New Year Resolution – Weight Loss..? Or maybe not!
So, you have been on and off diet plans, made innumerable New Year resolutions to lose weight, only to give them up before the 30th day of January. You have accepted countless challenges from friends and family to lose weight to fit into that gorgeous outfit for New Year’s Eve, only to put it back into the closet with a heavy heart and the words “Maybe Next Year…”
Is this a pattern that resonates with you? Has it become an integral part of your life? If you have answered a ‘Yes’, and are feeling miserable about it, trust me, you are not alone.
Research indicates that only 8% people are able to stick to their New Year resolution, especially when it is concerned with losing weight or being on a diet. So what is it about losing weight that is so difficult? Is it the process itself or the mere thought of it, or both? Or something else?
Let’s explore this a bit…
Like most of our other goals, when we decide to lose weight, we are extremely motivated and positive at the beginning. We usually tell ourselves, “This time, I will lose those extra pounds and achieve my goal”. Usually, all is well for the first few days. Then, we receive an invitation to a get-together from a relative, friends make plans to meet for a movie followed by dinner, there’s a team lunch in the pipeline, and this is when the conflict begins. Thoughts like “Why does everyone want to meet only now, when I’m trying to lose weight?” etc. begin to cloud our mind. We might begin by avoiding such outings, and eventually, when the conflict is too much to bear, decide instead to give the diet plan a miss.
So what is the problem? Is it the diet plan? Is it the situation? Or is it what we are telling ourselves about our diet plan and the situation that is causing this failure time and again?
It is the latter. It always is the latter. Not just when it comes to diet, but when it comes to just about anything in life. A situation is a situation. But what we tell ourselves about the situation results in our experience. So, a thin person usually doesn’t tell himself or herself, “I should eat all this right now. Or else I will just not be able to tolerate it”. Therefore he or she does not feel deprived. On the contrary, those who wish to lose weight usually obsess over food- either by having too much of it, or not having anything at all. And if we swing in extremes, then we lack balance and sustainability. This lack of balance is what causes the failure of our weight loss plan, and not the diet chart.
Moderation is the key. It comes only with practice. By repeatedly telling ourselves, “I choose to lose weight and stay fit. I therefore choose a healthier lifestyle. I will not completely deprive myself of foods that I like, but I will definitely not hurt myself by going overboard and then feeling miserable”.
There is a plethora of diet plans in the market, some available at a price, and some for free. But what it does not come along with is skills training on how to adopt the right attitude towards food, oneself and life. Here’s an attempt to help you take one step towards that direction…
Next time, instead of scrapping diet plans saying “This one is not meant for me”, let’s begin by scrapping our old self-talk and replace it with a more constructive and healthy self-talk, free of deprivation and anxiety.