Do you believe that you can follow a healthy eating plan? Do you trust that you can dedicate yourself to maintaining the amount of exercise that your body needs to stay lean and healthy? If you answered yes to both of these questions, chances are that you have a fairly good level of self-confidence.
Self-confidence is the feeling that you have a sense of control over your actions. Having self-confidence, and believing that you have the ability to follow a healthy dietary and exercise plan, is a strong predictor of weight loss success.
Building confidence takes work, however, each positive experience that you have will show you that you’re capable of handling whatever comes your way. If you feel yourself lacking the confidence that you need to change your eating and activity habits, you may benefit from trying some of these suggestions that I’ve learned in my Lifestyle Education Classes at the bariatric center:
- Take care of your needs: Remember that only you can make yourself happy. Just as it’s not your job to solve the problems of others, you can’t depend on others to make things happen for you. Set goals that are based on the things you need to do for yourself and make those goals happen.
- Become self-reliant: The more you handle things on your own, the more competent and capable you’ll see that you are. In turn, knowing your capabilities builds confidence.
- Recognize your own uniqueness as a person: Begin seeing yourself as special and worthy, because you are! ❤
- Love and accept yourself: Be introspective; get to know yourself and why you think, feel and act the way that you do. List all of the things that make you unique and special. Keep the list somewhere that you can read it frequently, especially if you’re feeling down.
- Don’t fight change: To change the way that you feel about eating a healthy diet and exercising, you have to give up your old habits in order to develop new, healthy ones. Even though change can be difficult, you’ll feel such a sense of pride in yourself when you do make positive changes. Don’t fight it! Ride the pride!
- Surround yourself with positive people: Positive people build you up and make you feel energized. I’ve found some wonderfully supportive friends through my classes at the bariatric center, through my gym, and of course, here on WordPress! 🙂
- Make a list of positive affirmations and say them to yourself regularly: There’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself every once in a while, especially if you’re saying nice things! As I work out, I tell myself over and over, “You’re getting healthier and more fit!” Give it a try!!
- Imagine your best you: Create an image in your mind of the person that you want to be. Visualize how you want to look and feel. Then tell yourself that you’ve reached your goal. Feel how you would if you were that person.
- Use good posture and keep a smile on your face: According to my almost doctor daughter, not standing up straight can stimulate the chain of nerves on the sides of the vertebrate which can trigger a sympathetic nervous system response (aka fight or flight) causing feelings of stress in the body. Using good posture makes you feel better, and a winning smile makes you more approachable.
Before I began my weight loss program, my confidence wasn’t the greatest. My past weight loss failures weighed heavily against my ability to commit to eating right and exercising. The good news is, that all it took was a spark of hope to start me on my way. That hope was simply my imagining myself healthy and strong, and able to do the things I want to do. With each week of success, my confidence has grown exponentially. Give these suggestions a try and see how they work for you!