If losing weight were easy the only people who would be overweight would be the people who had absolutely no interest in weighing less. I can’t say with all certainty, but I feel safe to surmise, that many people who don’t have interest in losing weight, would be interested if it weren’t such an overwhelming struggle.
What makes losing weight such a struggle? It’s a combination of living in a world with easy access to too much delicious food, too many labor-saving devices, too many sedentary forms of entertainment.
1. Change is hard. Losing weight requires changing habits. Our habits are formed by our seeking something we either want or need. Example: We are stressed and we need to find a way to feel better under stressful conditions we can’t escape, so we get into a habit of coping with stress by eating highly palatable, calorie-dense foods. To successfully lose weight we will need to change how we deal with stress.
2. We make ourselves victims of limiting beliefs. Although everybody has his or her own personal limiting beliefs on the surface, they all go back to the mother of all limiting beliefs – “weight loss is impossible for me.”
3. Our weight loss plan isn’t livable. It seems logical that a really tight rein on our eating behaviors and food choices would keep us on track. The tight rein is what makes it so hard to stay on track. Life will throw us curves and if we have no flexibility built into our weight loss plan, we cannot sustain our efforts. When we go off track getting back on track is very difficult if not impossible. Think of taking off a pair of tight shoes that really hurt your feet. Once your feet are free of those torturous shoes you never want to put your feet into them again, indeed, if you even could shove your feet back into them!
4. Unrealistic expectations. We may go into our weight loss effort expecting to lose more in a period of time than is reasonable. We may expect to look a certain way as a result of weight loss and we are not achieving the desired results. We may expect to be 100% compliant to our weight loss plan and never suffer a slip or a lapse. Slips and lapses happen but if we don’t expect it will ever happen to us, we take it as a devastating blow to success. We won’t be able to get back on track.
5. Looking for the quick and lasting fix. There is no such thing as a quick and lasting fix. Weight management takes time and commitment. There is nothing you can “take,” no “bad foods you can stop eating,” no “special foods, pills, potions, cleansing broths, etc.,” you can eat or drink, and not even a surgical procedure that can deliver quick and lasting weight loss success. Weight loss may never be easy, but it doesn’t need to be such a struggle that it’s simply too overwhelming to achieve success. Own your actions, take small steps towards making choices to advance your weight management efforts each day, and you will be rewarded with success.