Can Positive Affirmations Help Us with Body Image and Weight Loss After 60?
Most of us have heard about using positive affirmations. But are they really effective? And can they really help with weight loss?
Every Word We Speak Is an Affirmation
Consider this: Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation – even the negative stuff. All of our self-talk and internal dialogue – good or bad – is a stream of affirmations. This means we’re constantly using affirmations, whether we realize it or not.
A good first step is awareness. When I first learned about affirmations and became more aware of my thoughts and my words, I was shocked. I wasn’t nearly as positive a person as I thought I was. No wonder I wasn’t getting the results I wanted! I was literally setting myself up for failure.
How Do You Start Your Day?
If you start your day thinking, “I hate my body,” “I’m fat,” or “I’m stupid,” then that is what you are affirming. As you’re reading this post, pause for a moment to reflect upon some of your affirmations.
Do you look in the mirror and say, “I love you, body!” or does your internal dialogue sound more like, “You’re fat and disgusting.” When it comes to weight loss, does the voice inside whisper, “You are amazing, you’ve got this!” or do you hear, “You have no willpower and you’ll never be able to do this.”
Take another moment now and notice how you feel when the negative chatter begins. How does your body respond when you say those words? Notice any physical sensations, such as tightness or constriction in your chest or queasiness in your gut or tension in your neck and shoulders.
Then pay attention to what your heart feels. Do these words inspire and motivate you, or do they bring you down and make you feel sad or hopeless?
What If the Affirmations Don’t Work?
The next part of using positive affirmations to release excess weight is to be aware of what’s going on in your subconscious mind. We might think that positive affirmations don’t work because when we say them nothing happens.
For example, you could walk around all day repeating “I am thin,” but that’s not enough to magically make you thin. The point of positive affirmations is to assist you in the process of creating something you desire.
Louise Hay, one of the great leaders in the area of affirmations stated that “the secret to having your affirmations work quickly and consistently is to prepare an atmosphere for them to grow in. Affirmations are like seeds planted in soil. Poor soil, poor growth. Rich soil, abundant growth.”
I like this analogy because it points out the importance of preparing a good environment for your affirmations to grow in. When it comes to affirmations, the environment is your subconscious mind.
Our beliefs come from what we learned as children. Many of these beliefs work well, but others may be limiting your ability to create what you say you want.
For example, if you don’t believe that you are worthy and deserving of a healthy lean body, or if your excess weight is somehow serving you or protecting you, you will likely encounter resistance when it comes to weight loss.
Once again, awareness is key. Take a few moments to reflect upon how overeating or being overweight might somehow be working for you.
Fill in the blank and listen closely with your heart and your mind when you say the following: “I want to lose weight, but ____________.” Important clues can be found in your answers.
Plant Some Seeds of Success
Affirmations can be a powerful tool when it comes to weight loss. If you’re ready to give them a try, I warmly invite you to download a free copy of my Morning Weight Loss Meditation and Affirmations.
You’ll start with a simple visualization to become grounded and centered and then finish with positive affirmations that plant the seeds for you reaching ideal body weight. The background music is delightful and is sure to lift your spirits and inspire you. It’s time to start planting the seeds of success!
How would you describe your relationship with your aging body? Do you use positive affirmations to keep a positive attitude on how you feel about your body? Please share your thoughts for the benefit of our community.
Karen Donaldson is a cravings and emotional eating expert whose heartfelt mission is to help women create a peaceful relationship with food and with their lives. She is a registered dietitian, speaker, author, radio show host and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Certified Weight Loss Coach.