When it comes to our health, many of us have given up hope and have come to believe that lasting change is just not possible.
Whether it is because of the diets or exercise plans we tried that worked for a while but then everything went back to how it was before, or even just the feeling like no matter what we personally do we don’t have the willpower or strength to stick to a healthy way of living long enough to see lasting results – we all have lost hope at some point.
I too understand feeling hopeless, probably more than anyone.
I struggled for years with a bad relationship with food and up-and-down weight loss and weight gain. I would commit to a health program for awhile, then not too long after give up because it felt like I would never find victory or something that worked for the long haul.
It wasn’t until I changed my mindset that everything started to shift.
I began to see that if I believed nothing was going to change then nothing was going to change. It wasn’t the programs that were holding me back from moving forward in my health – it was my mind.
When I moved from having a fixed mindset in my health journey, to having a growth mindset, I began to reach my health goals, maintain my weight loss, and increase my overall well-being.
My Journey With My Mindset
Mindset has been something I’ve been exploring a lot over the last few months. It started when I was going over a session with a health coaching client on healthy mindsets around our health and wellness, and how to create healthy habits.
As I was preparing for the session, I realized how DESPERATELY I needed to go through the materials not just for my own mindset towards health, but mindset towards my business and life as well!
You see, I realized that my natural tendency is to be pessimistic when things aren’t going well and to not be grateful for the WINS in my health and business. It’s so easy to become obsessed with where I’m NOT AT instead of celebrating where I AM AT.
At the core of it, my mindset – or my set mental attitude or disposition that predetermine’s my response and interpretation of situations – is often a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset.
It’s so easy to have what we would call a fixed mindset where we believe the certain traits about ourselves or certain situations are a given, and can’t be changed. When we have this mindset, we often believe we are inadequate to accomplish a task or that things will just never go well for us.
Having a fixed mindset is often what keeps us back from truly experiencing freedom in our health. As Melissa Hartwig says in her book “Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food,” a fixed mindset will hold us back from truly embracing food freedom and making healthy changes in our habits and lives.
Melissa states that:
If you’ve long considered yourself unhealthy – if you’ve been overweight, sedentary, sick or hooked on junk food for most of your adult life – a fixed mindset will tell you that you’ll always be an unhealthy person. Even if you do lost weight or change your diet, your Deebie Downer brain will keep reminding you that you’re not really healthy, because you’re stuck with the health status you assigned yourself years ago. It’s going to be impossible to create new, lasting, healthy habits if you believe you can’t really change.
Therefore, in order to truly move forward and experience the freedom we desire and deserve in our health journey, we MUST work on breaking our fixed mindsets and developing mindsets centered around growth.
A growth mindset is one where you see your qualities and traits about yourself and your situation as malleable and able to be developed and transformed through hard work, dedication, and intentionality.
The growth mindset allows you to move forward in any task or situation before you, allowing you to learn from setbacks and move forwarding in accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself.
One of the most practical ways to establish a growth mindset around your health is to start labeling yourself as a healthier person and changing your language about your behaviors and yourself.
For example, Melissa shares in Food Freedom that instead of saying “I eat a healthy diet,” say “I am a healthy eater.”
This change in language helps you attach more desirable characteristics to yourself and shifts the way you view yourself.
Practical Ways to Adopt a Growth Mindset on Your Health Journey
Whether you are beginning a new health program like the Whole30 or simply wanting to finally get going on taking care of your health, it’s important to adopt a growth mindset from the very beginning.
Melissa Hartwig outlines three practical ways you can do this in her Food Freedom book:
- CREATE A MANTRA OR AFFIRMATION FOR YOURSELF: Creating a mantra or affirmation around your health journey will help give you vision and something to fall back on when things are tough. Here are a few mantras or affirmations you can use, but please create one that best suits you!
- I am a healthy person, living a healthy lifestyle
- I am a consistently, healthy eater and will continue to grow and move forward on my health journey
- I am someone who can manage stress well and get the sleep I deserve and need
- I am victorious in my health goals and am accomplishing them one step at a time
- I am free to enjoy food, exercise, and take care of myself in the ways I need
2. KEEP A JOURNAL OF WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: Sometime’s it’s SO easy to just focus on whether or not we have reached a goal, and don’t see what we are doing along the way that is helping us get one step closer to that goal.
With my health coaching clients, I encourage them to not just track the healthy things they have eaten or exercise they have done, but to also track how well they managed stress that day, the amount of sleep they got, whether they took time for personal development or self-care, and even if they had a memorable moment with a loved one.
I challenge them to celebrate one thing they have done in their health journey EACH day because by focusing on each victory (scale and non-scale), they will start to see that they ARE making progress and taking care of themselves each day!
Your journal can be in whatever form you like – on paper, in a notebook, on excel. The important thing is not the format but is consistently tracking and celebrating each step you take 🙂
For an example of some non-scale victories you can celebrate, check out Whole30’s Non-Scale Victory list >>HERE<<.
3. PLACE GROWTH MINDSET REMINDERS ALL AROUND YOU: Placing sticky-notes with growth mindset reinforcements and reminders around your house, car, work, in your bathroom, on your treadmill and wherever you most need it, will definitely help you change your mindset around yourself and your health.
Place your mantra, affirmations, scripture verses or other sources of truth in places you can see it and when your fixed mindset starts to roll around, speak those words of truth out loud so you can hear yourself!
I actually use an app called Think Up to write and record myself speaking words of affirmation. I then click the playback button and it plays back all my affirmations to music, over and over again.
And you want to know what happened when I first played back my affirmations? I cried.I cried because for the first time in my life, rather than someone speaking truth over my life, I WAS speaking it and claiming it as truth right here, right now.
Support in Developing a Healthier Mindset
One of the biggest things I see my clients struggling with is their mindset around food, their body and themselves.
Many carry burdens and thought patterns around these three areas that hold them back from experiencing the victorious and abundant health and life they desire and deserve.
Yet, through working together, I have seen many women break free and start to live the holistically healthy and abundant lives they were always meant to live.
If you would like support on your health journey in moving from a fixed mindset to one of growth, I invite you to join us in the No Flaw 5 Part Series on restoring your relationship with food, your body and yourself, starting April 24th.
It’s from a faith-based perspective but can truly help everyone in shifting their mindset towards food, their bodies and themselves.
Join us for this series >>HERE<< and journey with us to living a victorious, abundant, and successful life and health journey <3.