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"Why do I not want to lose weight?"
I know that might seem like an odd question, but it's one I've heard a lot lately.
I've never met anyone who doesn't want to be healthier, happier, and more energetic. And I've never met anyone who doesn't want to feel like they've got better control over their life.
As much as we all want these things—and as much as we all deserve them—there is a reason why you don't want to lose weight. And believe it or not, it has nothing to do with willpower or motivation.
So today, I'm going to help you understand the real reason that you don't want to lose weight and give you a simple 3-step framework to beat it.
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I've been a weight loss and accountability coach for more than 15 years now, and I've heard just about every reason why someone wouldn't want to lose weight. But there are some common ones that I think we can all relate to.
Here they are:
Because it's hard.
Because they don't have the time.
Because they know it won't last.
Because they can't stand healthy food.
Because they hate exercising.
Because they're worried that they'll never be able to eat their favorite foods again.
Because they don't know how to cope without food.
Because now is not a good time.
Because they'll have to buy a whole new wardrobe (and who can afford that?).
Because they'll get unwanted attention.
Because they'll feel judged.
Do any of those sound familiar? I know they do to me because there are a few that I've used as reasons to not do something.
But if you look deeper, you'll find that those reasons (as valid as they are) are just signs of a bigger problem. So, what exactly is going on here?
The answer? Self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage is when your body, mind, and emotions seem to conspire against you to keep you from getting what you want.
Said another way:
The definition of self-sabotage is when we fear the very thing we want to accomplish.
But why would we set ourselves up for failure? And why would we fear the very thing we say we want?
If you'd like to listen to Haley and I talk about why you don't want to lose weight, just click play below.
The fear of success is when—deep down—you can't imagine what your life will be like when you're at your goal. Or worse, you can imagine it and decide your life will be miserable.
Here, I'll give you an example:
Of all the reasons why people say they don't want to lose weight, the most common is that they're afraid they won't be able to eat their favorite foods ever again.
Can you imagine your life without pizza or chocolate or French fries or any of the other small indulgences you really enjoy?
No? Me either! It doesn't sound like much fun, does it?
Listen, if you're trying to lose weight, you can't just swear off ice cream and think you'll be happy all the time and bypass all the cravings and temptation. That's not how it works.
You might make it a few days, but then you'll start to feel deprived, and when your cravings get too strong, you'll wonder if this whole "dieting" thing is what you really want to do.
And that's only the start! The longer you try to stay away from "banned" foods, the more likely you are to crave and obsess over them.
Most people can't go their whole lives without their favorite foods. I can't (well, unless someone offered me millions, then I wouldn't mind that at all!).
Here's the thing:
When most people think of losing weight, they believe it has to be all or nothing. It's either ice cream every night, or it's nothing. It's either pizza for every dinner, or it's chicken and broccoli. But losing weight isn't an all-or-nothing game.
All-or-nothing thinking is when you see things as either good or bad, black or white. There's no room in the middle, and there are no shades of gray. And the problem with this way of thinking is that it's just not realistic. The goal is to be fit and happy, not fit and miserable.
When you go the all-or-nothing route, you always end up with nothing.
So how do you get out of the "all-or-nothing" trap, and how do you beat self-sabotage?
We use a framework in our one-on-one coaching program to help our clients break through the self-sabotaging behaviors that keep them from losing weight.
The framework is simple, but it's not easy. It requires a commitment to being honest with yourself about your thoughts and feelings, which can be challenging at first.
But once you get used to it—which doesn't take long—the benefits are huge.
Assumptions are like mental shortcuts that help us make sense of things in our daily lives. Sometimes these shortcuts help, but sometimes they become the roadblocks you just can't get past.
So, to beat self-sabotage, first identify your assumptions.
The thing about assumptions is that they can be really hard to see. You're so used to them that you might not even notice them until someone else points them out to you.
As an example, we'll use the following assumption:
"I'm worried I'll never be able to eat my favorite foods again."
The second step is to challenge your assumptions and start looking at things from a different angle.
For example, is it true that if you want to lose weight, you can never eat the foods you like again?
Let's look at this assumption from two different points of view:
First, imagine that your doctor told you that to lose weight, you could never eat ice cream again. How would you react? Would you agree with them, or would you get a second opinion? For me, I'd find another doctor.
Second, if your child asked you how to get fit, would you tell them that they could never eat chocolate again? You probably wouldn't say that because you know that chocolate can be a healthy part of a diet, right?
You see, when you ask questions like these, you start to see all the holes in your assumptions and realize that you might be following a rule that isn't true at all.
When you challenge your assumptions, you open up a new world of possibilities. And with the right perspective, you'll be able to see how your life will actually improve.
When you think about it, there's no reason why ice cream or chocolate or anything should be off-limits. If you plan for a treat and let the anticipation build, you'll have something to look forward to. Not only that, but you'll savor every bite and appreciate the food for what it is: a tasty way to make life more enjoyable.
So, for the last step, write down at least five ways that letting go of the assumptions you're holding on to will make your life better.
Self-sabotage is one of the things that makes weight loss so challenging. We all tend to get in the way of our own success in one way or another, but it doesn't have to be something that derails your progress. You can beat self-sabotage when you take a step back, look at the assumptions you're making, challenge them, and learn to see things from a different point of view.
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