When it comes to transforming any area of your life, there’s literally nothing more important than mindset and nothing more powerful than learning how to focus your thoughts in the right direction. It sounds simple, but it can be easier said than done, particularly when it comes to weight loss mindset.

And no one knows that better than our very own Thinlicious Physician Advisor, Dr. Edie Wadsworth.

That’s why today, we’re taking a deep dive into mindset and how it relates to weight loss, as well as what it looks like to fix your health at the root cause of the issue. 

Fair warning: This is a SUPER meaty topic and one you’ll probably want to come back to more than once!

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Meet Dr. Edie Wadsworth!

I am SO excited to share thoughts today from our very own Thinlicious Physician Advisor, Edie Wadsworth!

If you’re already in our TAS program, then you’re probably very familiar with Dr. Edie, and you already KNOW how amazing she is! She has co-taught many of our in-depth lessons and always brings SO much insight and inspiration into the mix.

But for those of you who DON’T know Dr. Edie Wadsworth, she’s a physician, a mom of nine, a bestselling author, and a certified life coach, as well as the founder of the Life Mentoring School (also known as LMS), and one of my very best friends in the whole world!

Here’s a little more background on Dr. Edie in her own words:

“I started my career as a traditional family doctor and practiced for seven or eight years. I specialized, then, in preventive health. I really loved helping people make lifestyle changes. I loved helping people lose weight.

Back in the day, I would do every program that came out just so I could tell my patients about it. I was like a junkie for all the new programs on losing weight and all the different nutritional programs. I had every book. I was just really into that back then.

And then, I gave up my practice to be home with my four kids.

That’s when I found blogging and how I found you. This journey has just been so fun over the years, and it led to a book deal in 2016. Then, in 2019, I started an online mentoring program for women called Life Mentoring School and got certified as a life coach.

Now, I spend my days coaching women; I do some health coaching, but I mostly do life coaching these days.

I am a natural health guru and love helping our bodies do what they were created to do. I feel like I learned that the hard way—traditional medicine didn’t teach me a lot about health; it taught me a lot about sickness and my own journey.

Figuring out how to truly be as healthy as we can be, as vibrant and energetic and joyful as we can be, has been my own journey, and I love helping other women find freedom there too.

Isn’t she amazing? Now that you know a bit about the incredible Dr. Edie, let’s dive into her helpful tools for weight loss mindset (and why it matters).

Why is weight loss mindset such a struggle?

Though most of us know by now that mindset matters, and how powerful the right one can be, it doesn’t happen by default. 

Your brain wants to offer you all kinds of things—typically unhelpful ones. If you have ever thought any of these thoughts, you know what I mean:

“You’re never gonna do that.”

“You’ve never been able to lose weight.”

“This is never gonna work for you.”

So yes, your brain is going to offer you all of that, but you get to decide what you want to focus on. And from the thoughts and beliefs you focus on, you will create what you think about. It’s scientifically proven!

As Dr. Edie wisely said, “If you keep thinking defeating thoughts and self-sabotaging thoughts, your body responds with chemicals that make you feel defeated and hopeless. And so the first step is just to recognize that and not beat yourself up for it.”

While that sounds simple enough, it’s actually quite difficult to get your weight loss mindset fixed. 

This is particularly true for those who are dealing with chronic health issues. In fact, managing symptoms can feel all-consuming and exhausting, to the point where it may just feel easier to take the pill than heal the root cause. 

Plus, unfortunately, many of us are dealing with addictions to food and sugar, which take time to break. But it’s so worth it!

“It’s like this spiral—a death spiral. It totally prevents you from being able to do all these other things because you’re dealing with medications and you’re dealing with health issues. Then, all of a sudden, you’re being diagnosed with all of these things, and you’re spending all this time going to the doctor, and then that becomes your whole life.”

The good news is that once you have your brain determined that you ARE going to help heal your body, you can start to do the work. And once you begin healing the root cause, you’ll be amazed at how much life opens up! Not to mention a huge increase in energy too. 

Why Is Mindset so Important When It Comes to Losing Weight and Actually Keeping It Off

Your body is a powerful pharmacy. You have the ability to produce things in your body that actually help you heal and live more energetically and in such a better way. 

Realizing the power that you have in your mind can actually affect the chemicals that change your body is a game-changer. It will absolutely change how you experience your life internally.

“If you start to change your thoughts, you can actually change your body, which a lot of people don’t understand, right? We want to separate everything, and there are specialists and specialties, and you have medication for this thing and medication for the other thing…

But it literally all works together. It’s one amazing thing!”

For example, just look at the gut-brain connection as proof. Your body really is one incredible interconnected system!

3 Common Mindset Issues that Prevent People from Achieving Their Weight Loss Goals

So now that you know how your incredible mind can help literally change your body, let’s deal with some of the common mindset issues and how to tackle them. 

This is CRUCIAL information for anyone working on health goals. Without getting the mindset piece right, it’s incredibly challenging to follow through. Because let’s face it, lifestyle changes are hard! 

1. Settling on perceived limitations.

Have you ever thought to yourself: “Well, I’ve always been this way.” 

Maybe you’ve always been “this way” in relationships or have always struggled with your weight.

Or maybe you have Hashimoto’s or another illness…even though it’s technically true, if you continue to focus on the limitations of your body, you will continue to reap that.

But how does allowing that limiting belief serve you? Does it spur you on toward your goals or leave you feeling encouraged? Or is it a bit of a crutch when things get hard?

As Dr. Edie wisely says, “Even if what you’re thinking is true, even if you have documented evidence that you have always been overweight…it’s not going to serve you to focus on that.”

2. Not focusing on what’s possible.

Our bodies are meant to be strong and energetic. Our bodies are meant to heal themselves.

So instead of thinking of all that isn’t working or going well, try a re-frame. What if you focused on what was possible for your body?

Start focusing on things that make you feel hope and power. Then, your body will follow suit!

“It’s crazy how powerful your mind is. When you think thoughts, your body responds by producing a series of chemicals that you get to swim in.”

When your brain keeps wanting to focus on everything that’s wrong and everything you haven’t been able to do, keep redirecting it. Mantras or positive self-talk can be helpful here. For example, if you are working on your health, practice the belief that you are thin, healthy, and strong. 

Find your weight loss motivation and remind yourself of the positive outcome as if you are already there! 

3. Wanting change to be quick and easy.

Good news/bad news here. Just like losing weight or building muscle or any other health goals, fixing your weight loss mindset won’t happen overnight. But, it’s also not as hard as you think.

Your brain will start to fall in line as you exercise the muscle for a long time.

“Those negative thoughts we’ve thought forever, like, “I’m never gonna get my weight under control. Now I’m in menopause—it’s just gonna get worse. I’m never gonna be that size. I’m never gonna be able to do that…” If you keep thinking that, you will prove yourself right.

But when you decide to practice the beliefs that you want to be true, that you want to believe, then your brain starts to believe you and starts to cooperate, you’ll begin to see changes, and it’s so magical.”

The Best Strategies to Improve Your Weight Loss Mindset

If you are asking yourself, “How do I actually start to change my thoughts? Is it really possible?” these practical strategies are exactly where to get started!

1) Identify your emotional triggers.

The first step is an awareness of the way our minds work.

Some people will say, “I’m just wired this way. I’m just negative.”

The truth is that we’re all wired that way; we just need to be aware of it and work to counteract the effect of it.

Our brains are wired to keep us safe. So the brain is always going to offer the worst-case scenario and thoughts, not because it hates us, but because it’s trying to keep us safe.

When my brain’s trying to do the thing where it likes to remind me of the stuff that I know isn’t even going to happen, I remind myself: my brain is doing it to help keep me safe.

It’s how the brain is supposed to react. And when you become aware of how often your brain wants you to get overwhelmed, offering you overwhelming or stressful thoughts, you can say, “Oh, there it is again!” and then redirect it to more positive mantras and thoughts.

Dr. Edie shared, “Your body is so powerful that when you tell it what to focus on, it does.”

“Becoming aware of the thoughts you have is like a daily practice for me. In my planner, I just take note of what my brain wants to be thinking.  Then remind it that everything in this life is a miracle. What a huge blessing it is to be alive, to have another day, to see the sunrise, to see the sunset, to taste the taste of a juicy steak…”

In short, you get to decide what is it that you want to focus on each day. Make them good thoughts!

2) Practice mindful habits.

Being mindful is one of the best things you can do. 

“When you keep reminding your brain of what you want to focus on, your body responds and produces chemicals and molecules that heal you instead of ones that make it harder and harder to be healthy, lose weight, and get to that really energetic level.”

In some ways, taking radical responsibility for yourself in that way can feel a little daunting because we do have stress, and life happens. People get sick. There are diagnoses, and there are things that happen that we can’t control.

But we always have the agency to control our response to it.

Start taking that radical responsibility instead of blaming external things.

Remind yourself that it’s my job, it’s my marriage, it’s my kids, it’s my diagnosis.

“When you start taking radical responsibility, what you realize is, oh my gosh, I have so much power here in how I experience my life, and you only get this one life.”

3) Set realistic and achievable goals.

Set realistic goals for yourself and break them down into smaller achievable steps. This gives you something to focus on that isn’t completely overwhelming. 

In Dr. Edie’s case, she had a big health crash in 2013. She was 40 pounds overweight and had inflammation in her body. After going to the doctor, she was diagnosed with multiple things. Rather than accept the diagnosis and take medication for the rest of her life, she opted to go a non-traditional route and heal her own metabolism.

But, it wasn’t as simple as just saying it or believing she could! There were so many steps to take to get where she is today:

I wanted to try to help my body heal, which led me literally on a journey. One of the first things I did was learn how to reset my metabolism. I learned all about insulin resistance, and I started pouring into the literature about that. As I got that more dialed in, I just watched my life, in so many ways, blossom.”

This can be really hard to do on your own, especially if you’ve got a longer path ahead of you. In fact, this is exactly why I love the Thin Adapted System so much! It breaks down a big goal into small, achievable steps. We take it day by day, meal by meal.

After all, as one of my favorite quotes says, there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.

4) Create a healthy and supportive environment

Surround yourself with positive people and connections who support your goals.

First of all, we need accountability. No, you don’t need someone to tell you what to do. But, as you are working on your weight loss mindset, one of the most important things you can have is someone else there who gets it! 

Look for like-minded people who are on the same path as you are. Surround yourself with people that inspire you, and strive to inspire them in turn. Think of your community as a circle of inspiration! 

This is one of the best things we offer in the Thin Adapted System—a vibrant community of like-minded women who are on the same journey. We’ve worked hard to build a safe space where people can share stories and struggles and cheer each other on. 

Join our ultra-supportive, incredible Thinlicious community on Facebook and see for yourself! 

5) Schedule time for self-care.

For some of us, this may be the toughest thing on the entire list! But, learning how to take care of yourself mentally and physically during this journey can make or break you. Be mindful and recognize the changes in your body, but also pamper yourself.

Self-care often looks nothing like a spa day. In fact, it often looks like discipline! For example, taking a walk after dinner is a much better way to care for yourself than scrolling on your phone on the couch. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Lift weights, then take a relaxing hot bath with epsom salt
  • Schedule time to have coffee with someone in your community who encourages you
  • Spend time writing in a gratitude journal
  • Meal prep recipes that will nourish and fuel you
  • Go shop at a farmer’s market for fresh veggies

As you can see, self-care can look different for everyone. Find activities that motivate you, push you towards your goal, make you feel alive, and help keep your motivation up. 

6) Focus on progress, not perfection.

You’re going to have setbacks—and that’s okay.

As Dr. Edie wisely says, “Understand that weight loss is a journey and not a destination – focus on the progress you’re making rather than the end goal.”

Reward yourself when you reach milestones—celebrate your success!

We often start a journey not thinking about how we will have setbacks. And when we do have a setback, it’s so easy to think, “see, that was never going to work.”

Remember, your brain will offer you all the worst thoughts (again). But, you’ve got to choose to reprogram and redirect and keep your weight loss mindset intact!

Again, this is easier said than done, as Dr. Edie shares.

“I’ve had some setbacks. I had a completely torn ACL, and it was hard to exercise for a while. My brain wanted to go, ‘Well, here we go. This is the part where you know you’re gonna gain all that weight back and not be able to keep your muscle. And through all of that, because I know how to manage my mind, I got stronger than ever.

I decided to help heal my ACL without surgery. And a few days ago, I learned how to wakesurf! On a knee that nobody would put their money on, this 53-year-old with a previously torn ACL is gonna be able to learn how to wakesurf. And I was just so proud of myself that I didn’t give up with all of those obstacles.”

Setbacks are normal. Weight loss, and life, are not linear. It’s normal to get frustrated. Sometimes it’s normal to have a plateau. But, they are just that: minor setbacks that will not prevent you from reaching your goals if you do not allow them to. When you can take that step back and apply that to all the different areas of real life, this is incredibly powerful.

7. Realize that life is so much more than food. 

Whether you are a podcast listener, a blog reader, or a Thin Adapted System member, there are a lot of tools here at your disposal. 

But, we’ve got to keep it in perspective. These tools aren’t just to help you miserably obsess over food…that’s the last thing we want! 

You use those tools and go make every part of your life better. Listen, nobody wants to spend their life thinking about food.

You got bigger dreams; you got bigger things to think about. So get the food thing under control so you can go live your dreams, give your gifts away, learn how to wakesurf, and create joy and adventure in your life.

But you can’t do that if you feel like you’re so tied down to a body that won’t do what you want.

Again the great news is that your weight loss mindset and health issues are both completely fixable for the vast majority of people. This is a lifestyle issue that we are in control over! 

When you feel your brain being flooded or obsessed with food, ask yourself,  “Is this the thought that I want to have?” Then redirect and keep moving forward. 

FAQs About Weight Loss Mindset

Weight loss mindset is a HUGE topic. And we have a fantastic resource here with Dr. Edie! So we asked her some of our common questions, and here’s what she had to say.

Do you have a process when those negative thoughts enter your brain?

Yeah. And one of the things that I think is so powerful is just becoming aware of your thoughts. So sometimes I’ll do a thought download where I just write down what my brain is offering me, and then I’ll ask myself, when I think that way, how do I feel?

And usually, those thoughts make us feel terrible.

We feel disappointed in ourselves. We feel hopeless. We feel despairing, we feel sad, we feel weak. I often ask myself, is this thought making me stronger or weaker? Is this thought bringing me life?

A lot of people are like, well, how do you, how do you stop your brain from offering that?

You can’t stop your brain from offering that. It’s going to keep offering that. But what will happen when you have the epiphany of what those thoughts and beliefs are causing for you, how they’re causing you to feel, and the actions they’re causing you to take?

For example, if your main thought about your health is I’m never gonna lose the weight and get healthy again. If that’s your thought, which is very common, probably most women our age have that thought, then you’re gonna feel disappointed and sad and hopeless about it. And what are you gonna wanna do from that thought? Go eat some Oreos. That thought is going to lead you into the very thing that’s gonna prove you right.

You’re going to prove to yourself that you’re not gonna get stronger, that you’re not gonna get healthier. So ask yourself, what is that? What’s the downstream effect of that thought? How is it playing out in my life? And when I do that exercise, it’s so easy to go, yeah. I don’t wanna keep that. Like, I want to tell my brain what we’re gonna think about today.

Naturally, over time, those thoughts let go of you. Because you see what that’s causing in life. And, you know what? I’m just not choosing that today. 

What are your thoughts on the keto diet from a physician’s perceptive?

Well, first of all, what I would say to that is if you’re currently overweight and insulin resistant…you’re already in a high danger zone.

Whatever you have to do to reduce your insulin resistance, do it. It just so happens that this program teaches your own body how to do it.

You’re your own most powerful pharmacy. So do you want to take something to help your body do it, or do you want to teach your body how to do it? Once you teach your body how to be metabolically flexible, you have so much more leeway. 

Most of us do have insulin resistance. I really don’t believe there’s anything you can do for your health that is better for you than reducing your insulin resistance or doing away with it altogether. It is the most dangerous health problem we have.

What is the first step for somebody who wants to transform their health?

I think the first step is fixing it is in your mind.

This is what we always do. We willpower our way. We just start taking a bunch of actions without addressing all of these underlying subtle mindset issues. I would love it if I could transplant my beliefs about health and wellness to other people!

But you’ve just got to decide: my body wants to be lean and strong, and it wants to heal itself. Then just practice that over and over and over and over! because once you begin to believe that, then you’ll be willing to do it.

It can be overwhelming when people first start, it’s like, oh my gosh, I gotta change everything.

They feel overwhelmed by it. But if you just decide: my body’s gonna be the guide. My body has so much wisdom. What will happen is you start eating in a way that serves your body, and start eating in a way that fixes your metabolism. Your body will astound you with how it responds.

You will start dropping weight like crazy. You won’t be hungry all the time. You’ll sleep better. Your gut will heal itself. Like it becomes this crazy domino effect that starts to literally fix so many things in your life.

Isn’t that SO encouraging?  

Please trust me on this: your mindset MATTERS. So much more than you think! 

Next Steps

Ready to lose weight and get healthy for life without dieting, drugs or making yourself miserable? Our brand new (and totally free!) on demand video training will help you understand why it’s been so hard and what do to about it.

I hope you found some helpful tidbits in this conversation with Dr. Edie. But this is just the beginning! You’ve got to listen to the podcast interview with her, where we dive into these topics (and others) in much more detail. 

Listen to the Ditch the Carbs podcast here!

Get our FREE guide to finally fix your metabolism!

Losing weight & getting healthy is never easy, but lately you might feel like it’s suddenly become impossible.

Our Flip the Switch guide will help you clearly understand what’s been going on, as well as exactly what you can do to get your metabolism working again so that you can look and feel your best—it’s easier and more simple than you think!

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