Have you ever stopped to look – really look – at the recurrent thoughts that run through your head? I’m talking about the ones that repeat, over and over, at certain times and in certain situations. It’s quite possible that you have never really noticed.
That does not mean that those thoughts are not affecting the quality of your life in a big way. In fact, the less you are aware of them, the more likely it is that they are having a dramatic effect on your life. The faulty thoughts – the ones that are not accurate, and are not working to improve your quality of life – creep in and take root when awareness is low.
It can be so difficult to ferret them out and get rid of them – especially when they remain under the radar, where they are most destructive. Why are they destructive? How can thoughts destroy internal peace? It happens because, even if we don’t notice the thoughts – in fact, especially if we don’t notice the thoughts – they affect how we live.
Take a look at the list below. It contains ten common faulty thoughts with great destructive power. I hear these in my daily interactions with so many people trying to lose weight. If you pay attention to your thoughts, do you hear yourself saying any of these defeating statements? A good time to really listen is when you are feeling particularly down on yourself about your eating. There is a good chance that you are feeling so negative because of some faulty negative thoughts.
1. I already blew it, so it doesn’t matter what I do (eat) now.
2. If I eat anything that tastes good, I won’t be able to stop.
3. If it tastes good, it must be bad for me.
4. If it tastes bad, it must be good for me!
5. If I can just push off eating a little longer, even though I am very hungry, I will save calories and lose weight.
6. If I slip up, it just shows that I really can never change. I will always be the same.
7. This will always be a struggle.
8. I am a failure.
9. I SHOULD be able to . . . . (stop eating sugar, get by on 1200 calories a day. . .)
10. If I can just lose (a certain amount of weight), I will find peace, love, and happiness. Until then, nothing good will be mine.
So . . . what now? Now that you hear your negative thoughts, what can you do? I would recommend writing them down and rewording them in a more accurate way. Then practice catching yourself in the negative thinking, and replace the thought with the new and improved one. And then, keep practicing . . . and practicing, until it feels like a part of you. Watch the effect this has on your actions. Enjoy the positive effect it will have on your life.
Imagine what would happen if every time you noticed yourself thinking “I blew it . . . It doesn’t matter anymore. . . I can eat whatever I want,” you replaced it with “How silly that thought is! This is a continuous journey, and I don’t have to fail myself for a momentary slip along the way. Of course it matters. It always matters. What I do not counts, and I can take little steps to make better choices. I can also give myself credit for any little improvements, even if I don’t see perfection in myself.”