Do You Need A “Paris Mindset” To Lose Weight?
It was March 2002. The photo above is “young Barb” (me!) at the Eiffel Tower. A top bucket list item for sure! ✈
This may not seem fitness-related, but it definitely is.
My mom said I had wanderlust. But, even she was surprised I hopped on a plane by myself to fly to Paris. I was a flight attendant and had benefits to do so, but still – she thought I was crazy to do this on a whim by myself one weekend. To “prepare” I purchased the book, “Paris For Dummies” to read on the plane. I was nervous to take this step on my own, but…. this was PARIS! I was at the age where I was starting to learn many of life’s best experiences occur out of your comfort zone.
The trip was a success! Yes, I had a bit of anxiety, got lost a couple times, and my attempts at speaking French (I heard you are supposed to at least TRY to speak it), were not well received at times. Still, even though I was nervous, I had life-changing experiences! I went up the Eiffel Tower, visited the Louvre, saw the Mona Lisa, visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, and walked along the Seine!
That trip, which I took by myself, always held a special place in my heart. Part of the reason why it held a special place in my heart is because I had been brave. I had done something different that scared me, but it paid off.
My Paris Mindset
That mindset in 2002, was something I channeled when trying new (healthier) approaches to fat loss and health.
Especially when it came to adding exercise or healthy meals consistently into my routine, but also going against the “norm” out there of fad diet trends, no-carb living, hours of cardio, & 21-day sugar detoxes I had been doing for years.
Those types of diets were all I knew. And the truth was I HAD lost weight doing those things, but I just couldn’t keep it off or live in a balanced way being on those types of programs all the time.
It was scary to trust the process, but when you know that other way hasn’t served you long term, why continue the cycle & try them again in hopes this time will be different?
My wanderlust took me to other wonderful destinations since Paris, but MORE IMPORTANT that mindset brought me to better health in the long run.
How Do You Adopt A Paris Mindset?
Hopefully by now you realize you do not need to go to Paris to practice this mindset shift (although, I highly recommend Paris as a bucket list item!).
For me, a Paris Mindset just means trying a new approach and living OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU TRY SOMETHING NEW
1) Change The Way You Are Thinking
- It is normal to struggle with thoughts that may limit us. Our minds like to focus on the negative. Especially our fears and how that relates to our weight loss and physique. Those fears drive our behavior or sometimes even paralyze us and prevent us from making changes in our lifestyle. Start to be a detective and look for instances when you begin to feel anxiety about trying a new approach to your health and fitness. Start to change the way you are thinking by harnessing the negative thoughts and reminding yourself these thoughts DO NOT serve us. What is truly based in reality? Most likely, those reality-based thoughts will start you on a more positive and productive path in your journey.
2) Conquer Fear With Action
- The only way to overcome fears is to move through them with ACTION! Begin to look at the fears you have and use them to challenge yourself to new actions. Start small if you need to. One of my favorite graphics about fear…
3) Imagine Yourself On The Other Side: Successful and Healthy
- Visualize what your healthy life would actually look like? Would you feel healthy, energetic or have endurance? What about activity? Would you be hiking, kayaking, running a race (all things you can start to do now, btw)! Would you feel confident? Proud? Would you be eating healthy with your friends and family <—– this is why fad diets or strict meal plans can’t be sustainable long term. How will you eat with friends and family and still be social? Yes, it IS possible to have both.
- Begin to create your own mental movie with lots of details. Journal about it. Pray about it. The more you focus on success, the more likely success with be reached. Alternately, the more you focus on the negative and how you won’t reach your health goals, the more likely that will occur as well.
4) Start To Do Something Consistently That Is Beneficial To Your Health, But Out Of Your Comfort Zone
- Start a new hobby that you will participate in regularly. Some examples, like mentioned above include: hiking, running, kayaking, rock climbing, even joining a biking club, tennis club, taking yoga classes or working out with others in a group (so you aren’t on your own anymore – which is sometimes scary). We tend to isolate ourselves when we aren’t feeling good about our physiques, but having consistent support and building new healthy behaviors and activities into your life can make a huge impact.
5) Read, Study and Invest In Yourself!
- Read fitness blogs from respected authors, join groups, invest in training and webinars from trusted authors who have healthy approaches to fitness, diet and (most important) mindset. One thing I like to do is spend 5 minutes reading at least one fitness blog per day on something I am struggling with.
- Consider counseling, if you feel that would be beneficial given your circumstance. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Some people avoid spending the time or money on themselves out of guilt, but a healthier and more confident YOU is beneficial to not only your own progress, but is beneficial to your loved ones as well.