Why Is It So Hard To Lose Weight?

by Jackie Wicks

An Unusual List Of Ideas Which Will Help Identify Your Reasons For Not Following Through

In the last 5 years, over 30 million people have come to the PEERtrainer website. Based on common site metrics we usually know why people have come or what they are looking for.Over 10 million people have returned to the site during this period. These are the people who help us know what is working and what is not. When people come back for something, we do more of that!

A smaller number of people (hundreds of thousands) have given us direct and detailed feedback of why certain things work and certain things don’t.

From this interaction, we have developed some very unusual insights about how people actually lose weight. We also have developed a keen sense of why most people find it so hard.

These reasons might surprise you.

#1. You Don’t Expect Much Of Yourself In This Area Of Your Life

The single biggest reason you find it so hard to lose weight is that you are not expecting all that much out of yourself.

We often see a weird phenomenon of people who are very accomplished in other areas of their life. PhDs, MDs, corporate executives, busy moms, former athletes– people very familiar with what it takes to succeed.

Yet for some reason they have not made the simple shift in their head that doing the work to lose weight permanently and become healthy is something that takes the same level of focus that you used to succeed in other areas of your life.

We got a very interesting comment from someone after we first published this article. This person said that this first point described her exactly. She added that “I suspect that in some way I don’t want to admit to myself that getting my health in order is in some way equal to the magnitude or importance of getting my PhD.”

What area of your life have you done well in?

#2. Because It Hasn’t Become Intolerable To You

There is an old adage about “the frog in warm water.” A frog will stay in warm water, and eventually die, but once the heat gets turned up, the frog will jump out. Are you a frog in warm water? What will it take for you to jump out?

As an example, we were working with a client who was complaining about her belly fat. This person had identified potato chips at her bridge games as her key downfall. We asked if she was willing to give up the chips and risk reducing the enjoyment that this brought her, and she said “no.”

As it turned out, not eating the potato chips at the bridge game was more intolerable than her belly fat. The problem was not acute enough for her!

#3. Because It Isn’t A Priority…Even Though You Think It Is.

I want you to look at your bills for the month and then measure it against what you say are priorities in your life. How much did you actually spend on wellness or something that was proactively good for you or out of your comfort zone?

In contrast, how much did you spend on quick gratifying fixes that lasted for 2 minutes? How much did you spend at Starbucks? We find that this is an excellent exercise for people who really want to understand what their priorities really are.

#4. When You Think Of Getting Back On Track You Default To “Diet Foods”

For example, you think that egg white sandwiches with cooking spray on high fiber bread will help you lose weight and then you don’t understand why the wheels come off at 7pm.

When we recently launched The PEERtrainer Cheat System, we got a lot of questions asking why Yogurt is considered a “cheat.” People have a list of “approved diet foods” in their mind and Yogurt is on this list. These are usually the same people who are struggling with their weight. When you begin the process of shifting from a “diet food” mentality to a “high nutrient” mindset, happiness tends to follow.

Have you made the shift away from “diet foods?”

#5. You Have Not Admitted How Depressed You Really Are

This is something that we generally experience or know about but don’t discuss. It is considered socially acceptable to be overweight and admit to struggles. But it seems less socially acceptable to admit to depression. It is also difficult to even realize you might be depressed. Especially when it seems like you “have it all” and you appear “ungrateful” for not appreciating what you do have.

Is it possible that you are one of those people who are so depressed about their life, that food is the only real comfort? Do you find a joy and a certainty in food that helps you actually enjoy a small moment of your day?

One of the best ways to identify the real reason you are depressed is to ask yourself what you are angry about or what is overwhelming you? Maybe another way of getting at this is to ask what in your life do you feel like is never going to change?

The funny thing is that the only thing in life that is constant is change! If you have only identified what you are angry about, you are halfway to solving the problem. A great way to get feedback about your problem, post a question anonymously in the PEERtrainer community or in a team.

When you are depressed, the easiest thing you can do is change your space. If you have the energy, exercise is of course the best thing you can do. But if you are nowhere near being able to do this, running the simplest errand can instantly help change your space.

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