When it comes to rebelling, you probably think of 16-year- olds or people covered in lots of tattoos who like to swear a lot. But over the last few years, I’ve learned that most of us don’t rebel against others as much as we rebel against ourselves. Think about it. How many times have you set out to accomplish a goal or task only to find yourself procrastinating or flat-out sabotaging your own efforts? Started a weight-loss plan on a Monday and are eating directly out of the ice-cream tub by Wednesday? Vowed to go to the gym every morning this week only to find yourself oversleeping?
I see so many people who struggle with this day after day that I wanted to share just a few tips for better understanding—and overcoming—this self-defeating weight-loss barrier.
1. Stop berating yourself. We all beat ourselves up from time to time. Whether it’s comparing yourself unfairly to someone else, blaming yourself for something you can not control or just taking yourself too seriously, even the most confident of us fall off the loving-yourself wagon occasionally. But loving yourself as you are right now is essential to getting out of your own way.
2. Find the right reason to lose weight. Sure, we all want to look good and fit in a certain pant size, but losing weight just for vanity’s sake leaves your resolve less than strong. Making change is hard, but connecting to the deeper, life-changing reasons why you want to lose the weight—more energy, better focus, ease of movement, improved health—is a far greater way to motivate yourself when the going gets tough.
3. Focus on the positive. We think “diet” is a four-letter word because, to us, it’s all about what you can’t have. So, instead of focusing on the deprivation, swap your thinking to all of the fabulous things you can enjoy. Living a healthy life is about eating delicious and fresh foods that fuel your body and moving your body in a way that you love every day. What’s not to love about that? Life is good—savor it.
4. Be honest with yourself. If you find yourself emotional eating or self- sabotaging, take a deep breath and ask “Who am I really rebelling against?” Many times we choose unhealthy behaviors (almost unconsciously) in defiance of husbands, friends, family or co-workers in an attempt to gain control or have power. Or we are rebelling against ourselves because, deep down, we don’t feel like we’re worthy of the positive changes we’ve set forth to make. These issues could be left over from childhood or may show a lack of confidence in ourselves or an inability to emotionally express ourselves. No matter the reason, do some soul-searching to see what’s affecting you. Awareness—and loving understanding—is the only way to overcome it.
5. Don’t treat it like a fairy tale. When it comes to being healthy, there is no “happily ever after.” Living a healthy life is a balance, and it’s about consistency over time—every day for the rest of your life. So don’t think of your weight-loss plan as something that ends on a certain day or at a certain goal. Instead, view it as a journey where you get to keep learning, growing and changing!