Detox Your Mind
A few years ago, I recall Oprah going on a 21-day detox diet. Many people do this from time to time to rid the body of harmful toxins. The number of days can vary. But regardless of the number of days, a detox diet can be particularly beneficial to those on a weight loss diet or those who have customarily eaten a diet rich in saturated fats, sodium, cholesterol, and other impurities. These impurities can build up in the body over time and cause damage, oftentimes, long-term damage. Focusing on your eating habits and limiting certain foods or certain groups of foods can be good. You can have a successful detox just by focusing on foods alone. Oprah’s detox diet excluded all sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese. But there are many ways to detox the body.
Detoxing the body is valuable to your overall health. But something that is equally as important for your overall health is detoxing your mind. The mind is very powerful and can control everything else in your life, even your physical health, especially those on a journey to shed some pounds. Many people on diets have the wrong mindset. Some people will say, “I’ve tried everything and nothing works.” They also may tell you that they cannot lose weight, listing all the different diets they have tried, feeling destined to remain obese forever. Those who think this way are the perfect candidates for a mind detox.
It is their thinking, and not the diets they have tried, that is the reason for their lack of success.
I know one woman who told me that she tried Jenny Craig and the South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem, the Scarsdale Diet, and several other things – none of which helped her to lose the more than 80 pounds she was toting around. She’s a lot like millions of others who tell themselves they cannot lose the weight. I know that it is easy to begin thinking this way, because after one failed weight loss attempt after another, discouragement sets in.
Okay, okay, I know. I’m not too naïve. I know that there can be medical reasons why people don’t lose weight, such as (1) not getting sufficient amounts of sleep; (2) routinely facing excessive stress day after day after day; (3) taking medications such as those for treating depression, mood disorders, seizures, migraines, hypertension, and diabetes; (4) improper thyroid functioning, or hormone imbalance, or an endocrine disorder; and any number of other medical things. All of them can impact a person’s ability to lose weight, which is why reputable weight loss programs advocate seeking medical attention. So, yes I recognize that sometimes there are other factors that can impede one’s weight loss efforts. But these are not the biggest barriers for most people. For most people, their biggest barrier is their own thinking.
People tell themselves they can’t do it, and that’s exactly what happens. Even when they enthusiastically embark upon a new diet, some people end up sabotaging themselves with their sour outlook. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Here are my personal steps to practice that can help rid your mind of this type of destructive thinking. If practiced regularly and routinely, this can have some very positive effects on your weight loss progress:
First, decide on a detox period. A week is a good time period because it isn’t too long, yet it’s long enough to be a challenge. Some people like the number 21 for their period of time. Researchers say that it takes 21 days of consistently doing something for it to become a habit, second nature. But find a realistic number for yourself. Then, everyday for that period of time, look in your mirror and say uplifting things to yourself. And please don’t say that’s its corny to do this. Humor yourself and just do it. Every day for the week or the 21 days or how ever long you decided for your detox period. Even if you don’t believe it deep inside, tell yourself anyway. Say things like, “I am beautiful; I have the willpower to lose this weight; I will succeed.” Say things like this every single day over and over again all throughout the day. Saying these things everyday will help to flush out those negative thoughts.
Second, pay attention to what you are thinking about yourself. If you find that you are thinking any discouraging thought, stop yourself. Don’t allow those thoughts to linger in your mind. Also, don’t feed into the negative comments that others say about you. Their opinions don’t matter anyway, so work on disallowing their comments to affect you.
Third, and most important, envision yourself at your desired weight. Visualization is key. In your mind, see yourself 10, 15, or 30 pounds lighter. If you were ever at your desired weight and have photographs of yourself, post them around your house, your work place, in your car, and in your wallet as a reminder that you were there before. This can help you focus more stringently. What you’ve done before you can do again.
These are my three mind detox strategies. You can do a Google search for others, and I encourage you to do so. Mind detox can be helpful if employed on a regular basis. A mind detox can improve your mind as well as help you improve your physical body. Trying to work on one without working on the other can hold you back, as they both are always working in tandem.
So, give it a try. You might be surprised just how much your own wrong thinking can stifle you.