Why weight loss is such a struggle
I’m writing this because there is a giant piece missing in the general weight loss puzzle. Many diets and exercise programs work, but without getting to the core of it, it’s often unsustainable.
So if any of the following points represent your weight loss story, read on…
• You’ve lost count of how many times you’ve decided to get in shape.
• You’ve had success in losing weight but then gained it all back shortly after.
• You’ve hit a plateau that you just can’t seem to break through.
• You’re struggling with motivation. Staying on track isn’t easy.
• This is your first attempt to lose weight. The 5 points we discuss in a moment will set you up with the foundation you need to succeed.
1 – Your goals don’t mean enough.
This is what weight loss goals usually look like:
• Lose 20lb / kg
• Lose 5 inches around my waist
• Go to the gym 3 times a week
• Eat less ice cream and more veggies
Nothing wrong with that. However, goals should have more substance in to them. Better yet more EMOTION. The above goals were the kind of goals I’d set with my clients when I was a young buck trainer. Zero emotion = Zero chance for permanent results.
Emotion is key when setting goals. We’re driven hugely by emotion. We think it’s intellect, but it ain’t.
So, why do you want to lose the weight? Really, WHY? What do you want to FEEL from achieving this?
If you haven’t thought of this much in the past, then now’s your time. Make some emotional connections to your goals.
Here’s an example of one of my goals
I wan’t to be in excellent physical and mental health as I grow older. It makes me sad to see my dad with all his aches and pains, medication and negative mood. I want the best health possible for myself and my family.
2 – Goals are set…but now what?
Regardless of what your goals look like, what do you do with them after you’ve made them?
Overweight and obesity usually are a result of negative or unhealthy behaviours. Behaviours develop slowly and are deeply engrained. In order to lose weight, behaviours need to be shifted.
After goals are set, it’s important that they’re revisited often. This way we can guide our daily actions to become solid behaviours. Now that more emotion is attached to your goals, there’ll be no stopping you.
3 – Constant FOCUS on weight loss is a detriment.
Our psychology shapes our physiology. Basically, how we think and feel has an influence on the physical body.
When in a good mood, we have positive chemicals pumping through our brain having a global affect – mentally and physically. Sleep is improved blood pressure drops and blood sugar control is improved. Here’s the best part – appetite, satiety (feeling full), and fat storage is managed properly as well.
When incessantly focusing on losing weight, particularly aiming for rapid results, the brain interprets it as stress. Regardless of whether goals have good intent, our body experiences this the same as any other stress. Weight gain is one of the responses to chronic stress.
4 – Your brain isn’t convinced.
In Reason #2 I described the importance of revisiting goals. Part of this is to condition the brain for the goal we’re about to work towards.
Our brain has a Set-Point in which it will always try to bring us back to, in all aspects of life. It’s an internal calibration mechanism called the Psycho-Cybernetic System (PCS).
The PCS is largely influenced by beliefs. Anything that contradicts our beliefs, the PCS freaks out a little and tries to bring us back to the Set-Point.
If you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror for years and thought “I’m fat”, it’s pretty safe to say your subconscious brain believes this too. If this isn’t the first time trying to lose weight, it’s likely your brain has some negative beliefs about your chances of success this time round.
The brain takes a bit of convincing. Once it is, the Set-Point shifts and behaviours line up with it. Healthy habits become the norm (maybe even a pleasure) and sabotage behaviours are far less likely.
5 – You associate weight loss with pain
Everything we do is motivated by either one of these two things: Pleasure or Pain. We want to move away from one and get closer to the other (you guess which is which). It’s instinct.
Why did you decide one day: “Starting tomorrow, I’m doing XYZ to lose weight”? You were unhappy with your current health or physical image.
But why didn’t that impulse stick? People often think this way after deciding to make a change: “It’s gonna be brutal, but it’ll be worth it!”
Immediately, there’s a link to pain. To hard work. To sacrifice. To stress. To gross kale smoothies.
Creating positive neural links to weight loss will keep you on the path. Now that you’re going to re-set your goals, outline the pleasures that you’ll feel when you lose weight. View it in a different light.
We all have a choice of how we see and think about things. It’ll take a bit of practice, but I promise it’ll be a game changer.
As you can see, all of the reasons discussed above revolve around the mind. Mindset is, without a doubt, what makes or breaks anyone’s goal to achieve any thing. If you’ve hit some ups and downs with your weight loss attempts, start to encompass some mindset strategies. Meditation and mindfulness, purposeful goal setting and journaling. Be kind to yourself and realistic about expectations.
’til next time
Like an Oak, we grow slowly but surely
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