Many of us are very good at trying to lose weight.
We make resolutions, join gyms, exercise, follow a diet, resist sweets, research all the weigh loss tips we can find…We'll experience some weight loss, and even lose a few pounds in those first few weeks.
And the next week, we'll experience stress and gain back those pounds--plus a few more. We were sure we knew how to lose weight, but we didn't succeed.
It's plain to see that more people fail at weight loss than succeed. And in all of those failures, we can learn a thing or two about that willpower that we think we need to cultivate in order to achieve our New Year’s Resolutions. Specifically, we can deduce that willpower is not the answer. All the exercise and weight loss tips in the world are not enough. Just trying to follow a diet is not enough.
Think about it. If there is something you want to do, that you know is beneficial, will you not naturally do that thing? If not, there must be a reason. We do the things we do for a reason. Just trying to muscle ourselves to change cannot possibly work in the long run.
Take weight loss, for example. You can have a great meal plan. You can go shopping and plan ahead. You can diet, exercise and follow all the weight loss tips you find, to the letter. But when stress comes your way, it's likely that you will eat to calm yourself. So often, we overeat because that is the only way we know to show love to ourselves.
We look into the mirror and see that we are fat. We tell ourselves that we look horrible, and we vow to finally amass the willpower to do something about it. We know how to lose weight, and we resolve to do it. But that resolve is never enough.
Because food is how so many of us show love. So many of us can't think kind thoughts toward ourselves. So many of us can't look deeply and understand why we are doing what we are doing. All we can do is give our bodies some comfort by overeating.
So, if you are making New Year’s Resolutions this year, look beyond willpower. Don’t try to just bully yourself into giving up a habit that is clearly meeting a need. Instead, be curious with your mind.
Why are you indulging in this habit? What are you gaining from it? What is it doing for you?
Because it is doing something, I promise you. And when you figure out what it is doing, you can also figure out how to meet that need for yourself, in a more effective way.
Look beyond willpower this New Year. You won’t regret it.
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