Explaining the ‘Mental’ Side of Weight-Loss
This is a guest article written by Dr. Michael A. Snyder, MD, FACS, creator of FullBar.
The major barrier to weight loss is accepting the need to change your diet, behaviors, AND relationship with food. These changes require a commitment. And, all of us know that commitments are very difficult!!
In life, there are very few life transforming commitments that “stick”– some examples: deciding to have kids, getting married, moving across country for a job. These are big changes that have major life ramifications. And, even these sometimes do not work out because of our inability to keep up the commitment. So, how do we expect to ever get our head around the realities of having a successful weight loss experience?
First of all, you have to have a good reason to lose weight. A good reason to change your life. Saying “I want to lose 10 lbs.” or “I want to wear that little black dress” or “I want to look hot for the lady in the office next door” may not be good enough reasons to change your life. Really focus on WHY it is important to you to lose weight. If the reason is not important enough for you, you are not ready to change.
Secondly, realize what has not worked in the past. The often repeated saying bears repeating again: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!” It is crazy to think that the strategy that has failed you a million times will “work this time.” It won’t. You need something else. Time to investigate what may really work for you. You use tools for so many parts of your life that you do effectively– e-mail and cell phones to communicate, internet to research, cars to get where you are going, etc. Tools are critical to your success in so many arenas. Why do you think that you will not need such “help” with your weight loss efforts?
Third, all diet programs expect BIG changes to get big results. And, you have clearly found that they are not sustainable. Take the Atkins Diet, for example. It is easy to lose some weight with severe carbohydrate restrictions. But, when I did it I literally dreamed of having a banana. I had to white-knuckle it through every carbohydrate temptations. And, as expected, I ultimately let my restraint fade away. I bet many of you had the same experience. Test out different strategies. (I can give more suggestions if you so desire.) Do not make big changes that will fail. Make small, “do-able” changes. And, over time, the results will be great.
Weight loss can ONLY come when you have mastered these 3 steps. And, as you may have noticed, all require you to prepare your mind. I did not ask you to buy anything, join any health club or get on any program. It is your mind that has allowed you to become defeated in the past, but it is your mind that will help you win the fight.
Be honest with yourself. Do not try to be superhuman. You will fail if you “change everything.” All I ask is that you realize that you are human and have limits to the severity of what you can do and sustain. If all you learn is this and, if this allows you to avoid the dreadful spiral of disappointment and failure that most of the weight loss programs force upon you, then you are way ahead of where you started this weight loss journey. And, now you can be realistic and successful.
I realize that this is just the first set of steps in the process. But, when done successfully, it is the only way to succeed. Keep me posted. I trust that you can do this!!