So, I see all these memes out there saying something to the effect of “Stop making excuses. Just get off your a$$ and move and stop eating $hit food!” Wow, I’m glad to know if I had just done those three seemingly easy things I could have been healthy years ago! ****insert sarcasm and eye roll**** Sure, the solution is simple, but in reality the practice is anything but! Unless you have been overweight and know the mental crap that goes with it, you don’t understand how really difficult it is. If eating right and moving more were truly so easy then why is losing weight and keeping it off such a challenge?? IMHO it is because of all the emotions and mental hurdles that are wrapped up in food and our weight. That being said, images likes the ones below are a far cry from helpful!
Trainers, doctors, healthcare pros of any type need to stop just assuming that overweight people have been too lazy to change their habits–that if they simply had more willpower and stopped making excuses that they would lose weight. There are lazy people everywhere…skinny ones, fat ones, old ones, young ones, all different races, male ones and female ones. Being fat is not a direct link to laziness…gimme a break!!
Trainers, doctors, healthcare pros: instead of assuming your overweight client or patient isn’t motivated how about assume they are! Assume they are willing to work at change but are scared to death to try, for fear of not achieving success yet again. Many overweight people I know have been overweight for more of their life than not. I am not talking about the women who have baby weight to lose nor am I talking about the guy who got a desk job and put on some weight. I am talking about the people who were overweight as a kid/teen/young adult and have battled being overweight for much of their life. I was that person and I wouldn’t say I’m lazy. I am very driven. I worked hard to get good grades. I worked full time through college. I excelled at my professional positions and I was not afraid of working long hours for weeks/months at a time. Much to my husband’s chagrin I make sure our weekends are spent getting projects done rather than relaxing. Lazy people don’t do that!! Yet I was overweight and had been for much of my life.
So what is the magic thing to propel people or propel yourself into changing your habits and your health? What needs to be in the equation so you achieve success for the long-term? Wish I had the lock-stock-and-barrel answer for you, but I don’t. What I can offer is this….
Each person, I believe, has to be ready and they will find that readiness when they are meant. I also believe that when a person is ready nearly any healthy program (not the “drink this” or “take this pill” kind) will work for them and be beneficial. I also believe if the person is ready and simply tries to eat better and curb the junk they will achieve a lot of health improvements. Readiness is huge in the healthy change category!
Second, I strongly believe you need to work on your mental habits and changing your self-perception with just as much effort as changing your eating and movement patterns. Thoughts and perceptions around your weight and self-image are deeply seated, IMHO. Figuring out why you continue to eat when you are full or why binging on any manner of sugar makes you feel better is a crucial piece of your health! Finding a trainer/doctor/health professional that understands this instead of judging is also to your benefit.
Finally, I believe you need to view your efforts at weight-loss as a change in your lifestyle and habits, NOT a short-term diet. What you implement during losing weight and improving health should be what you plan to do as part of your life long-term. Change your habits little by little and you will create the habits of health that will sustain you.
Don’t buy into the notion that because you are overweight you are lazy…that’s BS! Keep trying!! You are capable of changing your health!