By Dr. Jim Wright, Co-Founder of Achieve
You want to lose weight, but you can’t get motivated. Or, you were once motivated to lose weight—and you lost some weight—but now you are tired of the whole process. The initial excitement has worn off. The scales don’t seem to move in the right direction anymore. In fact, they are moving in the wrong direction albeit slowly.
What has happened? Where did the fire, the passion, the desire go? You used to anticipate the next day as another opportunity to move in the right direction, but now you almost dread the days because you are fearful they are going to result in a slow creep in the wrong direction.
There are several factors that may be leading to your weight regain. In this brief article I am going to focus on just one: Your Identity. How you think about yourself determines what you do with yourself. Here are some identity issues that may be leading to your regression:
- You are a victim of frustration
At first the scales may have shown consistent improvement. With the exception of a day here or there, you saw the numbers going down. It seemed like every day you drop a tenth or two; you saw progress! However, somewhere the progress stalled or there were longer periods of no progress. Eventually, subconsciously, you told yourself you couldn’t take weight off. So, you stopped making health choices, you started “fudging” (no pun intended) at meals; you started having an additional snack or overeating your portions. As the weight started to come back on, you told yourself that you just could not do lost weight.
- You are a victim of your genes
As the weight loss stalled or started o reverse itself, you told yourself that you were just meant to be heavier. You may have used the “I’m big boned” excuse or “Being overweight is in my genes.” You began to re-identify yourself with your pre-weight loss past. Your excuses gave you a reason to stop making healthy choices. The saying is true “If you give an inch, you will take a mile” and you started to give the inches and gain inches.
- You are a victim of life
You started to see yourself as “old.” You started to tell yourself that you are just too old to lose weight or too old to care anymore. You started to say you are too tired. You said that your days were too long to worry about what you ate. You just have too much going on in life. You are an old, weary, worn-out person! In short, you are a victim of your circumstances.
How can you reverse the negative identity?
- You can triumph over negative thoughts
When the scales don’t go in the right direction—even if they go in the wrong direction that day—remind yourself of the right choices you made. Remember, unhealthy eating gives immediate gratification; whereas healthy eating gives delayed gratification. It may take a few days to see some results. Also, don’t forget to take into account if you have started taking a medication, started an exercise program, or have some monthly hormonal changes. Focus on the positives other than the scales!
- You can triumph over your body
Remember, you’ve lost weight in the past. You can do it. You are not a failure. Accept that there are going to be days of no weight loss; there might even be a few days in a row of no loss, but that doesn’t mean you are a failure. Take the long view of weight loss. Even if the scale isn’t moving in the right direction, you are still feeding your body correctly. Your body will ultimately respond—it has too!
- You can triumph over your schedule
We are all tired! We all live busy lives. We all have obligations. Preparation and planning when you are not tired is your biggest weapon. Having access to void replacements and being prepared for those unexpected restaurant stops will lead to your success. You have beaten the Diet Demon in the past with the same schedule and you can do it again! You can be triumphant. You are the “master of your fate” when it comes to what you put into your mouth. Food is not your master!!
Weight loss is a choice. It begins and ends with how you see yourself. Are you a victim or a victor? When a person moves from victor to victim the end is near! When you move from victim to victor the future is here!