The Power of Positive Thinking

Mindset is possibly the most important part of a health and wellness plan. Unfortunately, self-blame, shame and guilt have been conditioned into the mindset of many people via ongoing exposure to various sources such as weight stigma and bias, the media, saboteurs, and other factors. Overwhelmingly, studies show that when people either feel negatively about their weight or receive negative messages about their weight, it typically results in an increase in unhealthy behaviors, rather than a decrease. On the other hand, when people feel calm, confident, and “in the groove”, they tend to make healthier choices. Let’s look at a few examples.

In binge eating, the most common eating disorder, the shame and guilt associated with the behavior tends to lead to a higher frequency of repeat behavior. So, the first step is to work on separating the negative feelings from the eating behavior. For example, you may actually give yourself permission to eat as much of the trigger food as desired without any shame or guilt. After that, it may lose its power.

A lack of confidence in one’s own decisions to know what to eat can lead to “diet hopping” which rarely results in positive long term results. In regards to general nutrition plans, I frequently am asked which of the infinite number of “diets” I recommend. People may ask about grocery lists or food lists, or what they “can” or “can’t” eat. While nutrition knowledge is definitely something that is a powerful tool, I find that people are prone to the fad diet of the day when really, they know more than they think. Studies in this area show that most any diet plan will work for at least modest weight loss, if a person likes it and just sticks with it.

My message today is short and simple, have confidence, feel fabulous about yourself, and you will CRUSH IT! After all, “Mindset is Everything.”

Take Back Your Mindset,

Valerie Hope-Slocum Sutherland, MD

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