18 June 2019Is Your Self-Talk Helping or Hurting Your Progress with Healthy Lifestyle?

I like these quotes about positive thinking:

"Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will." - Zig Ziglar

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results" - Willie Nelson

"For myself, I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else." - Winston Churchill

"Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious." - Bill Meyer

Sure, we all get a little negative now and then. It is human nature. However, do you find yourself primarily having negative thoughts? If you are negative about your health habits and goals, it could seriously impair your chances of success!

Think about a big accomplishment in your life. Did you have a positive attitude about it? I am willing to bet that you did. Using positive thoughts and energy to accomplish health goals will help you succeed.


Thoughts affect our actions. If you believe something is too difficult or that you will fail at it, then guess what? You probably will!! Be aware of your self-talk to ensure it is not hindering your efforts with health goals. Here are some examples of reframing thoughts to make them more positive:

Thought: Oh man, I overate again. I can't lose weight! It is just too hard!
Reframed Thought: OK, so I ate a little more than I intended. No worries, now I can adjust and eat less the rest of the day!

Thought: It's just too hard to avoid all the yummy treats my husband brings into the house. I have no willpower! I can't lose weight in this situation!
Reframed Thought: I will ask my husband to put the treats out of sight in opaque containers. I love the way my body is feeling at a lower weight. That feeling lasts a lot longer than the enjoyment from eating a treat.

Thought: I don't have time to plan and prepare healthy meals for my family. I know I should, but they won't appreciate it anyway.
Reframed Thought: I will start by making a grocery list and planning two healthy meals a week. Everyone in the family has gained some weight this year, even the kids. This will help us all lose some weight and become healthier.

Thought: I know I should work out, but it's too hot outside. Besides, if I exercise, I will just have to take another shower. Seems like a big hassle.
Reframed Thought: I will go to the gym and walk the track! That will give me a chance to listen to my favorite music! I always feel energized after I exercise!

Reframe Your Own Thoughts

Observe your self-talk. Awareness of negative self-talk messages is the first step to reframing your thoughts. Do you often use phrases like: "I never", "I can't", I won't", "I hate", "I should"? Perhaps write down your thoughts or keep notes in MyNetDiary as they occur. Are they rational? Do they support your health goals?

Negative thoughts can become habit-forming. Catch yourself when thinking negatively about a healthy lifestyle and practice reframing your thoughts. Can you change your words to a more neutral or positive message? Practice changing your phrases to " I could", "I will", "I can". For example, "This is impossible!" will keep you from searching for a solution. Instead, ask yourself, "How is this possible? I will figure this out." The self- awareness and practice will produce the results you want! Plus, you will be happier along the way!

Brenda L Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN,CDE

Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator in Indialantic, Florida

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.


Weight Loss/Behavior Weight Loss/Emotional & Mindful Eating

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