Positive or Negative, Which mind set are you in today?


Now far be it from me to be telling people what they should be spending their money on, but when it comes to eating habits there seems to be so many excuses as to why people don’t eat healthy, again it can be a mind game, you are happy to fool yourself on a daily basis by making any excuse to continually eat junk.

Healthy or junk today?

As you prepare to get ready for work, you have already happily talked yourself out of eating a healthy breakfast-Good news for Mr. Negative as he hasn’t even had to talk you into it yet, you’re making his job so easy!-but now it’s time to make a healthy lunch to take with you, after all you made the effort to buy healthy food at the grocery store at the weekend…didn’t you?

As you are about to open the fridge door you are suddenly stopped dead in your tracks, our old friend Mr. Negative appears in your mind saying “Why go to the trouble of making something healthy? It’s easier to pick something up on the way to work” that’s true you think, yes I’ll do that instead. Mr. positive responds immediately “Yes and if you do that, you’ll be buying junk that will make you feel tired all day, make something healthy instead and be energized all day”

Still stood there with your hand on the fridge door you are now thinking better and about to make something healthy, or are you? “Remember, you need something for breakfast and lunch, you don’t have time to make anything healthy now, it’s too late, just grab some junk at the drive-thru this morning, you don’t even have to get out of the car!” says Mr. Negative. You like the sounds of that option as Mr. Positive snaps you out of it yet again. “Really? That’s just lazy, if you stand there much longer listening to his nonsense it will be too late, now make something healthy while you still do have time!”

Mr. Negative reminds you “Don’t listen to him. Remember, you made something healthy for work last week, eat some junk today instead, eating healthy every day is boring!” Just as you are agreeing Mr. Positive also reminds you “Yes, that’s true, you did make something healthy for work last week and it’s still in the fridge at work from last week probably ruined by now! And just how would you know eating healthy is boring every day? You never do it!”

As you finally step away from the fridge Mr. Negative assures you that you’re doing the right thing by listening to him this morning “That’s right! Just think how much money you’re saving by not eating healthy, it’s just too expensive compared to the few dollars you spend every day on junk food” Yes that’s true, must save money you’re thinking. “Really? You can’t afford to eat healthy? But you can afford to eat junk every day! Are you sure? Think about that for a moment” replies Mr. Positive.

Sadly, when it comes to food choices Mr. Negative wins the battle again this morning as you finally step away from the fridge and drive off to work without anything healthy to eat again. This is becoming a daily mind battle you are losing badly! Mr. Positive will try to talk sense to you again tomorrow, but for today he knows you’re a lost cause. You won’t listen to sense so why should he hang around any longer today? He`s moved on to try to help someone else today. Mr. Negative has total control over you for the rest of the day now and it’s all downhill from here, you just don’t realize that yet or just don’t want to.

On the way to eat your junk food breakfast you stop at a gas station to pick up one of those awful energy drinks, that’s around $3 and with no thought behind what you’re doing this also has become another daily habit that you can’t live without these days, you drink it down fast to get the buzz from the caffeine and sugar that it`s loaded with. Basically, its liquid sugar! What a great way to start your day…or so you think.

Next stop is your all too familiar diner where you eat a large fried breakfast, with coffee of course, several cups. You just spent $12 but that’s ok, you leave feeling very full, content and high as a kite with all the sugar and caffeine now overloading your body, never mind your arteries are now blocked a little more than they were yesterday, and the fact you are that much closer to having a heart attack or stroke doesn’t enter your mind, why should it? You feel so good to even waste your time thinking about such things, that kind of things happen to other people, not you…right?

By the time you have got to work and started whatever job you’re doing that good feeling has quickly been replaced by a not so good feeling. You have already crashed leaving yourself feeling tired, lazy and all around lethargic. Time for more caffeine! Like a real genuine friend that never fails you, eventually, it brings you to life one more time after a slow start to your day. Sound familiar? You were like this yesterday and the day before and the day before that and so on. Your mind doesn’t need to question any of this as sadly this has become your average day.

It`s now lunch time, you’re feeling very hungry now, the healthy lunch you made last week is still in the fridge as you walk straight past it and no doubt is well and truly ruined by now, the maggots will eventually enjoy it though and be thankful you left it for them. You don’t throw it away just yet because just knowing it’s there gives your mind a false feeling of comfort actually knowing you did make the effort even though you know you will never eat it. Once again, you are letting your mind control and fool yourself.

But for now, your mind is focused on the $15 pizza you ordered an hour ago and as ever has been delivered with perfect timing for your lunch break, they know you well so are never late delivering as you’ve become such a good customer. You ordered an extra-large pizza knowing what you don’t eat now you can take home with you and eat for dinner, how smart! You’ve already got dinner covered.

You eat half the extra-large pizza for lunch and save the rest for dinner tonight. The rest of your working day is spent trying to stay awake as all you want to do is sleep! More coffee sees you through till it’s time to head home. Your mind is in such a fog with the carbs, calories, caffeine and sugar there’s no concern about the damage you are doing to yourself or indeed your wallet, you’re only halfway through the day and you’ve already spent $30! That’s not even including the several sodas you’ll buy at $1 each throughout the day!

You eat the other half of pizza for dinner, then settle down for the night watching TV. You know a walk around the block would be a good idea but your mind has already talked you out of that, you can do that tomorrow right? Well, you know you won’t but it’s a nice thought anyway. You are leading such a sedentary lifestyle these days that the thought of any exercise makes you think you actually did it! 

You are oblivious to the fact your waist line is expanding at an alarming rate as you have bought bigger pants three times already this year! Why bother spending months exercising when you can buy bigger pants to instantly mask the problem. Your mind is on overdrive fooling yourself into thinking everything will be fine. 

Never mind the fact you see the doctor more regularly these days and are spending more and more money on medication, the doctor has become your number one enemy as all he wants to talk about is exercise and diet after telling you how much more weight you have gained since you last saw him. Not those two terrible words again you think. Your mind has you thinking the doctor is old fashioned and living in an outdated world from the past, after all, he’s twice your age, the fact he’s twice as healthy as yourself is something your mind can’t even begin to comprehend. All his health warnings go in one ear and out of the other. Your job provides good health insurance, so your mind has you already fooled that you don’t really spend that much at all. 

He keeps telling you that you must go on a diet and lose 50lb, but doesn’t he realize you’ve tried every diet under the sun and none of them work, right? Or so your mind has you convinced, but you know deep down in your heart you haven’t tried any of them long enough to feel or see any difference, but once again your mind has overruled everything. Bottom line is there isn’t a diet that allows you to carry on eating like you have been doing and lose 50lb in weight, not possible. It requires discipline, motivation and desire, but thanks to your negative state of mind that’s three things you simply don’t possess. Without you even realizing, your mind has now become your worst enemy.

So, what’s next? A possible heart attack or stroke, or maybe you’ll get one of those weight loss surgeries before those two things actually become a possibility. Either way, unless you change your lifestyle the future is not looking very bright at all! You already have diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol and have had them for years now but the alarm bells never started ringing about these things. After all, you’re in your mid-forties, it’s what happens at this age, part of getting older, right? …Wrong!

   Helpful Advice

The chances are many people will identify with this last story, so if you feel that you just read about yourself let’s see what we can do in the way of helping, after all, this book isn’t just about pointing out how the mind can work against you, it’s also intended to offer some solutions and helpful advice to hopefully get you back on the right track and be enjoying a much healthier lifestyle. The following is a list of subjects we will cover in more detail…

  1. Eating healthy is not too expensive!
  2. Prepare your healthy meals in advance
  3. Don’t keep junk in the house
  4. When it comes to weight loss small steps first
  5. Avoid jumping on the scales every day
  6. Loose clothes are a good sign of success
  7. Weight loss surgery isn’t the answer!
  8. Thyroid issues

First let’s expose this myth about eating healthy being too expensive, can you honestly say that’s true? Or is it just another excuse your mind has come up with because you don’t want to give up your beloved junk food? So, let’s take our friend in the story as an example, he eats junk every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner totaling $30 per day, in reality it’s probably way more than that, but we`ll stick with that example to give you an idea of the kind of money you’re probably spending here. 

Let’s just use workdays as our example, but if you’re eating junk all week there’s certainly very little chance you’ll be eating healthy at weekends, after all, there is a pattern to your eating habits here, and here is the pattern spread out over a week and then a month. Workdays per week comes to $150 per week!  20 workdays per month comes to $600 per month!

Are you shocked? Is your mind even letting you comprehend this? Apart from consuming way too many calories this is how fast your daily habit of junk is mounting up costing you a small fortune!  Bottom line…eating healthy is not too expensive but eating junk every day most certainly is!

It doesn’t have to be this way, for a fraction of the $150 you are spending on junk every week try buying healthy food such as chicken, fish, fresh fruit and veg. Prepare your meals for the week ahead on Sunday and make this a special event that you set aside some time for, divide them up into individual containers labelled for each day of the week, basically, having your food pre-made will help keep your mind from constantly thinking of junk food. If you have the food available in the fridge, it’s already there so that’s one less thing to be thinking about as you’re rushing around getting ready for work in a morning.

Take notice of what kind of snacks you have readily available around the house, if you have things like cookies and chips get rid of them! Replace them with healthy snacks like fruit, I know this doesn’t sound good in the slightest at the moment but this has to be a lifestyle change, if you don’t have these bad things in the house in the first place then that’s one less temptation for your mind. Think about it, how many times do you just sit in front of the TV at night snacking on junk food? It’s not that you’re really hungry, it’s just simply that it’s there and you don’t even realize that you’re doing it. So, get rid of those bad junk food items around the house.

When it comes to losing weight through diet, let’s use our mind in a positive way. The guy in the story needs to lose 50lb. You already know this isn’t going to happen overnight, in fact it takes quite a few months to achieve this, or even a year or more and that’s why many people fail before they’ve really started because their minds simply can’t comprehend losing that much weight. 

So, try this little mind trick, instead of focusing on the whole 50lb split it up into smaller obtainable goals such as 5lb at a time. Like the old saying goes `don’t run before you can walk` in other words small steps at a time, that way each time you actually lose 5lb it will give you a sense of achievement and help keep you focused and motivated and all the time you are getting closer and closer to your overall target.

So, you can see from this example you really can switch your mind set from negative to positive by using this little mind trick and helping yourself reach your overall weight loss goal.

When it comes to losing weight one of your worst enemies can be the weighing scales, that is, if you use them too often. So try to avoid jumping on them every day because your weight can vary from day to day, that’s normal, but a little too much sodium one day can reflect in a negative manner on the scales, also take into consideration the amount of water you have drank throughout the day as that too can make for a not so favorable reading. 

That is why you should only weigh yourself first thing in the morning when you first get up for the truest reading. If you fall into that trap of weighing yourself every day or at night you’ll soon get discouraged and lose motivation to carry on with your diet as there’s nothing worse for your mind than to see no loss or even an increase in your weight when you know you are following a structured diet seriously. Try weighing once a week, you might find your readings to be much more pleasing that way and consistently showing a loss keeping you focused and motivated. 

Don’t forget the fact that if you’re working out with weights you will possibly encounter one of the most common problems, that being your pant/dress size is going down but not your weight.  So many people get frustrated with this and think their efforts are for nothing. You are simply replacing body fat with muscle mass, you will hear so many people say muscle weighs heavier than fat, not true! That is a huge misconception, look at it this way, which weighs more 5lb of feathers or 5lb of iron?  Think about it before you instantly say iron, 5lb of any two items is the same weight but it’s the volume that’s different, so 5lb of muscle mass is much smaller in size than 5lb of body fat, so hopefully that example helps you understand why you might be losing inches but not weight. It’s a perfectly normal transformation process and nothing to let your mind get negative about, but as we know when you allow your mind to become obsessed with losing weight you quite often don’t even see the progress you are really making. 

The fact you are dropping pant/dress sizes is a huge achievement you can be proud of, so let your clothes tell you how good you are doing rather than the scales. Once again, it’s all about trying to keep your mind positive, when you master that then you’ll be motivated and focused and well on the way to success.

Weight loss surgery isn’t the answer to your problems, this really is the very last resort when all else has failed and it’s a matter of life and death, not taken as a short cut or easy way out of exercising and dieting. The problem with this is simply that it won’t change how your mind thinks about food and basically your mind has got you in this situation to start with by showing no control over what you’re eating so why should that mind set change because you have weight loss surgery? It won’t!

Thyroid issues, if you can honestly say that you’ve tried exercising and dieting and really gone about it correctly and not just half-heartedly and yet you still have had no results this could be one more thing that’s stopping you from achieving any results where weight loss is concerned. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid, better still, have it checked before you start any exercise and diet program, it could save a lot of wasted time and effort.

Author: Nigel Taylor

I`m Nigel Taylor – originally from England – owner of The Backyard Gym in Round Rock Texas. We specialize in personal training, kickboxing cardio and self-defense. With over 25 years experience as a personal trainer, I know what works! From weight loss to bulking up to toning up, I can help you get your desired look and achieve your fitness goals. I can also offer you the privacy of a 100% private personal training studio in which to enjoy and get the most out of your workouts.