Women

Want to know a secret to long-term weight loss? Sibu discovers it’s not only what you do, but what you think.

As someone who’s tired every diet that promises quick results, I can honestly say the difference between then and now is my mindset. I haven’t suddenly developed stronger willpower or done something I hadn’t already done before -  it’s simply that I’ve changed the way I look and react to food.

Description: Positive Thinking Has Made The Difference

I’m still far from my 40kg weight-loss goal, but these days I believe more and more that I may actually get there. I’ve found that the real battle lies in what we perceive and think about our relationship with food that predicts our eating habits. To get your mindset right, the following points are critical:

1.    Positive thinking

One of the things I’ve struggled with - through all the years of trying to lose weight – is simply that I didn’t believe that I could do it, or rather that I could, but only a little bit. If I lost 4kg, it came with a lot of effort and all I would see were the double digits I had to aim for. I wasn’t able to use that loss to propel me forward.

Now that I use positive thinking to guide me behavior, I see tempting foods, like vetkoek, as defeating the purpose. These don’t even entice me any more because I’m always thinking about my weight-loss goal. Negative thoughts, such as guilt, shame, self-deceptions and distorted views, only create obstacles.

2.    Evaluate your food choices

Rather than focusing on your eating habit, evaluate your food choices. I’ve listened to Oprah trying to justify being overweight by linking it to her troubled childhood. I can’t identify with that. I had a fantastic childhood; I just love food.

Description: Rather than focusing on your eating habit, evaluate your food choices.

Rather than focusing on your eating habit, evaluate your food choices.

My love for food, though, is counterproductive so I have no option but to channel the love differently. There’s a saying that goes: “You will only persist in a behavior if the reward is worthwhile.” What reward do you get from coming home to raid the fridge? Or snacking in front of the TC after supper? Or habitually eating second portions? These are all destructive to your attempts to lose weight. Food for thought…

3.    Restructure your environment

We often eat unnecessarily due to the availability and accessibility of foods. Keep your immediate environment (office, home and car) free from problematic foods.

Description: Keep your immediate environment (office, home and car) free from problematic foods.

Keep your immediate environment (office, home and car) free from problematic foods.

I’ve also now vowed not to buy cider as it becomes that much easier to grab one after work; much like a tea lover boils the kettle the minute they get home. If I visit someone though, I’ll have one. This reduces the amount I drink and is getting me closer and closer to my goal.

4.    Social support

Food has strong emotional and social value; we all need social acceptance in some way. The process of weight loss is difficult and it’s important for family and close friends to give support in a meaningful and constructive way.

Description: Food has strong emotional and social value

Food has strong emotional and social value

I spend a lot of time with my sisters and, whenever I visit, they cater for me so I’m not tempted by unhealthy foods. By the same token, it’s up to me to ignore the unhealthy foods on offer.

It’s still a long road ahead but with more than 10kg down, I’m that much closer to the goal.

I can’t stop now!

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