Lowering your expectations can help you lose weight. How?
Consider the example of Robert. He really wanted to go to grad school, but the idea of the interview process filled him with anxiety. Robert found statistics surveys showing a bias against overweight people, and was convinced that his weight prevented him from being accepted into a program.
He kept saying that after he lost weight, he’d apply. Then he’d be ready.
Like Robert, lots of people have expectations about what’s happens after you lose weight. Maybe you do, too. Do you ever say:
When I lose weight, I’ll start dating
When I lose weight, I’ll get a better job.
When I lose weight, I’ll have kids.
When I lose weight, I’ll travel.
The inherent expectation is that once you lose weight, a new boyfriend, girlfriend, job and/or career, kids and travel will all be within reach.
There are also expectations that that your personality will change by losing weight. If you’re insecure, you’ll become confident. If you’re shy, you’ll become outgoing.
But, what if it doesn’t go that way? What if everything in your life stays exactly the same, except for the number on the scale?
Robert and I explored what would happen if he lost weight and didn’t get into graduate school. He knew he could not blame his weight if that happened. He’d have to face the unpleasant reality that he could not control the world by losing weight.
He also began to recognize anxieties about being able to keep up in school. He worried about not being smart enough, not being as bright or capable as other people thought he was.
Turns out, Robert felt like an imposter. He told himself and others that grad school was a definite possibility, if only he was at a certain weight, but secretly felt inadequate about his intelligence and abilities.
When he addressed these core issues and anxieties, he was able to drop weight. Although he did not get into his first choice of graduate school, he managed his disappointment and felt good about the program that did accept him. He graduates next year.
Food for thought:
What qualities about yourself (not physical characteristics) do you think you need to get rid of?
How did you come to believe those qualities are unacceptable?
What do you imagine will be different if you were at a different weight?
You cannot resolve a psychological conflict or problem by changing your body.
You must ose the expectation that can change your world by changing your weight. You will probably feel good about your weight loss but you will not become a different person.
You will be yourself, just thinner. Wherever you go, there you are.By lowering expectations you can gain self-confidence.
And that's how you win the diet war!
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