Weight Loss Tip 3: Change Your Vocabulary

Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Just a self-reflective blogger figuring out her own mishegas, one day at a time. These are the tips that have helped me lose 90 + pounds and if losing weight (or maintaining your loss) is your goal, then I hope it's helpful. See a doctor before beginning your own weightloss journey. 

How was your week? Tell me about your successes in the comments below! I want to know how you did and, more importantly, I want to know if you noticed that voice in your head that lies to you. Did you talk back to it and ask it to take a back seat? I hope so!

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This week's tip is all about your vocabulary and how you use it to define your life. Sometimes it's the tiniest of words that eventually erode our success; turning our accomplishments into nothing more than a mucky puddle of food shame. Who can feel good about themselves and have the gumption to keep going if we keep shaming ourselves about our food and bodies?

So don't do it anymore. Lose these words and phrases from your vocab and don't let other people use them regarding you, either.

The first word on my hit list? "Diet". It's a word that sabotages you before you start. Without ever really thinking about it, to me, a diet meant something you did now, so you wouldn't have to do it later. But that isn't how it works. Trying to change your eating habits on a diet is agreeing to give up before you even put on your new crosstrainers . You've got to admit you're in it for the long haul. It's the only way to see meaningful change.

Now that you're going to stop calling it a diet, let's step it up and add one more rule. For the love of cheese, please do not think in terms of good or bad. Food isn't good or bad. And while it may taste delicious or disgusting, what you eat does not define you as a good or a bad person. Stop valuing yourself that way. A cupcake is not good or bad, and neither is a salad. You can make choices that are better or worse for your body and your goals. Food does not make you good. And it certainly doesn't make you bad. 

But what about those tricky little phrases that repeat in your mind, in those milliseconds when you're thinking about stopping for beef jerky on the way home from work? Do any of these sound familiar? Have you ever thought them? Has someone else said them out loud to you?

"I've been so good lately, I deserve a little treat."

"I'm so bad. I ate the whole thing."

"I'm not going to eat anything during the day so I can be bad at night."


"You're always so good on your diet. It won't hurt to be bad, just today."

See how those words can mess with your mind? Food does not have a moral compass. Food does not have the power to cast a good or a bad light upon you as a person. You are not a bad person because you overate and you are not a good person because you didn't. Take those value statements out of the equation and you'll change how you let food dominate your day.

"I've been so good lately, I deserve a treat."

What it means: I haven't failed in a while, so I should probably fail now. 

That voice is telling you to fail because your rightful place is failure. You would never say that to yourself because failure is never the goal. Don't tie your self-worth to what you eat. Instead of eating something that disagrees with your goals, reward yourself with something inspiring. Maybe it's a magazine, a new scarf, a lipstick or a t-shirt that makes you feel amazing. You deserve to be rewarded for your accomplishments, not forced to eat a backhanded compliment from your own self-talk.

"I'm so bad. I ate the whole thing."

What it means: I failed spectacularly because that is what I do.

I doubt you are a bad person and I believe that you are responsible for your own successes. Stop filling your noggin with such negative self-talk when it comes to food. If you ate the whole thing and enjoyed it, then great. Figure out how to fit it into your plan and move on. If it doesn't fit, learn from the experience so you'll make a plan-based decision next time. How did it make you feel to be that full? Did you enjoy that feeling? Did you honestly taste every bite? When you look at your weight loss path and see that you've taken a step backward instead of forward, how does that feel? There is no right or wrong answer to that question. It's a matter of your goals and how important they are to YOU. In life, it doesn't matter how or why you slip. It's how you get back up and keep going that matters.

"I'm not going to eat anything during the day so I can be bad at night."

What it means: I know I'm going to screw it all up tonight, so get ready to watch me fail!

Now we've entered the magical thinking territory. Sure, you can plan your day so it includes a fun evening out, but we all know that NOT eating and then EATING A LOT is not on anyone's healthy plan. Don't put yourself down by declaring your own weight loss fail before it happens. If you know that planning to gorge on food isn't the best choice, then think twice about doing it. Don't set yourself up to fail before you even try! Follow your plan, acknowledge that you've got this and stop calling yourself a failure. You're not. You've got this.

"You're always so good on your diet. It won't hurt to be bad, just today."

What it means: Get off of your high horse. You're no better than me--eat it!

Don't let people speak to you like that. There is so much wrong with that (very common) sentiment, don't let your friends, your mate or your mom get away with it. While I doubt most people mean to be so hurtful, when you break it down, there is just nothing nice going on there.

Most importantly, why is someone you are hanging around with trying to get you to fall off plan? Perhaps because they aren't comfortable with your success? They may be jealous of your accomplishments. Maybe they want a partner in crime to share the sugar booty. Or maybe they just worry that your new life changes will leave them on the sidelines? It's hard to tell, so be kind when judging other's motives. Just don't let their mojo seep into your success.

At the end of the day, you are in control of your goals, weight or otherwise. Change your vocab. Tell yourself only the truth. Work your plan. You've got this. 
Get real, lose weight. Gouldylox.com



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Next: Tip #4: Clocks and Pickles.

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4 comments:

  1. So true.... why does food try and control us? I eat when I am bored or tired, then I feel bad about myself and starve the next day or starve for a week and then eat everything in sight the next week. Thanks for the words of wisdom and congrats on your great weight loss achievement.

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  2. It's crazy the hold it has on us in so many ways!! But knowing is half the battle, right?

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  3. "I've been so good lately, I deserve a little treat."

    Sooooo me! I need to stop thinking a week of eating well doesn't mean a weekend of sabotage! My new treat will be new clothes!

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