You enrolled for a weight loss program.
You are bubbling with motivation and you’re sure this time around you’re going to lose all your weight.
You have dived in the program with all your energy, making room for the workouts in your schedule and are going strong for the first week.
You are putting in all the work you are asked to, you are showing up every day despite feeling sore and are even watching what you eat.
But soon, you feel that life is making it tougher for you to keep going.
You’re having people and circumstances get in the way like speed bumps, trying to derail your plans.
And before you know it, you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious and bit unsure if this program is any good.
Doubt creeps up, sabotages your mojo and you have a bunch of reasons stopping you from doing what you have been doing in the past few days or weeks.
You hit a stall and you are back to the clueless stage of thinking:
I can never lose this weight.
This weight loss thing isn’t meant for me.
I’m too busy to do what is expected of me.
If only the weight loss program was simpler or life didn’t get in the way.
Losing all your weight isn’t possible after a certain age.
I must focus on seeing my body in a positive light. I am better off adopting acceptance of as I am than burning my mind and body in the hope of getting fitter.
If this is you (even a teeny tiny bit), I have some good news for you.
- You aren’t alone. I too have been stuck at this spot for years.
- A simple mind shift can help you see the success you’re craving for.
Every year around New Year of all the people who set goals to lose weight only around eight per cent people keep those resolutions.
Study shows that lost weight usually returns in two out of three people who lose five per cent or more of their body weight.
What’s the relation between emotions and weight loss?
If you’re anything like me, you must have caught yourself jumping with excitement every time a family member or a friend recommends a weight loss program or a diet plan that seems to have worked for someone you know.
Let’s admit it, weight loss is tough.
Most of us have good intentions and really want to get fitter every time we lay our trust in a new weight loss program.
And I have full faith that you already know the basics of right eating and exercise.
But even with these basics in place you find yourself derailing your weight loss plan because the way your emotions play up.
As soon as fatigue, soreness, frustration around slow progress and angst pops up, you tend to harness the power of your strong rationalization skills.
That’s when your mind starts screaming that you have been trying your best and it is perfectly okay if you cut yourself some slack.
And this is right where things get tricky.
You decide that the weight loss program is making you feel stuck or overwhelmed or like a failure.
When in fact, no program is designed for failure.
What is making you feel motivated or the lack of it is your thoughts about the issue.
It’s easy to jump from one weight loss program to another because it means you are changing the external environment in the hope of getting a different result.
You change the program.
You get a new instructor.
You are following a different meal plan and boy, you might even be eating altogether different foods.
Then why do you keep getting back to the same feeling of frustration, overwhelm, guilt and pain?
Is there something wrong with you?
Does it mean your body is broken?
The short answer is, NO.
Now the long answer.
Every time you are stuck in a situation, it helps to carefully analyse the situation before you decide to make any change.
Two types of changes are possible:
- You give up on the program.
- You change your thoughts about the program.
It’s easy and obvious to opt for #1 because it is convenient to blame your pain and failures on external circumstances than to change yourself.
It’s natural to look at your thinking and decide that you don’t want to change your thinking about this.
“I don’t want to find a way to be happy when the scale isn’t moving for me in this situation.”
“I want to find something that gets me faster results.”
You go ahead and give up on the program and after a few days when the reasons why you embarked on the weight loss journey raise their head again or your doctor waves a red flag warning you of dire health consequences, you start looking for another weight loss program.
You might join another program even before you have had a chance to process your emotions about it through, and this is often a major mistake.
I say so because you might have stepped out of a terrible situation, but you are carrying the painful emotions associated with it, intact, onto the next situation.
Weight loss journey can trigger a ton of emotions.
Feeling deprived, restricted, negative body image, stress and anxiety and the need to admit that very possibly you have been overeating for emotional reasons can often trigger many unpleasant feelings.
So when you run away from processing or acknowledging our feelings that come to surface in your weight loss journey, you’re giving away your power.
You aren’t presenting as your empowered self.
And when you aren’t joining the new program being in alignment with your highest selves, the fear, the overwhelm and the pain from your past experience is often carried forward.
You’re already on guard.
You’re already holding unprocessed emotions in your body when you go into the next program.
The unprocessed emotions play a role in flaring up a similar pattern even in the changed weight loss program.
This is often the reason why you are overwhelmed after a certain level of effort or weight loss success on a repeated basis.
I see it a lot in the students who take up the Weight Loss Ownership Course.
This doesn’t mean you should never quit a program.
You may if the program doesn’t match your values.
But before making the change, you must first understand the thoughts that are causing your feelings and should work to process through that emotion.
The starting point is always a sound WHY.
And no, being happy or looking great aren’t strong enough reasons to lose weight.
If you aren’t sure how you can come up with a set of concrete reasons my FREE goal setting planner workbook can be helpful.
Be it a Keto diet or Paleo.
Be it the route of Intermittent Fasting or Low-Carb Diets or Mediterranean Diets.
Every program is different but can lead to success if you are not getting trapped in the web of your own negative emotions.
What if you decide to change your thoughts?
So you decide to keep going with the program but since your thoughts govern your feelings, you choose to feel good about what you are doing.
You can then choose to stick around for long and make things work as long the situation isn’t harmful or unhealthy.
If you choose to stay for longer and see how you can make things work, you can change the way you’re thinking about that situation.
You can choose to acknowledge and show yourself how much power you have with your thinking.
To recognize that you can be happy in a situation if you choose to be.
The core of this feeling of empowerment is you taking ownership of the situation.
You deciding to be fully responsible for the outcomes once you enrol in the program.
Your decision is where all power lies.
Your decision to not shift the blame of failure or stalls to an external circumstance makes you powerful.
When you decide to change the way you think, you change the way you feel, which means you change what you do.
It’s your actions that will determine your success or failure.
Does it mean the weight loss is governed by our mind and our thoughts?
Your thoughts create your feelings and how you feel about a situation that drives your results.
Blaming the external world, the people in your life, the circumstances can only make you feel powerless.
Taking charge of your life and your emotions is where the real power resides.
You change the outcome of your efforts by altering the way of your thinking.
It’s commonplace thinking to believe that you need to change the world around you to get different results.
But that’s not the case.
You only need to change how you’re thinking.
You do that by deciding what to think on purpose, consciously.
Understanding that it’s not just you observing the world, it’s you deciding how you want to observe the world with your mind that will determine the results that you create.
Remember, unless you’re happy with yourself at the start point, you can’t expect to be happy in an unseen future.
How do you process your emotions?
The starting point is acknowledging your emotions.
Journal your thoughts and be open to question your emotions so you can get a deeper understanding as to what beliefs are triggering the feelings that you have.
Having a daily journal to record your daily progress, even if it is very small helps guide conscious planning.
The Simple Steps To Process Your Emotions:
Who or what upsets you?
Is it a person, a memory or anything else?
Why do you feel the way you do?
Recall any specific situation?
Write down all your thoughts, no matter how simple or petty, judgemental or childish they were in the moment that made you upset.
Let your emotions flow uncensored.
Answer these simple questions:
Who has been making you feel angry, disappointed, frustrated or hurt?
How differently could this situation have turned out?
What should have happened differently for you to feel happy in this situation?
What is it about the person or the situation that you don’t want to see happen ever again?
♥ Question Your Thoughts
We think around 60,000 thoughts each day.
It makes perfect sense to not believe them all.
However, the ones you choose to believe and more importantly the ones you base your future decisions on need further questioning.
The simple questions to ask, as Byron Katie teaches in her book, A Mind at Home in Itself are:
♥ Turn the Thought Around
What if you turned your thought around and noticed if it is still true?
That’s exactly how positive reframes work.
If you were to think about weight loss and try to turn it around, it would make perfect sense to give it a positive reframe from a negative one.
Instead of losing your weight, you can call it Getting Fitter or Gaining Strength.
It’s a mere turn around of thoughts and words but if you allow your mind the freedom to do it regularly, it helps to analyse the belief or the thought from all angles.
Having been through the weight loss transformation myself, I know for a fact that our mindset plays a vital role, in fact, more than any meal plan or an exercise regimen.
Yes, you read that right.
Our mindset, our inner emotional regulation drives the success we see on the outside.
This is why, in addition to the simple yet effective practices that help achieve sustained weight loss, I offer long term support as part of the Weight Loss Ownership Course.
Weight loss is so much more than just getting to a number on the scale. It needs lots of mindset training just like you train your muscles.
Long term success is possible only when you tap into the power of your emotions in addition to the efforts you make towards creating a healthier lifestyle.
If building a Healthy Life and getting leaner, healthier and calmer is your goal, I’d like to invite you to get started by taking up the Healthy You Challenge.
The song on my mind: Humko mann ki shakti dena ~ Guddi