One thing I’ve found along my life’s journeying is that my feelings about any given undertaking are a good gauge as to whether or not I will succeed or fail.
For example, I hate exercising. Hate it. With the nuclear heat of a thousand fiery suns. That kind of hate. And so, without fail, whenever I resolve to finally make exercise a thing I do consistently, I utterly and epically fail, usually within the first two weeks.
Does this mean I am simply not fit to exercise? Of course not. What it means is that I focus so hard on the negatives of any intentional physically challenging activity (it hurts and leaves me sore, and I would really rather be reading instead) that my feelings gravitate toward the negative. In short, when trying to hype myself up to exercise I focus on the stuff about it I don’t like, and then I end up dreading doing it, hence my loathing of exercise and my inevitable failure to follow through on any program long-term.
Success or failure at many things in life is very largely about your own mental state. We stress this here at Ketovangelist all the dang time, and the reason is because it’s true. Our coach, Mary Roberts, coined the phrase “get your mind right,” and it’s apt because if you spend all your time focusing on the negatives, you are going to fail.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you find yourself looking at the downside, you’re never going to be mentally and emotionally committed enough to your goals to actually follow through on them. When you spend your time focusing on aspects of something that make you feel bad, you will eventually feel bad about that activity, and who the heck wants to do something that makes them feel bad? No one, that’s who.
In our family of facebooks groups, we tend to get a lot of grief from some members because we do not allow discussions about cheating or confessions, lists of carbage someone passed over or is tempted by, or any kind of food fantasy. People get very upset over this issue, but the reason why we steer our support groups (and our coaches steer their clients) away from these things goes right back to this principle of focus affecting feelings.
If you’re here, chances are you’ve decided to make a major change in your food and health lifestyle. Living a Ketogenic lifestyle will yield a plethora of positives in your life such as: regulated blood sugar and control of diabetes; decreased or eliminated inflammation, and thus reduced risk of the gamut of diseases and medical conditions; restored insulin and other hormone sensitivity; weight loss; increased focus, energy, and mental clarity; etc and so on. The potential good in your life is quite extensive.
How successful are you going to be achieving any or all of those positives if you spend lots of time dwelling on the perceived negatives: what you can’t have, or how hard the changes are going to be, or any of the other potential emotional negatives or mental trade offs you’re going to have to make to maintain a Ketogenic lifestyle?
The answer in a nutshell: You will fail.
Focusing on the negatives elicits negative feelings from you. What follows is emotional upheaval, mental anguish and turmoil, and eventually depression if it gets serious enough. When your focus is on the negative, you’re going to fail because your feelings about whatever the undertaking is are going to be negative.
So, if you’re sitting around and indulging in food fantasy, or trying to justify cheating, or worried about what other people are going to think about your new way of eating, you’re setting yourself up for failure because your feelings towards keto will begin turning negative. And, as I’ve already said, no one wants to keep on doing something they hate.
That’s why I fail at exercise.
It’s why you will fail at keto if you don’t choose to keep your focus on the positives.
I’m not going to pretend this is all easy peasy. I’m quite the introvert and an eternal pessimist myself. The avatar that would best encompass my essence is probably Grumpy Cat, and if it wouldn’t warp my kids too badly I would build a wall and a moat around my home and hole up with my books and hide from the world, hermit-style. I am not one who tends to focus on happiness and light, alright?
But it absolutely MUST be done if you want to succeed at this keto thing. You MUST set your goals, and keep your eyes on that prize and on all the good stuff along the way so as to keep your feelings in check.
Our own Anita has previously listed out some ways you can keep track of your own progress, and I think these are all excellent tools to use to remain focused on the good stuff you get out of keto. Check it out to see which tools are of most use to you.
The bottom line is that if you keep the good continually in front of you, there won’t be room for that lethal negativity. Find the things about keto that are positive and make you feel great, and focus on them to the exclusion of everything else and you will make your goals.