Did you ever have a moment of clarity in which you suddenly and completely understood something that was eluding you? This is a powerfully exciting experience because it signifies a shift in your subconscious. Once you have begun to change the way you think about your life and actions, you become inspired to make changes that will affect your weight loss and your life positively. What seemed like a foreign notion in the past now feels perfect once you experience that moment of epiphany.
A lot of patients that visit my office are stuck not only in roller coaster dieting, but also in a tipsy way of thinking. Basically, they are habituated to sticking to a health regime for only a certain amount of time and then falling back into their regular patterns of poor health choices. Usually when they fall back, they indulge excessively as a form of self loathing. The result is the person gaining even more weight than before they started their diet, essentially invalidating all of their effort plus some.
Most people can stick to any life change for a limited amount of time with ease. After a while, we become bored of the monotony or frustrated with restrictions while others around us seem to eat with abandon. That causes a crack which leads to an abandonment of the fitness regime. Before you know it, they are right back to square one- fat and depressed. Diets are meant to help get your health under control, but they don’t change the way you relate to food. The majority of people are so accustomed to the roller coaster, that the thought of anything else seems impossible. Here are a few common thoughts of those with a dieting mindset:
- I have to stick to the diet completely- or give up
- I can only eat good foods, and never indulge in bad foods
- If I miss a workout, my whole regime is wasted
- Having a small amount of bad food signifies failure, I have to start over
One of my clients had a moment of clarity after our second session together. In her mind, no matter what diet she tried she would never be able to follow through to the end. She also thought that she didn’t have the ability to follow the program properly. When I offer my weight loss program to clients, I stress the importance of allowing a limited amount of the not so healthy foods they love, as long as they are doing this in moderation. This helps to break the all or nothing mindset and encourages them to work that much harder to get their indulgences as a “reward”.
This is a great way to reduce the mental pressure of sticking to one type of food all the time, but initially, I have noticed that many people consider these indulgence rewards as diet failures. The client I mentioned earlier was finally able to accept that she wasn’t being bad or failing in her diet just because she indulged in her favorite food once or twice per week in moderation. This allowed her to plan her meals and rewards in a way that motivated her to work harder and enjoy her regime with the confidence she saw at the start. It’s important to change the way you look at food so you can lose weight and keep it off for life.
Another of my clients who was in her mid 40’s had a different type of problem. She was already breathtaking; however she had a problem with aging gracefully. In her mind she thought that she didn’t look as good as she felt on the inside. While that may not sound like a serious issue, she felt like a teenage model and tended to behave in the same fashion. She was filled with doubts and despaired over the fact that she didn’t look the way she did when she was 20 years younger. Her behavior was also that of a much younger person; not sleeping well, avoiding exercise, poor eating habits and drinking. Her body of course couldn’t bounce back as easily as it had when she was in her youth. The moment she realized this she accepted the way she looked and changed her lifestyle to take better care of her health.
Not matter what is preventing you from losing weight; there is a solution out there that begins with becoming self aware. Once you understand what mental blocks are in your way, you will have a lot of epiphanies that will help you to reach your weight loss goals.
The author of this article is Sonia Devine, a clinical hypnotherapist operating her own practice in Melbourne Australia and is a Senior Lecturer at the Academy of Hypnotic Science.