How do you overcome defeat when you are trying to lose weight? Here are 5 tips to overcome defeat and lose those inches for good.
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You Need to Be the Scientist To Overcome Defeat
I like to tell my clients to think of themselves as a science experiment. Take the emotional part out of it. If you “fall off the wagon,” (which by the way there is no wagon…you’ve either decided to head towards your goals or you haven’t). Look for triggers that might have led you in the direction you chose. Maybe you had a rough day at work, or your kids just won’t stop arguing – and the next thing you know, you find yourself diving headfirst into a pint of Häagen-Dazs®.
But a lapse doesn’t mean that it’s all over. You can overcome defeat.
You’ve heard me talk about your primitive brain and your sophisticated brain, right? The primitive brain is basically there to keep you alive. It only knows pleasure and pain. The primitive brain wants to avoid pain at all costs. It revels in pleasure all day long.
The sophisticated brain has aspirations, dreams, and goals for you. It’s the side of your brain you want to tap into as much as possible.
But when your sophisticated brain sets a goal to lose weight, your primitive brain will start freaking out and telling you this is a bad idea.
Because you have to get uncomfortable to reach your goals. You need to overcome defeat! You need to look fear in the face and do it anyway! And what does your primitive brain want to do? That’s right – it wants to avoid pain and go straight to pleasure. This is where your slip-ups will happen: when your primitive brain gains control of the wheel.
When you push through on your goal, your primitive brain will start coming up with all kinds of reasons why your goal is a bad idea. AND, even worse, it will start scanning your past for all the failures you’ve made: “Of course you can’t do this! Remember the last time when you tried to lose weight?? Ya see where that led you??”
5 Tips On How To Push Through And Overcome Defeat
1. Set Yourself Up for Success
Pick realistic goals.
If you decide you want to prep your food for the week, but this week you the only time you are home is to sleep, then food prepping might not be your best option.
I love big goals that make you feel like you want to vomit. But to overcome defeat you need to have smaller goals to lead you up to the big scary goal.
Especially if you are just starting out.
Pick a small goal that you know you can accomplish. Say, for instance, you drink a gallon of soda every day, and you decide that by cutting soda out, you will start to lose weight and feel better.
So you decide to go cold turkey.
By day 3, your knuckles are white, and your willpower is completely exhausted, so you drink a gallon of soda (again… your primitive brain doesn’t like pain, only pleasure).
But maybe instead of going cold turkey, you still drink a gallon of soda, but each time you pour it into a glass, you add ⅛ cup of water. You try that for a week. It goes well. Now, you drink only ¾ of the gallon of soda, and you add ¼ cup of water to each glass.
You slowly keep switching the soda out for water. Eventually, you will get to the point where you are just drinking water.
This is not only good for your body, but it also allows your mind to adapt slowly… AND it acclimates your taste buds. And suddenly, you’ll realize that you’ve overcome defeat – and soda.
So pick small goals that you know you can accomplish, and keep building on them as you feel they get easier.
2. Take Immediate Action
If you have a slip-up, don’t beat yourself up over it. Acknowledge what you did from a non-judgmental space and how you can learn from it.
It’s easy to let a small slip-up turn into a week-long landslide.
Usually, when you slip up, the problem isn’t the actual slip-up – it’s all those horrible thoughts we start thinking about ourselves.
My eating six doughnuts is totally neutral. It’s what I think about eating those six doughnuts that can make or break me.
It takes literally a split second to get back on track.
You just need to change the way you think about it. I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it really is that simple.
3. Ditch Perfectionism.
I think this idea that you have to be perfect on a diet came from fad diets that demand, “You must eat exactly what is laid out on this diet plan, or you will be doomed to fail!”
If you get nothing else from this, please get this: You can still eat your favorite foods, and go out to eat, and have cake, AND still lose weight!”
You will overeat from time to time, you will have a doughnut, you will get sick, you will have obstacles… you will not be perfect in this process.
No one is.
4. Embrace Failure
You are going to fall flat on your face when you start your weight loss journey. It’s a given.
Use those failures to observe what happened, and to learn from it.
As long as you are failing because you are trying, it’s all good.
If you are failing because you just aren’t showing up, that’s a different story.
Don’t give in to your brain demanding that you need to play it safe.
Every single one of you CAN lose weight.
5. Course Correct
An airplane doesn’t fly in one straight line. It makes subtle adjustments and tiny course corrections along its flight path so it can land at its destination.
This is why I love my job so much. It’s the subtle changes I make for my clients that help them stay on course, and every client is unique.
When something isn’t working, you just need to course correct.
Can you imagine how much time you have wasted beating yourself up over what you did wrong, and thinking that it makes you a “failure”? If you take a second to examine what happened and make a small adjustment, you’ll be right back on track.
Here’s the Bottom Line To Course Correction:
When you decide to make huge changes, your brain will try to talk you out of it. You may notice that all kinds of stuff starts to come at you … like you get sick or injured, or family issues arise. This is a great thing, because when you stay the course while all this other crap is happening, then you’ll be more resilient when everything is calm.
Even if you don’t stay the course, it has nothing to do with your worth as a human being. You have value and worth no matter what size you are. Maybe you just need to make some small adjustments. Or you might not have the correct information that you need.
And remember, it only takes a split second – one new thought – to get you back on track. So you are never more than a second away from reaching your goals.