What Do You Think About the Body You Want?

“Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.”

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, (1826)

Translation: Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.

The idea that to be fit and healthy you need to eat good food has been around a while. But an even older concept is the idea that we are what we think.

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.”

Buddha (c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE)

What if both are true?

What if the thoughts you think are just as important to your getting the body you want as the food you eat?

For most people that feels like a stretch, but science is backing this up.

Stress is being found to be the root cause of a number of illnesses.

And while you think stress is something that happens to you because of the people, situations or events going on in your life, stress is really a result of what you think.

“Stress isn’t something that happens to someone. It’s something someone feels about what’s happening. Your capacity to deal with any outer situation is based on your inner perspective. . . How we see ourselves determines everything.”

Bruce D. Schneider

Your negative thoughts—about yourself, your abilities, what you deserve, about everything—generates catabolic energy that releases the stress hormone cortisol, adrenaline, and other chemicals that literally cannibalize your body.

This chain reaction is breaking down your immune system, straining your heart, and impacting your muscles. Over time, this catabolic energy can cause everything from painful trigger points in your shoulders, to inflammation, to heart attacks.

And it significantly impacts your metabolism and other weight-related systems making it easier to gain and harder to release weight.

For many people there’s a vicious cycle with thoughts and food. You have a stressful day or feel badly about yourself and you reach for the chocolate chip cookies to find some comfort. But then you feel guilty about eating the cookies, which adds to your stress and self-criticism, and the negative pattern repeats.

There are a number of things you can do to break that unpleasant and unhealthy spiral.

You have to figure out how you can comfort yourself—or fulfill your emotional needs—in more healthy ways. You might ask for support from friends or loved ones, take a nap or bath, or drink a cup of tea.

You have to decide Who it is that you truly want to be and the actions you want to take to move you towards becoming that person. This may mean really looking at why you want to be slim, how that will make you feel, and making a commitment to follow through with action.

And you have to break out of the victim mode and become empowered to handle any situation in your life. The first step is being willing to examine the negative thoughts you have about yourself and challenge them as untrue.

Really, it boils down to deciding to think about yourself—and your life—differently, and then aligning your actions with your new thoughts to move towards creating the body you want.

What new thought can you think—about your food, yourself, your experiences? How does choosing to feel good and focusing on what you want support your wellness goals?

Together we can do it!