Archive for the tag - power of words

No One Likes a Fat-Talker.

fattalkfreeIf you have ears, then you’ve probably heard someone talk about how fat they are – even if they aren’t overweight.

“I look like a cow today.”

“I don’t even know why you’re with me… I’m so fat.”

“These jeans give me a muffin top.”

Though this so-called “fat talk” has become a regular part of conversation and possibly a way for people to build social bonds, a new study finds quite the opposite.

Researchers from Notre Dame’s Body Image and Eating Disorder Lab conducted a study with college-age women. Each participant was presented with either a noticeably thin or overweight woman engaging in “fat talk” or positive body talk. The participants were then asked to rate the women on a number of dimensions – including likeability.

Regardless of weight, the “fat talkers” were rated as significantly less likeable. On the other hand, overweight women who made positive statements about their bodies were rated as the most likeable. Contrary to popular belief, fat talking may actually be hurting our relationships with other people.

According to the lead researcher:

These findings are important because they raise awareness about how women actually are being perceived when they engage in this self-abasing kind of talk.

Beyond hurting your relationship with other people, “fat talk” can also damage your relationship with yourself. The researchers noted that fat talk has been strongly associated with – and can even cause – body dissatisfaction, which is a risk factor for eating disorders.

As it turns out, words are very powerful. Words become thoughts. Thoughts become beliefs. Beliefs become reality. So choose words that lift you up – and that help, encourage and inspire you to reach your fitness goals.

Words that Stop Cravings.

Every now and then, I come across a study that really blows my skirt up. Today is one of those days. Marilyn Monroe, eat your heart out.

According to researchers at the University of Houston, there are two very effective words that can be used to stop cravings. When individuals said “I can’t eat that,” only 10% were able to stick to their healthy eating habits. On the other hand, when the phrase “I don’t eat that” was used, that number skyrocketed to 80%.

It’s the difference between “I can’t” and “I don’t” – and, according to Vanessa Patrick, PhD and co-author of the study:

Saying “I can’t” signals that you’re giving up something desirable. But saying “I don’t” gives you a sense of empowerment.

When I think of my own personal experience, saying “I can’t” or “I shouldn’t eat that” is almost like begging the other person to be an enabler. “Oh, but you deserve it” is the expected response. Saying “I don’t eat that” is much stronger – and much more authoritative. There’s no wiggle-room for enabling.

It’s a subtle but powerful difference – and I don’t think there’s an easier diet strategy out there. I love this study because it’s also an important reminder to choose our words carefully! Innocuous as they may seem, words have very real implications on our lives, our health and our waistlines.

Do you plan on making use of this tip? Are there any other words that you use or avoid? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Thoughts That Stop You From Losing Weight.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

If you’re feeling stuck with your weight loss progress, chances are it has nothing to do with what you’re doing and everything to do with what you’re thinking. Change your thoughts and you will get back on track.

Here are five common limiting thoughts that sabotage weight loss progress and how to change them.

Limiting Thought #1: “I’m afraid I’ll never be able to lose weight.”

This immobilizing thought erodes your confidence and keeps you feeling helpless. Unless you have a physical disorder or are taking medications that inhibit weight loss, remind yourself that there is no reason why you can’t release weight.

Solution:

When this fear-filled thought enters your mind, stop and take a deep breath. Simply notice the thought and observe it with detachment. Say, “Oh, there you are again. That’s ok. I don’t have to give you power. I want to lose weight and I commit to doing what I need to do to succeed.”

Limiting Thought #2:  “Even when I lose weight, I always gain it back. What’s the use?”

Just because something always was, doesn’t mean it always will be. Trust in your power to make permanent change. If it was hard for you to succeed before, chances are your limiting beliefs got in the way. Decide to practice healthy thinking in the same way you practice healthy eating.

Solution:

When thoughts of past self-defeating patterns creep in, tell yourself, “It doesn’t matter what happened before. All that matters is this moment. I’ll take one positive step today to honor myself and my body.” Then, follow through and do one kind thing for your body that reinforces your commitment to taking good care of yourself.

Limiting Thought #3: “I’ve tried everything to lose weight and nothing seems to work”

There are many sound nutrition and exercise approaches. They work. It’s just that we become impatient and give up too soon. Or, it requires a commitment that we’re just not ready to make. It’s sometimes easy to say, “It didn’t work” instead of taking responsibility for how we got in our own way.

Solution:

Once you decide on a sound nutrition and exercise approach that feels right to you, make a decision to stick with it no matter what. Understand that your fear-based mind will try to weaken you with thoughts of “it’s not working”. When that happens, use it as an opportunity to strengthen your strong side. Say to those sabotaging thoughts, “OK, I expected you’d be here. But I’m not listening to you anymore. I’m committed to what I want and I’m getting there.”

Limiting Thought #4:  “I hate my body.”

Do you really “hate” your body or do you “hate” being overweight? Notice the difference. “Hating” your body dishonors everything your body does for you, like allowing you to walk along a beach, hug your child, or enjoy a flower’s fragrance. When you appreciate how your body serves you, you’ll change your attitude about your body, even if you carry excess weight.

Solution:

Soften your tone. Instead of a toxic word like hate, simply say, “I’m unhappy with my weight and I’m changing that.” You can learn to love taking care of your body, even if you don’t love how your body looks right now.

Limiting Thought #5:  “It’s taking too long. Nothing’s changing.”

Impatience sabotages even the best efforts. Remember, it took a long time for you to get where you are and it will take time to get where you want to be.  For your results to be permanent, time is necessary to help you shift your self-concept and “grow into” the person you’re becoming.

Solution:

Create a personal support team so you don’t remain isolated. Consult with a trusted nutritionist, personal trainer, life coach or your medical practitioner for ongoing support and to help you make adjustments to your plan when necessary. Join Calorie Count’s groups to connect with others. With a solid plan in place and personal support for encouragement, the time it takes to lose weight will matter less than the healthy lifestyle changes you’re making to ensure you get there.

I Don’t Believe in “Should.”

Years back, I was eating dinner with a gentleman much wiser than myself. We were talking about a difficult situation in his life and I asked, “Do you feel like you should have done anything differently?” He enjoyed a few moments of silence before he responded by saying, “I don’t use the word should.” I didn’t understand his answer until fairly recently.

The word should implies guilt. And that guilt inspires negative feelings of shame.

When we use should in reference to the past, it’s in an effort to change that which can’t be changed. For example, I might think to myself, “I shouldn’t have eaten that extra slice of cake.” But I did eat that extra slice of cake – and nothing can undo it. Believing that I should have done things differently only leads to guilt and shame. And such negative emotions do not lead to positive transformations or change. Instead, they’re self-defeating and can create something of a downward spiral.

When we use should in reference to the future, it’s laced with hopelessness, tension and despair. For example, I might say to a friend, “I really should do more yoga.” But such a statement isn’t really a goal or intention so much as it is a personal scolding. Saying that I should do something doesn’t motivate me to do it; instead, it encourages me to feel guilty for dropping the ball or for being lazy.

Just yesterday, I was reviewing a wonderful related article by Diane Petrella, a spiritual weight release coach and personal friend. In her article, Diane encourages readers to close their eyes and say, “I should lose weight.” Then, take a moment to feel the sensations generated by your body. Close your eyes again and say, “I want to lose weight.” Take another moment to feel how your body responds.

According to Diane, “Most people experience a sense of constriction or tension when they use the word “should” but when they say the word “want” they experience a sense of openness, expansion or lightness.” This simple change can make a powerful difference.

By removing should from our vernacular and replacing it with stronger and more positive words, we align ourselves with the transformative energy that helps us make healthier decisions and achieve our goals.

Give it a try.