5. You Have Underlying Issues You Haven’t Addressed
As is the case with alcohol, drugs and other forms of self-harm, weight gain and obesity are often symptoms of a bigger problem.
Food is often used by those suffering depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a myriad of other painful issues as a form of self-medication. Eating can be comforting to a point that it temporarily numbs the pain that is subsequent to greater issues, and the escape associated with overeating can often develop into an addiction.
An article from The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore, Maryland outlines various ways in which mental health issues and trauma can contribute to disordered eating behavior which can lead to weight gain and obesity.
“Victims of trauma often struggle with shame, guilt, body dissatisfaction and a feeling of a lack of control,” CED notes, going on to cite that, “As many as 50% of those with eating disorders may also be struggling with trauma disorders.”
A deficit in coping skills for trauma and/or a litany of other issues either due to biological predispositions or various negative experiences can also result in individuals utilizing food as a means for comfort and numbing of feelings.
If this sounds familiar and you are in need of support, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) provides various resources and education on eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and other non-specified eating disorders which can lead to overweight and obesity.
NEDA provides individuals with a confidential helpline number for those that need assistance in navigating treatment and understanding their options.
4. You Lack Discipline
Discipline doesn’t simply refer to that thing your middle school teacher used to enforce when he or she caught you scrawling doodles across your notebook paper instead of performing Algebra equations.
Discipline is an integral part of accomplishing any goal, and a majority of people who are unable to lose weight and/or keep it off lack this.
No one ever said that losing weight would be easy.
While some self-proclaimed “gym rats” or “adrenaline junkies” revel in a diet that is made up of 100% organic everything, get nauseous at the sight of a big mac and refer to jogging as a “fun run” (seriously?!), the great majority of people do not pack their gym bag with elation, and also do not prefer a yoga class over a night of beer and chicken wings.
No matter how many times one may daydream of wearing a bathing suit without chagrin or being able to run around with their children the same way they had 40 pounds ago, a lack of discipline will quickly squander any attempts of bringing these fantasies to fruition.
Blogger “Sarah” wrote of her weight-loss journey on the popular women’s website, Divine Caroline. She spoke of how she discovered that it was discipline—not willpower—that helped her lose weight. Rather than attempt to avoid the ever-alluring bag of Cheetos lingering in her cupboard, or trying to simply “wing it” when going out to eat at restaurants or selecting foods for the day, Sarah spent a lot of time planning and organizing to achieve her goals.
She ridded her kitchen of temptations, budgeted for evenings out at a restaurant to avoid going overboard, and measured out snacks and meals to appropriate portion sizes.
Visiting a physician and becoming educated on appropriate portions, food choices and activities can help people in becoming disciplined and finally shedding the weight that has debilitated their health and happiness.
3. You Don’t Understand the Principle of Consistent, Concerted Effort
Many people fallaciously believe that weight loss will involve a complete rehabilitation of their diet and going from a completely sedentary lifestyle to running 24 miles a day.
These beliefs are what set so many people up for failure and disappointment. The truth is, that success does not come in the form of drastic, life-altering changes, but a collection of small, consistent behaviors that will add up over time. Someone that has never ran a mile in their life shouldn’t be expected to launch into training for a half marathon.
However, why not try walking a mile? Or taking the stairs instead of the elevator? Instead of trying to give up soda cold turkey, why not see if you can first cut your amount in half, or even by a third?
According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, “…Making small, easy changes to…eating habits on a consistent basis—more than 25 days a month—can lead to sustainable weight loss.”
Cornell Professor Brian Wansink spearheaded the study, which involved 504 participants who followed on online program which focused on “…simple eating behavior changes, instead of dieting.” Each participant was instructed to submit a follow-up survey each month and results showed that of the 504 participants, 42% lost weight while 27% maintained their weights, with changes being most notable in those that most appropriately adhered to the program.