Today I want to talk about other reasons you don't get started.
The big A-ha: Certainty vs uncertainty and how it impacts your thinking and your WLS journey.
More specifically, certainty in an outcome. We all need it. We thrive on being certain that we have a roof over our head, a job to go to, money coming in, food on the table, and an established routine, etc.
Yet there are a ton of different variables when it comes to your weight loss process.
So many people tout calories in, calories out yet, for some it’s not that simple. There’s gut bacteria, age, hormones, inflammation responses, % of lean muscle mass vs. % of fat composition, autoimmune disorders, water retention, issues of sleep and stress, and so much more.
When it comes to the weight loss process, for some its cut and dry; for others, not so much.
Therein lies the struggle with certainty.
Psychologically speaking, if we aren’t absolutely certain we will get a specific outcome, we may not actually follow through.
So then what happens is someone starts something they THINK will work and they get excited. Their mindset is primed for certainty because they’ve bought into the 'diet' or protocol or workout or whatever plan it is they are trying on or working.
Then if, within 2-3 weeks they haven’t started to see a change or move toward their desired results, they freak out, doubt themselves, and doubt the certainty that they originally bought into.
Then.. they start to reject the plan because their new thought is "this plan/program/diet/workout is not working".
The real problem is this...
Most people don’t give the process enough time to see results
They try to be super strict for a short time and get frustrated with the restrictions (pain vs. pleasure principle)
Expect results from their body super quickly (when there may be other factors)
People are impatient
Most recently, I’ve been diving into new trainings on behaviors, habits, and the psychology behind them. What I discovered was amazing!! See, most people think that if something is not working in 2-3 (or even 4 weeks) that something is wrong with them. No!! There is nothing wrong with you. In fact, the research suggests you haven’t worked the plan long enough for your body to adjust, and there are other factors at play that we might not be factoring into the process.
Similarly, if you are working a plan for a short-term (like a diet), rather than a long-term plan (like lifestyle change); then you will start to twitch and itch, because you’ll likely have high expectations with the sense that you’re making this HUGE sacrifice.
When you have the belief that you are sacrificing something, you EXPECT a bigger payout or payoff. In this case, if you feel you’re denying yourself pleasure, you’ll hold out for a short while and then cave because the pain of the sacrifice overrides the pleasure of the potential outcome - all because of your mindset when you set up the plan or program.
So, this is why I'm a BIG BELIEVER in lifestyle change over diets because diets are short-term, short-lived, and cause the yo-yo effect with your body and your mind. You try to sacrifice for the short-term and end up on this roller-coaster of doubt, shame, blame, and deprivation.
Lifestyle change allows you the variety of foods without the sacrifice. Additionally, while it make take LONGER for you to see results, it's actually better for your body and your brain.
So here's some mindset shifts to help you gain certainty while working your plan, and refocusing on lifestyle change.
All the research suggests that it takes time for your body to adjust to anything - give it time. Give your body time. In other words, be patient with the process. Don't give up too soon!
Similarly, consistency is key. When you switch things up or change your plan, instead of achieving a positive result, you actually start ALL over, taking it even LONGER for you to see results. So essentially - KEEP GOING and stick with your original plan.
Carry the conviction that you'll get there, and TRUST in your process. This is how you lean into the certainty when it may not be visible, yet.
Les Brown has an infamous talk about the bamboo tree, and how the bamboo tree takes 5 years to grow, yet it shoots up over night and people see it as an overnight success. The chinese bamboo tree needs to be watered everyday, like your goals. Check out that video here (it's only 2min 40seconds) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASAU1KJcp6I
When it comes to CERTAINTY, you have to keep WATERING your goals through taking action every day. This comes with CONSISTENCY.
Any farmer will tell you that he/she has CERTAINTY that their plants will grow as long as they keep watering/feeding them and they have sunlight. Are you as sure about your goals? When your doubt creeps in because you don't see results fast enough, your change may be sabotaging all you have achieved so far.
So instead of doubting yourself, or giving up, or finding yet ANOTHER plan that promises great results in 2 weeks, start to carry the conviction that you MUST keep going with the lifestyle change approach, because your results WILL show up... they just don't show up when you expect them to. Instead of changing your goals, you may need to be more flexible in your approach, and trusting that you'll get there.
Remember that too much restriction can create deprivation which is why in this bariatric lifestyle, there are modifications so that you can enjoy living HEALTHY for the long-term. The scale will move. The pants will get bigger (as you get smaller). Trust your body to do it's thing, and keep moving toward your goals, NO MATTER WHAT.
Your lifestyle is a practice, implement it.