Have you ever noticed the similarity between a diet and a New Years resolution? A diet sounds like a great idea when your standing in front of the mirror as you leave the shower, but by supper time it makes a lot more sense to start it tomorrow…or maybe after the holiday weekend that’s coming up.
As a Life Coach I get a lot of questions from clients and readers that sound like the letter from this reader.
“I have tried everything I can think of to lose weight. I lose 20 pounds but then I put it right back on again. This is so frustrating because I’ve been on an ongoing path of spiritual and emotional development for many years but can’t seem to get passed the weight issue. So what am I missing?”
Here’s what I told her.
“The only advice I can give you is to “change who you are“. Attempting to use will power or a “force of will” to change anything about ourselves, including our weight, will quickly become an exercise in frustration. Like a New Year’s resolution, the primitive ego of our unconscious mind will quickly lose focus and revert us back from whom we “want” to be, to who we “really” are.”
I told her the only way for a person to permanently lose weight is to begin, step by step, changing who we are and how we think. Dieting alone won’t work.
Far too many of us try to lose weight by dieting…but we keep our house filled with junk food, we eat way too much fat, not enough grains and vegetables, we do little or no exercise, we watch way too much television sitting on a couch, we are not active and connected with our larger community, we are very self-focused and give back almost nothing to our larger community, we have little to no idea as to what our life purpose might be, and we give little to no thought as to what our true gifts really are.
The secret to losing weight is to think differently about who we are.
For example, instead of trying a new “diet”, think bigger. Make the decision that we are going to adopt an overall healthier life style for ourselves. Instead of thinking all the time about food
- begin exercising
- make the decision to eat healthy foods and only allow healthy food into your house
- avoid stopping at fast food restaurant’s that tend to have a lot of fat in their menus
- sign up for a yoga class
- begin walking a few miles every day
- give up smoking and alcohol
- join a gym and start working out two or three hours a week
- spend more time reading and less time watching television
- intentionally hang out with people who also choose to live a healthy lifestyle
- and find your life purpose…what it is that you, and only you, can accomplish or contribute to the world?
In other words, don’t worry about the weight, just make the decision that you are going to become a radically, totally, healthy person…emotionally, physically, spiritually, and psychologically.
I offered her one final thought. I reminded her that weight gain is often associated with depression or dysthymia; the low level, life long, mild depression that has been with us so long (usually since childhood) we don’t even “know” we are sad or depressed.
I agreed with her that getting rid of unwanted weight can be very frustrating.
An effective way to begin living a truly healthy life is to find a well trained therapist and work with that person for a couple of years while you’re implementing the other lifestyle changes we talked about above.
The best, and most effective way to change who we are is to change the way we think. When we change the way we think, our life changes without effort because the old behaviors, and old eating habits, no longer make sense any longer.