By Catherine of Butter Nutrition
Every day I get to talk with women from around the world via phone, email, and applications submitted to work together. I love the qualitative research I get to do by speaking with these women on a daily basis. The candid stories of my readers and clients have taught me a lot over the years.
The women I speak with all have different goals, but most often, they include things like increased energy levels, improved digestion, and better sleep. More than 85% of them also want to lose weight.
Many women write to me riddled with fear—fear that their body has taken the driver’s seat and is out to destroy their life, one bloating episode at a time, one pound at a time, or one aching pain at a time. The unbridled fear is that their body cannot be trusted—that they must fight back with every inch of power and self-control they can muster to force the body to do exactly what they want. Many of these women fear that they will fight the weight battle every day for the rest of their lives.
An overwhelming majority of these women face a huge setback without even realizing it.
THE ACTIONS TAKEN BECAUSE OF A MINDSET IMBALANCE
The common theme I see holding these women back from success is their mindset—and, more specifically, the actions the fear-based mindset causes them to take. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
Fear-based mindset examples:
- Hate: Having self-loathing thoughts regularly like, “I hate the way my body looks,” “I’m fat,” or “I can’t believe I ate that; what was I thinking?”
- Obsession: Constantly thinking about food, your next meal, your nutrition, your weight, and your body while ignoring the other aspects of a balanced life. Constantly monitoring food intake by macros, calories, or nutrients.
- Manipulation: Playing on the opposite team as your body. Your body wants X, but you, your diet, and willpower say NO.
- Anxiety: Unease about what fate is down the road with relation to your body and/or body image, and not being in control of your body.
- Stress: Worry that you’ll never escape the vicious cycle of dieting or quick fixes and that you’ll never get the results you desire.
- Anger: Feeling of hostility or displeasure about your body image.
- Sadness: Feeling unhappy about how you look and feel in your own skin. Negative thoughts while comparing and judging yourself against others, and/or feeling rejected.
When you live and operate in the fear-based mindset, you are constantly feeding your body negativity. This negativity often will manifest in negative behaviors against your body, often resulting in poor food choices, food restrictions, ignoring what you know your body needs, extreme dieting that displaces your body’s true needs and leaves your body in a constant state of need and want. The fear induces a power struggle against your body as you try to control it to get your desired outcome.
If you constantly feed yourself negative self-talk, your body changes, literally. Consider that you have 175 brain cells which spy on your breath and alter your state of mind accordingly: if you have stressful thoughts, your breath changes, your stress hormones fire, and your body releases more cortisol. All this can push your body further away from your health goals.
Imagine for a minute that all of the thoughts you have about yourself are visible to the people and the world around you. Would you change the way you thought? Would you realize that you are actually very mean to yourself? If your thoughts about yourself are something you wouldn’t say to the two-year-old version of yourself, it’s probably not doing you any favors to think it. Be kind with your thoughts.