Let’s begin with a scenario.
You begin your weight loss journey energized and ready for change. Chances are, you are imagining a thinner and fitter version of yourself and this is highly motivating. You just can’t wait to finally reach your goals! You’re optimistic and ready to take on the world.
For a while, you stay highly motivated and stay strictly on your program. You’re drinking the recommended amount of water, eating balanced meals and healthy snacks. You’re working out and feeling amazing. You’ve even lost weight and inches!
And then comes a point where you begin to feel competent. You’ve got this healthy living thing down. You start to relax in your happiness and success. You may veer from your eating plan on occasion. And then the occasional indulgences become regular occurrences. You try to rationalize the behaviors by telling yourself that this is all part of a “lifestyle”.
A healthy lifestyle does include indulgences now and then, but if they become regular occurrences then they have become a habit of an unhealthy lifestyle and not occassional indulgences in a healthy lifestyle.
The weight loss begins to slow down. You don’t want to admit that you know exactly why. In your over-confidence, you began to get careless. You told yourself that you had formed new habits and that you were simply living a balanced lifestyle when in fact the balance continued to shift until you felt so out of control and defeated.
You begin to lie to yourself again. You feel incompetent. You can’t do this. You will always be overweight, it’s just in your genes. You feel like a failure. No programs ever work for you.
Does this sound like you?
I know it definitely sounds like me. In fact, it is me! And it has been me countless times over again.
As much as it pains me to admit this, I have played the victim—and I am just now realizing this. The fact is, weight loss is incredibly hard. Changing habits and forming new ones is very hard. It takes a lot more than will power to do any of it.
If you’re just like me and realizing that you have played the victim too, don’t feel bad about it. Don’t be overcome in guilt and self-depreciation. The fact that you can recognize this means that you are growing and are on the brink of change.
When I begin to slip into old habits, I know that I am doing so but I don’t stop myself. All the while I’m scooping a bowl of ice cream, I’m thinking about how eating this isn’t getting me closer to my goals and that I really don’t even want the ice cream—I just need that escape from reality for a while.
I am consciously resisting change and I believe recognizing this is key.
This is where change can begin to occur. It’s a choice. We can either slip back into old habits and play the victim, or we can consciously try to form new habits and become successful.
But first, we have to embrace the resistance. We want to stick with what we know—our old and familiar habits. Change is difficult and we will try to resist it. There’s a fear of the unknown. When we embrace the resistance and begin to consciously make better choices despite the resistance, this is when we can begin to change and to grow.
We cannot continue to make progress if we are not continuing to make changes. We can’t expect to be a thinner, healthier, and fitter versions of ourselves by continuing the behaviors that made us overweight, unhealthy, and out of shape.
It’s a choice.
We have to begin to believe that change is possible and begin to form a new identity. Instead of believeing we are the overweight and out of shape person, we must believe that we are becoming who we want to be—the healthy, thinner, and fit version of ourselves—and begin to make the choices that this new version of ourselves would make.
There will be resistance. Stay strong, it will be worth it!