Why is losing weight so difficult? The answer is relatively simple for those of us who have added a little extra weight – we need to eat less and exercise more. So why are we constantly in the same place year after year with more weight than we want to?
The problem is, there are many unconscious problems that often sabotage our best plans. This article will help you understand what may be holding you back from making the desired progress.
One of the first things to look at is your strength profile. This is a self-assessment that determines which of a person’s five basic needs determines most of that person’s behavior. We all have the same five basic needs, but freedom may be my greatest need, while love and connection may be yours and survival may be someone else’s. The other two needs are strength and pleasure. These all play a big part in why we do the things we do the way we do them.
Next, it’s important to think seriously about all the things you want in your life, not just your weight loss goals, but everything you want to do, have, and experience in your life. Ask yourself, “What do I want? If I could have something, what would it be? What do I really, really want?”
After that, you want to narrow your wishes down to a full picture of how things will change for you after you lose the weight you want to lose. What do you have that you don’t have now? What are you going to do differently? How are you going to be different? You should be able to clearly see the completed version of what you are trying to achieve with all the benefits associated with it. This will become your own personal mental movie or daydream about what you want your life to be like after you reach your weight loss goals. You start to visualize your success at least once a day.
The next step is to record all the things you do that will both help and hinder your progress toward your weight loss plan. So, for example, if you’ve been able to resist donuts for breakfast, write that down. If you ordered dessert after a meal at a restaurant, make a note of that too. In addition to the actual behavior, you should also write down the thoughts and feelings you experience that help or hinder your progress.
So, if you think to yourself, “It’s okay if I have this piece of chocolate. I was really good yesterday” – write that down. Then if you think, “Nothing tastes as good as it feels thin” – write it down If you are bored and you reach for a bag of chips, capture the unpleasant feeling. If you feel elated about skipping a favorite dessert, write that down as well. Keep track of everything you do, think and feel helps or hinders your progress toward your weight loss goals.
The next step is to critically evaluate the things you do, think and feel and ask yourself the hard question, “If I keep doing everything the way I’ve done it, will I end up with what I REALLY want? achieve the vision I have of my new life that I have created in my mental film? “
If your answer is yes then that’s great! You probably don’t even need to read this article further. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll get there. However, if your answer is no, then read on.
If your answer is no, then hopefully you have managed to create some cognitive dissonance for yourself.
This is an uncomfortable feeling that gives you information you need to make some changes. Without experiencing this cognitive dissonance, it’s easy to get on with the bad habits we’ve developed over time. People generally don’t make changes in their lives unless they are in severe pain.
If you are not progressing toward your goal, the first thing to examine is: do you have a burning desire to achieve your goal? Whatever your weight and fitness goal, you must have a burning desire to achieve it.
Another possibility is that you haven’t had a good weight loss plan until now. Without a solid plan, there will easily be loopholes that can sabotage your success. Only will power takes us as far as we fight against the conditioning of our brain.
A third possibility is that you want something else that competes with your weight loss plan. There are many options to consider, but you will find some clues, hidden or obvious, in the list of your behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that you have previously developed. Instead of the things that ensure your success with your weight loss plan, what are you doing, thinking, and feeling? An excellent question to ask yourself is, “What would you have to give up to be successful with your weight loss goals?”
Once you become aware of the other things you want in addition to losing weight, you will need to make some decisions. Is the thing you want something you want more than lose weight? If so, you can decide to give up the idea of losing weight and just be satisfied with doing, having, or getting the other thing you want. You then have a new goal to work towards.
Another option is to make a conscious decision that you want to lose weight more than anything else. When that happens, you need to focus specifically on your personal areas of seduction in your neural reconditioning program, which I will explain later.
Finally, the latter option involves coming up with some sort of compromise so you can have some of the things you want. For example, I just read in a movie star magazine that limits 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.
The last question to ask yourself is, “Am I willing to do the necessary work to realize my plan?”
Develop your plan
There are several things to consider when making a plan. You need to consider your most important needs and make sure you’re building to meet those needs while still losing weight.
If your greatest need is love and connection, then you may want a partner to work with you. If survival is your greatest need, you need to build in a way to feel safe.
If strength is your greatest need, then you may want to think about turning your weight loss into a competition in some way. If your greatest need is for freedom, you should start thinking about things, people, activities, or places that can help you feel free and that won’t hinder your weight loss progress and add them to your weight loss plan. If your greatest need is pleasure, you need to find a way to make your weight loss fun for you.
The next step is to develop positive affirmations that support your weight loss goals. You need to start reprogramming the negative thoughts that are getting in the way of achieving your goals. Many times these thoughts are even beyond your consciousness, but they still hinder your success.
Affirmations are positive, timely, time-sensitive statements that affirm what you want to be true. Research shows that our brains do not know the difference between the truth and a lie. When you affirm a particular thought, value, or belief in your mind enough times over a long enough period of time, your brain will begin to believe it. Consequently, the brain will mobilize its powerful forces to do whatever it takes to manifest what you claim to be true in your life.
Write down as many affirmations as you want to support your goals. You can have affirmations about food, exercise, thoughts, and anything else that will help you achieve your goals. There is no limit to the length of your affirmation list. You decide how much time you want to spend with them each day, with five minutes twice a day being the minimum. You should say your affirmations once when you first wake up and then at the end of the day just before going to sleep.
It is helpful to look yourself in the eye as you express your affirmation. You can of course do this with the help of a mirror. Look yourself in the eye, as if you were challenging the person in the mirror to dispute the truth of what you are saying. Repeat your affirmations twice a day with passion and conviction. If you can try them on for the third time around lunch, even better.
Next, you’ll want to spend some time analyzing your food triggers – those things that lead you to eat and eat the wrong foods when you’re not hungry.
Many people have substituted food to meet their needs in an unhealthy way. We eat when we’re depressed, excited, stressed, bored, angry, or scared. Different people use emotions as triggers to eat for different reasons. And it’s not like diving into the fridge to get an apple or some carrots out of it! No! We reach for the chocolate or the chips.
And no, these are not in the 5th food group!
Emotions are only one thing that we use for a food trigger. Sometimes we eat to be social. Sometimes we eat because the food is free. Sometimes we eat because we are experiencing a particular craving. Sometimes we eat for comfort. Sometimes we eat because the clock tells us it’s time to do so.
Other times, we will eat when we are not hungry because we paid for the meal. We were told we must clean our plate and not waste food. We tell ourselves we don’t like leftovers so we better eat it up or maybe there isn’t enough to save and we don’t want to throw good food away.
In order to be successful with your new weight loss agenda, you must begin to think of food differently. No longer is food your best friend or the thing you reach for to comfort you. Food is simply fuel for your body. The only time to eat is when your body signals you that it is hungry and then you must be conscious of the food for which you reach.
Get conscious about the things you are doing as they pertain to weight loss. Paying attention and noting the events and circumstances that trigger your eating will provide you with a lot of information about what to do to fix things.
After analyzing your food triggers, it is appropriate to again ask the question, “What would you have to give up to accomplish the weight loss goals you’ve set?” You may have uncovered new information to consider.
If you’ve come this far, it’s time to construct your plan. First of all, this plan must be written. You are going to write yourself a contract! The first two items are your plan will include daily visualization of your new life and the recitation of your affirmations.
Include ways to get your primary needs met that won’t sabotage your weight loss efforts. Include elements of past successes that will add to your likelihood of success. Include efforts to do something different when you experience your strong food triggers. Be proactive about what you will do instead. Don’t simply write, “I will not eat when I am depressed.” Write what you will do instead.
When you are satisfied with the potential success of your plan, sign and date it. Then follow the plan you’ve made with dogged determination.