“Change Your Mind, Change Your Life.”
We’ve all heard this saying, but how does it figure into weight loss? Your mindset, your state of mind, is extremely important when it comes to achieving lasting success. Cravings, motivation, stress eating, self-esteem, your desire to workout… it’s all tied to your thought life.
The goal of this month’s challenge is to get you to go beyond focusing on food and exercise. You have to adopt the right mindset to be successful. The fun starts on February 1st.
Oftentimes, we start a new or restart our weight loss journey without first doing some very important work: The work of figuring out what factors and habits got us to where we are and figuring out what our real, long term goals are. That work requires that we take the time to investigate our existing thought patterns so that we can create new ones.
How Can You Join Us?
- This is a FREE challenge. No signup required.
- For this challenge, You’ll need a journal/notebook and a piece of poster board for your vision board. You may also want some post-it notes to post reminders in your home, office, etc.
- Take Action Daily – Read the Daily Task List and download the printable checklist (below).
- Check-in Every Night at 6:30pm – Visit our Facebook Page or our Instagram each evening. Join our daily check-in for accountability by leaving a comment under the check-in post. Share the insights you’ve made, how your day is going, etc. We are all in this together and we want to hear from you.
- Share your 21-Day journey with the world via social media. Use the challenge hashtag: #BWLWFeb
Leave a comment below and let us know you are on board for this challenge!
Along with the daily tasks below, we suggest you embrace these habits…
- Replace criticism with self-care and self-awareness – Vow to stop beating yourself up about the way you look or what you eat for the full 21 Days.
- Commit to working out for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. – Do what works for you, from walking to high intensity interval training.
- Commit to limiting junk food, fast food and highly processed food to just one day a week. – Take the time to list the foods that you need to cut back on/cut out on paper. We are talking about the unhealthy foods and drinks that are hindering your progress. (candy, cake, soda, fast food, fried food, foods that are high in sugar or salt, etc.) Make a commitment to keep your intake of these foods to a minimum. If you need help with this, we’ve got you covered with our Clean Eating Guide.
Daily Tasks – February 1 – 21st, 2021
Clarify your Big Why? Why do you want to lose weight/get fit/create a healthy lifestyle? Make a list of your reasons. – It is time to be real with yourself about what is driving you to make a change. Take some time to write down the reasons that are most important to you in a notebook or journal. Consider putting these reasons on post-it notes and posting them in your room, in your car or anywhere spend a lot of time as a reminder. Reviewing your reasons before meals or before working can also be helpful, so consider writing them down on notecards and store them in your bag.
Create clear, measurable, realistic goals. For example: “I will lose a total of 75 pounds.” vs. “I will lose 20 pounds in the next 3 months.” The second goal is more specific. “I will eat healthy.” vs. “I will create a 1500 calorie a day meal plan focused on low carb meals.” Specifics matter. Being practical matters as well. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. If your goals are unrealistic and you don’t reach them, that can be very discouraging. Record your goals in your notebook.
Why are you worth it? This journey takes energy, sacrifice, time, money and more. You are worth it, and you really must embrace that concept, especially if the needs of others could potentially cloud your perspective and cause you to lose focus. Make a list of the reasons why you are worth all the hard work and dedication required to change your life. Know your worth. Know your value.
Visualize Your Goals Part 1: Today, You will start selecting images for a vision board that reflects your goals. Weight loss, fitness, eating habits, wellness, etc. You can use magazines or print out images that you find online.
Visualize Your Goals Part 2: Take out that poster board and create your vision board tonight. Don’t put limits on what you can achieve and don’t worry about being too out of the box. Take a photo and share your vision board with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Include our hashtag #BWLWFeb so that we can find you.
What is your current relationship with food? If food was a person, how would you describe them? Has food been a lover, a friend, an enemy, etc.? Do you have a different relationship with junk food vs. healthy food? Take some time to write down who food has been for you in your notebook.
Accept that you are an incredible and beautiful person. Take 5 minutes in front of the mirror and find at least one thing that you like about yourself. Then make a list in your notebook of all the things you love about yourself and all the ways you are a great person. This may be hard if you’ve built up a lot of self-hate. If you become emotional, it’s ok. Feel what you need to feel and learn from your feelings in the moment.
Replace Hindering Thoughts with Uplifting Thoughts: Make a list of at least seven thoughts that are hindering you or holding you back. Examples;
- “I need to lose weight to get revenge on my Ex.” vs. “I’m losing weight to improve my health.”
- “Everytime I try to lose weight, I fail.” vs. “I have learned a lot in the past and this time I will achieve lasting results.”
- “I’m on a diet.” vs. “I’m taking the time to create a new, healthy lifestyle that will benefit me for years to come.”
- “I don’t know where to start.” vs. “I’m willing to do my research, educate myself, and use trial and error to figure out what works for me.”
Reach out for support: Call someone you love and ask them to support you on your weight loss journey. Call someone who won’t respond to your wanting to lose weight with jealousy, fear, or judgment. You may have already done this. If that is the case, check in with at least one person in your support system today. If you don’t have a supportive friend, family member or loved one, etc. consider joining a support group where you can meet new people, like BWLW’s Facebook group, Black Girls Run or GirlTrek.
Goal Letter: Write a letter to yourself that you will read after you’ve met your weight loss goal. I got this idea from the videos that appear at the end of episodes of Extreme Weight Loss. At the beginning of their journey, they would record a video the person at the center of the episode talking about their weight and how they felt. At the end of the episode, you would see the same person listening to that footage after they’ve lost the weight. On TV, it was shown as if they were standing or sitting side by side with their former selves and it was so powerful.
In this letter, tell yourself why you are making this lifestyle change and how you currently feel about where you now are in life. Tell yourself how proud you are of yourself for reaching your goal. Put the letter in a sealed envelope and keep it in a safe place. Open it when you’ve reached your goal. (At the end of the letter, add “PS: Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that you’ve reached your goal.”)
Investigate Your Triggers Part 1: What, other than hunger, makes you want to eat? Take some time to write down the triggers that motivate you to eat when you are not hungry. People, situations, emotions, etc.
Investigate Your Triggers Part 2: How can you take action to guard against eating when you are not hungry? Make a list of the actions and new habits you can embrace to avoid emotional and stress eating. Commit to at least 2 of those actions for the rest of the challenge.
Healing Past Pain and Forgiveness: Do you have issues around painful memories in your past? Do you have issues around forgiving yourself and others? These issues can turn into food triggers and lead to unhealthy habits, like binging. Today, you will research articles and self-help books that can help you start your journey to healing. You will also consider whether you need counseling or therapy. Today you will reach out to your spiritual family, biological family and friends for support.
Mindful Eating: Research the concept of Mindful Eating and write down a definition you like. Then, write down 3 ways you can apply this concept to your life.
Do Something That Makes You Feel Beautiful: What makes you truly feel beautiful? Take some time today to get your hair done or style your hair in a way you’ve never done. Take a well-planned selfie (with an awesome background). Buy some new makeup or your favorite fragrance. Wear that special outfit that makes you feel AMAZING. Visit our FB page and tell us what makes you feel beautiful.
Do something relaxing that is all about YOU: Sleep in late. Take a super long shower or bath. Spend a few hours with a great book while sipping your favorite tea. Do something creative, like knitting or crafting. Do Nothing…if you know what I mean. Your choice! Do whatever helps you to relax. For a few hours today, it’s all about you. You have to take time for yourself.
Make a Gratitude List: If you’ve followed Oprah over the years, you are familiar with the concept of a Gratitude list or Gratitude journal. What are the things, people and situations you are most thankful for? Make a list in your notebook. Take some time to record the ways that you are blessed. Reflect on this list when you are feeling down or when you are in need of inspiration. Put up post-it notes around your home to remind you of your blessings. Give Thanks!
Positive Affirmations: Create a list of positive affirmations that can inspire you to keep going when times get tough. You’ll find some excellent affirmations online. You could even use motivational quotes. Record at least 10 affirmations/quotes in your notebook. Commit at least 2 of them to memory and repeat them to yourself during the rough times.
Take Stock of Where You Are In Life Right Now: Yes, we need to focus on our weight and our health but, sometimes we can become so focused that we don’t give time to some of the other areas of our lives that need work. Think about your career, your family, your spiritual life and other things or situations that affect your happiness. Where do you need to put your energy? Are there situations or people that are taking too much of your time and energy? Make a plan to adjust and make some changes. Make a list of your priorities in your journal/notebook.
Create a Daily or Weekly Healing Ritual: Set aside time daily or weekly to focus on healing your mind, body, and soul. That could mean setting up an altar area in your home for daily prayer or meditation. You could set aside a specific time for writing in your journal or create a ritual around bathing and self-care. You may even incorporate yoga, dance or other forms of movement into this time. There are some great weight loss devotionals out there that can help you to focus, as well as lots of books on relaxation, detoxing your life, meditation, etc.
Music can affect your Mindset: Create a positive vibes playlist and an exercise motivation playlist. Music can inspire and lift your spirit. Music can raise your mood and get you excited about working out. From inspirational Gospel to old school hip-hop, choose the music that moves you. Share your playlist with us online. #BWLWFeb
Thank you so much for joining our February 2021 Challenge!