12 Days of Fitness 9: Attitude Change Causes 100 Lb Weight Loss
Yup, the 12 Days of Fitness are rolling on, with 12 very interesting experts sharing their fitness and weight loss tips. These are all "no-nonsense," tried-and-true, real life things that you can do right now. No overpriced products to buy, no expensive supplements, no pricey pre-packaged foods. This leaves you plenty of money for gifts for the kids (or 'your favorite fitness instructor', he he—that line was borrowed from my friend David.)
On this Day 9, Valerie Poteete tells us how she lost over 100 pounds through a change of attitude. At age 40, she decided she was tired of being tired. Instead of focusing on the deprivations of "dieting," Valerie changed her focus and honed in on how much better she felt when she ate healthily. The weight came off fast, and she's kept it off for three years. How did this one simple thing change her body and her life? Let's find out!
Attitude really is everything when it comes to making changes in your life, particularly when it's something that has been plaguing you for a long time. When I realized I couldn't look at myself in the mirror without disdain I knew it was time to change. That was no way to live.
My attitude on dieting was typically akin to torture. I had a victim mentality about it. It wasn't something I wanted to do, it was something I had to do.
I don't know about you, but I really don't like things I feel I have to do. I would enter each diet/exercise regime with a bad attitude and in no time at all I would convince myself that it wasn't working and soon I was back to my old, easy, well-established patterns.
In my opinion, weight loss is a victory over patterns and habits you've accepted into your life that no longer serve you. Once you see the alternative, change your attitude about it, and embrace it, it's pretty easy to drop the weight and keep it off.
First I changed my attitude about "dieting." Instead of choosing to "diet"—which in my mind equaled torture—I chose to change my lifestyle.
Next I changed my attitude about food. Instead of thinking "I can't live without my pasta and bread," I thought, "I love how healthy eating makes me feel." Then I easily chose to eat healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, and lean meats).
When I felt the need for a treat, (which happens a lot in my world), instead of thinking about how yummy chips and dip would be (and that I couldn't have any—poor me), I thought about how good cream cheese on a mini sweet pepper would taste and how much better I would feel physically, mentally and emotionally.
Then I changed my attitude about exercise. I'm not much for repetition, and getting to the gym always seemed like an insurmountable task. What I needed most was cardio, so I put on some great music and danced like I was in a nightclub. This was my favorite attitude adjustment. It served so many purposes. When I dance, I'm not only bringing up my heart rate and toning muscles, I'm lifting my emotional levels, too. Dancing puts a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Plus I can do it in private so it doesn't matter if I look silly or not.
These days (three years later), I allow myself to eat whatever I want. I'm attentive to my internal balance physically, mentally and emotionally. I pay attention to how I feel and I act accordingly. When I was overweight, I could inhale a couple donuts and not notice how toxic I felt, because I was already so toxic. Now that I'm healthy, I can feel when the balance shifts and I adjust accordingly.
I'm a motivational speaker for kids, and I use the same examples for adults as I do for kids: feed the faeries, starve the goblins. "Faeries feed of your good energy and the Goblins feed you the bad. So it stands to reason that the fairies want to keep you happy, right? But the goblins want to keep you sad. So the faeries will lead you to the things that will lift you higher and give you wings, whereas the goblins will pile on the worry and the fear and the doubt. These are feelings I am quite certain you can do with out."
One of the things I visualized when I was losing my weight is that there was a goblin who was telling me it was okay to have a big piece of cake at midnight. It was my job to tell that goblin NO!
Valerie Poteete is a motivational speaker (Wish Facilitator) for kids, who lost her remaining 87 pounds in eight months (she's lost 100 pounds total!)—through a simple change of attitude. Valerie focused on how much better she felt when eating right and exercising more, rather on the negative feelings of "not having." Visit Valerie at www.wishbubbles.com, or her alter ego Penelope Pendragon on Facebook.
Be sure you don't miss Day 1 through Day 8. Why? Because they are chock full of great fitness and weight loss tips. So just click: Day 1 (Keep Exercise Fun), Day 2 (Making the Impossible Possible), Day 3 (Healthy Holidays), Day 4 (Quickie Time), Day 5 (Walk the Doggiesaur), Day 6 (Fitness Games People Play), Day 7 (Are You Really Hungry?), Day 8 (No Weight Loss One-Hit Wonders)