“I think I can. I think I can.” We all know mantras can be helpful in reaching goals. Whether it’s powering through a plateau to lose those last 10 pounds or pushing yourself to get through the last mile of that 5k, for fitness and weight loss, positive self-talk can be essential.
But before you can start thinking positive, you must clear away the negative clutter floating around your mind. Though you may not realize it, you have running conversations with yourself all the time, says Allen Weg, EdD, a New Jersey-based cognitive behavioural therapist and former WW member. “You think to yourself, ‘This is too hard. I can’t do it,’” Weg explains. "But think about it realistically. How do you know that just because you haven’t done something before, it’s truly impossible?”
Sometimes the awareness starts organically. It can be an “a-ha” moment that jolts people into reality, Weg says. “There’s no magic formula that can make people see success, but if a doctor tells you you’re on the path to diabetes or if you realize you can no longer fit into your favourite dress, that might be the day you decide once and for all you can and will get healthy.”
That positive self-talk is important. “Try keeping a journal or ask yourself to list positive things about yourself,” he says. “If that seems difficult, step outside the box. What would your mother or your best friend say about you?” The important thing is to not let yourself run away with the negative thoughts in your head.
Match the mantra to the moment
Repeating positive statements or sayings can help. We chose our favourites from our WW Community.
When you don’t feel like working out:
- "Yesterday you said, 'tomorrow.'"
- "Losing weight is a journey, not a destination."
- "If it is to be, it’s up to me."
- "You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you're sitting down."
While grocery shopping:
- "You can’t eat it if you don’t have it."
- "Eat good, feel good!"
- "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels."
When you have a disappointing weigh-in:
- "If you trip down one stair, don't throw yourself down the whole flight."
- "You only fail if you quit."
- "You didn’t gain the weight overnight; you won’t lose it overnight, either."
When you’re feeling down:
- "It doesn’t matter how slow you go, only that you do not stop."
- "Weight loss isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon."
- "Take pride in how far you have come, and have faith in how far you can go."
- "Shoot for progress, not perfection."