Have you ever wondered if somehow you were sabotaging your weight loss? Maybe you feel like you should be working harder to get the results you want? The good news is, that’s likely not true. Most busy women will get better results working smarter, not harder when it comes to losing weight. However, that doesn’t mean self-sabotage isn’t an issue. You might be sabotaging your weight loss efforts – just not in the way you think.
It’s counter intuitive, especially to a high-achiever, but sometimes hard work can get in the way of success – especially when it comes to overeating, and weight loss. If you are someone who already has a lot on your plate; if stress, overwhelm, and emotional eating are a part of what gets your eating and your life out of balance, then focusing on working hard to achieve results can actually create more overload and overeating.
This is exactly where Lily was stuck (and sabotaging her weight loss)
Lily (I’ve changed her name to protect her privacy) is a typical, successful high-achiever. She heads a major division of her company, with all the related responsibility and stress. A single parent, her life includes her children and an aging parent with increasing health needs. When Lily thinks about creating results she tends to think big (she wants to make an impact, after all). Her standards are high.
Life has been stressful, busy, and exceptionally demanding over the last few years and Lily’s gained 35 pounds. She wants the weight gone now but it’s just not happening.
Each Monday, Lily starts over again.
She has a strict plan for eating that she knows will work (if she can just stick with it), and she’s outlined a plan for getting back in shape and using her gym membership again. She tells herself it’s time to get consistent and this is the week she is going to make it happen. She will be strong, she will be disciplined. She will have willpower. This week, she will finally get into the groove and take back control.
The problem is, Lily’s best-laid plans, just haven’t panned out. Each week life happens, travel crops up, family demands pull her in an unexpected direction, or work throws a monkey wrench into her plans. Some days, even if the schedule allows, she’s simply too exhausted at the end of the day to follow through.
High-performer that she is, Lily can see where she wants to end up and blames herself for not getting there. She’s frustrated and disappointed with herself and feels guilty for “not being strong enough” to do what she wants to do. Unfortunately, these emotions, and her feelings of ineffectiveness often lead her to the refrigerator in search of something that tastes comforting or just helps her forget about how stuck she feels. And her next visit to the scale leaves her more frustrated and determined to be stronger and push herself the next time she “starts over.”
Can you relate?
Lily is not lazy and she’s not lacking willpower. She’s no stranger to hard work. But in Lily’s situation, which is not unusual, hard work is not the answer. In fact, when Lily pushes herself harder and heaps more demands on her to-do list, it just adds to her overwhelm and creates a recipe for more overeating.
Lily is stuck in a vicious cycle that is never going to create results she can stick with. The simple “just do it” advice (that the weight loss industry tends to use for motivation) won’t create a path for Lily to be successful. In fact, it’s sabotaging her weight loss attempts.
Lily (and her complicated life) needs an approach that honors her reality. She doesn’t have the bandwidth for more hard work, stress, and overload. She needs a solution that will ease the frustration and the distress that she is already experiencing.
Is it possible to lose weight and make your life work better for you at the same time? Absolutely.
In fact, this is essential if you want to create long-term success. Letting go of the belief that you need to work harder to create success is the very first step.
[Tweet “Creating real peace with food doesn’t make life harder, it makes it sweeter.”]
What would change for you if you let go of the idea that you will only lose weight by being stronger, working harder, and having more willpower?
What if you embraced the truth that lasting peace with food happens with more self-compassion, do-able, and strategic action steps, and attention to what you really need?
This is the next step to creating real lasting results with overeating and emotional eating.
I’ve worked with lots and lots of women like Lily and I wish I could describe the relief that happens when it truly sinks in that there are ways to work smarter (instead of harder) that not only help you take control of overeating and emotional eating, they add more ease and more joy to your life.
It sounds too good to be true, I know, but when you can let go of the belief that it has to be hard and you have to work harder, the possibilities change.
The weight loss industry is leaving out some major pieces of the puzzle, and when you discover these pieces, you stop feeling like you’re banging your head against a wall, you stop working hard and harder, and stop not getting anywhere. you start getting results.
Take good care,