Medical Checkups. Car tune-ups. Home repairs. Anything that's worth taking care of needs periodic maintenance work and sometimes even a whole makeover. Your nutritional status is no different.
Use these two two self audits—one mental and one physical—to decide where you need to tune up and what's already in good condition.
1. What do you see staring back at you when you look in the mirror? Do you love it or hate it?
2. When someone compliments you on your weight loss, do you feel vulnerable and exposed rather than proud and accomplished?
3. When someone pays you a compliment about your weight loss, do you misconstrue it to mean you look great now but didn't before?
4. Do compliments make you feel ashamed of your past rather than proud of your present body?
5. Do you feel that your current body is unacceptable to others? By losing weight, do you feel you'll finally be earning respect and approval from them?
6. Do you see yourself as being overweight forever?
7. Do you find yourself harboring any or all of the following beliefs?
- I'll always be overweight.
- I'm not attractive.
- No one will ever want to be with me at this weight.
- I have no self-control.
- It's my family's fault.
- I can't really be happy until I lose X pounds.
- I'm not athletic.
- I deserve it [the unhealthy food]; it's not going to kill me.
- Overweight people aren't sexy.
- I'll start tomorrow.
If you answered yes to all or most of the questions above, you're lacking the confidence you deserve to feel. Confidence is one of the single biggest predictors that you'll be able to motivate yourself to start or continue on your weight loss journey. It's called self-efficacy—the belief in your ability to organize and execute the behavior you would like to modify.
A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that as self-efficacy increased, eating habits improved and weight loss was greater. Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands also reported that those who believed they could control their eating and didn't blame being overweight on "bad genes" lost the most weight.
If you answered no to most of the above questions, congratulations. You're already on your way to attaining your weight-loss and fitness goals. Take a minute to perform the next audit of your eating habits.