THE WEIGHT GAIN MENTALITY
A primary emphasis in the development of any new lifestyle is the process of recognizing and changing old, bad habits, and not just the physical ones, but the spiritual, mental, and emotional ones as well.
This process is very necessary for lasting change to take place. We even expect and encourage bad habits to come out into the open—without shame—because what isn’t revealed can’t be healed or changed.
While developing new, healthy habits, bad habits crop up—either old bad habits that are being revealed or—a bit more discouraging—we can even make NEW bad habits in the process of recalibration. I know this because I continue to encounter both on my continued journey of keeping diabetes reversed.
I can’t emphasize strongly enough that I believe the most important part of reversing diabetes (or any disease) happens in our minds, wills, emotions and spirits (our thoughts and beliefs)—where our relationship to food and movement and life are formed.
Changing one’s thoughts and beliefs around weight loss is also the trickiest (read: hardest) part of the recalibration. Most of us have tried–and failed–at weight loss or exercise routines. Most often, this is a result of us not examining the inner workings of those failures—the thought patterns, the habits, the automatic (and usually unquestioned) responses surrounding our inner wounds and the character or personality responses that remain hidden within ourselves that create our responses to food and health.
The work of examining yourself, taking a step back and embarking on spiritual and emotional healing goes a long way toward helping you do the work of physical healing—of any disease, illness, or injury, not just diabetes.
One of those obstacles (for me) has been what Dr. Don Colbert calls, in his book Reversing Diabetes, “The Weight Gain Mentality.” He asserts, and I agree with him, that this is THE biggest obstacle in losing weight.
Like I said, as I embarked on reversing diabetes through lifestyle changes, I wasn’t conscious that this thought pattern was in operation in my thoughts. I had to read Dr. Colbert’s explanation, several times before it sank in and I stepped back to examine this thought trap and the roots of where it came from in my life.
I’m sure you’re asking right now, “Exactly what is the ‘weight gain mentality’”? In short, it is always concentrating on what you have to do or are planning to do, instead of visualizing the actual goal you want to accomplish.
Here are Dr. Colbert’s words on the weight gain mentality:
“Proverbs 23:7 says of a person that ‘as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” This simply means that whatever you think about most, you will eventually become. […] Since it is important that you believe you can achieve weight loss, it is vital to speak affirmations of your desired weight, pants size, or dress size aloud throughout the day. Even if you weigh 250 pounds, you state aloud that you see yourself weighing 140 pounds or wearing a size 8, or whatever pants or dress size you desire. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Romans 4:17 speaks of calling those things that are not as though they are. So if you hope to weigh 140 pounds or wear a size 8 pair of jeans, start visualizing yourself at that weight and speak it aloud a few times a day.
Do not say, ‘I have to lose 100 pounds’ or you will probably always have that many pounds to lose. Likewise, don’t get in the habit of saying ‘I’m planning on losing 50 pounds,’or you will forever be planning to do that. Simply look at the picture of you at your desired weight and speak your desired weight out loud: ‘I see myself weighing _____ pounds’ or ‘I weigh ____ pounds.” (Fill in the blank.) Make that affirmation throughout the day, and as you follow through with your weight-loss program, you will naturally be attracted toward that desired weight, size, or image.
I have seen patients who struggled with weight for years do this, and they turned around and told me that losing weight became of the easiest things they’ve ever done!”
—Reversing Diabetes by Dr. Don Colbert
THE SIMPLE THING I DID.
After reading this passage for the third (okay, maybe the fourth) time as I combed through Dr. Colbert’s book for help, it finally dawned on me that I had this very mental obstacle. I was always thinking and saying “I have to lose ____ pounds,” or “I am planning on losing ____ pounds.” Instead of focusing on my goal and visualizing that, I was focused on having pounds or planning instead of doing what got me to my goal. I was reaping what I sowed. I was getting what I was concentrating on.
Truthfully, I was making excuses.
Excuses that got me out of doing the hard work of changing my thoughts and beliefs in order to change (and save) my life.
So here is what I did to alter my course.
I prayed and meditated for the right numbers. What I mean by that is what fasting blood sugar number I wanted to see every morning when I checked it. What dress/pants size I wanted to be. What weight I wanted to be. Not the blood sugar, size, or weight that culture says I must have, but the one that was right for me.
Next, I got a chalk marker pen and wrote those numbers, along with a corresponding Bible verse that I based my trust in the process on, on the corner of my bathroom mirror, but conspicuously enough that I see them whenever I walk into my bathroom.
Finally, I began repeating those numbers—out loud—to myself while I visualized the desired outcome in my head, first thing in the morning and as I visit the bathroom throughout the day.
At first, nothing happened. By at first, I mean for about 2 or 3 months. I was still maintaining by grit and determination and the proverbial skin of my teeth. But I kept repeating these goals and visualizing them first thing in the morning and every time I visited the bathroom and saw them written on the mirror.
Then a funny thing happened one day. That day I noticed that my thoughts had changed. Instead of thinking to myself, “I have to lose 20 pounds,” I visualized the number I had written on my mirror and myself wearing a dress of that size. I then closed the refrigerator door and walked away instead of having a snack—a snack I neither needed, nor that would help lower my blood sugar, my size, or my weight.
Another funny thing? I find that same scenario playing out more and more—choosing the visualization over the snack, or the comfort food, or not exercising. I am not yet to the goal numbers written on my mirror, but I am certainly on my way to thinking and visualizing them into the everyday reality of my life. And…I fully expect to get there!
THE SIMPLE THING YOU CAN DO.
Take Dr. Colbert’s simple advice and make weight loss easier for yourself and begin to visualize your goals and desires rather than on what you already have or are planning to do. (Note: I did not say easy. I said easier.)
You might even do what I did and put a reminder in a prominent place to help you do so.
Let the picture of a vibrant, healthy you infiltrate your mind until that is how you see yourself and let that image begin to change your heart and then let your actions line up with that vision. Repeat the vision to yourself several times a day.
Remember: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so IS HE.” The way you think about yourself is how you will be too!
I want to encourage you—you CAN do this. You can change your thoughts and in doing so, you can lose the weight, however much it is—and keep it off. You CAN regain your health. You CAN recalibrate and reclaim your life!