For many of us, our self-talk is a constant tug of war between a positive “you can do this” ally and a bully shouting to give up before we make a fool of ourselves.
Life is grand when Positive Patsy is in control, helping us visualise a better life and make plans to get there, but when Nasty Nelly raises her critical voice, it can be enough to give up on the hope of a better existence.
So how can we shush that inner critic so positivity can shine through on our weight loss journey?
1 Ask if your inner critic is actually telling the truth
Our inner critic can be very persuasive, but often when we really analyse the statements, we realise that they’re not necessarily grounded in fact.
Pay attention to your self-talk, then consider how truthful the statements really are. It can be helpful to write down the evidence for and against the thought to open your mind to different possibilities.
So if you’re prone to thinking, “I’m terrible at exercise”, if you pause and break that down you might realise that sure, you may not have been on the representative school netball team, but that doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of moving your body altogether.
Come at it from a different perspective by considering movements you might enjoy, such as bushwalking, dancing around the living room or trying tai chi and you’ll realise that your inner critic is often just a sabotaging liar.
2 Automate so you don’t hesitate
Health experts have almost universally abandoned the idea of willpower, believing that a far better weight loss approach comes from habit change that allows us to follow behaviours without a second thought.
Start by introducing one or two new habits at a time that enable you to meet your health goals without thinking. It might mean packing your morning tea every day so can stay on track or book in for a weekly PT session or active catch-up with friends that you feel motivated to attend.
3 Make a move
There’s nothing an inner critic loves more than making you freeze, so if you find yourself stuck or flailing, then do something (anything!) to change the trajectory.
It might be taking a walk in the fresh air, cooking a healthy meal or taking a few deep, centring breaths – by taking action, you’ll not only take your mind off that inner critic but you’ll simultaneously be taking a micro step forward in your weight loss journey, delivering a little positivity boost to reminds you that you got this.
For more advice check out Five non-scale victories you need to be celebrating.
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