This is the first of a 5-part series about mindset aspects of losing weight.
My intention is to use some day to day analogies of how we live our lives (completely unrelated to weight loss), and compare them to how many people approach and treat their weight loss attemps.
The purpose of this is to try and ‘hold up a mirror’ so you can see just how ludicrous some behaviours really are.
In this part 1, we’re going to look at ‘expectations’.
“Boring” I hear you cry.
“Yeh yeh, I know I should be more realistic….”
Of course you know this.
But the whole point to all of this, is that generally speaking, you DO know what to do - it’s just doing it that’s the problem.
So with that in mind, consider the following…….
After waking up feeling a bit fuzzy and grotty from too many vinos and maltesers last night, you scoff down a full english to take the edge of it.
It gets to early afternoon, your head has cleared, and other than been a tad tired still, you feel much better.
You make the decision to ‘sort yourself out’.
You mentally profress to yourself that “that’s it, I’m going to clean up my eating and get back on track with my exercise”.
All good so far.
Not only do you tell yourself that, you actually START doing something about it. Right there and then in that afternoon.
No ‘diet starts Monday’ for you!
So, from 1pm to bedtime, you manage to quaff 2 litres of water, eat a huge salad full of goodness, and take yourself out for an hour’s walk.
The pyschological benefits of doing this feel just as good as the physical ones.
Now, what you DON’T do - you don’t even consider doing - is weigh yourself before bedtime to see the impact of this avo’s salad a trot.
Because you’re not stupid.
You have ZERO expectation that one afternoon’s good work is enough to make any difference.
However, subconsciously, you have a set expectation that 3 days, or certianly a week is DEFINTELY enough to make a difference.
So you start weighing yourself again.
At no point do you question why you think this way.
You don’t ask:
“where does 7 days as an arbitary measure of time, come from, that causes me to have expectations of weight loss?
Even though I don’t have any expectations of weight loss in 1-2 days?”
Now, tracking progress weekly is no bad thing.
It can be helpful to keep an eye on it - but only from a bigger picture.
To see TRENDS.
“OVERALL, over many weeks, am I gradually going in the right direction?”
But the point remains that ‘tracking progress’ (or keeping an eye on it) is not the same as ‘expectations’.
Frustration comes from unmet expecations.
If we have too many expectations of things beyond our control, we will be frustrated far too often.
On the flipside, if you reduce your expecations of things you can’t control (weight loss, other people’s behaviours etc) ……and INCREASE your expecations of things you can control (YOUR habits and behaviours) then you’ll see things change dramatically.
You begin to become less attached to the numbers on the scale.
You begin to trust that by focussing on YOU - the numbers on the scale will change as a byproduct of your improved habits and behaviours anyway.
The take home message today isn’t just “have more realistic expectations”.
It’s 2 things:
1) QUESTION your beliefs regularly - with such things as “why do I have zero expectations of losing weight in 2 days, but absolutely expect it in 7 days? Where does that belief come from?”
2) Recognise that having too many expectations of things you can’t control, will cause frustration (which can cause compounding ‘bad’ behaviours), and instead focuss ‘inwards’, and have more expectations of yourself and the things you can control and work on.
In part 2, we’re going to look at a cool little analogy between our smart phones, and our response when the scales don’t budge.
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