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Dr. Kim: Self-Talk Yourself to Success!

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Red Mountain Weight Loss® Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

3 Steps to Stop Self-Sabotage
This is a simple and extremely effective process to help you stop self-sabotage.

1. Identify the self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors

In order to create change, you will first need to become aware of what it is that is preventing you from moving forward and attaining your desired weight loss goals. Do you have cruel and punitive self-talk? Are you aware that you are emotionally eating? Are you using food to tolerate the hassles of daily life? Do you suffer from low self-esteem, and/or currently hold the belief that you are going to fail again? Are you using food as a reward or as a way to celebrate? It is important to become aware of your daily thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and their subsequent consequences. Listen to what you say to yourself about losing weight. Make a list of all of your thoughts and behaviors that are currently sabotaging your weight loss.

2. Replace it with new positive thoughts and/or a new way of responding

Once you have identified the thoughts and behaviors that are in your way, you can now make the necessary changes to help you succeed. If your negative thoughts are in your way, it is time to create more positive ones. Stop being your own worst enemy and become your own cheerleader. Look for opportunities to create alternative positive messages. For example, when hear yourself say, “I can’t do this” replace it with “I will find a way.” If you say, “I am going to fail again” replace it with “this time is different.” Notice how your new healthier self-talk makes you to feel better and more motived, which propels you to make healthier choices. Repeat these positive self talk message often. Within time, you will start to believe them and you will see the results you desire!

Self-Talk Yourself to Success!
· I am capable of change!
· I can lose weight and keep it off!
· I can tolerate my feelings without relying on food!
· I can learn to love healthy foods!
· I am worth it!
· I deserve to feel good and be healthy!
· This time is different!

If it is your behavior that you need to focus on, you need to replace it with more effective ways of responding that will help you achieve your weight loss goals.

To begin, ask yourself these questions:
· How could I respond in a more appropriate and effective manner that would help me achieve my weight loss goals?
· What are some reasons for making this change?
· Why is this important to me?
· What are the long-term benefits of transforming how I respond in this situation?
· What are the advantages of practicing this new behavior?

3. Practice your new thoughts and behaviors

Once you have outlined your new thoughts and behaviors, it is now time to implement and practice them. Research suggests you can change almost anything (including thoughts and behaviors) in 21-66 days. So start practicing NOW!

Take time at the end of each day to reflect on how you responded to events and circumstances. Learn from your mistakes, as mistakes are excellent opportunities to learn about yourself. If possible, don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Try to say something nice to yourself and learn from each experience. Continue to adjust how you may respond differently in the future.