Affirmations for Weight Loss

You’ve been following diets for years—maybe decades. You go to bed hungry at night. You put off eating until you can’t stand it anymore, thinking you’re getting ahead of the game. Because you’ve heard that exercise is the only sure route to weight loss, you get a gym membership or resolve to start walking every day.

Does it work? If it did, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. The chances are you lost a few pounds but got tired of going hungry, driving to the gym, or going out in the rain to walk. So your determination weakened and pretty soon you were on a plateau or—worse yet—gaining back the weight you’d lost.

You started on your new program at 170 or 185 or 215 pounds. You got down to 160 or 178 or 198 pounds. Your hopes were high. But then life got in the way. Your positive attitude eroded. You thought “The heck with it. This is too hard.”

Your subconscious mind knew all along that it would win.  Your ego at the controls was determined but your subconscious wasn’t convinced. There’s an old saying: “The underdog always wins.”

The only sure way to lasting lifestyle change is to persuade the subconscious mind, to seduce the underdog. The subconscious wants to do what feels good, what’s fun and what gives it peace. The underdog wants steak, not dry dog food.

That’s where affirmations come in. Until you persuade your subconscious mind that a heathy lifestyle is what your deeper self wants most, food will rule. True, you might be one of those exceptional beings capable of lifelong deprivation who can attain a thin body through prolonged suffering and maybe drugs. But who wants a life of deprivation and drugs as a lifetime recipe?

With the use of affirmations, you can —excuse us—have your cake and eat it, too. You can destroy the power of food over your life. You can stop obsessing about what you can and can’t eat. You can end your calorie-counting days forever.

How Does It Work?

Affirmations work through repeated exposure. You read them over and over. Marketing research tells us that over twenty exposures to a message are needed before it sinks in and takes hold.

You should carry your affirmations with you as a list or printed on cards. At stoplights, you can pull them out and read a few until the light turns green. While waiting in the doctor’s office, you can take out your list or cards and concentrate on them.

As you read each affirmation, your subconscious mind will absorb it. This happens because the affirmations embed new beliefs in your mind. They work because they’re in tune with your body’s natural needs.

You may think, “This is too easy. I don’t believe it.” You don’t have to believe it. The affirmations will work despite the fact that you’re skeptical. The messages will find their way to your subconscious mind where they’ll change your attitudes at a deeper level. Your behaviors will start to change. It’s happened to thousands of other people. It can happen to you, too.

How To Use Affirmations

There are several ways to use affirmation lists. If you use the list at the end of this blog, copy your favorites into a word program. Enlarge the print and use boldface type. Leave plenty of white space between affirmations so they’re easy to read. Print them on heavy paper stock or cards and keep them next to your bed, on your desk, on the refrigerator, in the car, or any other place you frequent.  Writing them out by hand works, too—maybe even better.

Read the ones at your bedside first thing in the morning and just before you go to sleep. Tape a list somewhere on your desk or on the refrigerator where you’ll see it often. Use the affirmations in your car when you’re stalled in traffic Take them with you to places where you know you’ll have to wait. Remind yourself to look at them often. Reading them will take less than a minute.

If you make your own cards, you can download images from the Internet to go with each affirmation. Or clip attractive images from magazines. Look at the cards before you go to sleep at night. Bedtime is particularly effective because the messages filter into your subconscious and do their work while you sleep.

Words Are Powerful

The words you say about yourself determine what you become. Words are powerful. When you say over and over, “I love shopping for groceries at the produce market,” that’s how you’ll feel before long. If you repeat, “Fresh fruits are my favorite snacks and desserts,” soon you’ll find yourself choosing them instead of sweet, fatty foods. It will become a preference and not a matter of self-discipline.

Never make negative statements about your eating habits or weight. When you say, “No more cheesecake for me!” your subconscious ignores the “No” and fixates on the cheesecake. Without intending to, you give power to something you’re trying to give up.

As a prisoner of food, you might as well be living in a real prison. You’ve become enslaved by food. Real prisoners say they hate being confined, but in reality many have become comfortable with the safety of prison life. A few prisoners who are about to be paroled actually ask the warden to let them keep living where they’re spent so many years of their life. They say, “I don’t want my freedom. It’s too late to start over.”

When they’re released, they’re fearful about starting a new life on the outside. Before long, they commit another crime—then get caught because they take foolish risks, almost asking to be sent back to prison. Unconsciously they want to get arrested because freedom is scary.

Food isn’t that much different. The prison of an eating addiction can be comforting, even when a person hates the results. Affirmations can pave the pathway to recovery.

Mind-Body Connection

The mind-body connection is so powerful that affirmations have a healing effect on your body without your being aware of what’s happening.  For example, one affirmation says, “I drink lots of cold refreshing water.” If you read it repeatedly, you’ll find yourself getting thirsty. You’ll develop the habit of drinking water frequently, not intentionally but because you want to satisfy your thirst. Experts tell us that water intake is important to weight loss.

Going hungry doesn’t work. At least not for long.  Strict diets fail because they go against the body’s needs. Eventually the dieter’s self-discipline collapses under the strain. Old eating habits return.

Hunger is a healthy, normal response to the body’s need for nutrients.  Food is necessary to provide energy and maintain tissue and bone. When your body has had enough food, it signals the satiety center in your brain. The trouble is that people with unhealthy food habits have learned to ignore the signals. They sometimes eat beyond the point of satiety because they subconsciously fear the hunger that comes when they start dieting again. Without realizing it, they worry that each binge may be their last, and so they stuff themselves.

Affirmations teach you to respect your body’s signals that you’ve had enough food.

A Word About Exercise

Your affirmations should include exercise because regular physical activity is an essential part of a healthy weight loss program. Embedding the desire for exercise into your subconscious mind not only helps you lose weight but it ensures that you keep it off.

Exercise doesn’t have to be exhausting or painful. Walking the dog, bicycling, gardening, and dancing are all excellent for weight loss. The exercise you do must be fun or it won’t last. If you dread your regular workout, you’ll soon drop it.

Besides burning off calories, exercise diverts the circulation away from your digestive tract and into your muscles. This reduces feelings of hunger. Instead of wanting to eat more food, you’ll want less. Also, if you’re having fun exercising, you’re unlikely to be thinking about food.

 Vigorous physical activity releases brain chemicals called endorphins. They raise your mood, giving you a natural high. An example is “runner’s high.”

Respect Yourself

Your affirmations should encourage you to love and respect yourself. The should contain no negative messages and no blame. They should forbid nothing. They turn your conscious and unconscious mind to positive behaviors and habits.

Harsh judgments and name-calling have no place in your weight-loss program. When you punish yourself for bad food choices or slacking off in your exercise, you go against the best interests of your mind and body. It’s no accident that the words no, none, not and never are absent from the affirmations on our list.

If you have a relapse, forgive yourself. Tell yourself, “I’m human.” Read your affirmations more often. Directing your attention to positive, healthy behaviors that undermine your weight loss program. That’s why it’s important to avoid saying things like, “I won’t eat any more French fries.” Your subconscious doesn’t hear the word “won’t.” It hears “French fries.” You don’t want French fries to be the focus of your attention.

Power of Affirmations

People have used affirmations to cure themselves of serious, even fatal illness. Affirmations can relieve pain. They have helped people get over phobias such as fear of flying, stage fright, and claustrophobia.

Affirmations help you stop seeing yourself as a person doomed to a life of obesity. Instead you’ll see your extra pounds as a burden that’s not in line with your authenticity as a healthy person—healthy and energetic.

Final Note

Give your affirmations a week or two to start working. If you read them several times a day on a regular basis you’ll start to see results. As your weight loss program starts taking effect, don’t slack off. Keep using the affirmations daily until your new beliefs and behaviors are firmly in place. Even when you’ve reached your goal weight, read them at night before going to bed.

Twenty-five Sample Affirmations

  1. I feel my body getting stronger and lighter every day.
  2. My rate of metabolism is rising as I exercise more.
  3. Every day more fat melts off my body.
  4. I move around a lot during the day.
  5. I often breathe deeply during the day to boost my metabolism.
  6. I enjoy exercising every day.
  7. I have lots of energy.
  8. I am flexible about the foods I eat, avoiding rigid rules.
  9. I enjoy fresh fruits as snacks.
  10. I eat modest portions of food at meals.
  11. I enjoy vegetables at meals.
  12. I keep my refrigerator stocked with healthy foods.
  13. By practicing a positive outlook, I lose weight more easily.
  14. I believe in progress rather than perfection.
  15. I let go of old stories about myself, keeping my life new and fresh.
  16. It’s safe for me to be my authentic self.
  17. I choose to be with positive, enjoyable people.
  18. I can see the humorous side of my problems.
  19. I dress in clothes that make me feel attractive.
  20. I keep my body clean and fresh.
  21. I sleep soundly through the night.
  22. I drink lots of cold, refreshing water.
  23. I keep my surroundings neat and tidy.
  24. I depend upon a Higher Power of my own understanding to guide me.
  25. I pray or meditate every day.

How To Catch the Man of Your Dreams

Looking for a man? Sitting at home wishing for a dream partner, doing the same old routines and not bettering yourself, won’t cut it. You need to get involved in social action, take classes, attend sporting events, etc.—go to places where men collect.

Below are twenty rules to help in your search.

  1. Be yourself, whereever you go. Don’t try to be cute and sassy if you’re not. Don’t try to be a femme fatale. Just be yourself.
  2. Get active in projects that make you a better person—political action, art, dancing class, learning an instrument, etc. You’ll be more interesting to men.
  3. Know your core values in life. Be selective about the men you’re interested in. If you don’t have similar values, a relationship won’t last.
  4. Ask a friend to find him. Your friend knows you best and will probably pick someone who’s suitable for you.
  5. Go on internet dating sites. True, there are a lot of misfits out there, but there are also a lot of good men looking for the same things you are. If you’re selective, you’re not risking much.
  6. Don’t be afraid to go on a number of dates. Keep them brief initially. Trial and error is how we learn, and that’s true of dating, as well.
  7. Don’t make fixed judgments about your first date. The first time out is nerve-wracking for many men, and they aren’t at their best. Give him more than one chance.
  8. Concentrate on presenting yourself agreeably. Be your most likeable self. Dress and speak well.
  9. Do a makeover. There’s no need for drastic changes. Just do your hair and makeup carefully and pick out an outfit that’s a blend of conservative and sexy.
  10. Be adventurous but not reckless. An adventurous outlook will be exciting to him. A reckless one might turn him off.
  11. Review past relationships for where you went wrong, and take corrective action in the next one.
  12. Be flirtatious without coming on too strong. Flirty moves will turn him on. Being brazen and overly forward will make him nervous.
  13. Be who you are right away. Don’t put up a false front because you think It will attract a man. Be authentic from the start.
  14. Take breaks between dates. Making a man pursue you and giving him the impression that you’re a busy woman are good tactics for attracting him.
  15. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. Your dream man may be afraid of rejection. Fill the gap that separates you, but be subtle about it.
  16. Be willing to call it quits. If, after several dates, you’re convinced that the relationship is a bad fit, don’t invest any more time in it. The same applies when it’s clear that a man isn’t ready for a committed partner.
  17. Follow your gut feeling. Forget lists and consultations with others. Your gut feeling about a man is probably right.
  18. Give your all. Once you decide that a man is a good partner for you, give him all your love. No flirting with other men or playing hard to get.
  19. Make a decision. If you’ve never felt this way about anyone before, you know that the man may be your soulmate.
  20. Hold your man. Continue to look your best and act like a well-adjusted grownup while still being true to yourself.

Coming soon: How to Catch the Woman of Your Dreams

Sexual Harassment—What Is It?

With the wide range of media stories about famous men losing their jobs because of sexual harassment, you may ask yourself, “What is sexual harassment, anyhow?” Stories of sexual harassment are everywhere these days, but to date they have been largely confined to men as the perpetrators and females as their victims. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

The offense may be hard to identify in its milder forms. If your supervisor says, “You look pretty today!” and the overtures do not escalate, is that borderline harassment? Probably not. But when compliments become more obvious, the incidents are usually preparatory.  Borderline compliments and innuendos are the hallmarks of the sexual harassment in progress.

Slippery Slope

The slippery slope of sexual harassment usually begins with questions such as, “I see you’re wearing a wedding ring.” ”How long have you been married?” “How do you like married life?” Violators also have a tendency to offer personal revelations about themselves that are inappropriate to a work setting.

Many women feel flattered to be offered such private information, little realizing that it’s part of a setup. The next step may be seemingly innocent touches that qualify as borderline violations. Generally, any intimate moves that embarrass or anger women fall into this category. Most men are cautious at first, testing the waters to see how safe it is to proceed.

The next step usually involves touching the woman’s skin or her garments. If permitted, the man may touch her hands, arms or face. He may, seemly by accident, brush against a woman’s breasts. He may jokingly pinch her bottom, acting as though it’s all in fun. If the move makes a woman uncomfortable, embarrassed or angry, the chances are it’s sexual harassment. Ordinarily, people are quite aware of their body language. How many women would brush against a man’s groin by accident? Or pinch his bottom as a joke?

If the man’s intentions haven’t been thwarted to this point, what may follow are concrete suggestions such as, “Would you like to go out for a drink after work?” If the man has a private office with a closed door, he may move in for greater intimacy, offering seductive comments like, “Ever since I met you, I think about you all the time.” Shouldn’t the woman be complimented? The hints about future sexual activity may still be subtle.

Initial overtures that appear innocent slowly graduate to more obvious moves. It may all start with good-humored comments about a woman’s attractive appearance. Next, a man may comment on her cleavage. If she objects, the man is likely to say, “Can’t you take a joke?”

Stopping Aggression

The only way to stop development of a slippery slope aggression is confrontation, frank and blunt. The woman who has rejected a man’s attention openly is likely to discourage further transgressions.

Women are asking for trouble if they try to sidestep the perpetrator’s overtures smilingly or subtly, even though they feel exposed and embarrassed. Boundary violations must be confronted for what they are. Humor or good-naturedness have no place in these scenarios. Women’s words and body language should convey outright rejection.

A woman’s comments should be forthright from the start. “I don’t think questions like that are appropriate here.” Unless the man has the hide of a rhinoceros, his response is likely to be feigned innocence under the pretense that anything he has said or done was in the spirit of good fun and friendship.

A man fingering the garment of a prospective victim is most likely to be discouraged by a firm, “Don’t touch me.” He will deny any malicious intent, but both parties know he’s play-acting. Entreating the man to stop by the use of feminine wiles is only likely to aggravate the problem. After all, dominance is the name of the game in sexual aggression. Acting helpless makes the man feel powerful and usually causes the problem to worsen. It’s perfectly appropriate to say,“If you touch me one more time, I’ll report you for sexual harassment.” These days, men know what that means.

Extreme Boundary Violations

Occasionally, the harassment  starts in more extreme forms. Usually, it’s not the first time for the perpetrator. The man who finds himself alone with a victim may use physical measures on the woman to dominate her—kissing her without permission, holding her, fondling her breasts or other body parts. At this point and beyond, his acts qualify as overt sexual assault.

Boundary violations have the purpose of establishing the dominance and superiority of the violator and make the victim feel submissive. They are harmful or potentially harmful to the victim’s welfare and feeling of autonomy.

Other Boundary Violations

Boundary violations can be financial—lending or giving money to a female co-worker, especially if she hasn’t requested it. Male supervisors should not engage in dual relationships with female employees in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm. A supervisor enters into a dual relationship when he acts as an advisor about one’s personal life, hires a woman to do “outside” work, or attempts to become a personal friend, teacher, or intimate partner.

Sequence of Moves

Psychologists Gabbard and Simon have pointed out a common sequence of sexual harassment. First, it involves a transition from last-name to first-name basis. The personal disclosures interrupt the business at  hand.  This is followed by some body contact—pats on the shoulder, massages, hugs. Trips outside the work setting are likely to follow: lunch dates, sometimes with alcoholic beverages, then dinner. This may be followed by attendance at the movies or other social events. The culminating event is sexual intercourse.

Conclusion

Sexual misconduct usually begins with relatively minor boundary violations, which, if not stopped, show a crescendo pattern of increasing intrusion into the victim’s space that culminates in sexual contact. A direct shift from talking to intercourse is quite rare; the “slippery slope” is the characteristic scenario.