03
May
09

Weight Loss From The Inside-Out (The Psychology Of Weight Loss)

One of the things I try to get my clients, whose goals are to lose body fat, to recognize is what they have lost from their overeating and lack of fitness.  For me, I suffered many losses.  I didn’t realize until later just exactly how much I had lost.

When I talk about losses, I don’t mean that I could no longer wear smaller size clothes or that I had difficulty sitting at booths in restaurants.  Those booths really weren’t made for people as overweight as I was.

What I’m talking about is the loss of self esteem and self respect.  Not being able to look at myself in pictures without cringing.  The shame I felt when I saw how much weight I had gained.  The embarrassment I felt when I was out in public.

I lost a tremendous amount of self worth.  I felt depressed, out of control, and hopeless.  I knew that this was a contradiction to my belief system.  The beliefs of it being important that I be in shape and healthy, that I should not be ashamed of how I looked, and that I was too young to be feeling as bad as I did physically were all being contradicted.

Because of the contradiction of these beliefs, I suffered many more losses and felt even more shame.  This is the cycle that occurs and once a person is in this cycle it is extremely difficult to get out of.  Not impossible, just difficult.

First thing someone has to do when they are trying to overcome the destructive behaviors patterns that lead them to being overweight is to recognize that being overweight comes at a price.  Not just in how much that person spends on extra large size clothes, food, doctor bills and medication. But also the price one pays mentally and emotionally for being overweight.

Next we look at losses they have suffered.  The loss of self esteem, self respect, loss of boundaries with food, and loss of time spent really enjoying life.  These losses are deep and go to the root of an individuals pain.  No one gets a free ride when it comes to being overweight.  There is always a price to pay.

After we look at losses we look at what we felt because of the loss.  These could have been feelings of shame, regret, anger, embarrassment, hurt or the feeling of being out of control.  Then we look at what happened when the person felt what they were feeling.  What did they do with that feeling.  Did they ignore it?  Did they try to make it go away by eating more?  What types of things did they do when they felt those feelings.

Finally, we look at how the loss, the feelings they felt because of the loss, and what they did with the loss contradicted their own belief system.

This is a lot of internal work.  And it can be difficult and painful.  But, if a person can get to a place where they understand that it’s not just about overeating.  They are overeating for a reason.  They didn’t get overweight by accident.  And until they recognize that they are in a vicious cycle, getting out of that cycle is going to be more and more difficult the longer they are in that cycle.

It’s not impossible to disengage from this cycle.  It’s a lot of work to change years of behavior patterns.  Understanding that there is a cycle and a pattern is usually all it takes for most people to start making positive life altering behavioral changes in the way they eat and take care of themselves physically.

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