The secret to success in weight loss isn’t food.

It’s not even exercise.

It’s believing, loving and accepting yourself as you are NOW.

How many times have we all said, “If I were only 15 pounds lighter, had longer hair, better skin, sexier clothes…then I’d be happy.” That line of thinking keeps countless women from enjoying who they are and it contributes to bad eating and exercise habits.

There’s a saying, “when you look good, you feel good.” I’d go a step further and say when you think well, you are well. Many of us women harbor negative thoughts about ourselves daily. If you can relate to any of the following phrases, then you are guilty of negative self-thought.

1. Today is going to be a terrible day…
2. I can’t do anything right…
3. My hair is a mess. Whoever would want to date/marry me as I look this way?…
4. Ugh! My body is so awful. Look at how my clothes fit me…
And so on…

Working on Your Inner Self

Thoughts like those can be so pervasive that you don’t recognize what they are doing to your self esteem. Doing the inner work to change your thoughts will help you not only enjoy life more, but take better care of your health and exercise routine. When you take pride in who you are now, the work that is needed to change your body into a leaner, sexier, fitter version of you becomes second nature. Why? Because you will have finally rid yourself of the “treat the symptom” way of thinking.

The “treat the symptom” way of thinking was mentioned above. It’s the “when I’m this, then I’ll feel that,” way of thinking that keeps most women from enjoying their life. When you break free of the “treat the symptom” way of weight loss, you’ll finally rid yourself of the negative habits associated with it. When that happens, fad diets will not interest you because you’ll be happier with yourself; taking your goals more seriously in the process. The more seriously you take your goals, the less likely you will be to undertake a diet and exercise program that is, at best, a set-back in your goals and, at worst, harmful to your health.

There are many positive side effects of losing the “treat the symptom” approach to your life and weight loss that include:

1. Letting go of the obsessive thoughts about being “perfect” when it comes to food and exercise.
2. Enjoying the process that is allowing you to sculpt your body into the one you’ve always wanted.
3. Lifting restrictions: no more excessive calorie counting or binging around holidays and vacation.
4. Eating out won’t trigger anxiety about what you “can or can’t” have because you’ve let go of the negative thinking.

Weight loss and a healthy lifestyle is more than just no pain, no gain.

It’s more than your body that is involved. Your mind has to join in the effort to transform you into the person you’ve always wanted to be, regardless of the number on the scale. Once you begin the journey into healthy living, make sure you bring your mind along for the ride and your body will thank you later.