- We don’t want it for ourselves. The number one reason I see people struggle is because they try to make changes for someone other than themselves. This is a huge mistake. If you decide to lose weight to please your husband, boyfriend, wife, girlfriend, parent or sibling, you will not be successful long-term. The reality is that you will become resentful and defiant. You will start sneaking food and eating it to spite them if you believe that your self-worth is tied to your weight in their eyes.
- We’re afraid what is on the other side. I often hear clients say that their lives will be better once they lose weight. While in some aspects this is true, it creates its own set of issues as well. Yes, you will feel better physically. You won’t feel as winded when you walk and it will be easier to play with your kids, but there is also the unknown and that can be scary. What if you lose all of the weight and you still aren’t happy?
- We talk ourselves out of success before we even start. Most people who start the process of trying lose weight don’t believe they are capable of succeeding because they have been stuck in the weight loss/weight gain cycle for years. Many perceived failures do not boost confidence around being able to do it this time. If you don’t believe that you can do it, I guarantee you won’t. Think about other goals you have had in life. How many times have you accomplished something you felt like you had no chance accomplishing? Probably never. This is because we don’t put much effort into goals that we don’t think we can complete. Why would you spend all of that time and energy on something that you thought would be destined to fail? You wouldn’t.
- We don’t feel like we are worth it. Many people don’t feel like they deserve the life they want. They also don’t believe that they deserve the time that it would take to get there. So many women, in particular, put everyone before themselves. By the time they have attended to the needs of their friends and family, there is nothing left for them. If you want something, you have to believe you are worth it or you will never dedicate the energy needed to achieve it.
- We think short term. When it comes to things, we as Americans get frustrated with lack of immediate results. This is true of nearly everything, but particularly true of weight loss. I want to start a diet today that will give me 10 pounds of weight loss yesterday. This cannot be a short term journey. If you are looking for a quick fix, you are going to spend a lot of money getting frustrated. Keep your focus on the long-term goals. Yes, it will get hard and yes, you will probably want to give up, but think about it this way…..where would you be right now if you had stayed with any number of changes that you started trying to make a year or two? Where do you want to be a year from now? If you don’t want to stay stuck in this pattern year after year, start now.
Michelle Lewis is a weight loss counselor in Utah who helps people develop a positive relationship with food and overcome binge eating disorders.