The past three months I have been working on improving my health, in all aspects of the word. What started out as an initial goal to make healthier eating choices, quickly transformed into a bigger goal of getting rid of thought distortions that are keeping me from experiencing joy and happiness in my daily life. Have you ever heard the quote “change your mindset, change your life”? Well that is exactly what I am working toward this year and every year after that.
The best method I have found is using the Noom app. Yes, people have called it the WW for millennials. Yes it is a diet app. But in reality, it is SO MUCH MORE than that. This app has been my own personal cheerleader, therapist and psychology teacher for the past three months.
When I started on this road with Noom, I was apprehensive on how it would be any different than using MyFitnessPal, but it isn’t just about food tracking. It has taught me how the body and mind work when it comes to food and building new habits that stick, as well as given me the tools to effectively change my behavior. When you control your mind, you will quickly see a shift toward a healthier life.
My Big Takeaways
Over the past three months, I have had 4 big takeaways that have been transformational in my life.
Improve my mental well-being and Stop the negative self talk.
This also significantly improved my physical health. As Rachel Hollis says “our own negative self-talk can be more damaging than an abusive person in our life and no one is there to stop it.”
I had to learn to recognize my own negative thoughts and fight back with the truth about the person I actually am and want to become. I fight this battle every day with daily affirmations. It sounds corny, I know. But it freakin’ works.
I quote the same positive thoughts to myself every day as I brush my teeth and look myself in the mirror. Eventually, I will believe them about myself and become them. As Amy Cuddy says, “fake it until you become it.”
Whatever you want to do, whoever you want to be, you have to write it down and put it out in to the world for other people to hear / see. This is so you don’t forget it in the chaos that is life.
If you want to also try this method, pick a statement that you struggle to believe about yourself, such as “I am enough” or “I can handle change.” Repeat it to yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth. Seriously, do it.
Say it in your mind as you would say it to a friend who is struggling to see all the great things about themselves. Do this for two weeks every day and I can almost guarantee you will see a change in your mindset. Will it to be true and it will be.
Treat promises to myself as if I Am keeping a promise to my best friend.
I wouldn’t make dinner plans with my bestie and then stand them up without warning or make up constant excuses on why I have no time for them…so why am I so willing to break promises to myself?
I have always felt responsible for making others in my life happy – making sure they feel loved and cared for, checking in and dedicating time and emotion and energy to those relationships. Often times, I have found myself feeling exhausted and disappointed because it would feel like I was never given the same effort in return.
Then I realized, maybe they are just keeping promises to take care of themselves and live their own lives, instead of running themselves into the ground until they feel like they are emotionally hanging by a thread…hmm, a concept to consider, Haley.
So I decided to say enough is enough. Maybe it feels to some people like I have pulled away from them, but honestly, I have just given myself the permission to put myself first. To stop killing myself over trying to always be the friend who lives far away, but is still always there.
Maybe it is selfish, but this mindset has given me the time and emotional space to spend working on my own happiness, which was next to non-existent all of 2019.
Saying No and letting go of people that do not bring me joy or growth
Since graduating from college, I have learned how to say no to things that do not align with my goals or do not bring me joy. For example, staying out late and drinking doesn’t make me feel like my best self, so I choose not to go out every weekend. I am saving my money for things that are important to me, so I choose to not eat out all of the time or buy expensive clothes.
Most importantly, I learned how to let go of people who make me feel alone in a crowded room. I am done trying to fit in or conform to a mold of the person that other people think I should be. Quoting Rachel Hollis again, “I cannot continue to live as half of myself because it makes others feel uncomfortable to experience all of me.”
Time is the most precious asset we have, so don’t spend another second on people and things that do not bring joy or growth into your life. These people and things are toxic, and they will zap your energy and your desire to push yourself further than you thought you could go. Separation from the negative things in my life has been difficult and a daily battle that I struggle with.
Honestly, sometimes I think stress is a drug for me. Maybe I have gotten so used to cortisol being over produced in my body that any ounce of peace or happiness I get, I immediately have to ruin it for myself with anxiety. I get a gut wrenching fear that the next shoe is about to drop, so I cling to the negative and the sadness because then I am always prepared and nothing can surprise me. Brene Brown calls this foreboding joy.
But geeeeeez, that is no way to live. And I am realizing this now and putting steps into action to no longer let people and my environment steal my positive energy or joy. I am choosing my own happiness every single day. If I don’t, no one else is going to do it for me.
Not feeling guilty about feeding my body and understanding my own needs.
I have had a poor relationship with food and body image since I was 12 years old. Not to mention all the fad diets that I can’t keep straight. Eat less, work out more, don’t eat sugar, wait don’t eat carbs, wait now only eat 6 hours a day, blah blah blah.
I am sick of the crash diets, and I want some sustainable healthy eating habits. Noom has given me the tools to accomplish this. I log my food that I eat each day and it is bucketed based on a color system and an overall calorie budget for the day (personalized to my gender, age, weight, goals, etc). Through this system, I have learned which foods best fuel my body and about portion control.
I have learned that I can eat bread and pasta, just make it whole grain. I can go wild on my fruits and veggies, just watch the overall calorie budget. And best of all, I can eat almond butter, chocolate, ice cream, and drink wine – just in moderation. But the point is, if I want to have chocolate every single day (which I do), then I actually can and still lose the weight I want to. I simply just have to plan for it.
Does this mean I don’t have to make sacrifices and choose to say no sometimes? Of course not. I had to learn this little thing called will power and self-control, which I am still working on. Before starting Noom, I would feel compelled to eat it. This would be quickly followed by absolute self-loathing and guilt tripping about how disgusting I am and how ashamed I should be of myself. THIS HAS TO END. I am still working on it but I recognize the problem and am taking steps to no longer feel this way. Food is not an all or nothing. It is just fuel and meant to be enjoyed!!
Noom gave me the tools and the knowledge to actually enjoy my food with mindful eating habits, as well as learning how to say no to the temptations when I am not actually hungry. It is not always easy and I do not succeed every day with my plan, but each day I start with a clean slate and I continue to work toward that bigger goal.
Wrapping it up already
If you related to anything I said and want to reach out to talk about your experiences, please do. I love to hear from my readers.
And if you didn’t relate and you already have a positive mindset, healthy body image and life figured out, then I am sincerely happy for you. You should continue to spread your joy and help bring those around you who are struggling into the light with your empathy and compassion.
Okay so enough about Noom, you get the point. @Noom – make me a brand ambassador already, geez.