“I can’t lose weight.” “Weight loss isn’t working for me.” “Nothing I try makes a difference.” We’ve observed many of our clients say this – even when there’s evidence that weight loss has been working. So, why is this such a common refrain, and what can you do when you’re experiencing these feelings?
There are so many emotions intertwined with our food. Making changes to habits we’ve built up over our lifetime can be difficult, and if we are resistant to change or can’t commit to the long-term solutions, refusing to acknowledge the progress being made lets you off the hook.
It’s normal to be angry or have mixed emotions.In the short term, there are always going to be ups and downs. Some weeks will be better than others. It’s over the long-term, looking at those trends over time, that you really start to see results. If you lose twenty pounds, then gain ten back, you may start to panic when you see that scale going up. But our weight is going to ebb and flow, and you have to learn to acknowledge the progress, even if it’s incremental, that you are making and stick to what’s working for you.
We each have an angel and devil voice inside of us. The angel’s voice says, “You’re doing well, it feels good to make healthy choices, keep going.” The devil’s voice says, “Maybe this takes too much effort,” or, “You’re 40 years old, maybe accept the muffin top.” Depending on the circumstances, one voice is dominant. Many of us give the negative voice control over the conversation instead of tuning it out altogether.
Another thing you can do to hush the panicked voice is to skip the scale. Put it away, out of sight. We’ve referred to this phenomenon as being a “prisoner to the scale.” Ups and downs are to be expected. If you’re obsessing about minute changes every day, try taking a break from weighing yourself and only keep track every week or even, every month.
Focus on the tangible objective, not the temporary emotions. Set specific goals for water drinking or food journaling. Focus on the doing – on bookends, as we call them. Treat things like a checklist and allow yourself to feel accomplished by completing those, not by the number on the scale.
You are not broken, you are just finding doubt in the process. Even our most successful clients doubt themselves from time to time. Take comfort in knowing that this is normal and you are not alone. When things don’t seem like they’re working, stick with it. I promise you’ll be happy you did.
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