Guest Blog by Paige O’Mahoney, MD
My favorite quote from the business literature is, “You become what you think about most of the time."* Focus on what you don’t like or don’t want in your life (fat, dieting, food rules, your least favorite body part (more on this later), your worst habit), and that’s exactly what you are likely to get more of. Have you ever noticed how the more you focus on restricting calories or avoiding certain foods, the more you want to consume? You get what you think about.
On the other hand, focus on what you want, and you are more likely to get it. Focus on what your muscles need to feel strong and supple and you may find yourself in a yoga or stretching class and actually enjoying it. Focus on eating foods that feel good to you, and a zucchini frittata with goat cheese may be exactly what you crave. Focus on having more love in your life, and you are likely to find yourself expressing more love and appreciation to yourself, your spouse and children and finding that they reflect that love and gratitude right back. Your life becomes what you think about.
Simple and life-changing.
The more I practice this (and BTW, it is a practice, rather than a destination), the better my life feels – not just in terms of minimizing the food drama, but also in terms of my overall happiness and satisfaction with my life in the present moment.
This is a learnable skill that takes time and patience to implement. When your life starts to feel frustrating or unbalanced, this is often what’s going on – your focus has shifted away from what you want. You can choose to deliberately redirect your focus back to what you do want… often with amazing results.
One unique feature that Karen and I enjoyed incorporating into our new book, Helping Patients Outsmart Overeating,** is that it applies proven success strategies from the psychology and business literature to the subject of wellness. Turns out, we have a lot to learn from other disciplines about feeling well and living better, most of which has nothing to do with weight loss and everything to do with how we feed our minds.
Choosing to focus your thoughts on what you want is free, simple, and quite possibly worth a try. If you try it, feel free to share your observations and results in the comments section.