In Weight Loss

Lose weight – by losing passion!

Ask yourself this. How many of your daily activities are mundane? And, how many of these daily activities can you live without? Could you live without brushing your teeth? You lose this, you lose your pearly whites. What about doing your laundry? Eliminate this and you’ll stink. You’ll probably also eliminate your friends. Or their sense of smell.

The fact is, most mundane tasks are essential. If they weren’t important, we wouldn’t do them. There is limited emotional feedback with cleaning the cooker or disinfecting the toilet. Sure, you feel bad if you don’t do your laundry. But, you don’t do it because it makes you feel sad if you don’t. That would be slightly weird.

We just do it. Whether we like it, or not. We don’t need passion to #mopthekitchen.

Some of our most successful tasks in life, are the most boring. So why are we so bad at losing weight? That’s boring, right? Well, the bad news is this. The bit we want to be boring, isn’t. And the part we want to be exciting, is boring. We become emotionally engaged in the task. It becomes ‘important’ to us. Whilst, the activity of losing weight, is dull.

Think of the reasons we lose weight. Maybe we are going on holiday in the summer. Perhaps we have a wedding to go to. And we want to look amazing. Worse still, someone has made a mean comment about how ‘healthy’ we look lately. Possibly, we just make a conscious decision to change the way we look.

We want the approval of others. Sure, we can say we are doing it for ourselves. That helps our self-esteem more. But essentially, the approval of others reinforces how we feel about ourselves. When we say, ‘I want to feel good about myself’ – what does that mean? Say you ‘felt’ good about yourself. But, someone called you fat. You probably wouldn’t ‘feel’ as good about yourself.

Feelings are troublesome. Personal trainers love the word ‘passion’ as much as they love kale chips and Tupperware. They love to shout at elderly ladies. Asking them ‘how much do you want this!’. And ‘give me 10 angry reps’. All to try and emote some form of chemical fuelled energy into their workouts.

The problem is this. Our emotions are complex. When our happiness is based on others. One ill-timed comment can lead to the biscuit tin. Or even worse, a long term eating disorder. On a more basic level our emotions control our eating habits. Even more so when trying to lose weight.

Most people use rewards to fuel their weight loss (ironically, it fuels their weight gain). This is the treat you’ll get if you complete the first week of your diet. This is promising yourself a doughnut if you get through the first 10 minutes of spin class.

Isn’t this gambling on our own failure? Sure, we get the treat if we get through a week of dieting. But wasn’t it this mindset that got us here in the first place? We are also reinforcing the stigma that diets, or exercise make us sad. Doughnuts make us happy. If we get through a week of sadness. Then surely, we deserve a bit of happiness? But then what happens when other things in life make us sad? Food seems like the antidote to that too. We need to remove the emotions from weight loss. Emotions make us impulsive. They make us fail.

Instead of gambling on our own failure. We should gamble on our future selves. Invest in the version of you that exists post diet, and doughnut free. We only get there by pushing through the doughnut barrier in the present, and making it a thing of the past. Every doughnut you eat pushes that barrier further into your future. Where you’ll have to face it again. You’ll have to overcome that emotional battle again. Push through the doughnut barrier before the losing weight. Not during. Not after.

Invest in your future.

We can feel that wave of happiness surge through our veins the minute we see a slice of chocolate cake. If we can work on stopping these associations, we are closer to emotion-free weight loss.

The commitment to change isn’t instantaneous. We don’t see our bodies change straight away. Invest in yourself and you’ll arrive in the future, with will power and confidence.

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