Is Fear holding you back from weight loss success? Why would anyone fear losing weight? We all want to be healthy and fit. We all want to look and feel amazing. It makes no sense…until it makes complete sense.
This is a juicy post. If you have trouble sticking with a diet and exercise plan, I’m confident this will give you some “aha!” moments. Being that it’s juicy, I ask that you read it when you have some uninterrupted free time. Let’s get to it.
Without fail (no pun intended), whenever I meet someone and share with them my own struggles with weight loss – they also chime in and say that they fear that they will fail!
We all know people like this…
One month they’re eating ONLY xyz. “Nope, I can’t eat any of that. It’s not a part of my plan!” The next month, they’re eating only what they were just avoiding the month before. The next month, they’re only eating grapefruits.
“This is working so well! I lost 2 pounds in the first 2 days! Can you believe this?!?!”
The next month, “The best part about this is that I can eat as much fat as I want AND lose weight?!” as they’re chomping down on a triple bacon cheeseburger.
The next month, “Ya know, I’ve decided I’m going to become a vegetarian. I’m never going to eat meat again!”
The next month…
You get the point.
We all know these people…
…they go from one shiny new fad diet to the next without ever sticking with ANYTHING.
Because 90% of our success (or lack of it) comes down to our psychology. It comes down to our mindset.
No diet that is solely based on the food we eat (which is pretty much every diet out there) will ever solve why we gained weight in the first place.
Food won’t fix our emotional, stress and habitual eating. It won’t fix our compulsive and binge eating.
Food won’t get to the root cause. It won’t address the psychological and mental barriers we might face.
Food certainly won’t change our behaviors and habits. And it won’t change the way we think and react to food.
The best tactics, strategies and frameworks won’t matter if a part of us fears weight loss success. In other words, the best diet and exercise plan won’t matter, if a part of us is scared to succeed. Being overweight and out of shape IS the solution.
“But Adam, that makes no sense. Of courseeee people want to lose weight and be successful!”
Not so fast.
Let’s say in this case, success means using food only as fuel. <—- Good!
Instead of using it as a way to soothe, reward ourselves and suppress feelings. <—- Not what we’re after.
Well, there’s a few reasons why we wouldn’t want to be successful then.
If we’re successful that means:
1. We don’t have food as a way to temporarily escape or quiet our mind at work or home.
2. We might get attention from strangers and loved ones.
3. We’ll have to deal with our feelings such as self-doubt (because we’re actually dealing with our problems/challenges/etc., as opposed to covering them up with food).
4. We’ll have to start acting like the person we want to be instead of wishing and hoping we become that person. What do I mean? We’ll have to live up to what we’re capable of. Because we won’t have the “One day I will…” dream deluding us any longer – while we’re eating ice cream on the couch.
5. We’ll have to find other ways to make ourselves happy besides using food.
These are very real psychological roadblocks.
Here are some from recent conversations I had with clients:
“I get way too much attention when I’m really fit. I’m scared I’m going to cheat on my husband.”
“My mom and I are the same size. She buys a ton of extra clothes. I don’t want to give that up. It’s like a bonding thing for us.”
“I’m scared of dating. I know if I lose the weight, I’ll have no excuse.”
“My husband is scared that if I lose the weight I’m going to leave him. He likes things the way they are.”
“You know, a part of me knows I’m not realizing my full potential. That unrealized potential feels daunting. And it’s so painful. So a part of me would rather be overweight and deal with that, than my unrealized potential.”
Hmmm. It’s pretty clear why many of us don’t succeed, right?
There are endless reasons. I’ve heard them all.
Until we identify and deal with our mental roadblocks, we’ll never succeed. How can we succeed when a part of us doesn’t want to? When a part of is scared to accomplish the very thing we set out to do?
Of course a big part of us does want to succeed. But a part of us doesn’t. That causes inner conflict. And when there’s inner conflict we do the easiest thing of all: take the path of least resistance. What does that look like? As soon as it starts to get uncomfortable, and we feel some emotions, we quit. Then we eventually get sick of ourselves and start another diet and continue the vicious cycle.
We’ll go from one diet to another thinking we’re “lazy” and “unmotivated” and lack “willpower”.
This is when the salesman chimes in, “It’s not your fault!” Uchhh.
But you know what? In this case, it’s not.
Did you know 10% of all bestselling books are diet books? If the books worked, there would be no reason to write them anymore.
Sometimes, it’s not so obvious what our mental roadblocks are and it takes a little digging. Sometimes it is. But, knowing what they are makes all the difference.