Excess weight is created by over-reliance on food – we often use food as caretaker, parent, therapist, mood-elevator, motivator, punisher, etc. Losing weight permanently requires changing our negative behaviors with food as well as our relationship with food.
Since 2001, I’ve worked with thousands of amazing folks to help them achieve permanent weight loss, and I’ve noticed many similarities in the challenges they confronted in order to make change. It’s no surprise, these challenges parallel the changes I made as I lost over 90 pounds permanently.
I believe revealing these challenges will make your weight loss easier and more direct. It’s a virtual blueprint to permanent weight loss!
This is Part 1 of a 5-Part Series – So, check back for subsequent posts! Or subscribe! You can now sign up at the right of this post to receive new posts via email notification too!
- Stop dieting – Dieting is a false imposition of a food plan; it’s deprivation on every level. It is long proven that 99% of dieters regain and, when they regain, they regain 107% of the weight that was lost. Clearly, there are better ways to get the change you want.
- Stop comparing – Comparison is unloving and unproductive. Your current situation and weight are the product of complicated circumstances. It’s impossible to fully understand another person’s challenges, strengths, heredity, health or the way they handle their inner life. It doesn’t make sense to compare.
- Stop assuming – You don’t know that you’ll always battle weight, or that you’ll “fix it” next year. None of us knows what will happen in our lives next, or what will happen for another person.
- Stop pretending weight doesn’t matter – When I talk to middle school girls about body image, I notice they are already pretending it doesn’t matter if they are thin. As young as 10 years old, girls know if another person, or society, disapproves of their size or shape. Pretending it doesn’t matter, rather than confronting it and processing it, just shoves the feelings about the body deep inside and the most efficient way to keep feelings stuffed down is excess food intake, and that begins the vicious circle of excess weight. Weight is not the most important thing about any of us, but pretending it doesn’t matter is denial. It is a major contributing factor of every chronic disease.
- Stop lying – We all lie about our weight and food issues. We lie about what it means to be overweight, about how we really feel about ourselves, and we lie that a diet will fix everything soon. We lie about the calories in that desert we omitted from our food diary. Getting ruthlessly honest about EVERYTHING is the first step to weight loss that sticks around.
- Stop living a sedentary life – Modern life is way to slow, staid and stationary. Computers, transportation, convenience and electronic amusement have seriously curtailed most activity in our lives. Previous generations had no high fat/salt/preservative fast food but moved much more every day in order to care for themselves, get to work, etc. Find something fun to do and do it every day.
- Stop putting yourself after anything or anyone – You come first. No one else gets your gifts, your love, or the benefit of your knowledge and compassion – if you are dead. That is all.
- Stop holding onto the past – It’s done. It can’t be changed. Let go, even if you have to work really hard to do so, and move on.
- Stop predicting the future – “When I lose weight, I always regain it.” “Every time I lose weight, something happens in my life that causes me to fall off the wagon.” I hear these excuses often. But, your job is to let the future be determined by your success today. Today is all we have.
- Stop avoiding risk – In the words of Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Most worthwhile things are a risk and 99% of our fears never happen. It’ll be OK.
These are changes we can all make, no matter what the scale says, and no matter what you want it to say in the future. Changes like these will hook you into life in an immediate, authentic, honest way – and have an impact on every choice.
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