towards what we focus on. It’s the neurological pathway. Our thoughts and beliefs generate feelings, which bring about our behavior. And behavior – ta da – produces a result.

Ever notice that if something unexpected – like the hot water heater – happens in the morning, it’s easy to let it ruin our day. It doesn’t even have to be that big of a deal. You can spill coffee on your blouse, misplace the car keys, and hit unusual traffic. You’re greeted at the office with “Morning. How ya doing?” and you launch into all that’s gone wrong so far.

You’re actually looking for more things to go wrong. We say things like “What next?” and “That sure got my day off to a great start (note sarcasm).” And most of the time, we get what we look for. And we readily retell the story.

So unhelpful!

To lose weight and actually keep it off, look at where you’re focused. Is it on:

  • What you shouldn’t eat? You’ll find that you want more of it. It’s like telling a kid “don’t touch that.” What does she do? Right.
  • What you “have” to do? We’re autonomous individuals and don’t want to “have” to do anything.
  • Kicking yourself for overeating? This leads to “what’s the use” and we continue the cycle.
  • Wondering why you gained a pound when you did everything right yesterday? The scale doesn’t tell the whole story.

Instead, what if you focus on:

  • What you want to eat: Make a list of all the foods you love that help you lose weight and consider how lucky are you to get to eat these foods.
  • What you “get” to do: You are in full control. There is no rule you have to obey. It’s always your call.
  • What you really need: When you overeat, ask yourself why. Get to the core of what you really need. I promise you, it’s not food.
  • Changes you can’t see: When you’re taking positive actions, trust that your body is making changes at the cellular level. You can’t see them on the scale day-to-day. Focus on the action. If overtime the scale doesn’t move, re-evaluate. It’s just an objective number. Not a measurement of your worth. And it can’t discount your efforts.

If you’re focused on the wrong things, you’re white knuckling and struggling to take the right actions. If you’re focused on the right things, you feel a greater ease and enjoyment. No, I’m not promising unicorns and rainbows. But it’s so much better. That I promise.

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