How many times have you come across a friend who’s lost a lot of weight? You were probably surprised at how great that person looked, considering the fact that you know how he or she looked in the past. It’s also very tempting to think that whatever that person did is purely physical. This is a very common misconception about weight loss and lifestyle change in general. People often restrict such changes to basically physical causes.
This is unfortunate. This truly misses the whole picture. Lifestyle change is not just physical. The things that you see are just in the surface. For you to see the things that you can see physically, there has to be a lot of mental and emotional changes. In other words, physical changes are the reflections of attitude changes.
Our Outer Lives Reflect Our Internal World
Since we are all products of a certain chain reaction, our outer world or physical lives are reflections of our internal world. How can this be? Well, your body picks up data from the outer world. It picks up sights, sounds, smells, and other data points. It then routes all these information to your brain. Your brain then creates a story; it creates a mental image. That’s how your brain navigates the world. That’s how your brain makes sense of the world.
If it didn’t do this, then you would be clinically crazy. Why? There would be data overload. There is no underlying narrative that helps you navigate reality. According to some philosophers, this is actually a heightened state of reality. Be that as it may, it is also functionally insane. You need an organizing feature to be able to make sense of the world. That’s why all of us sane people have this ability.
This is where the problem lies, because depending on the story your mind constructs, your external reality will reflect that internal story. This is how that works. You perceive information from the outside world through your body; your mind processes this into a mental image. The mental image is not neutral. You have emotional responses to that mental image because that mental image has emotional triggers.
Once you respond emotionally, this then pushes your body to respond physically. When you respond physically, you alter your outer world. That’s how it works. That’s why our lives reflect our internal world. Regardless of how you measure your life–the amount of money you make, the quality of your friendships and relationships, your mental state, your outlook, how you look, et cetera–are all reflections of this internal process.
A Changed Attitude Is Reflected in a Changed Personal Reality
The people who are able to get over addictions, people who are able to achieve their weight loss goals, people who are able to go from zero money to millionaire to even billionaire status have a secret. Their secret is that they changed their external reality because they changed their internal reality. It really boils down to a changed attitude.
The good news about attitudes is that they’re like sunglasses. Just like when you go to a store, put on sunglasses to check them out, you can put on attitudes. It may be rough at first, it may seem awkward, it may even seem unreal or unnatural. But the more you do it, the better you get at it. Also, the more you do it, the more positive the changes can enter your life. It really all boils down to a choice.
Attitude Impacts Actions
The way your attitude impacts your action is like as I mentioned earlier: attitudes are like sunglasses. Since your are already aware of how your mental images impact your emotional states which then impact your physical responses, you can affect this whole chain reaction through your attitudes.
It all begins with a mental image. When you have the right attitude or the wrong attitude, your mental image changes. Your mental image then automatically feeds through emotional trigger, which then pulls in an emotional response and then you’ll react physically. Once a thought leaves the mental image stage, everything is pretty much automatic. This is called the force of habit.
You can break this down with proper medication, proper thinking patterns, and just a lot of will and honesty, or you can try to do things the simple way by focusing instead on your attitude. In other words, you’re putting sunglasses on your mindset. You’re putting different lenses and applying it to the picture that your mind is constantly creating based on stimuli that you pick up from the outside world. Make no mistake about it. Once your attitude changes, the mental image that you get then triggers a different chain reaction.
Actions Impact Our Weight, Our Relations, and Our Outside World
The reason why your attitudes impact your weight is simple. When you see a cake, in front of you, a mental image comes to mind. The mental image, if you have weight loss problems, is usually along the lines of, “That’s a nice looking cake. That’s a tasty cake. I’d love to have that cake.” If you have the attitude that facilitates that thought process, it is an attitude that is entitled. In other words, “You deserve that cake. That cake is good. You deserve it now. Not tomorrow, not two days from now, but right now. You deserve it. You owe it to yourself.”
What would happen if you go to the app store of your mind and take out new sunglasses for your mind—in other words, a new attitude—and you look at the same stimuli but from a totally different lens. The new attitude would focus more on, “That cake is going to make you fat. That cake is going to make you hate yourself later on. That cake is going to make you kick yourself for giving in. Are you a weak person? Or are you in control? You are better than this.”
Do you see the difference? Depending on the attitude that you choose, it will trigger different physical responses. In the former case, you would rush straight to the cake and eat it. In the second case, you would, at worst, think twice and, at best, hold off. When you hold off, you eat less calories for that day. If you keep this up over an extended period of time, and you also exercise, you are going to lose weight. That’s how it works. Your attitude impacts your weight. It impacts your relations. It impacts your outside world. It all begins with your mental state. It all begins with the lens you choose to put on. It all begins with your attitude.
Adopting the Right Attitude Requires Consciousness
As you can probably tell from the example I raised above, you have to be conscious about this all process; otherwise, it wouldn’t work. You have to pick and choose the right set of sunglasses. You have to pick and choose the right lenses. In other words, you have to pick the right attitude.
This requires consciousness. This requires being clear as to how you think and how you feel. This requires willpower to break off an instant connection between what you’re thinking about your attitude, your emotional triggers, your emotional payoffs, and your physical responses. You have to look at how these are all interlinked and break them apart. This takes brainpower. This takes focus, this takes mindfulness.
I highly suggest that you supplement your weight loss efforts with yoga. Why? Key part of yoga is meditation. The more you meditate, the more you become mindful of how your mind and emotions work. People are too fixated on what they do physically, but if that’s what you’re focusing on, you’re focusing at the tail end of the reaction. Focus instead on the beginning of the chain reaction which is your thought processes. You’d be surprised as to what progress you are capable of.