When we ask this question there are many varied answers, but the underlying issue can be boiled down to one word and this is – Fear.
Fear can be manifested in many different ways. Let’s look at a few of the most common fears that we hear about:
- Embarrassment – having to tell friends and family that you are going on a diet or starting an exercise program (again). It could be that you hate being seen eating or exercising in public as you wonder what people think of you. It may be that you hate going shopping as you can’t seem to find any nice clothes or just that you don’t think you fit in.
- Fear of failure – having tried to lose weight on several occasions you are not sure that you will be successful this time.
- Fear of success – you may not like the extra attention that successful weight loss gives you so start sabotaging your success with extra eating and eventually put the weight back on. If this is you, then having another goal at the same time as you’re losing weight and focusing on that goal too. It will put you into a different headspace. Meditation, breathing or yoga practice can also help with reducing any anxiety you may have built up.
- Fear of missing out – it’s a common belief that to lose weight you must starve yourself, count calories endlessly and do an enormous amount of exercise!!!! This is simply not true – you just haven’t found the program that works for you.
- Fear of not being able to eat my favourite foods – that’s fine, but if the foods you have been enjoying have not been giving you the results you want then perhaps it’s worth a revisit. Food should be used to provide your body with nutrients so that you can function physically and emotionally. Food and drink are enjoyed in a social setting but can also be used as an emotional response if you’re having a bad day, feeling stressed or had some sad news.
- Fear that relationships may change – some friends and family may feel left out when you commence a new eating program which may change what you eat and drink and how you socialise. They may not support you or understand why you are doing this. You may just have to make the decision to have a break from some friends or family members as you need to surround yourself with people to cheer you on. Good friends will love and accept you, even if you’re slimmer and eat a little differently.
- Fear of weight regain – having lost weight in the past and put it back on, you can’t see a successful outcome.
- Fear of not having enough time – you simply aren’t making the time for you. With smart planning you can actually spend less time shopping, preparing and cooking.
- Fear that it’s not good timing – you may have a holiday booked, or work is busy, or your kids need you, or your parents aren’t well. When would be a good time to start looking after yourself?
Can you see yourself using one or more of the above reasons for delaying a start to losing weight? Is it that you are scared to achieve success or that you may have to make some changes to your lifestyle and habits?
To overcome the fear of starting, we need to learn how to overcome our comfort zone.
Start by writing down the worst-case scenario of what would happen if you didn’t start a weight loss program. How would you feel, how would you look, would it affect work, your social activities, any sports or hobbies you enjoy? By stating the worst-case scenario it makes it easier to implement a first step and move toward who you want to be.
Overthinking a problem creates procrastination so instead of overthinking, do some research to understand what it is that you’re worrying about.
Lastly you only need to take small steps, preferably on a daily basis. Tackle one fear or new habit at a time. Monitor over a period of time say 12 weeks, and then compare where you started and where you are at that 12-week mark. That is your gain.
Eating in a way that works best for your body, nourishes you so that you live your best life with sustained energy, good health and an active body and mind are what we should all be seeking.
If you would like some extra help along the way, our 8-week online course is a great start to get you feeling your best self. Click on the Lose Weight Now button at the top of the page.