Most people don't realize how great your body is designed to feel. They get used to the poor quality sleep, the chronic mild aches and pains, the groggy thought process and feelings of irritability. Then there's the adult acne, constantly upset stomach, bloating, gas, diarrhea and fatigue. None of these feelings seem out of place because so many others are walking around in the same state of being. Feeling like crud seems to be all the rage these days.
For the millions of people who are trying to lose weight, it can seem like a constant struggle to cut back calories, find energy to head to the gym and learn more about a healthy lifestyle when you genuinely feel awful and exhausted.
It's infuriating when you feel like you've given every weight loss program, pill and persona an honest go, yet you're not losing weight. You're not alone. Here are seven reasons why you and millions of others are unable to reach your goal weight:
Fear, not caloric excess, is the number one reason that people don't succeed in their weight-loss efforts. It's fear of making change, fear of what others will think and fear of falling during yoga class onto the super yogi next to you, creating a domino effect that ends with a broken pile of yogis and never-ending embarrassment. People fear pain, deprivation, starvation or even fear of letting go over their obese personas.
In case no one has told you, you're allowed to have the happy, healthy, well-nourished body and life of your dreams. If you were waiting for a permission slip to do so, there it is, and it's from a real life nutritionist. Show your fear your permission slip every time it pops up.
If you gathered up all the fearful thoughts that exist in the mind of the average person, looked at them objectively, and tried to decide just how much good they provided that person, you would see that not some but all fearful thoughts are useless. They do no good. Zero. They interfere with dreams, hopes, desires, and progress.
– Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
F*ck fear. Acknowledge your fears and the fact that they're holding you back. Don't use fear as a crutch to hold you up when it's the same thing knocking your legs out from under you. Recognize when you have a fearful thought, and choose to let it go.
It takes time to make this change or to even recognize when fear's doing the talking. Whenever you make a choice, ask yourself, “Am I doing this out of fear?” Try this for one week or one month, and see the huge changes it makes on your life and your waistline.
2. This Or That Logic
“Is it diet or exercise that helps with weight loss?” The answer is both. “Should I cut back on carbs or fat?” The answer here is neither. Make healthy choices with all nutrients and the amounts of food you choose to eat.
The list goes on. Often, we deliberate on what is the best direction to go, so that we actually don't have to move in any direction in life, especially forward. Repeatedly, I have seen this very logic trap individuals in their current weight and life situation.
When it comes to the one tried and true method to losing weight, the answer is healthy lifestyle. There is no other way to reach healthy, lasting, successful weight loss. None. A healthy lifestyle means eating well, being physically active, taking care of your emotional health and pursuing happiness.
While you're learning the new skills of a healthy lifestyle, try everything. Be active in your curiosity instead of paralyzed by the fear of doing it wrong. Try every flipping healthy recipe on Pinterest until you're basically a professional chef. Try every random fitness class until you're a walking bruise. Try it all and see what happens. Whatever you do, keep trying, keep moving and keep going.
3. Speaking Limitations Into Reality
Yammering on and on and on about why something won't work, why you won't like a new food and why you have failed in the past isn't helping you. It's hurting you. It's annoying every living being around you. Mostly, it's condemning you to the very negativity that comes out of your mind.
What you think becomes what you say, and then it becomes the reality you construct. Words can build or words can break. Why not use your every word to make your world and the world around you a better place? You and everyone you encounter deserve to only hear constructive, positive statements.
Take a page out of Drizzy's book, “I know I exaggerated things, now I got it like that.” Drake is notorious for rapping millions, charming ladies and even sprawling mansions into reality. Instead of putting yourself down, start bragging about the accomplishments you have in the works. If it works for Canadians, it can work for you, too.
Here's another permission slip for you: You're allowed to feel proud for that slow walk on the treadmill. You're allowed to try something again in hopes it will work. You're allowed to feel like a badass. You're allowed to be a badass.
4. Fighting The Professional Who's There To Help
Inside all of us is a little bit of Rocky Balboa. You want to come out swinging at the challenges in your life and hook 'em with a TKO. You know to your core it's not about how many times you hit, but rather how many times you get hit and keep moving forward. But alas, scheduling a doctor's appointment isn't stepping into the ring. Simmer down and put the satin shorts away.
Don't get mad at your health care provider for telling you that you need to make changes, or you're going to continue to get sicker. If your doctor gets rude and crude by using the real F word, “fat,” in reference to your weight and you get offended, then proceed to get mad. Be mad at his or her unprofessionalism and school your doctor. I'm giving you a hot pink and sparkly permission slip to do so.
Look at what the issue is you're trying to resolve, and then hire the proper professional. Decide what you want out of the care that practitioner provides you. At the end of the day, it's your body, and you're the one accountable for it.
If you schedule an appointment with your doctor for high blood pressure, don't get furious with him or her, the pharmaceutical industry and the entire health care industry because you get prescribed blood pressure medication. None of that helps your blood pressure.
Instead, tell your doctor you're concerned about your high blood pressure and ask what you need to do in both the short and long term to overcome this challenge. If you don't want to be on medication indefinitely, speak up.
This goes for anyone you get involved in helping you reach a healthy weight. Work with your nutritionist, not against him or her. We give you awesome permission slips in life. We can educate you on foods that are harming your health and foods that can help you.
Telling your nutritionist that you're going to continue to eat the way you have and expect to see results is a waste of your time and money. As one of my best clients said, “If I continue to eat the same, I'll continue to weigh the same, which is way more than I want to. I'll continue to gain weight just like I have been.”
5. Looking In All The Wrong Places
Trying to find the healthiest option at a fast food restaurant is like trying to find a family-friendly porno. If you want to lose weight and feel great, look for healthy foods, not healthiest options. Yes, if you're in a situation where you have to eat what is there, do make the best choice. But, don't rely on any restaurant to be your waistline savor.
The honest truth is most “healthy” food options at restaurants are loaded with toxic food additives, gas-causing agents and a metric ton of sodium. Forget the turkey bacon breakfast wonder, and make you own healthy breakfast to go. You'll get more nutrition and save money.
6. Hidden Sugar
It doesn't matter if it's organic sugar cane from the mystical land of super moral people and thriving endangered species; it's still sugar. Sugar is sugar, and it's in damn near every packaged food item.
Excess sugar causes weight gain, high cholesterol, acne, gas, bloating, fatigue, yeast infections and addiction to more sugar. Check the labels and say goodbye to unnecessary sugar. Double-check your “healthy” food products. Milk replacements (coconut, soy, rice, hemp, etc.), low-fat products and even multi-grain wonder products are common culprits. Oh, and your lattes aren't flavored with love and sparkles. That too is sugar. The good news is, there are plenty of healthy options out there.
Before you start tossing out healthy fruits because of the natural sugar they contain, remember this: You'll overdose on the fiber in fruit long before you overdose on the sugar in fruit. Anyone who has eaten too many cherries can attest to this.
7. Not Wanting To
As crazy as it may seem, many people can't lose weight because they don't want to yet. You may be miserable and hate your weight, but at the same time, that's the norm you are accustomed to. You have to be ready to change. You have to really want it.
Write it all out. Write anything and everything you want and what you feel like you need to do to get there. Hire a mental health care professional and break through your barriers until you reach the point you want. Do what you gotta do, boo.
Before you can start your weight-loss journey, you need to travel to the place where you want to lose weight. It'll take time and work, but you'll come out swinging.
Sheila Amir is writer and owner of NutritionSheila.com, where she mixes wit and facts to help people have the happy, healthy, well-nourished life of their dreams. Sign up here to get great weight loss information, random Stallone references, recipes and more delivered to your inbox.
This article was originally published on NutritionSheila.com.