8 Steps to a Healthier Attitude
Want a healthier lifestyle? Start by changing your thinking
When Doubt Sinks In
Believing you can do it means you can. Having doubts, however, makes failure
"It's called tyranny of the moment," says Wansink, who is also
director of the Food and Brand Lab at the University of Illinois. "It's not
having a solid attitude. ... You end up uniquely rationalizing every situation
you're in so that you can eat the food that you know is causing the
problem." Where does this kind of negative thinking come from, just when
you're trying to adopt new habits?
"It's frustration; depression; a sense of a lack of control or power
over your abilities; rejection; lack of support; or a sense of
deprivation," says Moores. For many people, it's believing that making
healthy changes "won't be fun or enjoyable. They feel like they'll be
missing out on life."
That's not necessarily the case, as Elaine Wicks found out. In fact, she
says, her positive attitude and outlook had her exploring a whole new
"As your weight goes down, you get more and more positive," says
Wicks. "And as that happened to me, I got even more adventuresome in doing
things I normally wouldn't have done -- Rollerblading, roller skating,
cross-country skiing, riding four-wheelers, things I had never done
But when you're just starting out, how do you get the attitude you need to succeed? Wicks, Moores, and Wansink offer some suggestions:
1. Have a good support system. "It's easy for
your attitude to get lost, especially if you have someone who is walking into
the living room every night with a bowl of ice cream," says Wicks. "It
so important to have a support system that believes in you and wants to help --
friends, family, and the person you're with.
"I have someone who is my lifeline to everything, not just this. He
makes every effort to cook what I'm supposed to have, buy what I'm supposed to
have, and he's a sounding board and stands behind me in front of the mirror and
says, 'You look gorgeous in that red dress.'"
As a member of the Weight Loss Clinic, it's easy to find this kind of
support. You can connect with a weight loss buddy
or just get an attitude adjustment whenever you need it on our community message boards.
2. Throw away those old clothes. "I threw out
my fat clothes -- it's very easy if they're there to go back up to those
sizes," says Wicks. "If you throw them out, you say, 'I can't afford to
buy a new wardrobe.' So if your pants get snug, you know you have to watch it
and keep that positive attitude for your body and your wallet."
3. Look in the mirror -- and like what you see.
"One of the big things that helped me was when I went into the bathroom
every morning, I would look in the mirror and give myself pep talks, whether
they were in my head or out loud," says Wicks. "I would tell myself,
'Hi, beautiful!' It sounds silly, but it really helped make me feel better and
give my attitude a jump-start in the morning to get my day started