Each week I sit in clinic and chat for hours to my clients about their weight loss struggles and successes. Every single week I learn something from my wonderful clients which is why I still continue to see some clients as part of my workload. Another thing I often observe is some of the beliefs about weight loss, beliefs which can act as significant barriers to long term success. Here are some of the common ones, and the way I see them as opposed to my clients.
1. It should not be this hard.
A general air of resentment fuels this belief, that for some reason having to move your body more than you ever have, or that you have to really look at what you are doing with your food and perhaps cut back just does not fit into the belief that life should be easy. As food and our lifestyles have become more complicated, unfortunately our exercise and food behaviours do have to change accordingly if you want certain results with your body and your weight. Once you move to acceptance that sometimes in life things are hard then you will move forward with your weight loss goals.
2. It seems much easier for other people.
Like who? I do not personally know anyone who does not have to work at some level to control their weight. They may not be overly vocal about it, but without making a big deal or a fuss, chances are they are getting to the gym and not overdoing the morning tea at work. Every single health professional I know works hard at maintaining their weight, and while there may be a few genetically blessed people who appear to work less than others, the truth is you never really know 100% what that person does with 24 hours in their day. So, stop comparing yourself to those you perceive as more fortunate and get on with it.
3. I am already doing…..
It is great that you are going to the gym; or making your lunch but if you are not getting the results you are looking for; you may need to do more. There are no set rules with what will work for individuals, every single person is different so even though you may ‘think’ you are doing a lot, unless those scales are moving in the direction you want them to you may need to take a closer look at things.
4. I am doing the right thing and it is not working.
Really? Are you sure? Have you checked your calories online? Have you really got to the gym as many times as you said you would? Have your steps reached their target every day? Often we ‘think’ we are doing the right thing but when we take a closer look there was a few extra snacks here; a skipped afternoon snack or two there and a couple of days you did not make it to the gym. To be sure it is not working you are going to have to get really honest with yourself and in more cases than not it is not working because you are not 100% focused. That is ok, but let’s make sure we have that right before we blame the intervention.
5. It does not fit into my lifestyle.
The choices we make are entirely within our own control. You choose to go to drinks; or to skip training or to eat out a certain number of times each week, or to not take your lunch or dinner to work. If you do not want to change your lifestyle, chances are you are going to get the same results you have been getting. But most importantly, that is your choice.