A few weeks ago I shared some simple weight loss math:
3500 Calories = 1 pound of fat
10 minutes of aerobic activity = about 100 calories burned
500 calories less (through changes in eating or exercise) per day = 1 pound lost per week
When it is all spelled out like that, it seems so easy and straightforward, doesn’t it? But we all know it isn’t quite that simple. Because making it all happen consistently – the exercise, the healthy eating – is hard!
Have you ever wondered why you lose weight, only to sabotage yourself and put the weight right back on? Before you get angry, frustrated and discouraged with yourself, give yourself some compassion because here may be a few reasons why you’re doing it.
While you may think it’s natural to want to lose excess weight, have you ever thought of what those extra pounds may be providing? Many people, whether they realize it or not, keep weight on…on purpose. There are many reasons for this.
1) Weight can provide a protective barrier – Remember when you used to hide behind your mom’s leg when you were scared? You may be using the excess weight to provide that same protection for you now. Maybe there are reasons why looking or feeling sexy or attractive brings about fear or discomfort for you, so keeping the weight on prevents those uncomfortable feelings from arising.
2) Being overweight is comfortable – Another reason you may keep weight on is because you’re unsure or uncomfortable with the expectations that may be placed on you with a new, fit, sexy body. At your current weight, you know what’s expected of you and there’s a sense of familiarity with it all. These feelings may be easier to deal with than the discomfort of the unknown; even if what’s familiar is being overweight and unhappy.
3) Partners in crime – Still another reason you may be keeping weight on may involve a partner. Maybe eating together is a connection you both have or cooking together is an activity you both share. Rather than risk breaking that bond, you continue the activity and habits you’ve developed to maintain that connection.
4) Being attractive could be a threat – Yet another reason may have to do with the threat a partner may feel if your weight loss means more attention from the opposite sex, higher self esteem and a greater sense of self confidence. Perhaps your spouse or partner is insecure, jealous and feels threatened by what your new look and improved self confidence may bring. Instead of working through those issues, many women find it’s easier to keep the weight on to avoid “rocking the boat” with their partner.
5) Habits are hard to break – Another reason we may keep the weight on has to do with your habits. You may eat the same foods, at the same times, in the same places from day to day. These habits you’ve created are now deeply ingrained within you; they’re a habitual part of your daily routine. For example, maybe you’ve grown used to skipping breakfast, grabbing a fast food lunch, coming home to eat a big dinner and relaxing in front of the TV at the end of a long day with a bag of potato chips. While these habits may be familiar, they can play a significant role in keeping extra weight on.
I’ve worked with many moms who’ve lost weight, then find a way to sabotage their weight loss efforts and quickly gain it right back. While often it’s a question of creating healthier habits to get the weight off once and for all, sometimes it’s important to dig deep and see if there’s a reason why you’ve been intentionally keeping the weight on. Of course, if you discover something too difficult to work through alone, you may need to get additional support.
Just because something has been a certain way for a while, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way if it doesn’t work for you anymore. You can make any change to your thoughts, actions and habits in order to slowly and gently discover your best self. It starts with awareness and the desire to change something that’s not working for you.
Do you have a story about how you have found a way to overcome obstacles in your life or relationships to move along the path to a healthier life? If so, I would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below or send an e-mail to Debi (at) themojocoach.com.
Debi Silber, “The Mojo Coach”
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