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Lose Weight Successfully In 2021




“Binge eating is usually related to emotional states.  Emotions, especially when they are strong, automatically trigger equally strong responses BEFORE THE WILL CAN INTERVENE. The compulsion to eat is as automatic as pulling one’s hand away from a flame after being burned.  Neither the will nor conscious mind are involved.  It’s a conditioned reflex probably acquired in childhood.”  – Dr M. Larocque.

There are some attitudes that will stop you from losing weight even if you believe you’re eating well and exercising consistently. At the end of the day, it’s your head that dictates everything, including your emotions. These can change when you least expect and leave you spiralling backwards into old ways in the blink of an eye. They have the power to override logic and reason in everyday life.

There are two types of thoughts:

  1. Realistic thoughts – These take into account reality and involve healthy emotions as well as positive healthy behaviours.
  2. Unrealistic thoughts (the most common) – They do not reflect reality, are often idealistic, and generate negative, unhealthy emotions and behaviours.

There are 5 negative emotions that you might not even know you have, but will at some point sabotage your weight loss efforts if not recognised and changed.  They stem from your internal belief system, the beliefs you have formed about yourself and the world around you. They started to take hold in childhood and grew stronger as you were steered in a particular direction and parented/educated in a certain way. Then peers, work and life experiences shaped your thinking further, leaving you with ideals about yourself and the world around you.

Without challenging certain unrealistic attitudes, you have no chance of achieving significant long term weight loss results. Emotions arise when you least expect because of our thought. As children we accept what we are taught and become programmed by those in our lives and the environment we live in. We don’t have the capacity to analyse and accept or reject the ideas and so they become part of us without question.

It’s easy to assume that when you overeat you are just being greedy or a glutton. However, there are always reasons why you overeat, it is due to conditioning and no two people are conditioned in the same manner.

Let’s call these BANG moments, they happen when you least expect, they shock you and you realise that food or drink are used for emotions, feelings that are a result of thoughts that can be buried deep in the unconscious level of your mind, but that surface automatically when triggered by an external event, situation or comment. There are three types of unrealistic thoughts:

  1. Requiring perfection of oneself
  2. Requiring perfection from others
  3. Requiring perfection from life in general.

We talk to ourselves at a rate of 1,200 words per minute. It is these words that you must be aware of, especially idealistic ones like:

  • “I must…”,
  • “I must not….”,
  • “I should…”,
  • “I shouldn’t…”,
  • “I should have…”,
  • “I shouldn’t have…”,
  • “they must…”,
  • “they must not…”,
  • “they should…”,
  • “they should not…”,
  • “they should have…”,
  • “they shouldn’t have…”

Depending on the unrealistic (or idealistic) thoughts going on in our heads, we can feel one of the following five emotions in varying degrees.

1. ANGER – This is the feeling of anger toward others, ranging from disappointment and frustration to aggression. You feel that the person should not have done what they did. Behind aggression there is often fear. If someone makes a comment or assumption about us, aggression can be a default reaction because of pain felt in the past by criticism. Hurt people get angry so instead of feeling vulnerable they lash out to protect themselves from the old feelings.

2. FEAR/ANXIETY – This is the feeling of fear as you feel threatened by a danger and are not sure you can face it Fear manifests in the thought that you are scared that you might not be able to cope. Fear is negative motivation and more often than not results in total paralysis. If at some time in the past you suffered the pain of underperforming then it’s easier to throw in the towel rather than risk putting in 100% effort but not living up to what you set out to do.

3. DEPRESSION – This is a feeling of undermining oneself. You tell yourself you are worth nothing, that you are nothing. Understanding the root of this emotion can be difficult, but it’s important to realise that what you are thinking is not true or realistic, and you can deal with it by using the CBT intervention. Feeling worthless leads to negative behaviour around food and drink so it’s vital to get help so as to achieve your weight loss goals.

4. GUILT – This is a feeling of shame or even anger towards oneself. You tell yourself that you should not have done what you did. You can be progressing really well when suddenly without warning things go wrong and you behave in a way that you didn’t intend to.  The “what’s the point” thinking will doom you to a series of destructive behaviours because you feel so guilty about making a mistake.  If your belief system is based on must and should then it will seem catastrophic in your mind.  The one slip becomes the focus, and before you know it the guilt has taken control. Throwing the towel in and making a decision to go all out on unhealthy food and/or drink can be the result as you feel you must flog yourself.

5. SADNESS –This is a feeling of gloominess, boredom, feeling alone. You tell yourself that if life were different, you would be much happier.  One of those BANG moments can trigger a thought causing a tide of sadness to wash over you making you feel like you don’t care.  It’s important to connect with others when you are prone to feeling low as food or drink will not solve the feeling but purely serve as a distraction with consequences that you don’t want and make you feel worse.

An emotion can neither be disputed nor judged. We feel it automatically and it is out of our control.  There is nothing wrong with being angry, anxious, or feeling guilty or depressed, except that it is uncomfortable and difficult to deal with. As we don’t have direct control over our emotions there’s no point telling ourselves to be less upset or less angry.

What we can do is use the proven solution focused behavioural technique to change the mind-set, so to live a happier life and remove the use of excess food or drink as an emotional crutch.

The ABCD sequence is this:

A = Event (this is life – I cannot change it)

B = My thought (what I tell myself – this is the part to reinterpret or look at differently. Repeat a new, more realistic thought)

C = The emotion I felt- intensity (this is automatic and can only be changed by changing my way of thinking)

D = My behaviour (this is automatic and can only be changed if the emotion is less intense)

Dr Larocque in his book “Be Slim From Within” tells his patients “You have no problem with food, you have a problem with your emotions. Obesity is an emotional disease….The good news is that it is possible to manage your emotions, and probably far easier than most people think.”

There you have it, the changes you must make if you want to lose weight successfully in 2021.

Please reach out, we are here to help, coach and assist you on every step of that journey.

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