June 12, 2017
A Healthier Mindset Can Lead to a Healthier You
How changing your attitude can CHANGE your life
Change can be scary, but at the Hawaii Pacific Health 360º Weight Management Center at Pali Momi Medical Center, CHANGE is the formula for success.
CHANGE stands for:
- Guidance and
This approach to addressing unhealthy habits involves a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, nurses, dietitians and psychologists joined together with the common goal of providing patients with the highest level of care.
And while changing your physical patterns is one step of the weight-loss journey, experts agree that the best starting point for lasting change starts in your head.
“The fear of the unknown can often keep us from achieving our best self. But, having a positive mindset helps us to overcome the challenge of changing our habits by reinforcing the purpose of our change,” says Lianne Metcalf, registered dietitian with the 360° Weight Management Center.
“Starting with a positive mindset will give you the best chance at success!” agrees Rebecca Rogers, a registered nurse with the 360° Weight Management Center.
“It’s important to understand that mindset is a function of diet and exercise,” adds Dr. Mark Verschell, a clinical psychologist and program director for the 360° Weight Management Center.
Having a positive mindset helps us to overcome the challenge of changing our habits by reinforcing the purpose of our change."
“One needs to understand that behavior precedes – not proceeds – changing thoughts and feelings. This is an unintuitive concept and yet the key to lifestyle change,” Verschell explains. “Work with the experts to feed your mindset – your brain – with healthy and balanced nutrition, and the positive thoughts and feelings that follow will become self-reinforcing.”
“Understanding the fundamentals of living a simple, healthy lifestyle can be the first step in reshaping your attitude,” Metcalf says. “Adopting a healthy eating plan and engaging in regular exercise is not something that needs to be difficult or cumbersome.”
Here, Metcalf, Rogers and Verschell share more tips for positive, lasting CHANGE:
- Start with small changes, like preparing more meals at home versus going out or picking up takeout, or walking around your neighborhood twice a week after work instead of watching TV.
- Be realistic with your health goals and understand that improvements will take time. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, not deprivation.
- Look at an old photo of yourself before you made your healthy lifestyle changes, or review the list of medications you used to be on. Ask yourself, “Do I want to go back to the old me?”
- Do a quick review of your lifestyle. If you keep getting off track, is it because you are being too strict? If you aren’t allowing yourself any of life’s pleasures, like a small scoop of ice cream (in moderation), you may ultimately end up bingeing on a pint!
- Remember that today is just today – it isn’t tomorrow, and it wasn’t yesterday. Acknowledge that you’re having a rough day and ask yourself what triggered you to want to eat that pint of ice cream, or skip out on your workout for the day. You’ll be better prepared to deal with that trigger the next time it happens (because it will!).
“There are a million excuses – not reasons, don’t kid yourself – as to why you could justify one more indulgent meal or why you shouldn’t have to exercise today right now,” Rogers says. “We can be our own greatest enemy. I say, don’t let yourself even indulge in thinking about all the reasons to not exercise or make healthy choices, or you will continue to be your own greatest enemy. Just don’t think about it. Show yourself some love, put your walking shoes on and get out there. It all starts with the first step!”
“When you’re looking to improve your health, making sure you have adequate support is just as important as making the commitment to change your lifestyle,” Metcalf says. “Talk with your friends, family or health care provider about your health goals. These individuals can be your greatest cheerleaders and can help keep you on the right path to success!”
“Ultimately, life is short, so just live it to the best of your ability, and make sure you’re enjoying every minute!” Rogers says.