Why can’t I lose weight? What’s Stopping You?
Why can’t I lose weight? Is the first thing my new clients ask me. We all know what we have to do to lose weight. Or do we? The fad diets and conflicting nutritional information can confuse some of us. Very simply, to lose weight, we have to eat healthily and exercise.
But actually doing this, we all know, is easier said than done. There’s so much that stops us and gets in our way, especially our mind. There are countless reasons why we eat junk, overeat, and don’t exercise. I bet we’ve all said to ourselves:
I’ll just treat myself to that chocolate bar today because I’ve had a tough day.
I’ll skip the gym tonight because I’m too tired and I’ll do an extra hard work out tomorrow.
I may as well just eat all the junk food in my house and then start my diet again when it’s all gone. Out of sight, out of mind!
I know I’ve certainly said each of these to myself over the years. After all, we’re only human.
But, these thoughts we tell ourselves allow us to justify our eating behaviours, and ultimately sabotage our body goals. If we act on these justifying thoughts, it becomes our behaviour. And the more we act on these justifying thoughts, the more we behave in that sabotaging way. This leads to our eating behaviour spiralling out of control, which puts us in a mindset that doesn’t allow us to lose or manage our weight. It’s a vicious circle.
When we aren’t in the right mindset to control our eating behaviours, we often feel guilty, depressed, and struggle with a sense of shame that we’re not able to control our weight.
Does this sound familiar?
You were on a diet, but then got invited out for dinner. You told yourself you’d just order a salad, but when you sat down to order, temptation got the better of you and you ordered the burger and fries. “I haven’t been out for dinner in a while, just this once won’t hurt,” you thought. You finish your meal and think you’re done, but all your friends are ordering dessert. “Oh God, I can’t be the only one not ordering something, just get something, you’ve stuffed up your diet now anyway, have dessert and start fresh tomorrow.” And on and on it goes. It just becomes a nasty, weight-battling cycle. You feel guilty for not sticking to your diet, you feel ashamed that you lack self-control, and you get depressed because you can’t lose weight and you’re not happy with how you look.
The funny thing is: we actually want to eat healthily and exercise. Yes, really! We know the benefits and amazing feelings we get when we do these things. So, why does our mind stop us from acting out these behaviours?! Why do we process and act on these sabotaging thoughts that YOU don’t really even want? Do YOU really want to sleep in instead of going to the gym?! Do YOU really want that chocolate over that piece of fruit? What YOU want can sometimes be something completely different from what your MIND wants. That’s why these thoughts are sabotaging, because we act on what the MIND wants instead of what YOU want.
The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.
Why can’t our mind, and what we really want, send us the same messages? Why does the message from the MIND interfere with what we really want to achieve? Sometimes we feel like we can’t control what the MIND tells us to do – we simply act on the MIND’S message like it’s instinct. In this scenario, the MIND has become the master.
But, we’re not powerless. We can reverse it. We can start controlling the thoughts which come from the MIND and which thoughts we act on (whether from the MIND or from YOU).
Self-control is not something some people have and others don’t. Self-control is a way of thinking.
This is key to losing weight, and a major area of focus for Mind for Body. For now, I want you to keep this quote in mind:
Self-control is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.
In the meantime, you can start by identifying what’s stopping you from achieving your ideal body, and being aware of your thoughts and behaviours.
I’m going to keep blogging about common situations where we self-sabotage ourselves, for example:
Why can’t I lose weight?
- Boredom: You eat because you’re bored, not hungry.
- Emotions: When you’re angry, stressed, or sad, food (usually chocolate!) makes you feel better.
- Lifestyle: You work crazy hours (including functions and client dinners) and your personal life is chaotic, so you just don’t have time to eat healthily and exercise.
- Confusion: Even though we say we know what we should and shouldn’t be eating, the nutrition industry is full of misleading, conflicting, and confusing information.
- Lack of self-esteem: You don’t want to exercise or go to the gym because you’re embarrassed about being seen.
- Lack of self-control: If there’s chocolate in front of you, you’re eating it. If there’s wine, you’re guzzling it. If you’re offered a slice of pizza, you’re taking it. After all, it’d be rude not to.
Please leave a comment below or email me and let me know what self-sabotaging thoughts and eating behaviours you’re struggling to control. What’s stopping you from achieving your ideal body?
And watch this – “If you want some thing out of life, if you want to change yourself, if there’s some goal you want to reach, changing your behaviours, overcoming negative habits – it’s challenging, it’s hard. But when you step into your fears and continue to push yourself to go on, something happens for you.”