Making plans to lose weight is the easy part. Applying those plans consistently is what really matters.
The primary obstacles to consistently applying your plan to lose weight aren’t about knowing what to do. They’re emotional.
Read on to discover three obstacles you should consider as you implement your weight loss plan.
Weight Loss Obstacle #1: Lack of Emotional Preparedness
Many overweight are simply not prepared for the emotional consequences of losing weight. In fact, most people never even consider this all important factor.
If you lose all the weight you need to lose to be physically healthy, what will your emotional life be like? It’s easy to think, “Of course, I’ll be ecstatic!”
Think again. It might not be that simple.
One interesting study sought to determine if losing weight actually made people healthier and happier. Participants who lost weight were indeed physically healthier according to lab results.
But were they happier?
No. Not at all. Actually, people who lost more than 5% of their body weight over time were more likely to report depression!
I am emphasizing this to prove on all-important point. Losing weight will NOT automatically make you happier, according to research.
Fascinatingly, while losing weight will not necessarily make you happy, being happy will help you lose weight! Research shows that a positive body image – being happy with who you are now is what leads to successful weight loss.
This means your level of compassion and tolerance for yourself right now is critical to your success. This is the necessary emotional preparation – developing tolerance for yourself.
But if I were thin, then I would not criticize myself….
No necessarily. Self-criticism is a universal phenomenon among all types of people. If you are prone to self-criticism, you will always find a reason to do it unless you learn how to stop from the inside out.
One participant in the AHA Weight Loss Coaching group put it this way:
So, I’m questioning myself EVERY time I eat, even when it’s totally appropriate (eggs at breakfast). It is becoming abundantly clear that my MO is to find any and every way to trash talk myself and I think this is part of that…
In this particular group, participants learn how self-sabotage works. And we slowly discover that this nasty little phenomenon is the #1 obstacle to losing weight. Most of us already know the mechanics losing weight. The problem isn’t knowing what to do. It’s that we chronically get in our own way.
Releasing the self-criticism, self-doubt, helplessness, futility, shame and other negative emotions clears the way to apply the what you know consistently. This is where the magic really happens. AND, while making better choices, we are also becoming happier people along the way.
End the self-criticism first, then losing weight will be 100% easier. Think about it. Doesn’t it make sense?
Weight Loss Obstacle #2: Sabotage from Friends and Family
Have you ever considered that you may have family or friends that do not want you to lose weight? Most of the time they don’t come right out and say it, but the expectation lingers, floating around as an “unconscious contract.”
This contract manifests when you start to lose weight. Slowly but surely, the people who are more comfortable with the overweight version of you begin to treat you differently.
It’s as if they are sending one of the following messages:
• People in this family are heavy. If you become slender, you won’t be one of us.
• Don’t betray me by becoming thin.
• If you look good, you won’t be humble. People who look good are so full of themselves.
• What are you, some sort of health nut?
• If you start looking good, I’m going to lose you.
People who begin to succeed at weight loss are routinely offered all kinds of junk food goodies from “well intended” family and friends who seem to uncomfortable with the success.
Often, the best thing to do in this case raise the issue. Without a doubt, if you succeed and become your ideal weight, you’ll need new ways to relate with people who have become accustomed to the heavier you.
Any lifestyle change requires adjustments to relationships. Best to take this one on consciously and get the support you need from people who understand what you are going through.
Weight Loss Obstacle #3: Powerful “Screw It!” Moments
This one is the lurking vulnerability for so many of us. We get going on a weight loss plan. Things are going ok and then whamo! We get hit with an “ah screw it” moment.
During the screw it shenanigan, we simply stop caring. What was once our most enthusiastic and committed goal suddenly becomes the stupidest idea in the world.
During these moments, we say to ourselves things like:
Who cares? I’m not going to succeed anyway.
What does it matter? Nobody is ever going to like me.
What the hell – I don’t even want to lose weight anymore.
You know what? Life’s difficult enough. I don’t need to deprive myself of these donuts.
So and so is such a pain to deal with. Why should I expect myself to be perfect when I’m surrounded by jerks?
Screw this! I can eat what I want!
It’s as if a part of you rebels against any expectations, even your own. Isn’t that something? And it’s a very, very common experience among people who set goals to better themselves.
Ultimately, to be successful, you must take the rebellion head on by owning it. Yes, I rebel against expectations – even my own – and this rebellion sabotages my goals.
Behind the rebellion may be a sense of rejection, oppression or even deep pain for having been controlled, deprived or rejected early in life. Many of us upon enduring such treatment vowed to never let anyone have power over us again.
The problem is, we end up rebelling against our own conscious will. Recognizing this is the first step toward letting this emotional rebellion go.
The bottom line: You need to be interacting with people who are successfully dealing with these issues in order to learn how to deal with them yourself and receive support.