Weight Loss, Health, and Fitness Affirmations: Why Self-Talk Matters
Pump Up Your Exercise Routine With Affirmations
How and Why Affirmations Work.
Here you will find some useful information to help you get going and stick with your efforts to improve your health, get your body stronger, and reduce the unwanted weight. In this Hub we will be focusing on what affirmations are, applying them to health, fitness, and reducing, examples to stir your creativity, and advice on how to create and use the tags you give yourself to the best advantage.
The information in this hub is based on my personal experiences with applying the concept, as well as perceptions developed from reading books by Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. Deepak Chopra.
As you read through this, be thinking of ways to personalize the tags you create about yourself in a positive way.
This hub is broken down into sections that address the following topics:
- What Affirmations Are and How They Work
- Health and Fitness Affirmations
- Weight Reduction and Dieting
- Construction of Affirmations
- How to Use Affirmations in Daily Life
- Why They Can be Powerful Tools
What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are like tags about ourselves, our beliefs, and our intentions. One way to describe what it means to affirm something might be to think of it as saying, "Yes, that is what is true."
Affirmations can have either a positive or a negative effect, depending on the content we "tag."
Think of the popular Web site, Pinterest. On this site, you post images. Then, you attach tags to your image that describe the image. When people are searching for, say, orange flowers, your image comes up and provides the reader with valuable information about the image. The reader then makes decisions based on the information received. They may decide to share it with others, or it may inspire the reader to take decisive action in some way.
In our bodies, minds, and spirit, affirmations work like those tags you put on the Pinterest image. Our Physical self makes decisions based on the tags we give it. If we say, "I am fat," then we have just given our bodies a tag. Based on the information in that tag, our body then says, "Be fat! Make it so."
In this scenario, your mind is the reader, and your soul or spirit is the web site. When your mind, (the search engine) needs information about you, it bases decisions on the information gets from your Web site, or Spirit. The information contained in your innermost belief system is the information your mind uses to make decisions about your body's health and wellbeing.
Even if you do not think you are using affirmations, you really are. Every thought or image you have of yourself is an affirmation.
Combine Gentle Exercise with a Affirmation Mantra
Do people really use affirmations? Find out here and join in by casting your vote.
Have you tried using affirmations with your diet or workout routine?
Running With Freedom
Improve Health and Fitness by Making Conscious Affirmations
Body Image: Begin by affirming your physical self's worth. Often, when thinking of self-worth, people think in terms of who they are as a person, but forget to include the fact that the body, the packaging for each person has value and is worthy of care and kindness. Think of your body from the perspective of love. This can be difficult for many people, but it is an important aspect of creating the right foundation for success in getting fit and health. If we don't like something, we typically do not want to spend much time thinking about it, be it a person, circumstance, or even an image.
With a little conscious thought, you will be able to bring yourself to a place in which you have more desire to take care of your physical self, because you care more and like it better.
Body Image Affirmations:
I like my body and want to take care of it.
I nurture my body. I want to take good care of my body. My body is pleasant in appearance and serves me well. I enjoy taking care of myself. I am beautiful today.
You can pinpoint your own personal issues about your body image by creating statements that are positive in nature and refer to your body or to the way you typically TREAT your body. I have found, however, that if I keep my body image statements directed toward nurturing and caring for my physical self with love and respect, my overall attitude about improving my health, losing weight, and working out seems to brighten considerably. Then it seems like I actually want to do all the rest of the work.
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Affirmations for Health and Fitness
Health and Fitness: If you are trying to make changes in your health and fitness level, the tags you give yourself will most likely need to be more specific. This will vary according to each person's specific health and fitness needs. One person may be working on a goal of walking around the block and reducing their fat content in their daily diet. Another person may be training for a 5-K run and eating more yellow vegetables for a specific nutrient need.
While I do use specific statements, I also find that a few good, general statements seem to enhance my efforts, and may do the same for you as well.
Affirmations for Health and Fitness
General Affirmations:I am strong. I want to exercise. I want to work out. I enjoy eating right. I am healthy and fit.
Specific Affirmations: I am running with freedom. I am walking without pain. I am working out five days a week. I am increasing the amount of fresh vegetables in my diet; I eat them every day. I get lots of physical activity every day.
In the examples above, we see that general affirmations do not address a specific component of our body or goal, but do affirm a positive result that we are working to attain.
The specific affirmations address a specific component of the goal. The specific statements also address the time when the action occurs.
Structure of a Strong Affirmation
Establish Identity and Attach a Verb
Establish a Goal
Establish a Time
enough time for exercise
4 days per week.
only healthy food
every evening for supper.
with high energy
July 15 during the marathon.
on my birthday.
Weak or Negative Affirmations
Identity and Verb
Why it doesn't work
to lose weight.
No specifics. How much weight? When? The verb creates a statement of lack.
I need (this only magnified what you don't have)
to lose weight.
Again, creates a feeling of lack. It says what you lack but not what will happen.
When? How? Really? I don't know...
Diets, Weight Loss, and Motivation
Diets, Weight Loss, and Motivation
Reducing your size and weight deserves a section all its own because it can be such an emotionally charged undertaking.
It is impossible to address a weight problem without taking into consideration the way our perception of our bodies' appearance, size, and shape affects our motivation to accomplish our goals. When we begin to address a problem with being overweight, we have reached a stage in which we have acknowledged the problem. It is at this point that I usually want to skip ahead and find a magic wand to shake at myself and presto-chango, zap myself into the body I want to have.
This usually causes me to get the cart before the horse, and before I know it, I am back to old habits.
It is at this point that I need to go back and do something about determining the reasons why I became overweight in the first place. Every person is unique, and although our reasons may be similar, there are elements to those reasons that make every person's situation unique.
Identifying the cause of one's overweight state of being is a personal journey, and it can be easy to get side tracked yet again, by delving into past emotional wounds and other major life events, such as a major injury, child birth, and even illness. However, the time and effort it takes to make a list of issues surrounding the weight gain can pay big dividends as you progress toward your goal.
It is my belief that when we address the causes (sedentary lifestyle, eating too much, wrong food choices), the symptoms (overweight, tired, aches and pains) will be reduced dramatically, and with a little more effort, we can achieve our goals.
Weight Loss Affirmations
I am reducing my weight daily. I want to stick with my exercise routine. I am eating several servings of vegetables each day. I am following my reducing program perfectly each day. I weight (insert your target weight here) pounds on (insert a reasonable goal date). I like to exercise. I enjoy cooking healthy food. I am reducing my fat intake by 40 percent. I am lean and active. I enjoy getting vigorous activity every day. I am at my goal weight of (insert weight) pounds. I wear a size (insert size). I feel energized. I easily stick with a diet that consists of healthy foods. My body is my guide. I am limber, supple, and strong. I create time to get physical activity every day.
One Tip for Creating a Strong Affirmation Statement
- Whenever possible, use "I am" in your statement. It seems as if this creates not only an active role, but an identity tag for who you are as a person. It seems to become a core value or characteristic over time.
How to Use Affirmations in Daily Life
Creating Affirmations. When you create your own affirmations, remember to use statements that are in the here and now. By making your statements in the present-tense, you are creating an identity anchor for who you are as a human being. Avoid making any negative statements about yourself such as, "I am... fat, ugly, stupid, depressed..." Also avoid any words that signal lack, need, or a negative value such as, "need money... shouldn't, won't, can't doesn't," etc. The goal is to make the affirmations clearly identify who, what, where, when, and how, but also to create a tag that you identify yourself with.
Using the Affirmation Tags. What works for me is if I use my affirmations on a daily basis by writing them down several times (at first), committing the short ones to memory, and by saying them out loud, and including them in conversations I have with other people, for example, "Wow! Mary, I am really enjoying my new workout routine."
Add enthusiasm. Say it with gusto and joy, if you can. This comes easier as time goes on.
Consistency seems to be key for me. It seems that the more I repeat a specific affirmation statement, the more I internalize it.
When it becomes a part of me, it becomes who I am.
The Power in Words
Our words and thoughts help to create our reality. I strongly believe this. What we say and dwell on in our thoughts become like those tags we put on images that we upload. If we dwell on a negative comment that someone made about us, we are creating a tag in our mind that defines who we are. The more we tag ourselves in a negative manner, the more we become like those tags. This is why the affirmations we link to in our minds are so powerful.
It has long been a hobby of mine to educate myself about emotional well-being, health and fitness, and self-discovery. Because of this I have developed opinions about what has worked for me and why. I encourage you to do the same by exploring this topic on your own. Read articles, books, and magazines about the psychology involved in both gaining weight, and getting healthy. Experiment with ways of turning negatives into positives. What can you learn about yourself today? How can you tag yourself to become more active, fit, and healthy?
Best wishes on your journey.
Secondary Research Sources
Secondary research sources include but are not limited to the following:
- University of Maryland http://ling.umd.edu/publications/235/
- Psych Central, http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/03/07/the-no-1-obstacle-to-weight-loss/
- Psychology Today, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/is-psychology-making-us-sick/201305/7-essential-truths-about-weight-loss-efforts-part-1
© 2013 Nancy Owens