It’s a very, very common frustration.
Most clients I work with are stereotypical high flyers. Think résumés jam-packed with goals set, achieved, celebrated.
For many of these women, their weight is the “last piece of the frustrating puzzle”, so to speak.
So why doesn’t a weight loss goal work the same way, as say, a professional or sporting goal?
There are a couple of key differences.
And just so we’re absolutely clear – when I talk about weight loss, I’m not talking about losing a kilos, achieving your goal weight then re-gaining it all back again. I’m talking about long term – “forever” – weight loss, the kind where you never need go on another diet again.
In most cases, harder + faster = quicker
With most goals, when you work harder, faster, and are more focused – you typically get swifter rewards.
But ‘forever’ weight loss doesn’t work like that.
It’s like when you hang your Christmas lights in December, and you find them in the box all tangled up.
The harder you pull at the knotted mess, the faster you try and untangle them, the tighter the knot gets. Grrrrrr!
Weight loss can be a bit like Christmas lights.
The 2 ‘logical’ misconceptions
The Law of Deprivation: Often with weight loss, our logic is “if cutting back a little helps me lose a little bit of weight, then cutting back a lot will really speed things up, right?”
Logical in theory – yes. But does it work? Nope.
The very act of deprivation sends your incredibly clever body into the starvation response, which makes it even harder to shift the weight.
And, the more you deprive yourself, the more unpleasant the journey becomes, so you’re unlikely to stay the distance. And, depriving ourselves adds fuel to your night time cravings.
For example, you’re restricting yourself during the day because you’re “being good”. But hour after hour the pressure builds, until the evening, when you “can’t handle it any more”, you crack and give in to your cravings.
True or true?!
Law of the Deadline: It’s common in traditional goal setting to give goals a deadline. I often have clients who’ve previously given themselves deadlines, like “four weeks to lose 12kgs before my cruise”. They thought that the urgency would spur them into action. But did it?
Again, nope. Every day that ticks by – with the target looming closer – they start to freak that they “haven’t made enough progress”, which leads to them quitting in exasperation.
So, what’s the answer?
As much as I’d love to give you a magic pill or a secret code…..the answer is patience and persistence. It’s about changing your daily habits and creating a lifestyle that supports your wellbeing in the long term.
Let’s go back to the tangled Christmas lights. Instead of rushing, yanking, pushing and pulling, it’s important to take the opposite approach.
Gradually unravel the wires.
This is not a race.
Take your time.
Be the turtle.
This isn’t about achieving a goal then piling it all back on again. It’s about becoming the kind of person who manages their weight naturally.
The 5 things you might want to do:
1. Abandon deadlines and aim for steady progress. Progress wins over perfection every day of the week. Forget about “starting on Monday“.
2. Make small changes to your eating and exercise that you know you can and want to live with for the rest of your life.
3. Be flexible. If something doesn’t work – oh, well. Learn from your mistakes.
4. Be patient. It might take longer than you thought, but it will be worth it.
5. Keep on keeping on. When you stumble (becuase trust me you will – its’ ALL part of the process!) pick yourself up, put on your big girl knickers and keep on keeping on. No. Matter. What.
The paradox of long term weight loss is that going faster and pushing harder simply does NOT work. As difficult as it may be for the success-oriented high achiever in you, the answer is to go gently.
Love etc, Avril
PS: Ms High Achiever, if you’re sitting there reading this thinking, “I knooooooooooow all of this, I just don’tdo it!”, feel free to drop me a line. Hypnosis can help you do the doing that you know you need to do to lose weight.