It takes courage to look within and consider the various ways you may have been sabotaging your weight loss and exercise efforts.
Today we’ll look at the last 3 most common obstacles:
- Eating for comfort
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Using your weight as a protective barrier
These are three of the most insidious and challenging saboteurs. Be prepared for some soul-searching and potentially painful (but powerful) insights.
Reason #16 – You Don’t Know How to Cope With Negative Emotions
This is a very common weight loss obstacle, so if it applies to you, you’re in very good company.
If eating is your only – or primary – way of coping with negative emotions, then you’re probably going to sabotage all your diet efforts.
Common negative emotions include boredom, anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness, fear, and loneliness.
Emotional eating is one of the main causes of unwanted weight gain and obesity. Unfortunately, most of us were inadvertently taught to turn to food for comfort when we were still infants.
We cried – and our mother held us and fed us to stop our tears and make us feel better.
That’s a powerful message.
As we got older, we were given cookies and candy when we fell and scraped our knee or were teased by kids at school.
It’s no wonder so many people struggle with emotional eating. You learned to quickly revert to eating for comfort, despite your determination and best intentions to succeed at weight loss
Reason #17 – You’ve Got Too Much on Your Plate
Changing your eating habits and incorporating a regular exercise routine into your busy schedule takes a lot of planning and effort.
If you’ve already got a lot on your plate or are under a lot of stress, you’re likely to undermine your weight loss efforts.
Sadly, the subsequent feeling of failure often adds additional stress.
This may not be the time to take on a major weight loss endeavor or exercise regimen.
Reason #18 – Your Weight Has Been a Protective Barrier
For some people, especially women, extra layers of fat offer a means of protection against unwanted sexual attention.
This is often true if you have a history of childhood sexual abuse.
By gaining weight over the years, you may have been subconsciously been trying to protect yourself from further abuse.
Extra weight can also serve to protect you from intimacy. Even though you may not have been sexually abused, you may have an underlying fear of letting anyone “in” or get too close.
Intimacy requires vulnerability and that can be very scary for a lot of people.
Being overweight – and especially being obese – allows you to avoid the very intimacy you may desire but fear so deeply.
- One of the best ways to overcome emotional overeating is to keep a food log. Write down everything you eat for at least a week. Don’t try to diet. Just be sure to record the time you ate, what you ate, and what you were feeling just before you ate. This will give you a lot of insight into your emotional eating. Use that insight to make necessary changes.
- If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed or overloaded, it might be worth waiting a while before starting a new diet or exercise program. What you can do, however, is begin making small changes that will help move you towards your goals. For example, make one change per week in your eating habits, such as cutting out that late night snack, making sure you eat a healthy, high-protein breakfast each day, or taking a brisk 20-minute walk on your lunch hour. Small changes are less overwhelming and easier to incorporate than trying to do a complete overhaul all at once. In just 2 months you’ll have made 9 positive changes which, together, will pay big dividends over time.
- Weight as a protective barrier can be one of the most difficult issues to overcome on your own. If you think this is one of the reasons – or the primary reason – you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts, considering work with a therapist, especially if you have a history of sexual abuse and have never dealt with it directly. Freeing yourself from the need for protection that your excess weight provides will be a huge step towards finally achieving your weight loss goals.
Losing weight and improving your exercise habits are difficult endeavors for most people.
While the helpful tips may be beneficial, they may also be insufficient for some of you to overcome the obstacles – especially if several of these apply to you.
If you have the resources, consider working with a therapist or health and wellness coach to help you break through the barriers.
Your weight impacts all areas of your life, so consider it an investment in yourself.
You may find that just a few sessions will help you feel empowered and get you well on your way to the success you’ve always dreamed of!