When seeing a drop on the scales triggers an urge to overeat, reward yourself with food, stop exercising, or fall off the healthy eating wagon, there could be something more going on than lost willpower.
In fact, it’s something you may never have considered before.
Your head says you want to lose weight, you have a goal, you have a plan. You do well for a while, but when you start to see progress for some reason you find yourself self sabotaging. You tell yourself it’s because your diet was too restrictive, or you were too busy to exercise. It may have been that you were acting out of an unconscious fear of failure.
How could losing weight be failure?
Isn’t that what you want more than anything?
Well yes, but overriding that want is a fear that you can’t do it, that you have tried many times before and failed, that it is going to be too uncomfortable, too hard. And so you give up before you even really try.
So here is a list of questions to ask yourself…
1: Did you tell your family, friends, coworkers, social media network that you were committed to losing weight? In other words, did you go public?
If you kept your goals to yourself, then not achieving them doesn’t affect anyone but you. Of course there are those determined individuals who set themselves a goal and then go and achieve it without any input from anyone else, but if that was you, you wouldn’t be reading this would you?
2: Have you tried to lose weight many times before?
If you have tried every diet, weight loss pill or shake, bootcamp, or supplement, but haven’t hit your weight loss goal, your weight has gone up and down, or you gave up on your goal after a week, chances are you’ve lost a little confidence in your ability to stick to something long term and lose the weight for good.
3: When you think about losing weight, are your reasons negative or positive?
If your reasons for losing weight are things like- “I’m fat and unattractive,” “I hate myself in clothes,” “people are judging me for how I look” or “nobody could love me when I look like this,” then for starters… ouch! Would you talk to a loved one that way? Then why is it ok to talk to yourself like that?
How could you possibly get in a mind frame where you have confidence you can achieve your goals when your inner dialogue is filled with comments of self hate? The research backs this up too, positive reasons for making healthy changes are much more sustainable than avoiding or trying to change negative ones.
4: Do you go all in?
Do you throw out all the unhealthy food in your house, get a 12 month gym membership, buy a dress for that wedding in June two sizes smaller, and schedule into your calendar non-negotiable blocks of time which are for working out, meal planning, or bulk cooking healthy foods?
Or have you bought a few healthy things but left the chocolate on the top shelf, bought an exercise DVD for $20, and made the decision to do more exercise on days that you have spare time. You can tell which of these is going to produce better results. If you haven’t committed, with everything you’ve got, chances are a fear of failure is holding you back from really trying.
5: Have you been in situations before where being uncomfortable has made you quit?
Maybe it was a new task you had to learn, but found it really hard to get your head around. Maybe it was a course you started but didn’t finish because it was going to take a long time. Maybe you tried to quit smoking/drinking coffee/eating sugar but caved in after a while because the cravings were hard to deal with. If you perceive losing weight as something that is going to make you feel physically or emotionally uncomfortable, you may not have the confidence that you can push through this and still succeed.
If you’ve answered these questions honestly and think that fear of failure could be holding you back from getting to your dream weight, there are steps you can take to counteract this now that you are aware of it.
- In a nutshell, you need to decide exactly what you want, break this down into small and measurable short term goals, and totally commit to this.
- Get the support of those around you.
- Get practical, and plan your week, making time blocks where physical activity and prep for healthy eating are as non-negotiable as going to work.
- Work one week at a time- a meal plan for one week, that’s something you can commit to for as long as it takes, so having a few planned treat foods that you love as part of your eating plan can be a great strategy.
- Choose a diet plan with fresh whole foods and sensible eating rather than looking for a quick fix or fad diet.
- Focus on the positives such as great energy levels, improved health, and better mood.
- Lastly, get help if you need it. A professional can be invaluable if you need guidance on what to do or motivation along the way.
If you feel overwhelmed with changing stubborn habits, knowing what to do, how to eat, the best ways to exercise, or changing your mindset to create healthy goals and actually achieving them, why not book in for 1-12 week at our weight loss and fitness retreats? Check out the program here to see why we have helped hundreds of people just like you lose weight, get fit, and keep it off.