What does an apple, a football scoreboard and someone loving you have in common?
Weight loss is a terrible goal – partly because it’s not controllable. You can plant an apple tree, water it, fertilize it, nurture it, but you can’t make it grow an apple, not any more than a football player can control the scoreboard, or any more than you can make someone love you…
You can’t control the results.
We think we can…we want to…but we can’t control results. So you don’t want to be attached to getting results in a certain time, in a certain way. Focus less on the results and more on the causes.
1. Weight loss, as your goal, increases pressure. No one needs more pressure in their lives, especially to control something as elusive as weight loss.
2. You can’t control it – any more than a football player can control the numbers on the scoreboard. Willpower gets depleted easily. You can be doing everything right and still not lose weight.
3. You judge yourself by the numbers on the scale.
Do you see this when you wake up in the morning?
Or do you tend to judge yourself by the numbers on the scale?
It’s best not to have your self worth tied to something that you can achieve or not achieve.
A better goal is to maintain psychological balance. You do that by taking care of your feelings and taking care of you. Tapping can help you feel more comfortable with saying yes to you and to break free of these patterns.
4. Weight loss is an inside job. Once you set a weight loss goal, all the focus goes onto the weight and how to get rid of it, and is no longer on the feelings that drive the behavior. It goes onto eating less and exercising more, instead of the internal work that needs to be done, and since we don’t like to be told what to do… even by ourselves… we end up in the same old vicious cycle. Until you feel the feelings, name them, deal with them, feel them… it won’t end. Your job is to feel your feelings. If you are going to force yourself to do something, force yourself to sit with your feelings.
5. Losing weight is a marathon… not a sprint – Most people want to be 3 sizes smaller yesterday. But, there are lots of emotional and physical pitfalls. So commit for the long run, change your thinking, learn to manage your moods, and stop fretting about the day-to-day stuff. Work on managing emotions, confidence and perseverance – learn how to get back on track more quickly when you tumble off the track (we all do.)
6. Weight loss goals toy with your identity – your sense of who you are.
- Who are you as a thin person?
- Who are you if you aren’t struggling with your weight?
This obsession with food and weight can become such a huge part of your life. So when you start having success, you can start to feel uncomfortable, but you don’t know why. You only know that you keep sabotaging yourself.
Many people dislke getting too much attention and don’t want to be noticed. One client says it this way “As soon as I get the first compliment, I throw in an extra bagel.” Perhaps you are afraid of negative reactions of other people – some people have negative views of thin people, so they don’t want to be viewed as that.
7. Weight loss is an insidious problem. It’s hard to maintain your confidence and easy to become discouraged by slow or inconsistent results and cycles of self-sabotage.
A better goal is tending to your emotional well being – your psychological balance. This is a global factor that will affect everything else. Contentment and peace with your body and getting to your natural weight spring from clarity and a feeling of freedom, not from force or strength.
Weight loss is at least 90% psychological. Tend to your thoughts, feelings and habits. Where are you on the emotional scale? Where are you on the worthiness scale?
Paradoxically, focusing less on the results and more on the causes improves the odds of getting the results you want.
Here are 3 guidelines on goals:
- Goals should be activity goals, rather than outcome goals, like weight loss. When you focus on the activity goals that are going to get you to the outcome, then you don’t get worn out and frustrated stressing about the outcome.
- Make your goals small. Losing weight slowly is a good thing because it’s something you can maintain. If it’s too big, you just keep sabotaging.
- Commit to less rather than more. Eating right is a long-term goal. Eating better is infinitely more doable. It’s something we can do right now.