Talk “thin” to get thin

The language you use to describe your actions can either support or undermine your goal. It’s not just what you do that matters. What you call it or, what you say to yourself and others, makes a difference.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Take Lindy and Mindy for example.

They have the same goal weight in mind. Each will need to lose about 50 pounds to get there. So far both of them have lost about 20 pounds. They have similar challenges. How they talk about their challenges and actions is very different.

Getting started on a new weight loss journey:

Lindy says, “I never can lose more than 20 pounds. For some reason after I lose about 20 pounds I don’t lose any more and eventually gain it all back.”

Mindy says, “Last time I tried to lose weight I got stuck after losing only 20. I’m ready if that happens again. I’ll find a Plan B if plan A stops working.

An unplanned cake eating episode:

Lindy says, “I can’t believe I lost control and ate that piece of cake. I’ve blown everything.”

Mindy says, “i’m glad I gave myself permission to enjoy that piece of cake. I don’t want to do that too much because it could get in the way of reaching my goal. If this indulgence slows me down, it was worth it!”

Hitting the 20-pound weight loss wall:

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 9.19.24 AMLindy stalls at the 20 pound weight loss mark. She says, “I knew that would happen, It’s over. Why even try?” She soon begins to gain the 20 she lost.

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 9.26.08 AMMindy stalls at the 20 pound weight loss mark. She says, “I need to figure out what’s not working so I can make a plan to correct it. There is a solution and I’ll find it!” She recommits and begins to lose again.

What’s the difference?

The only difference between Lindy and Mindy is their choice of words to describe what happened and how they’ll respond. They have the same experiences and challenges but one sees it as a dead end and the other sees it as a detour.

Lindy’s words reveal her overall belief that weight loss isn’t achievable. They can be summed up with the phrase, “I can’t.”

Mindy’s words show both belief and commitment. They can be summed up with the phrase, “I will.” Mindy’s self talk is positive and focused on solutions. Lindy’s is negative and focused on barriers.

How else can talking thin affect weight loss?

Using positive language enables weight loss in another important way. Poor coping skills, including abusing food to try to escape emotional discomfort or stress, is a major cause of obesity. People try to say it’s the sugary drinks, or the fatty foods when it’s really just a matter of eating too much of those kinds of foods too often, as a conscious or unconscious way to avoid feelings.

Getting into the habit of giving yourself positive messages reduces stress in the first place. Much of what stresses us isn’t a situation but rather how we react to the situation. If we use self-talk that makes us a victim of all that happens in our life, we create stress. If we use self-talk that gives us the ability to react in a positive way to situations we replace stress with empowerment.

Reducing stress decreases stressed-induced overeating episodes. Talking thin empowers all areas of your life, not just with your weight loss. 

If you don’t think you’re holding yourself back or keeping yourself overweight with negative self-talk, click on this link, How to Use Positive Self Talk to see if you might be lying to yourself. If you recognize that negative thought patterns are interfering with your ability to feel good and get things done (including losing weight if that’s something you want) click on the above link and then click on this link for Mantras to Help You Build Positive Self-Talk.



Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.