Developing a Mind Set for Fat Loss and Lifestyle Change

Everyone has a breaking point.  Some of us have to hit rock bottom to realize it’s time for massive change in our lives.  The good news is that it is not necessary to hit rock bottom before taking the action necessary to improve your quality of life.  We have all been blessed with free will which means you’re free to change the trajectory of your life at any time including right here and right now.  No one is stopping you but yourself. 

The story of how we got to the weight, body composition, and mind set we are currently at has served its purpose.  To successfully move forward with fat loss and lifestyle change it becomes necessary to extract the gifts, values, and lessons from the experience.  This process isn’t meant to be a beat yourself up self-therapy exercise.  It is designed to be a positive experience as a means to see where we fell short of our standards and reveal the silver lining of our experiences. 

On the whole, we are either motivated by experiencing pleasure or avoiding pain.  Pain is our internal gauge to let us know something isn’t right.  We use food, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc. to numb the pain rather than deal with the underlying emotions.  Speaking from personal experience using food to numb out emotions of frustration, boredom, fear, guilt, shame, etc. I was in so much pain I wanted to hide from the world.  It got bad enough that I experienced suicidal thoughts.  That was enough for me to get very real with myself and make the changes necessary to feel joy, happiness, confidence, freedom, safety, security, etc. 

I spent thousands of dollars and countless hours at seminars, retreats, and certification courses in an effort to find out what was wrong with me that I had all the tools and knowledge to make a change in my life, but did not have the drive to do so.  While I was at a retreat by Sunny Dawn Johnston she said something that rocked my world – “I love myself enough to do something different.”  It finally occurred to me that I had very little self-love, self-care, or self-compassion.  Without these attributes it is very difficult to establish a mind set for success in anything, especially fat loss and lifestyle change.  I had a fundamental belief that I was not worthy of love, affection, attention, success or praise.  I had limiting beliefs that were simply not true.  I had to explore these beliefs and put a stop to them. 

My inner critic/gremlin was running rampant.  The abuse I inflicted upon myself emotionally was absurd.  Every once in a while I would share the thoughts rolling around in my head with my husband and it would make him cry.  I was brutal to myself.  I had to be hyper-aware of my negative thought patterns and put a stop to them immediately.  It was highly annoying in the beginning because it consumed my life, but I started coming up with two positive statements and/or two things to be grateful for every time my inner critic/gremlin showed up.  Over time, this bully fell away resulting in more and more positive progress not only in my mind, but in my body.  The nutrition strategy became easier to follow and exercise became fun.  I looked forward to Sunday mornings when I measured my weekly progress.

I started reading books by some of the top authors in the self-help industry like Louise Hay, Don Miguel Ruiz, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Brendan Burchard, Brene Brown, and so many more.  I strive to read 30 minutes of positive reading material each day to keep my mind healthy and free of negativity.  I rallied my support team to let them know I was making some major lifestyle changes and I would need their help.  I started Keto on October 24, 2017.  Cutting out the processed carbohydrates and sugar from my nutrition helped my mood immensely.  I was still taking natural herbal mood supplements like Mood Boost, 5-HTP, St. John’s Wart, etc. until the changes in my mind and nutrition were enough to stop taking them. 

A crucial step in the process of developing the mind set for fat loss and lifestyle change is to define what change you want to make in the first place.  Getting crystal clear with where your focus will be going is imperative.  Identify the feeling and/or experience you’re looking for.  Raise your standards and change your should into musts. 

Fuel your mind with positive people, messages, and places.  Serve yourself nutritious foods.  Move your body in ways that feel good.  Cultivate a spiritual practice that connects you to a power and presence of peace, love, and joy. 

What is Low Carb Living, Why Should I Care, and How Do I Get Started?

There are a multitude of options within the span of low carb living to choose from depending on how quickly you want to see changes in your life.  These options range from simply reducing the amount of carbohydrates and sugar you eat per day to anything less than you’re currently consuming (slow carbing) to Keto (20 grams of net carbohydrates per day, moderate protein, high fat) to Carnivore (completely omitting carbohydrates from your nutritional strategy altogether). 

Which approach is best?  It all depends on you, your body, your emotional fitness, your readiness to change, and the speed at which you’d like to see changes in your life.  The quickest results generally come from eating as close to zero carbohydrates per day as possible.  This may be a shock to the system for some people, especially those who are consuming a massive amount of carbohydrates currently.  Symptoms of Keto Flu can creep in such as nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea.  Proper hydration and electrolytes certainly help alleviate these symptoms, but for some, going the slow carb route is better for comfort and easing into the lifestyle. 

Low carb living has plenty of benefits beyond mere fat loss.  One of the biggest is reducing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes or better yet reversing it if you’re already suffering from it.  I collaborate with a medical doctor in Temecula, California.  Dr. Jerry Hizon of Motion Medical Group puts all of his patients on a low carbohydrate nutritional strategy.  He is putting in major work in getting his patients off their insulin and medications.  He is also working on curing his cancer patients with low carb nutrition because cancer can’t feed off ketones.  Check him out on YouTube.  He’s a great resource of information as a medical doctor.  Other benefits of low carb living include increased energy and focus.  You may see a reduction in stress, cortisol, inflammation, bloating, and not feeling hungry all the time. 

To get started on the path to low carb living, I suggest getting yourself equipped with a method of tracking your nutrition.  There are plenty of free apps out there, but I prefer CarbManager.  It’s easy to use and convenient even for those of us who don’t like to track.  My only issue with CarbManager is that the protein requirements are a bit too high for people who don’t exercise at all. 

The next step is to look at all the nutrition facts of the food in your home.  I suggest throwing out or giving away anything that has a lot of carbohydrates and sugar in it.  Not having these items in your home will help when you get the urge to consume less than ideal foods.  If you’re like myself and most people you’ll be quite surprised at how much sugar is in our everyday foods; it’s absolutely crazy. 

Lastly, you’ll want to go online and find some delicious low carb recipes.  There are plenty of free resources including www.kaseytrenum.com, www.lowcarbyum.com, www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto/recipes, www.ditchthecarbs.com, www.tasteofhome.com/collection/keto-diet-recipes/view-all/, www.skinnytaste.com/recipes/keto/, www.gnom-gnom.com, www.wholesomeyum.com, and www.thatlowcarblife.com just to name a few.  There are some awesome low carb cookbooks on the market, but I’m pretty selective on what I’ll invest in so I went to the library to check out what they had or Barnes and Noble to thumb through the recipes to ensure they didn’t have any wild or expensive ingredients.  As you’re shopping at the grocery store ensure that you’re looking at the nutrition facts carefully to determine if the food is a good fit for your low carb living strategy (slow carb, keto or carnivore).  Net carbohydrates are calculated by taking the total carbohydrates and subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohol. 

You’re awesome and amazing!  You’ve got this!  I’m here for guidance and support if you need me.