If you think the answer is “no,” it may actually be “yes.”
Mixed feelings are a natural part of the journey toward change. Motivation—by nature—waxes and wanes depending on any number of factors. Human beings are complex creatures. If you have been feeling bad that you are not “all in” with this weight loss thing, know that it is totally normal (and probably a good thing). If you have been feeling 100% “all in,” it might be time to look a little deeper.
Let mindfulness help you uncover the hidden saboteurs of your weight loss goals. We turn these enemies into allies.
All behavior has upsides and downsides. Behaviors that led to weight gain most certainly have a list of compelling upsides. Unacknowledged upsides are very sneaky–they can sabotage your efforts at losing weight. Think of them as “ninja-saboteurs.”
People who think they are totally on board with losing weight most likely have several unacknowledged upsides lurking beneath the surface of their awareness. But take heart: a mindfulness practice can help to connect you to your unique blend of mixed feelings. And the good news is that when we bring those motives into the light of awareness, they can no longer sabotage us. In fact, they can be our best allies.
The trick is in being clear about the upsides of not losing weight. Only you can figure this out by taking a few mindful breaths, settling into yourself, and listening for the answer.
Some common upsides: “food is my best friend and my favorite drug,” “Food is always there for me,” “I’m afraid to give up something that gives me so much pleasure,” “I don’t think I can cope with life without eating the way I do,” “Eating is what we do in my family,” “I like my life the way it is” “If I change, the grief will come flooding back and I can’t deal with that,” “My social life revolves around eating out.”
Are you 100% all in? If you answered yes, try taking stock of the upsides of your current lifestyle and see what you find. The best way to find out what is hiding in the shadows is to turn on the light—the light of mindfulness.
And when you discover the hidden upsides to not losing weight, don’t fight against them. Acknowledge them, be aware of them, and invite them on board (sounds crazy, right?). Tapping into these upsides can be a very powerful tool in achieving your goals.
When you learn how to enlist these hidden upsides as allies, you can find alternative ways of achieving them and losing the weight.
Action step: If you have taken the Mindful LIfe classes you are familiar with the Vision Statement where you list all the reasons why you want to lose weight. Now, take a few moments and consider the reasons why you don’t want to lose weight. Make a list of all the positives,”pay offs,” and upsides of staying at your current weight. Include social, emotional, family, mental, and physical reasons. Also include needs that are fulfilled by your current lifestyle. In the group sessions we can show you how to turn those enemies into allies.