You know what?
There’s a whole lot of misinformation on weight loss in general, and certainly for weight loss over 50, which is why it’s easy to feel defeated when you feel like you’re doing everything “right” and still not getting results.
Before I learned how to hack my own thoughts, I tried every diet and fitness program I could find.
Expert #1 would say just eat less and move more! and expert #2 would say eat right for your blood type!
Many people think that “just eat less” is the best way to lose weight because weight loss is, all things considered, about being in a calorie deficit.
Others think if they JUST find the right diet, they’ll finally be successful, making it harder for them to actually succeed.
I learned that if you don’t get your thoughts, beliefs, & stories right, you’re likely never going to be successful.
You absolutely should NOT think that you’re just not strong enough, motivated enough, or tough enough to go it alone!
Here’s How It Would Always Go For Me
I would get all excited about some new diet, and for the first few days (or sometimes, even weeks), I was SO GOOD! I felt fantastic, and saw the weight dropping.
Sure, I had to white-knuckle it at the office when someone brought in treats, or when I went out with friends to my favorite Mexican restaurant and had to resist the chips and guac. Oh, and margaritas.
I even did that tough workout every day. Yes, even when I didn’t feel like it.
But eventually, I cracked. Just a little. “ONE piece of Halloween candy won’t hurt. I’ve been SOOOOO good!”
Then at the party, I’d figure, “I’ll get right back on track Monday.” And downhill it would all go. Within a few weeks, I’d be back where I started, or worse.
No matter what I did, I still couldn’t KEEP the weight off.
But, once I finally realized it was my default thoughts, and my mindset that was keeping me stuck, everything clicked. Reframing limiting beliefs is the key to nearly everything you ever wanted in life, but somehow couldn’t achieve.
And once I realized this, my first thought was, “Why did no one ever tell me this?” But shortly thereafter, I decided this was not a helpful thought, so I changed it to, “Okay, what can I do about it?”
You can do it too!
Read on for some sneaky limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from reaching your health and fitness (and weight loss) goals, and how to turn them into your superpowers.
Limiting Belief to Weight Loss #1: I just need more willpower
Most of us have said at one time or another (or, a thousand times), “I just need more willpower,” or, “I could do this if I could just muster up the willpower consistently.”
The problem is, you have a finite amount of willpower each day. The more you use it, the weaker your resolve.
So, if you white-knuckled a bunch of stuff during the day, like resisting the cookies on the counter, driving a different way home to avoid the bakery, and forcing yourself to make dry chicken and breast + steamed broccoli for dinner, you’re bound to be tapped out when the evening snack time rears its head.
How to turn it into your superpower
Most people mistakenly believe that more willpower is the key to losing weight, often leading to frustration and disappointment. However, you can transform this belief into a superpower by realizing that willpower is a finite resource.
First, challenge your belief. After all, it’s just a belief and you have no proof that it’s reality (spoiler: it’s NOT!).
Instead of relying solely on it, learn to set achievable goals, build healthy habits, and tap into a support system.
Break down your weight loss journey into manageable steps, practice self-compassion, and seek knowledge to make informed choices.
By doing so, you’ll shift from the myth of boundless willpower to a sustainable path toward lasting success in your weight loss journey.
You don’t have to take action now. Just let it sit with you and try to broaden your perspective. Keep challenging yourself.
When you’re ready, try reaching out for help. Here are a few resources available:
Limiting Belief to Weight Loss #2 – I’ll just fail like I always do
“Why do I even try? I’ll just fail again.”
If you’ve tried to lose weight many times (and let’s face it: lots of us over-50 gals have been on dozens of diets, amiright?) you may fall victim to this limiting belief.
You may even get excited for a bit, and then it comes crashing down on you – why should I put myself through this again when I know how it will end up?
But like every belief your brain holds on to, you can examine it.
Is it really true? Have you never lost weight before? Would this thought hold up in a court of law? That is, would every single person in the world agree that it’s a hopeless cause for you to try to lose weight?
If your answer is “no,” probably not everyone in the world would agree, then it’s not true.
Maybe you need to journal on the topic before you throw your hands up in defeat. Or is the real reason for this belief that you’re really scared to lose weight for good?
That’s a thing, you know. Sometimes our entire identity is wrapped up in the constant quest to lose weight.
Who would you be if you didn’t have that anymore? Would you finally have to do the things you’ve always said you would do “if I could just lose x pounds!”?
But you know what?
With the right tools and the right mindset, you CAN succeed at weight loss, finally and for good. Yes, even if you’re over 50! It’s just a total myth that it’s impossible for women over 50 to lose (and keep off) weight!
How to turn it into your superpower
With this type of “all or nothing” thinking, you need to reframe the thought.
Instead of just accepting the statement, “I did X (ate a whole sleeve of Oreos, for example), so I might as well just quit because it never works,” stop and think for a minute.
What can you do differently THIS time? Is there a reason you MUST do it the same way you’ve done it in the past? Of course there isn’t, other than it’s easier to follow the same path…easier for your brain, that is!
And by your brain, I mean your more primitive, “feeling” brain (I call mine Liz, for lizard brain).
No matter whether or not you think your “thinking” brain is the boss, it’s really not. Your primitive feeling brain is the one in control…that is, if you let it be. If you don’t learn to work WITH it instead of against it.Learning how to take small steps to reach your goals is the key to turning this thought on it’s head!
Limiting Belief to Weight Loss #3: It Will Never Work For Me Because…
How many times have you gotten excited about a new diet, then immediately thought, “Nah, it won’t work, my spouse/kids/best friend/workmates will trip me up and try to get me to fail.”
OR, you somehow think you’re a special case, i.e., it’s in your genes, your thyroid is “out of whack,” menopause (trust me, all women of a certain age go through menopause – it doesn’t make you special),
You’re not alone. This is another belief that comes from a place of fear, and we all have them.
When we’re about to try something new, it’s so easy for our (trying to be helpful) brains to trip us up with all sorts of ingrained beliefs.
The problem with beliefs like this is that they can prevent more empowering beliefs from forming.
If you don’t allow yourself some time between the immediate thought, i.e., “it won’t work for me,” and your action, i.e., giving up before you even start, you’re giving your brain evidence that this belief is true!
But, if you take a breath for a second or two, and ask yourself, “wait, is this actually true,” you can use that time between thought and action to take a different approach.
How to turn it into your superpower
When you catch yourself thinking that you’re a special case because of genetics, menopause, family dynamics, or any other unique circumstances, it’s time to reframe this thought pattern and transform it into a superpower.
Rather than giving in to the belief that these factors are insurmountable barriers, consider embracing your uniqueness.
You ARE a unique individual, and your journeys to fitness and well-being will be equally distinct. Your genetic makeup, your life experiences, and your body’s responses to change are what make you exceptional.
But rather than being held back by these factors, recognize that they provide you with a unique perspective and set of challenges to conquer. You are not a special case; you are an extraordinary woman on a remarkable journey.
For example, instead of thinking of menopause as a limitation, choose to believe it’s a transformative phase that empowers you to take control of your health.
Instead of seeing it as an obstacle, see it as a turning point in your life.
Menopause can be the fuel that propels you to take charge of your well-being, to explore new possibilities, and to redefine your future. It’s not about being special; it’s about seizing the opportunity to become the best version of yourself.
Likewise, your family dynamics and relationships can serve as a powerful source of motivation and support on your journey to fitness.
Rather than seeing them as potential stumbling blocks, see if you can leverage your connections with your loved ones, and possibly even engage them in your pursuit of health and wellness.
Their encouragement and shared experiences can empower you to succeed, turning your family situation into a superpower that fuels your progress.
Untangle the thoughts that keep you stuck!
Limiting Belief to Weight Loss #4: I don’t have time
If you believe you already have too much to do, you’ll find ways to keep yourself occupied with those other activities rather than focusing on you and your fitness.
Saying you don’t have time is really saying it’s not a priority right now.
The truth is, if you really want to exercise regularly, or start meal planning, you have to make it a priority.
Now, this doesn’t mean you go all out running 3 miles every day and cooking/packaging 3 meals per day for the whole month!
No way! This would lead to certain burnout and quitting.
Baby steps, always teeny-tiny baby steps.
How to turn it into your superpower
The truth is, you don’t need huge blocks of time to exercise OR meal plan. You just have to do it with consistency.
Don’t be afraid to draw a line in the sand and make it a priority, no matter what else you have going on.
If you can carve out 10-30 minutes a day, you can exercise. If you can make an extra serving each time you make a meal, that will give you extra for another meal that you only have to heat up.
Here’s how to get started:
Step #1: Redefine Your Priorities
The first step in transforming the belief that you don’t have enough time into a superpower is to redefine your priorities.
Recognize that when you say you don’t have time, what you’re really saying is that fitness and well-being aren’t high on your list of priorities at the moment.
It’s not about magically finding extra hours in the day; it’s about making a conscious choice to prioritize your health.
Why is this helpful? When you consciously prioritize fitness, you’re more likely to make time for it. You’re taking control of your schedule and acknowledging that your well-being deserves a place on your daily agenda. By shifting your mindset to treat exercise and meal planning as essential, you open the door to making them a consistent part of your routine.
Step #2: Consistency Over Duration
One of the most common misconceptions is that you need to block out large chunks of time for exercise and meal planning. The truth is, consistency matters more than duration.
You don’t have to carve out hours from your day; you can make meaningful progress with just 10-30 minutes a day for exercise and a bit of extra effort in meal preparation.
Why is this helpful?
Embracing the idea that short, regular bursts of activity can be effective allows you to overcome the time constraint.
Short workouts can be just as beneficial as longer ones when you commit to them consistently.
In the same way, adding a little extra to your meal preparation, like doubling a recipe, can save you time later on.
By recognizing the value of small, consistent actions, you empower yourself to make progress within your existing schedule.
Step #3: Draw A Line In The Sand
The final step in turning the time constraint into a superpower is to draw a line in the sand and commit to your priorities. No matter what else is going on in your life, make your well-being non-negotiable.
This doesn’t mean going to extremes or overwhelming yourself with unrealistic goals; it means making a commitment to yourself and sticking to it.
Why is this helpful? Drawing a line in the sand means setting boundaries and creating a sense of accountability.
When you make exercise and meal planning a priority, you’re less likely to let other distractions and tasks take precedence.
It empowers you to protect the time you’ve allocated for your health. By embracing this mindset, you become the master of your schedule, not its slave.
To get started, simply allocate 10-30 minutes each day for exercise, and plan your meals with an extra serving in mind.
Prioritize these activities as non-negotiable elements of your daily routine.
The transformation begins with recognizing that you have the power to shape your time to fit your fitness goals, not the other way around.
You’re making great progress!
It’s time to turn your limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs! If you find yourself procrastinating on your weight loss and fitness, think about what may be holding you back. Write down 10 limiting beliefs, and don’t be afraid to see them on paper.
We all have them, remember? It’s what you do with them that counts.
Will you push through and keep going? You bet you will!
Remember, you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s get you the body you’ve always wanted!