Attitude 6 is about adopting a holistic approach to wellbeing. The objective is for us all to feel good about ourselves and to be proud to look in the mirror and say: ‘I like myself’.
The Healthy Mindset
In Attitude 2 (I create what I want), we heard about the power of our thoughts. In fact, because we create our reality, it’s important to focus on what we want to achieve and create it for ourselves. This is particularly important in the area of body image. So what damage are your current thoughts doing to your body? When you think you are not pretty or handsome enough, not smart enough, not slim enough or not strong enough, what effect is this having on you? What if these thoughts could be changed? What if, instead, you were to reframe your thoughts to being loved, beautiful, amazing, intelligent, resourceful and so on? How would that improve your love of yourself and, ultimately, your relationship with your body?
Firstly, we need to reframe the way we see our bodies. Instead of seeing them as less than perfect, even ugly, it’s essential to see them as the vessel through which we will achieve our life’s purpose. Therefore, it’s critical that we treat our bodies with love and respect, and that we treat food and meals as a way of providing them with the nourishment they require to support us on our journey. ANY self-criticism will leave our bodies struggling to support us to be the best we can be. We must be ready to be nice to ourselves, and start being kind about every part of our bodies, knowing that any negative thoughts will leave our bodies struggling. Our bodies give us the strength to achieve our goals and, in return, we need to truly love and respect them for the amazing tools that they are. This is the best way of caring for ourselves.
The Truth about our Food
There is startling evidence that many of the foods in our regular daily diet are causing serious negative side-effects. The really worrying news is that many of the foods and drinks that we have been told are ‘good’ for us may actually be creating obesity and illness in our bodies. On the 7 July 2002, Gary Taubes wrote an article for the New York Times called, ‘What if it’s all been a big fat lie?’, and it rocked the world. It challenged the fundamental belief of the medical establishment that all the recommendations to eat less fat and more carbohydrates were wrong. Taubes’ view was that it’s not the fat that makes us fat, but the carbohydrates. He claims that if we eat fewer carbohydrates, we will lose weight and live longer. His article identified the cause of obesity as precisely those refined carbohydrates at the base of the famous food pyramid. These are the pasta, rice and bread that we are told should be the staple food of our healthy low-fat diet, as well as the sugar-free drinks and fruit juices that we have taken to drinking in huge amounts. Our bodies evolved to survive best on natural, unprocessed food, but the modern diet is loaded with sugar and refined foods with preservatives and colourings.
Changing One Keystone Habit
When I wrote my book ‘Lose Weight with NLP’ my research discovered that people will often be willing to change anything other than what they eat! They will even go and have a gastric band fitted to help them change their habits. This is because it is really tough to change a habit. In fact, Duke University has found that 40% of our lives are spent on auto-pilot. For example, this might be the habit of drinking wine when you are tired or over-eating when you are stressed. These develop into automatic triggers. Every habit starts with a trigger. Often these are unconscious ie we are not aware of them. The trigger is then followed by the process or routine we follow and finally the reward. To change a habit, we must change these three things, and, especially the reward we get. However, interesting recent research tells us that we are much more likely to be successful if we change ONE thing at a time. Charles Duhigg in ‘The Power of Habit’ says that if we focus on changing one important pattern at a time, known as a ‘keystone habit’ it is likely to have a knock-on impact on other areas of our lives too. For example, replacing smoking with jogging in turn can change how you eat, sleep, schedule your life and so on.
Four months ago, I decided to change my diet as I really wanted to lose that niggly half a stone. I essentially cut out sugar, bread, wheat, cake, pasta, pizza, rice (except gluten free) caffeine, and alcohol then re-introduced the occasional drink and coffee though I really don’t miss any of the starchy foods at all. I also noticed that it became far easier to go to bed earlier and get 8 hours of sleep a night and wake up feeling super-energetic the next day. I have now lost 10 lbs and I really like myself!
Why not start today? What keystone habit will you choose to change?
Lindsey Agness is a Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming and author of four books on change.
Read some of Lindsey’s other articles