Why is it so hard to lose weight? Why do we find it so hard to eat healthily? Why can’t we stick to our fitness program? Why oh why..?
Let me start with the weight loss thing.
So we find a diet that promises to work wonders quickly. Just what we need. It worked for that hot model in the magazine, so maybe it’ll work for us too. With the best intentions, we start strong, and usually on a Monday. But by the end of the week our will power is wearing thinner than phyllo pastry, and it’s pastries of all flavors shapes and sizes we start to daydream about.
We join the gym, usually in January. We swear this time we’ll definitely be there at least 4 times a week. But come February we start thinking about freezing our membership and investing in some diet pills containing some miraculous exotic fruit from the Congo instead. Honestly…
Why do so many of us find it so damn hard to stick to a healthy diet or fitness program for longer than a few days?
What’s wrong with us?!
Nothing, most of the time.
Believe it or not this is not a people problem, it’s a situation problem.
In order to make lasting changes to our lifestyle we need two key things:
1) We need tools and strategies that are sustainable long term
2) We must change our behavior
And to change our behavior, that is how we act, we must change our minds, and our hearts.
We don’t fail because we don’t want results, because they’re too lazy, or because it’s too hard.
Every day millions of people willingly make the biggest life change there is: they have a baby!
Having a baby changes everything instantly. Yet people rise to the occasion and make it work.
Most people don’t take care of the baby for a few hours and then go “forget it, it’s too hard” or “I’ve messed up, I’ll start again on Monday”.
Our left brain (the rational side) is what we use to reflect and analyze. It’s the part of our mind we use to decide we’re gonna get up extra early to go for a run, or to the gym, or boot camp… before work.
Our right brain (the emotional side) is in charge of creativity, imagination, and the right now. It’s the part of our mind that decides it’s best to stay all wrapped up in our warm and comfy duvet just a little longer.
The left brain is like a jockey and the right brain is like a wild horse. And the wild horse overpowers the jockey a lot of the time!
If we take care of the jockey in our mind but not the wild horse, we’ll have an understanding of what we need to to, but no motivation.
If on the other hand we let the horse go wild without taking care of the jockey, we’ll have passion without direction.
Two recipes for disaster!
2 saboteurs are keeping a lot of people frustrated and feeling like total failures:
If the jockey isn’t sure what direction to go he’ll lead the horse in circles. Do you ever feel like you’re just not sure what to do any more? This is exactly why.
Research shows we’re more likely to change when the new behavior expected of us is crystal clear.
Have you started a new diet or nutrition program but you’ve tons of questions and doubts about what’s allowed and what’s not? Confusion can lead to self-sabotage, and even total paralysis, so make sure you get your questions answered and get crystal clear on what you need to do asap.
On the other hand, the jockey will never tug the reins hard enough to get the wild horse to submit. He’ll achieve nothing much, but he’ll get really exhausted. This is why we keep falling off the wagon, feeling bad, and insisting it’s because we’ve no self-control or will power. It’s been scientifically proven that both of these are exhaustible resources!
Your self-control and will power could be burnt up from trying to control, supervise and keep the status quo in other areas of your life. When it comes to dieting, you might not have any self-control and will power left, so you’ve to resort to something else.
When we run out of self-control we also exhaust the mental muscles needed to think creatively, stay focused, persist and inhibit impulsive behaviors. All the things we need to make quick, big, lasting changes!
So, what seems like resistance could be just a lack of clarity and direction. And what can come across as laziness could really be exhaustion.
According to scientists confusion and exhaustion are 2 key saboteurs keeping us fat and unfit!