Why You Don’t Want To Lose Weight sounds stupid.
“I want to lose weight” is the defeated cry I hear most of my clients when they first come to see me.
Undeniably, this is true. Losing weight could be compared to the carrot at the end of a stick.
Without a doubt, you really want it, but no matter how hard you try, you never seem to get there.
Occasionally, you might get a little nibble if the wind is in the right direction. Of course, it also helps if the stick bends a little. However, you can never really get your teeth into it (excuse the pun)
So why don’t we feel like it’s working?
Well, first of all, let’s make the carrot a doughnut, or some cheese or something you really want?
Therein lies the problem…
You think you want to lose weight but actually, you want to eat the foods you really like, live the lifestyle you’re living and not be overweight!
Of course, you don’t want to be overweight. However, focusing on losing weight means you’re likely to fail from the get go.
Carry on reading to find out where you’ve been going wrong! I will explain 6 reasons why you don’t want to lose weight.
As an illustration, a client of mine was a lovely lady who had a very large family. Six children and fifteen grandchildren who she doted on. Of course, Marianne had been overweight since as long as she could remember. In truth, being overweight didn’t bother her when she was very young. However, she became more aware and self-conscious of her body shape in her pre-teens. In particular, she remembered attending a slimming club at the age of 11. To clarify, she wasn’t happy remembering her miserable and longstanding dieting mindset.
She shared “My first husband was horrible so I felt relieved when we divorced. If only it were that easy to get a better relationship with food.”
Years and years of unsuccessful ‘dieting’ and meagre attempts at doing exercise produce poor results.
I loved food. I spent many hours reading diets books, making food lists, creating meal plans. Did it help me get results? Nope, not on your nelly”
I bet you can relate. Being unhappy about the way you look and feel about yourself? Without a doubt, feeling stuck on the dieting hamster wheel is demoralising.
#1 – Your brain cannot picture NOT having something
Don’t think of a chocolate… No, I said don’t think of CHOCOLATE!
Oops… did you think of it?
Firstly, It’s not your fault, you can’t NOT think of something. The brain can only picture things that are tangible.
So, OK – now you know that what are you going to picture for the intention of losing weight. It’s hard but you can probably conjure something up.
Maybe a looking down at the scales. Hmmpf, not a particularly exciting picture.
But you can picture being slim, wearing nice clothes, feeling good? How is that feeling now? Getting better? Comparatively more motivating I bet.
Although, have you noticed yet?
You’re not thinking about losing weight… you’re thinking about the positive intention. What you want and it’s not losing weight. What you really want is to feel good about ourselves!
#2 Focussing on the diet
Undeniably, the idea of going on a diet is depressing. You think of deprivation. Initially, the unpleasant nature of dieting is overwritten by the excitement of ‘this time it will work’. You eagerly await the results like puppies waiting for a treat. However, when the results aren’t as quick as you would like then the sense of deprivation starts hitting home.
Then you don’t want to diet or lose weight. That [enter food of choice] just looks SO yummy.
Focus on getting something else. Getting energy, being happy, setting a example for you kids of how to develop a healthy relationship with food.
#3 You think you like eating what you like to eat
Why do you like eating foods that you know are unhealthy? Unquestionably unhealthy processed foods are deigned to taste nice. Food manufacturers aren’t stupid – they spend hours creating the perfect formulation that will cause you to eat too much of them.
You think it’s our fault that you have an addictive response to highly processed foods. That you can’t stop till you’ve finished the packet.
It’s not, the way our body responds to processed foods is very different to natural ones.
It messes with our body and brain chemicals so literally, you are out of control and it’s not until the hormones and chemicals stabilise that you start seeing things clearly.
The problem is, so many ‘diet’ foods are highly processed. Next time you eat a a low fat yoghurt, look at the ingredients. Processed foods create a chemical and hormonal response that is virtually impossible to manage.
Now you know that, you’ll be prepared next time you have a ‘binge’ or go ‘off the rails’. It’s completely within your control to eat it or not.
#4 thinking you just need to change WHAT you eat
When working with clients, the first question I ask is “what is it about your favourite food that you like?” “what does it get for you?”
More often than not, the incredulous response is, “it’s yummy – it doesn’t get me anything, it just tastes nice” To put it differently, clients are often fiercely protective of the relationship with a favourite food. To demonstrate, a client yesterday way regaling me with the delights of juicy spareribs from the Chinese takeaway. Without a doubt, he held on to his ‘love of food’ like a status symbol.
Is it that is constantly prompting you to find ultimate ‘yummy’. Or carry on eating all of it, even if it isn’t quite a yummy as you thought it would be?
Specifically, what is it that ‘yummy’ gives you?
Reward? Comfort? Calm?
By responding to the emotion rather than the coping mechanism (eating something yummy) you can change why you eat rather than what you eat.
You eat for more reasons than to satisfy hunger. Overweight people use food as much as an alcoholic uses drink, or a gambling addict uses poker. You think you’re going to like it, and you usually do until after the event.
In truth, the first mouthful might be nice, it might be really nice. But it the emotional response you’re really after. Because losing weight completely avoids the root of the problem! Until you understand why you eat like you do, the question should be, what can I do to change this.
#5 You don’t want to lose weight because you’ve failed in the past.
We see all our attempts as failures. In other words, it’s our fault.
I hate the feeling of failure or feeling to blame, don’t you?
Let’s meet up for a coffee and have a flapjack to cheer ourselves up.
Well, if I’ve had a flapjack now, I might as well get a takeaway for dinner tonight and start again tomorrow.
Or maybe I just am destined to be overweight?
Some people are you know…. Some people just have a body type or chemistry that makes it hard for them to lose weight.
I’m tired of thinking about it now.
I’m giving up trying to lose weight. It’s just depressing. I just want to be happy as I am….
Ever said anything like that? I know I have.
Can you see what were doing? Yep, there’s the emotional stuff on. But there’s also a whole loads of low self worth going on too.
Successful people, whether in business, life, relationships respond to everything as a learning experience. The embrace making mistakes because it helps them get better.
After all, you can learn from each and every experience. Whether failures or successes. What works for us, what you need to tweak and what you need to completely change.
Significantly, that mechanism started as a baby. You didn’t learn to walk by pulling ourselves up, falling over a couple of times and tell us that ‘ that’s too hard, I’m just going to give up and live the rest of my life sat on my bum’ p.s. as I’m writing this I’m conscious that some people can’t walk for a number of reasons but nonetheless, they still find a way to be mobile in some way shape or form.
In summary,you don’t want to ‘Not lose weight’, you just really don’t like the feeling of failure.
If you don’t see it as failure, but an essential element to our success then it’s much harder to beat ourselves up.
#6 You don’t want to lose weight because you’ve tried to in the past and it never works.
So, you’ve tried meal replacement, online stuff, calorie counting, slimming clubs…
The diet industry is worth billions. In the UK it’s worth over £2 billion and the US over $70 billion. Indeed, it works out better for them if you don’t succeed.
“The diet industry encourages people to keep dieting no matter how ineffective it is. In the United States, more than $70 billion a year is spent on products and services associated with weight loss. This can include memberships in weight loss programs, weight-loss products (low-calorie foods, cookbooks, artificial sweeteners, and diet sodas), as well as expensive medical procedures such as liposuction and bariatric surgery. Although most of these products and services end up being useless, given that most people gain the weight back, customers continue to be drawn in by promises of quick weight loss and the belief that being thinner will make them attractive and more desirable. Perhaps more important, when a weight loss attempt fails, dieters typically blame themselves for lacking “willpower” rather than questioning the product or service.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/media-spotlight/201811/is-permanent-weight-loss-myth
To emphasize the point, losing weight is difficult. With this in mind, remember you haven’t succeeded because you haven’t had all the tools you need. As I have said, understanding the psychology behind why you eat the way you do. Above all, changing your relationship with food, and yourself, is the only way to make change last.
In summary, if what you’ve done in the past to lose weight hasn’t worked for you, STOP doing it.
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