Monday, November 28, 2011

The Mind Body Spirit Approach to Weight Loss

The success rate from dieting is quite low. In fact most people will gain back all of the weight they lose within 3 to 5 years. Many will attempt again and end up back on the roller coaster. A ride I know too well. What I believe has been the key to helping me keep the weight off and being healthy overall has been a mind, body and spirit approach to weight loss. It all starts with developing a positive mind set about yourself. In other words you have to start by doing the inner work first. Then the outer self will be a reflection of the changes that have taken place from the inside. Well you may be wondering where to start?

First let's look at what is mind, body and spirit? I like to use the analogy of a car. The operation of a vehicle needs the body of the car which is analogous to our own physical body, the parts that make it work or the mind and the fuel, or our spirit. The spirit is not to be confused with the soul. I like to think of the soul as the steering wheel of the car. It's responsible for helping to guide us. Whereas the spirit is that part of us that drives us forward. When we are fed with feelings that are positive we are moved more easily toward our goals. Negative thoughts, emotions and fears are detrimental to our spirit and keep us stuck, lost and directionless. This is the most critical aspect of any weight loss program. Like anything in life, if we embody negative thoughts it will keep us from not only feeling good about ourselves but also from achieving our goals. Therefore I believe its so important to feed your spirit along with working on your body and mind to succeed at weight loss. Just like a perfectly working car with all it's parts. By now you may be asking the question: How do I feed my spirit?

Next I'd like you to determine if you hold predominantly a negative or positive view of your physical self. This is what I call the mirror test. Look in the mirror and check if the first thing you see is something negative about your body that you don't like? For example, when you look in the mirror do you sigh and point out the wrinkles, the fat on your arms etc? Or is the first thing you see some feature of your body you like? Most people will likely point out a feature they don't like. Right away that tells me that there's a problem with self image. Especially if this happens every time you look in a mirror. And this is where the programming needs to change. If you walk onto that gym floor after looking in the mirror at all the parts of your body you don't like your setting yourself up for failure. None of the exercises or programs will work and if they do they will likely not have permanent effects. If your car is going to operate properly you make sure all the parts are working and it has fuel. Just the same, you need to ensure your mind, body and spirit are all in tow. In other words if you don't fuel your spirit your body isn't going to respond positively either. Do you see how all three are integrated? When your spirit isn't being fed you start reaching for all that comfort food. And then the vicious cycle continues all over again.

This brings me back once again to the question I posed earlier and that is how do you feed your spirit? Your spirit is something you want to feed every day even when your not in the gym. It requires you to make positive affirmations about yourself. Here's a sample list of statements:

1. My body is good to me and I am good to my body.
2. I am grateful to my body for all that it does for me.
3. My body is the housekeeper of all good things.

You can start with these or make up your own. Its important that you keep your focus and attention on the positive aspects of your body. By doing so you will fuel your spirit. And just like any car, without fuel it's going no where.
When you stop and look into a mirror try looking into your eyes and say statements like:

1. I am in the process of becoming healthier
2. I am a perfect human being in the eyes of God
3. I approve of myself

When you go the gym you take your gym bag with you filled with your workout clothes, water bottle etc. I also want you to take with you all the tools you need to feed your spirit. Keep a spirit journal and jot down a few positive statements like the ones above before you begin your workout. Also, before bedtime right out your statements 20 times for 2 weeks. This will help keep your frame of mind positively on track! You'll also shift your self perception from a negative to a positive one and that is key to succeeding at any of your life's goals.

On a day to day basis feeding our spirit is about doing things and making choices that make us happy. It's thinking positive thoughts about ourselves, our work environment and our relationships. Its all about the simple things we can do for ourselves that don't have to cost any money. What ways can you feed your spirit?

The mind, body and spirit approach is all intertwined and one aspect will inevitably affect the other. If we don't address all three we will stay stuck or fail. This can lead to all sorts of imbalances that will affect the relationship we have with ourselves, relationships with others as well as our overall health.

Successful weight loss begins with a positive mind set and a shift in our perceptions of our physical body. The shift starts when we reprogram our thoughts to create positive feelings about ourselves. By doing so we can achieve our weight loss and other life related goals.

Every day is a Miracle

Angel Fitness Blessings To ALL