San Francisco, CA (Vocus) November 22, 2010
Most people focus on exercise and diet plans in their struggle with fat, but few realize the role that talk plays in success or failure when it comes to losing weight, according to David Cunningham, a communication expert and seminar leader for Landmark Education.
“Most of us know intuitively that self-talk — thoughts such as ‘this diet isn’t working, nothing will,’ or ‘just one little bite won’t hurt’ — can sabotage our best efforts to lose weight,” says Cunningham. “So it should not be a surprise that the conversations we have with others also have a lot to do with whether or not we are able to successfully lose weight.”
Language is a powerful tool that can work for or against you, Cunningham says. If people talk longingly about a chocolate cake or a cheese-smothered pizza or Mexican dish, they are more likely to ignore diets and choose overindulgence over healthy eating. He offers these tips for people to talk their walk:
1. Do a junk talk audit. “Make sure your conversations match your commitments,” Cunningham says. “Stop and notice what you actually talk about with people in your social circle. Are you and others bemoaning being fat? Talking about who serves the best cheese-covered fries in town? Complaining about how hard it is to lose weight? Or are the conversations you have about healthy living, eating and exercise?”
2. Get committed. People who are committed to losing weight can help their cause by making their conversations reflect that. “Share your goal with others and speak of it often,” Cunningham says. “In addition to being attentive to what you say, pay attention to where you are having those conversations. If you're at a restaurant eating bowl after bowl of fried corn chips, make no mistake, that’s evidence of a commitment to something besides losing weight. If you're at the gym working out, and that's where your friends are, then your commitment to be healthy is reinforced by your actions.”
3. Find like-minded communities. One of the easiest ways to eliminate “junk talk” from a diet is to get involved in social networks and communities that support weight loss. “Think about friendships you might cultivate that would naturally inspire you to be more physically active or slim down,” Cunningham says. “Consider joining groups and organizations that empower wellbeing rather than contribute to weight gain.”
“Be sure your words reflect your commitment to take care of your body and your health,” Cunningham says. “When your conversations reflect that, your view of life and your actions will naturally follow.”
David Cunningham is a communication expert and seminar leader for Landmark Education, a personal and professional growth, training and development company that's had more than 1.2 million people use its programs to cause breakthroughs in their personal lives as well as in their communities, generating more than 100,000 community projects around the world. In The Landmark Forum, Landmark’s flagship program, people cause breakthroughs in their performance, communication, relationships and overall satisfaction in life. For more information, please visit http://www.landmarkeducation.com.