The beginning stages of weight loss can be challenging.
This is because losing weight requires that we make changes. We must learn new information, practice new skills and implement new habits.
All of these changes can be hard, and it often leads to a feeling of overwhelm.
But, here’s the problem: overwhelm never helps. In fact, overwhelm is a goal killer.
Think about this, what do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Most likely, nothing. Overwhelm often leads to paralysis. We feel stuck, unsure of how to proceed.
Notice your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed. They might include things such as:
“I’m not sure what to do.”
“I’ll never learn all of this.”
“It’s too much!”
“I can’t get it done!”
“I’m too far behind.”
“I don’t know where to begin.”
“I’m so stressed!”
“There is too much to do.”
“There isn’t enough time.”
Notice how these thoughts make you feel. Most likely they don’t leave you feeling excited, inspired and motivated. In fact, they probably make you want to just grab the pint of ice cream and camp out on the couch binge-watching Netflix. (No? Just me?)
We often assume that overwhelm will go away when the circumstances change.
“It will be easier when I have more time.”
“It will be easier when I have more money.”
“It will be easier when things at work calm down.”
“It will be easier once it’s summer and school is out.”
“It will be easier once summer is over and the kids go back to school!” 😉
When we are waiting for something external to change, we take the power away from ourselves. How do we take the power back?
I want to offer you a powerful idea: overwhelm is a choice.
This doesn’t mean that the stresses in your life are not real. I’m not suggesting it’s “all in your head” or that you should just put on a fake smile and act like you have it all together when you are going through something tough.
What I am offering you is the idea that you can work on how you think about things in order to help yourself through it.
If your ultimate goal is to lose weight, you already know that there are certain actions you need to take consistently in order to get to your goal.
Actions start with an emotion. If I feel motivated, I will move forward, even if it’s hard. If I feel overwhelmed, I stay stuck, even if it’s simple.
We don’t have to wait for that motivation to come from something outside of us. Instead, we can simple work on how we are thinking in order to move past overwhelm and into motivation.
This is incredibly empowering. If you understand this and start to practice this, then you can create an endless source of inspiration for yourself, regardless of what is happening around you.
It starts with your thoughts. When you are feeling overwhelmed, notice what you are thinking. Then, decide to change it.
Here are some alternative thoughts you can think when you start to feel overwhelm:
“I’m strong and capable; I can do this.”
“I’ve got this!”
“I’m figuring this out.”
“I can do hard things.”
“One step at a time.”
“Any action I take is good.”
“There are lots of right paths.”
“I don’t get overwhelmed.”
“I only have to focus on this moment.”
“It’s all happening exactly as it should.”
“Life is bringing me everything I need to make this happen.”
“This is exciting!”
“I have so many good resources available to me.”
“This is part of the journey.”
“It’s an adventure!”
You might think, “Yeah, that sounds great, but isn’t it wishful thinking?”
This is where it gets fun. We don’t have to figure out which thought is “true”; we simply get to pick the thoughts that best serve us.
The thought “this is so hard” is just as true as “I can do this”. The question is, which one moves you towards your goal?
So, don’t let overwhelm kill your dreams. Don’t allow yourself to indulge in inaction. Instead, compassionately observe what you are thinking and then decide to pick thoughts that better serve you. Not only will this move you toward your goals, but you’ll feel amazing and have fun in the process.