In the first of two posts, author Theresa Fowler tells us why the wrong mindset is hindering most people’s quest for permanent weight loss.
My name is Theresa Fowler and I’m the author of Feel Like Sh*t? How to Stop Being Fat. But my life hasn’t always been so happy and healthy. In fact, up until only six years ago, including for most of my entire life, I was depressed and miserable, as well as sick, tired and obese. I felt like sh*t! At my largest I was barely squeezing into a UK size 24 — and would refused to have my picture taken, because I despised what I saw whenever pictures came back Snappy Snaps.
The turning point
But I finally sought help to deal with my problem after my father died. He was only 67 and had suffered with diabetes and complications for more than 20 years, finally succumbing to pancreatic cancer.
Watching his coffin being lowered into the grave was my turning point — I was already suffering from insulin resistance. And high blood pressure. And high cholesterol. And chronic bloating, constipation and indigestion. And candida albicans. And chronic swollen feet and ankles. And fibrous breast tissue. And skin sores, boils and cysts from the rubbing of clothes. Prickly heat and chronic verrucas. Ingrown toenails. I couldn’t walk up a single flight of stairs without becoming breathless. I smoked up to 60 cigarettes a day. I drank at least a bottle of wine a night to wind down.
But seeing my father’s coffin made me realise that I needed to get healthy in order to continue living my life, or else I would be following him to the grave very soon — in sickness — and that scared the sh*t out of me. So I had to do something about it.
Be prepared to detox your mind
Now fast approaching 50, I am so much happier and healthier and I want you to know that it’s also never too late to begin taking back control of your own health — which you have the power to do!
But here’s the thing, I know what I’m about to share this isn’t for everybody. However, I also know from experience that in order to get what you want, then you have to do this stuff. Simple as that.
So with that in mind, in order to achieve sustainable weight loss, you must first be prepared to detox your mind.
What do I mean by that? Well, detox is generally defined as the process of purifying the body of toxins, which we tend to think of as alcohol, drugs, chemicals and other substances.
But toxins also include your negative thoughts, beliefs and actions, because they consistently sabotage your weight loss efforts. Most people have absolutely no idea that they think about what other people’s goals or belief systems are.
For instance, I used to think that I was ‘big-boned’ because I had heard it from my parents, who were also obese. So for years I used that so-called ‘fact’ to reaffirm that I was meant to be big. And because I believed I was meant to be big, I never did anything about it.
(I just want to note here that there is no such thing as ‘big bones’. Of course, skeletal structures can vary from person to person, but they typically only account for 15-20% of body weight in an adult.)
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Dr Wayne Dyer
A belief is simply a thought that you have repeated over and over again, and these persistent thoughts are part of what form your subconscious mind.
Your mind is made up of your conscious and subconscious brain; the conscious makes up about 4%, while the subconscious is about 96%.
Your conscious mind is responsible for your logic, reason and willpower, which is why willpower will only work for so long, as the 96% subconscious mind is an obviously a stronger force.
Your subconscious mind holds your beliefs, fears, judgements (about yourself or others), resentments (again about yourself or others) and rules that you don’t question.
Therefore, successful weight loss is as much about re-educating your subconscious mind as it is about eating well and exercise, because when your thoughts are in a positive alignment with your beliefs and actions, then you will find it easy to eat well and exercise.
If you consistently think that you are a healthy human being, you believe that in order to be healthy you must eat healthy, so you won’t consider ordering a takeaway and will instead take pleasure in going to the market and making your own dinner from scratch. And it won’t feel like a chore, because you subconscious mind will be in alignment with the feeling of health.
Looking at it from the opposite perspective, if you consistently think ‘I’m fat’, then that’s what you eventually believe. And the actions you take will support that belief, so you’ll eat food that’s not nutritious and won’t exercise because of your belief that you’re fat and that’s just the way it is. But it’s not…