This may sound harsh. Certainly it’s a big ol’ serving of tough love with no holds barred. And the last thing I’m gonna say before I launch into it is that I made every one of these mistakes, to the nth degree, for decades. So the tough love comes from a place of deep understanding and compassion.
Okay, here goes.
Not only do I think you’re in denial, I know you are. I was more than one hundred pounds overweight, and you don’t get to be that heavy and not live in denial. You just don’t. There’s denial that you’re gaining weight, there’s denial that you’re eating too much, and there’s denial that your behavior is self- destructive. Truth is, your brain may be in denial, but your body is a reflection of what you do to it and for it every day. So your body’s not in denial.
Your body reflects your reality.
Denial is powerful and devious; it manifests as rationalization, excuses, and justifications. It whispers all sorts of falsehoods in your ear. You find yourself making comparisons between yourself and others who seem to have advantages you do not: Well, sure, if I had a chef (or a trainer . . . or a maid . . .) like she does, I’d eat well and work out every day. Or you curse your bad luck, but make no plan to work around it: If only I didn’t have this bum knee I could run again, like I did in high school. Or you cut yourself slack because it means you don’t have to try as hard: Well, I’ve had three kids so I’m never gonna have a slim waist again. While it may be true that you don’t have a bank account to rival Oprah’s, or you have a bum knee, or your hormones have gone haywire, how does that give you license not to be the best you can possibly be right now? See your doctor, make a plan, giddyup, and let’s go.
Fear will also undermine your weight-loss efforts. But, you wonder, how could I be afraid of losing weight? I really, really want to lose weight! It’s not so much that you’re afraid of losing weight; it’s likely that you’re afraid of confronting those issues that drive you to overeat. You’re stressed out, overburdened, resentful, anxious, unsure, worried, uneasy, and feel trapped . . . maybe even depressed. So you turn to food as your tried-and-true method for easing those very uncomfortable feelings. And it helps you shut the feelings out for a while. But just like denial, fear is a destructive companion. To better understand your fear and help you face it, you may need an arsenal of tools: a doctor (to screen you for depression or other medical conditions), a therapist (to help you explore your situation and better understand what it is about your circumstances that makes you anxious, worried, and stressed out, and to help you brainstorm workable solutions), a good friend (to provide a shoulder to lean on and an ear to bend), and maybe a little vitamin D in pill form—or better yet, sunshine. Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air and sunshine on the old psyche. Exercise has a similar effect—imagine putting the two together, say every day at lunchtime, and you’ve got a powerful antidote to fear and anxiety.
Denial, anxiety, martyrdom, and self-doubt: they are crutches. You hobble along leaning on them because, as horrible as they feel, it’s easier to lean on them than face whatever is causing them. The price of change is that you don’t get to do that anymore. Continuing to do so will only keep you stuck right where you are…
Click here to purchase Eat Like It Matters: How I Lost 120 Pounds and Found My Inner Badass (And How You Can Too!) to change the trajectory of your life and your health!