LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates Smart Behavior
Change Your Mind!.

Change Your Mind by Ronda Gates

Coaching programs can help people make change in all areas of their life--including losing weight. During a first meeting a client usually hears, "Tell me about yourself and why you are here." When I met with Marie, she responded, "I'm a single (divorced) mom of a beautiful 11 year old. I work for a prestigious public relations company. I just got a promotion to vice president and it's time for an overhaul."
"Tell me more," I asked.
"I was an active teenager. I enjoyed riding my bike, playing tennis and dancing. I was still fit and lean when I started this job. I love my work but the stress of managing my life has taken it's toll. I can't even remember the last time I had a chance to exercise. Every time I look in the mirror I'm disgusted by my flabby body, big butt and swollen face. I've gained and lost forty pounds on grapefruit diets, high protein diets, liquid diets--you name it, I've tried it. I'm tired of being a pig."
My intuitive mind went into high gear. "The exercise and nutrition part of Marie's program will be relatively simple," I thought. "Her memory of her active young years is pleasant. With some organization skills she'll make time to return to exercise. The diet strategy will include her favorite foods and some practical strategies for eating on the run. My challenge will be changing Marie's mind about how she sees, talks and feels about herself."
Marie is almost six feet tall. She is a striking brunette who carries her weight well. Her description of herself as a "pig" with a "flabby body and big butt" reflected (if you'll excuse the pun) a distorted self image. She reinforced this image by using negative language to describe herself. Sound familiar?
To change this kind of talk I encourage clients to step outside ourself to listen to the often derogatory senseless language we use. We overgeneralize. "I'll never be thin again." We catastrophize. "Eating that desert last night was the stupidest thing I've ever done." We jump to conclusions and fortune tell. "Everyone is going to see my big butt." Like Marie, we label ourselves. "I'm so fat."
Our head is not separated from our body. Our self talk is our most important communication skill. Research supports that self talk can cure or kill an image we have of ourselves. Affirming we are sick makes us sick. Affirming we are well makes us well.
Try talking back to that negative voice. "Get off my back. Leave me alone." In addition, remind yourself of your good features. Affirm your self worth often. Make three positive statements for every negative thought that pops into your head. "I walked up the stairs to my office instead of using the elevator." "I took five minutes out for some deep, centering breathing." "I have a healthy body."
Marie has a first class opportunity to turn her life around. With a change of mind and the inevitiblenew attitude, everything in her life will change. Yours can too.

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LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates
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