Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic.
“I am a loser; I can’t even follow a diet. I will never be able to run for more than two minutes. Something must be wrong with me, I should be able to get this exercise down.”
These are just some of the things that I would tell myself on a daily basis when I was first staring on my 110-pound weight loss journey. As disturbing as these thoughts may be, I can assure you they are not even the worst of it.
I would look at myself in the mirror and spew the most hurtful and mean insults. If someone else was saying that to me I would have wanted to fight, yet I stood there saying it to myself. This type of inner dialogue would normally follow some event or incident that happened.
The fact is it didn’t even have to be directly related to my health wellness and fitness journey. It was just rooted in the fact that I believed because because I was overweight my life was a mess
I know that I was not alone in this situation; most people regularly engage in negative self-talk. These normally come in the form of cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are when you attach a not so objective interpretation to what you experience based on your beliefs about yourself. The fact is that how you react to events is largely determined by your view or perception of the events rather than the events themselves.
It is very important to be able to spot these thoughts, or types of thinking, because they can hinder your success, not just on your health, wellness and fitness journey, but in life. Here are some cognitive distortions you should be on the lookout for:
• All or nothing thinking – looking at things in black and white terms – “I will never be able to lose this weight” or “I always fail when I try to do anything healthy.”
• Disqualifying the positive; believing that accomplishments or positive qualities are meaningless. “I only lost a pound this week, I might as well quit now.”
• Mental filter – Dwelling on the negatives and ignoring the positives – “I didn’t even finish the entire fitness class,” and ignoring the fact that you showed up and tried.
• Labelling – Calling yourself names instead of saying that you made a mistake. “I am a loser, I can’t even follow a diet.”
All of these are examples of cognitive distortions. The thing is that once you know what there are you can look out for them and correct them.
Some questions you can ask yourself are:
• What is the evidence for and against thinking negative thoughts?
• What would I tell a loved one who was thinking the same way I am?
• What is the worst thing that could realistically happen? How bad would that be?
• Is there any way that I can look at this positively?
I know I say it all the time, but the race to health and wellness is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to remember to be patient in our process. It is my hope that the next time you start to think negatively about yourself you can recognise it for what it is and correct the behaviour.
Remember, if you need help navigating this or any part of your health wellness and fitness journey, please feel free to reach out to me directly. #letsgetit