Weight Loss Transformation: What’s Stopping You?
Committing to a weight loss transformation can be really exciting and also really scary at the same time. You want to lose the weight, but then “the chatter” begins…”What if I fail?” “I don’t want to starve to death” “I don’t want to waste my money”…the list goes on. We hear it all the time, in fact, it’s a question we ask everyone that inquires about our coaching services. Why? Because we need to understand where you’re coming from, what experiences you’ve had in the past, we need to address those fears because if we don’t, then they will manifest and be extremely disruptive to your success. Here are our top common fears about committing to a weight loss transformation reported to us by our clients, and tips on how to overcome them.
You are all excited, over-the-top 100% committed, and then *poof*…it magically disappears. It feels like pulling teeth to help you get back on the wagon again when you feel defeated, perhaps disappointed, and your goal of losing 10 more pounds doesn’t seem as important or urgent anymore.
- Have a clearer vision of your goal. What is the goal behind the goal? It must go deeper than weight loss. Is it keeping up with your kids? Not die of early age of diabetes like a family member? To have more self confidence?
- Acknowledge that motivation usually doesn’t come FIRST. It comes AFTER taking action. Usually people wait to feel all “rah rah rah” before taking any steps in action. If you want to feel any kind of motivation or moment, you MUST take a step. Action = progress=momentum. More than likely, you are NOT going to feel 100% all in on that first step, that’s why change is hard! The doubt, the fears are all laying in a pool of “don’t do it”. A skill that you naturally learn (when supported properly) is how to continue to stay engaged when that momentum you feel quiets a little. It’s an important muscle to grow if you’re truly looking for long-term success!
- Acknowledge positive effects of healthy eating in your life, how does it make you feel? How does this align with your goal(s) behind the goal? Looking at food in this perspective helps you build a respectable, healthy relationship with food.
- Own your own imperfections. It’s ok to make mistakes, THEY ARE GOING TO HAPPEN. These are the moments that you learn the most, be thankful for them! Don’t be embarrassed and stop caring what other people will think of you. Accept that you are not on a DIET but rather a process, or perhaps a new “awakening” about food and health as I call it.
You are perfect all week, but then, you deviate from your normal eating routine on the weekend and have something you “shouldn’t”. You feel guilty, and instead of not beating yourself up, you let this influence your decision making processes about what you eat for the rest of the day and continue to have a pity party for yourself.
- Recognize that there must be a balance between eating for nourishment and eating for pleasure, regardless that you are trying to lose weight. Eating for pleasure is a NEED of all humans, a need for moderation/variety, but we tend to not listen to this instinct and we slap a label of “cheating” when we want to listen to it.
- Trust your instincts. If you mindfully want a small piece of chocolate every day right now while keeping everything else healthy and nutrient dense, what is the problem with that? If that’s what YOU feel you need to help you not feel overly restricted from food, do it! DEPRIVATION IS THE NUMBER ONE TRIGGER TO OVEREATING. You just don’t simply need to mindlessly over-consume your favorite foods simply because you’ve given yourself loving permission to have it.
- If you find yourself mindlessly eating at times, next time you have the urge to eat, ask yourself, “Am I Hungry?” This will help draw awareness to 1) body wisdom 2) triggers. Asking this pause and reflect question can help serve as a solution to some of those autopilot eating moments and also help you feel more in charge of your eating. Aim to feel better AFTER the meal (no matter what you choose to eat) than before you started.
- We’re always talking about balance and intuitive eating with our clients, it’s the only way to achieve long-term results and truly achieve your weight loss transformation! I recommend you also read our supportive blog article Reasons to Not Use the Word Cheat Meal
This isn’t your first rodeo trying to lose weight, why should this time be any different? “Weight loss transformation” sounds like a pretty big task and you remember that terrible feeling of falling short of your goal from prior attempts.
- The first thing you need to do is recognize from the past what doesn’t work for you: DIETING. You need to approach weight loss not as a diet, but as a process. I’m sure there were things you DID like about past attempts when it came to the kinds of foods you incorporated. Great! You just don’t have to be 100% one way or no way. Find a flexible middle ground with your approach, you’re in charge now. There’s no pass or fail days or weeks. You just take things one moment, one decision at a time. Here is a helpful article, Why Diets Don’t Work.
- Get assistance in improving your relationship with food as a whole. This will help remove the diet mentality and fear of failing. Here is a helpful article on Dynamic Eating Psychology that exposes what we eat is only half the story of good nutrition.
- Don’t judge yourself! We’re our own worst critics. The goal is not to strive for perfection, rather gradual progression with your eating and overall self care practices.
- Be cautious making “weight loss” one big event rolled up into one. You don’t just achieve your weight loss transformation by simply “getting there”, it’s composed of many little victories along the way, AND a lot of experiences to learn and practice from. Acknowledge the little victories and break down your big goals into more daily or weekly achievable action steps, such as having 1 fruit per day, or increase your water by 8oz a day.
- Are you going to let the past define you? Just don’t keep hitting the diet repeat button. Shift your mindset per these recommendations and approach it in a fresh, less aggressive way.
You Like Food
Perhaps you’re a “Foodie”. The thought of weight loss means that you have to give up your favorite foods, and you’re just not sure if you’re will to make this ultimate sacrifice.
- It’s ok to like food, I like food too! Enjoy it, pay attention to how it makes you feel, and the quantity of it and how it makes you feel.
- Eat when you’re hungry, try to stop when you’re content for most meals.
- Take off the restrictions. When you take restrictions off you will be so surprised at what your choices end up being (in a good way!). Using a (probably horrible) example: it’s like the you really like a guy and he’s married and you can’t have him so you want him more and obsess about him, then he gets divorced and becomes available and now you’re like ‘yeah you know you’re really not the best fit for me’. It’s the same with food, take the restrictions off and you’ll start to pay attention to what role it really plays for you.
What if I don’t have my calories right? What if I’m not suppose to have all these carbs? How do I know if I make the right choices for me?
- The best diet for you is one that works for you on all levels. The only way to truly know if it does work for you, is to allow yourself to listen to your body wisdom and trust yourself. I know, sounds weird, but it’s true! Do you feel deprived? How’s your energy levels? Are you gaining weight or losing weight (over time, not overnight!)? What about your digestion? Bloating? Over time we lose the ability to trust our own instincts, it’s time to start listening in more. Many times our clients DO KNOW what they feel is “right” for them, but they don’t give themselves permission to trust these instincts. It’s ok to log your food if that’s helpful for you, but don’t create a crutch with it and don’t negate tuning into your body.
- And wrong according to who? Stop worrying about everyone else for once, and just focus on yourself. You’ll figure it out, just be patient. And if you need guidance, we are here for you!
The Over-Investment of Energy
Many of our clients have invested a high amount of energy and effort into losing weight, and they feel this is the only way it ever works for them. The thought of suffering and “sucking it up” for the sake of losing more weight is not appealing and is a huge obstacle for many.
- Use the above to remind yourself that you need to stay flexible. NO ONE can sustain a restrictive diet. Find that middle ground with your approach to your weight loss transformation. Letting go of the perfectionism and not putting yourself on a pressured timeline to lose the weight by will help tremendously!
- Remember that restrictive eating is literally the number one trigger to overeating and bingeing. So if you backed off the restrictiveness just a bit, you’ll avoid such opposite emotional swings and therefor have more consistency with your eating. Consistency will create results (not perfection!)
Fear of the Unknown
The fear of the unknown can sometimes be very difficult to describe because this fear is nothing more than a mental obstacle. More than often, it curbs an individual’s ability to perform to the fullest in various walks of life, including one’s weight loss transformation.
- Remind yourself of the true risk. Will not losing weight shorten your lifespan? Take away your ability to teach your kids how to be healthy? Increase your risk for diabetes? Lose the opportunity to improve your quality of life?
- Visualize success! In your mind envision how you are going to fight your fear step by step. Imagine different ways to combat your fear at least once in a day. Habitual practice of this activity will make you feel better. In this manner, you will already win the battle in your mind, before you set off to take real action.
- Focus on the good that could be, not on the bad that might be. Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing a life greater than you have ever known.
I hope the above helps address some of yours. A soft starting place that will help you take change slow and easy is our Diet Freedom™ Membership. It’s super fun, informative, no strings attached, and you get to experience amazing content, a supportive community, and get help and support from some of the best experts in the field of mindful eating and eating psychology!
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