Here is something that you never hear anyone talk about when it comes
to weight loss. That is, how our emotions come into play when we attempt
to lose weight, or to achieve any goal for that matter.
For the longest period of time I thought that guilt way a nonproductive
emotion. Just recently I came to realize how wrong I was. Guilt is much
more than nonproductive, it is counter productive. So much so that it
prevents us from obtaining our goals, in this case, losing weight.
Naturally, you ask yourself how this works. It is quite simple really.
Guilt is the mechanism that allows us to bind together two contradictory
thoughts, beliefs, desires or actions.
Here is a simple example, one pertaining to your weight loss program.
Let us assume for a moment that you are overweight. It is on your
mind a great deal of the time. You are unhappy with this condition. As
a matter of fact, it plagues you. It is on your mind constantly and you
absolutely plan to do something about it. Maybe you are even in the
process of dieting and exercising right now. Okay. So you have had
a long, frustrating day. There is a pint of chocolate ice cream with your
name on it in the freezer. You know in your heart that eating it will
be counter productive. Jeez, it is worse than that. No only will it delay
your weight loss, it will actually put weight on your thighs. What do
you do? You guessed it. You eat the pint of ice cream.
What is the mechanism that allows this to happen? What is it that
allows you to know for certain that what you are doing is against your
own best interests and you do it anyway? Duh, it is guilt. Guilt is the
means that allows us to bind these absolutely, contradictory actions
together. We are dieting (or plan on dieting) and eating ice cream at
the same time. Not to beat a dead horse, but what makes this alright
in our minds and emotions. Guilt.
By this time you are saying to yourself, do not be silly. This is the
most ridiculous thing that I have ever heard. Well, stop and think
about this for a few minutes. Find other examples in your life where
this can apply. You will discover that it is no so silly after all.
When you come to the realization that this may in fact be true, you should
be asking yourself what can be done about it. The easy answer, on the face
of it, is to just stop feeling guilty. Easier said than done.
You see, guilt has a small army of allies. This army of allies only strengthen
the power of guilt. These allies include, but are not limited to, low self esteem,
self pity and a general negative outlook on life.
By now, the picture is beginning to look hopeless. Not so. The fact of the
matter is that there are a number of people who lose weight every single day.
What is it that they do to successfully lose weight? What is it that I can do
to duplicate their success?
The single, most important and powerful thing that you can do is to set your
goal. When you establish this goal it has to be set in stone. Gandhi use to
talk about taking a personal vow. I take this to mean to establish your goal
at the highest and deepest mental and emotional levels. When you do this
then every action that you take will contribute to arriving at your goal. That
includes the slips and missteps.
Anyway, there you have it, something to think about. If you have tried to
diet and lose weight in the past, and were unsuccessful, perhaps you have
gained some insight as to why. With some self reflection perhaps your next
attempt will be your last.