01/06/2014 04:00 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2014

Diet for a Kinder Mind

The new year is ushered in with vows to make this year different, improve ourselves for the better, and lose weight. I'm all for being fit, but it won't make you as happy as other changes you can make in your life. Instead of worrying about making resolutions to lose a certain number of pounds, releasing negative energy from your thinking makes you feel a helluva lot lighter anyway. Rather than monitoring everything that goes into your mouth, what about really focusing on what is going into your mind?

It is smart to add more raw veggies, protein shakes and less junk food in your belly. I choose to eat well, but focus more on the positive vibes than doing "healthy" in a perfect way. I replaced lots of ideas I had about food, exercise and my body which changed my whole life. I stopped making foods have such power and rather just made them choices. I decided every day I could design my life positively with food, exercise and my thinking. I lost weight in a joyful way, not by beating myself up. I choose feeling good and positive thinking. I fed my mind first. If you aren't happy in your life, you can't expect making outer changes to affect all the parts of your inside. It doesn't work. It is a temporary high that always goes away.

When you look at your weight loss journey, you plan your meals, schedule your workouts and use calorie counters sometimes. Adding a gratitude jar and watching those pieces of paper of what you're grateful for add up, fueling your life with good vibes. It's amazing how much you can see your energy level shift when you make the inner changes. I had decided that I wasn't going to use my belly like a garbage disposal, like I often did with my kids' leftovers. I made intentional choices on whether something was what I really wanted to eat. Asking myself, is this worth it? I also decided to censor what I fed my mind.

How often do you let yourself get sucked into the negative articles, posts, and stories? Often people don't realize they're feeding off of drama, negativity, and the darker side of life. They fill their minds with constant news, creating more worry, and start to think the world is so horrible. Of course there is that stuff out there, but you don't need to mentally swim in it all the time. What if you deliberately thought about what you let into your mind? Like you had a little guard outside who could reject or accept new files each moment. What if what you're watching on TV, music you're listening to, what you're reading, what you're talking about, who you're hanging out with, or even what you're thinking about was intentional. Asking each time, does this add value to my life?

Yep, you could actually choose those.

The last one seems impossible. This is where you can actually question your own thoughts. "I'm fat. I'm always going to be fat. I'll never look the way I want. I'll never be skinny." There are so many stories we tell ourselves that we don't even hear the track continually playing on a loop on our brain. For me, I realized I had to choose affirmations, along with having to let go of making foods "good" or "bad" which meant I was either, depending on what I was eating. I started with a visualization. I'd place my hands on my problem area in my mind, which was my belly, and I'd say, "I love you." I'd repeat it three times until I felt it go into every cell of my being. I wanted every part of my body down to a cellular level to hear me. No more self-loathing. I had known how to hate myself for eons and knew I deserved better. I decided to skip the t-h-i-n stuff, knowing the slippery slope of "thin enough" and how it never happens. I shifted "I hate exercise" to "I love feeling strong." Think of how confusing it is to your body if you tell yourself you hate to do something and then do it. Feels like punishment then. It takes more energy to do it with that attitude than with positive energy. Time flies by and you feel good. You feel powerful like a force of nature. If I told myself I wanted to be fit, I'd win after every workout. I told myself, "I am fit. I am strong. I am fierce." I acted like it.

I made choices to love myself. It was about body-mind-spirit. When I did lose the 15 pounds, I knew I had won the minute I started the journey. My mind was so damn healthy. I felt so empowered, light, strong, and full of life. There is a vibrancy of spirit that happens when you focus on clean thinking more than clean eating. With even more info coming at us in a million directions all the time, we need to simplify, just like throwing away the chips in the cabinet when we want to eat healthier. You may still have your guilty pleasures for the body, like a piece of chocolate or glass of wine, just like you still may watch the Real Housewives shows. It's all about balance in my life. For some, they may throw out their TV and eat only raw foods, or you can decide what feels right for you. That is a powerful way to live. Making choices that are right for us, are the ones we can stick to, rather than just doing it for a little while like diets.

Biggest tip is to focus on what you want instead of what you don't want. What foods can you have that are healthy too? What can you nurture your mind with that brings you joy? What an awesome start to the year when you combine body-mind-spirit.