I know this is the time of year when there is all kinds
of information available about weight loss. If everyone has the
information available to him or her, then why is losing weight so
difficult? The answer is relatively simple for those of us who have
added some extra weight—we need to eat better and exercise more. So, why
do we continually find ourselves in the same place year after year with
carrying around more weight than we want to?
The problem is that there are many subconscious issues that often
sabotage our best-laid plans. This post will help you understand
some of what may be preventing you from making the forward progress
that you want.
- One of the
first things to look at is your need strength profile. This is a
self-assessment that determines which of a person’s five basic needs
drives the majority of that person’s behavior. All of us have the same
five basic needs but freedom may be my highest need, while love &
belonging may be yours and survival may be someone else’s. The other
two needs are power and fun. These all play a huge role in why we do
the things we do in the way we do them.
- Next it
is important to seriously consider all the things you want in your
life, not just your weight loss goals but the whole of everything you
want to do, have and experience in your life. Ask yourself the
question, "What do I want? If I could have anything, what would it be?
What do I really, truly want?"
- After that, you want to narrow down what you want to a complete vision
of how things will change for you after losing the weight you want to
lose. What will you have that you don’t have now? What will you do
differently? How will you be different? You must be able to clearly see
the finished version of what you are attempting to accomplish with all
its accompanying perks. This will become your own personal mental movie
or daydream of how you want your life to be after accomplishing your
weight loss goals. You will begin to visualize your success at least
once a day.
next step is to record all the things you do that both help or hinder
your progress toward your weight loss plan. So, for example, if you
were able to resist donuts for breakfast, write that down. If you
ordered dessert after a meal at a restaurant, record that as well. In
addition to the actual behaviors, you also must write down the thoughts
and feelings you experience that either help or hinder your progress,
too. So, if you think to yourself, “It’s
OK if I have this piece of chocolate. I was really good
yesterday”—write that down. Then, if you have the thought, “Nothing
tastes as good as thin feels”—write that down too. If you’re feeling
bored and you grab a bag of potato chips, record the boredom feeling.
If you feel elated when you skip a favorite dessert, write that down
also. Keep track of everything you do, think and feel that either helps
or impedes your progress toward your weight loss goals.
- The next step is to critically evaluate the things you are doing,
thinking and feeling and ask yourself the difficult question—“If I keep
doing everything the way I’ve been doing it, will I end up with what I
REALLY want? Will I accomplish the vision I have of my new life that I
created in my mental movie?”
continue reading this post. Just keep doing what you are doing and
you will get there. However, if your answer is no, then read on.
If your answer is no, then hopefully you have been successful in
creating some cognitive dissonance for yourself. This is an
uncomfortable feeling that provides you with information that you need
to make some changes. Without experiencing this cognitive dissonance,
it’s easy to continue with the bad habits we have developed over time.
People generally don’t implement changes in their lives unless they are
in some serious pain.
failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want
now." When you are trying to make a change as big as losing weight, you
must constantly keep your eyes on the prize.
If you’re not moving forward toward your goal, the first thing you need
to examine is: Do you have a burning desire to accomplish your goal?
Whatever your weight and fitness goal is, you must have a burning
desire to accomplish it.
Another possibility is that up until now you haven’t had a very good
plan about how to go about losing weight. Without a solid plan, there
will easily be loopholes allowing you to sabotage your success.
Willpower alone only takes us so far when we are fighting our brain’s
with your weight loss plan. There are many possibilities to consider
but you will find some clues, either hidden or obvious, in the list of
your behaviors, thought and emotions that you previously developed.
What do you do, think and feel instead of the things that will ensure
your success with your weight loss plan? An excellent question to ask
yourself is: “What would you have to give up to become successful with
your weight loss goals?”
Once you become conscious of the other things you want in addition to
losing weight, you have some decisions to make. Is the thing you want
something you want more than losing weight? If it is, then you can
decide to give up on the idea of losing weight and simply be content
doing, having or obtaining the other thing you want. You will then have
a new goal toward which to work.
Another option is to consciously decide that you want to lose weight
more than anything else. If that occurs, then you must specifically
target your personal areas of temptation in your neural reconditioning
program, which I will explain in my next post.
Finally, the last option involves figuring out some kind of compromise
so that you can have some of each of the things you want. For example,
I just read in a magazine of a movie star who restricts her
carbohydrate intake six days a week but then she allows herself as much
pizza as she wants on Sundays. That’s a workable compromise.
6. The final question to ask yourself is: “Am I willing to do the necessary work to make my plan come to fruition?”
In my next post, I will talk to you about how to be successful with your weight loss plan and keep the weight off forever. Let me know if any of this rings true for you and where you think your biggest challenge lies.
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