A Key Mindset Principle For Long-Term Success After WLS
Do you sometimes feel that your results after WLS should be better but you’re being held back by a health issue, a slow metabolism or an injury? Perhaps things were going well but now you’re experiencing difficult events or circumstances in life, or a lack of time to take care of yourself, and these are slowing down or reversing your progress. You certainly wouldn’t be alone to think this.
Today we’d like to share a powerful mindset principle that you must embrace in order to get the long-term results that you want after your surgery. This principle applies not only to your health and weight but also to all areas of your life. It’s a principle that will help move you past your challenges so that you experience more of what you want in life.
This is the principle that you must take responsibility for your current situation and for all the events that you see as problems.
Responsibility means ‘response-ability’ – the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now rather than blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself.
There are generally two ways of being in life – either responsible and accountable, and taking ownership of your `results’ – or heavily invested in stories about why you can’t do something, or why something is ‘too hard’. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and being aware of this allows you to take the moment and to transform it into a better situation.
Choose How To Respond
When it comes to your health and weight, it’s certainly true that people have very varied genetics – some people, for example, seem to be able to get away with eating more treats or drinking more alcohol than others without putting on any weight. Okay, so you’re not one of these, and neither are we, and yet we can still choose to look after ourselves and achieve a healthy weight and wellness. We’re privileged in our situations to always have a choice as to what to eat and drink, and generally also how much we move and sleep, and it’s these choices that largely determine whether these genes that cause us to put on weight are actually switched on or not.
It’s also true that everyone has different circumstances and events in their life that they have to deal with. Once again, you have a choice as to how you deal with those circumstances. For example, if you’re feeling highly stressed because of something that’s going on right now, in one sense it‘s very understandable to feel that way. You can also choose how you deal with that stress. And it’s how you choose to respond to that stress that will ultimately change the results that you get. One person might choose to “do overwhelm” and try to escape through food or alcohol. Another person facing those exact same circumstances might choose to interpret the situation as a sign that they need to slow down or they may cope with this situation by looking for help and support and dealing with the stress through exercise, meditation or going to bed early to help boost their energy levels and coping mechanisms. There’s always a choice, even if it can be difficult to see at first.
When you take responsibility, every challenge becomes your teacher. And if you choose to interpret reality this way, then you will have many teachers and many opportunities to evolve and grow.
So, what are your ‘stories’ as to why you’re not getting the results that you want? Also known as ‘reasons’ or ‘excuses’…
The ones that usually start with “I can’t because…” or “I would do it but…” or “If it wasn’t for … then I would”. Now we’re not talking here about challenges that you’re aware of and are actively working around. We’re talking about the excuses that you use to stop you from taking action and making changes at all. The blocks that prevent you from creating change, and experiencing the results you desire and deserve, because they allow you to justify to yourself why you’re not taking the actions that would enable you to achieve those results.
Our stories allow us to keep ourselves in a victim mindset, choosing to believe we have no choice and no control, losing time we could be investing in, and transforming our health and weight to our maximum potential. On the flip side, we can choose to be responsible for the results that we get and take on the belief that what we experience with our life is entirely up to us, because we may not be able to control the world around us, but we can control the world within us – we can control how we choose to respond to the world around us – and that creates our reality, our experience of our life.
When we choose to believe that we’re at the mercy of life and that we have no choice and no control, then we’re giving up our power and our opportunity to create positive and lasting change. So to take responsibility means letting go of blame, excuses and denial. For example, perhaps you’re allowing your partner or parent to provide unhealthy food for you, or you’re using your children as an excuse not to get rid of treats in the house, or you’re not making time to be active, or rest and recharge. There are an unlimited number of possible stories!
You Already Know How To Take Responsibility
Now the reality in fact is that you already know how to take responsibility – for example, when you decided to have your surgery. Perhaps you think that having your surgery put the responsibility in the surgeon’s hands – absolutely not. You chose to have your surgery. You may have felt as if you had no choice and that this was your last resort but actually you could have done absolutely nothing, or something else. You consciously decided to have surgery and no matter what got you to that point, it wasn’t necessarily an easy decision. It took courage and action. When you started reading this article, you were also taking responsibility and action to change your results. You could have easily passed it by and chosen to look at something else that would distract you from where you are, rather than read an article that will help you to change (and be more conscious of how you might be getting in your own way at the moment, so it becomes more difficult to do in the future!).
So remember – you ‘drive your own bus’ of life and you are 100% responsible for the choices you make and the results you get in life and with your body, and how you feel about them. You can choose to buy into the stories that say that your individual circumstances stop you from getting the health and body you want – or you can choose to do something about them.
Remember also that taking responsibility is not about blame – it’s not about telling yourself that you somehow deserve your challenges or have brought them upon yourself, as blame is simply about determining who is at fault, and that’s not going to move you forward. Taking responsibility is about deciding that you are the one who has the power to turn things around!
Here’s a simple exercise you can do to help you in this area:
- Think about your current ‘stories’ and excuses. Who or what are you blaming for your current results in relation to your body and health, and how do you not take responsibility for the results that you’re getting? E.g. A knee injury.
- Brainstorm what options you have for overcoming your current challenges and obstacles if you chose right now never to use your excuses and stories ever again. Aim to come up with at least 3 options for each obstacle. E.g. Going to a physiotherapist, starting Pilates, working with an exercise physiologist, finding activities that don’t impact your knee.
- If you chose to take 100% responsibility for the results you get, what needs to change, right now? What do you need to commit to stopping and starting in terms of what you’re doing or saying to yourself and to others? Who do you need to stop holding responsible for the results that you want? E.g. I need to stop using my knee as an excuse to be inactive, and start to take responsibility by focusing on what I can do such as eating better and doing movements that will strengthen or not involve my knee.
- For the next 7 days, act as if you are 100% responsible for the results you get. As you do this, record in a journal what you’re noticing is different about your world and your health, and how you’re feeling as a result of this new belief.
Deciding to take responsibility puts you in charge of your life and empowers you to overcome your challenges to create the results that you want and deserve.
This blog post originally appeared on the Fresh Start blog: https://freshstartprogram.mykajabi.com/blog
Reproduced with permission.