This is going to be one of my longer posts, but I think you are going to find it very enlightening. If you are overweight now, or if you ever have struggled to lose weight and keep it off, this post is for you.
We all have beliefs about weight loss. Some of these beliefs are well-grounded, while others may be far removed from reality. Here are ten of the biggest false beliefs about weight loss which I have seen many overweight people become trapped in. And when you become trapped in any of these myths, you may find it difficult to lose weight, achieve the body appearance you desire, and live your life to the fullest.
10 False Beliefs About Losing Weight
- I’m Just Destined To Be Overweight…And There’s Not Much I Can Do About It.
If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser or viewed any of the thousands of before-and-after weight loss success videos on YouTube, you know that losing weight is humanly possible, no matter how obese a person is or how many times they may have failed in the past. It’s not that you are destined to be overweight, you just haven’t yet done the things necessary or adopted the right weight loss strategies to make it happen.
- I’m Not Motivated Enough Right Now…When I Can’t Fit Into My Clothes Anymore, I’ll Be Really Motivated (i.e. Desperate) And I’ll Get Serious About Losing Weight Then
Why are you waiting to be desperate before you take action to reduce your wait? Would you rather wait until you get sick or become disabled? If that happens, you’ll surely regret you didn’t take action sooner. Besides, it’s a myth to assume that being highly motivated is what you need to get started. Being highly motivated might help you to lose weight in the short-run, but it will backfire on you and cause you to gain all the weight back anyway. Why? Because what happens when you eventually reach your weight loss goal? All your “motivators” will be gone then (you’ll look better, feel better, fit into your clothes, etc.). So now what will drive you to stick to your eating or exercise plan? Nothing will drive you and you’ll revert to your previous habits. So don’t wait to feel super motivated in order to begin losing weight. And don’t base your weight loss efforts on traditional motivators anyway. Find a motivator that won’t go away once you lose all the weight you want.
- I Can’t Stick To A Diet Or Exercise Routine—That’s Just Who I Am
There’s who you “think” you are…and who YOU REALLY ARE. You can think you are the “type of person” who can’t stick to a diet or exercise program or who simply doesn’t have what it takes to lose weight. But that’s not the real truth about you. That’s now who you really are. See my post on How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off…Even If You Have No Willpower At All!
- Even If I Work Real Hard To Lose Weight, I’m Just Going To Yo-Yo Back To Where I Started From…Or Even Worse
Yes, yo-yo dieting and weight gain rebounding are extremely common. And yes, working very hard to lose weight, only to see it all come back weeks or months later is hugely demoralizing. But just because this problem is common, doesn’t mean it is inevitable or that it has to happen for you. Plenty of people have discovered how to lose weight and keep it off permanently. You just have to know how to do it and follow through on a well-constructed post-weight-loss game plan. (HINT: most diet and weight loss programs don’t adequately prepare you for doing this.)
- I’ll Never Lose Weight And Keep It Off Because I Eat To Relieve Stress And That Won’t Be Changing
Here again we have a very common problem that is not at all unsolvable. Yes, if you ALWAYS turn to food and overeating to comfort yourself or calm yourself down whenever you are stressed, you will find it hard to lose weight and keep it off. But there are better and more effective ways to calm down, eliminate stress, and make negative emotions quickly disappear without turning to alcohol, illegal drugs, cigarettes or food in order to quickly feel better. Check out some of my stress relief posts and more advanced programs to learn how to do this.
- Every Time I Go On A Diet I Just Quit Because I Feel So Miserable
Quitting appears to be the “name of the game” when it comes to dieting or otherwise trying to lose weight. So many people start out with such great intentions and determination, only to end up quitting somewhere prior to succeeding. Some quit because they don’t see results fast enough and then get discouraged. Some quit because the people around them don’t support their efforts to change. Some quit because they start making excuses and breaking their promises and then get angry at themselves for not being perfect. And some end up quitting because the behavior changes they try to make end up making them feel “miserable.” Whether it is dieting that makes you feel miserable or exercising that makes you feel miserable (or both) you are certainly not alone. However, nobody said that you had to turn weight loss into misery. You somehow decided to do this, so if you made it happen, you can eventually figure out how to succeed at losing weight without going through misery. Plenty of people have learned how to do this. You just have to become one of them.
- I Don’t Have The Discipline Or Willpower To Lose Weight And Then Keep It Off For Good
“I can’t stick to a diet or exercise problem because that’ just who I am” and “I don’t have discipline or willpower” are fundamentally the same. It’s judging yourself to be lacking the ability to be successful, which isn’t really true. Once again, see my post How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off…Even If You Have No Willpower At All!
- I Hate Exercising Therefore I Will Never Be Successful At Losing Weight
I hated exercising for most of my early adult life as well. But then I turned things around and now I LOVE EXERCSING. Nobody said that exercise has to be painful, arduous or physically uncomfortable. If you are experiencing it this way, you must be doing things to make this happen. So, find out what you are doing—specifically—and then STOP exercising that way.
- I Don’t Even Want To Try Losing Weight Again Because The Pain Of Failing One More Time Would Be Just Too Terrible For Me To Bare
Unfortunately, most people who try to lose weight and fail, especially if they do this repeatedly, almost always end up in this pit of despair and inner humiliation. They have little confidence in their ability to succeed at losing weight. Thus, they won’t even begin to try again because they’ve already concluded that their efforts will end up in failure, so why put yourself through all the torture and eventual painful feelings of loss. Here again, there may be good reasons why all of your previous efforts ended in failures. And some of those reasons may have little to do with YOU. Instead, they can be blamed upon poor weight loss program design, improper weight loss preparatory training, and many other false theories and assumptions, like some of those I’m addressing here. There are newer and better ways to approach losing weight, and you might be surprised to learn that some of these might actually work for you, even though all of your previous efforts have failed. So don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you failed many times in the past, your situation is permanently hopeless. Sure each time you try and fail, this can be painful. But trying again—especially if you try very differently—may just pay off eventually, if you are fortunate enough to get the right guidance.
- I Tried So Many Different Ways In The Past And Worked So Very Hard That I’ve Done It All And Nothing New Is Going To Work For Me
This is just the cognitive side of the very same emotional failure pain that I addressed above. It’s called “resignation” and it’s a very strong belief (with strong emotional anchors) that nothing is going to help you resolve a problem. This is a tremendously disempowering belief and one that I recommend you avoid at all costs. Once again, just because your previous efforts may have all failed doesn’t really mean that all hope is lost. It may just mean that you haven’t found the right solution or strategy or comprehensive weight loss game plan yet. These solutions may well exist, yet they could be right in front of you and you won’t be able to see them if you’ve already given up hope and are trapped in the mindset of resignation.
I’ve personally worked with a number of people who thought they had “tried it all” and that nothing was going to work with them. And many of them were quite surprised to discover that they could really lost weight and keep it off, once they approached the task in a very different way.
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