I have heard it and I have said it so many times, “I’ve got to go on a diet to get this weight off!” If I could just find that right diet; that right food combination, then I could finally rid myself of the weight. I think what I was, and so many of us are still, missing is the fact that the weight and overeating are really only a symptom of something else.
Let me share an example from my past to help bring this idea of addressing the symptom rather than the cause into sharper focus. About ten years ago, I went through quite an ordeal before finally being diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. Prior to my diagnosis, I was incrementally losing my desire and motivation to do activities I typically enjoyed. Yet, nothing in me signaled that something was amiss. I just settled in and accepted my new routine.
The turning point came when I began losing my hair. Of course we all experience hair fall on a daily basis, but I was soon noticing the sink fill every time I fixed my hair; not to mention the hair I was cleaning out of the tub drain. Now, THIS new scenario had my full attention! I guess I can give a shout-out to vanity at this point. I was losing my hair and a lot of it and this was not OK. Of course, I did what we all do in cases like this; I went straight to my computer and typed in hair loss.
I should mention something very important at this stage.
One might think that I coupled the terms fatigue and hair loss in my search; however, at the time I did not even remotely associate the two symptoms. After a thorough search I settled on a dermatologist as my first line of attack for dealing with my hair loss. This misstep would result in 6 more months of hair loss and worsening fatigue because the dermatologists had no idea what was wrong with me.
By this point I had lost about forty percent of my hair and I was becoming increasingly worried and discouraged. Then, I made the pivotal decision to give a general practitioner a try; which proved to be the right one.
Unlike the dermatologists who focused immediately on the symptom of hair loss, the general practitioner sat me down and asked me a serious of probing questions about all facets of my life. Only then did it come out that I was also experiencing hair loss and extreme fatigue. He then zeroed in on iron deficiency as a possible cause for these symptoms and I eventually came back from virtually zero iron storage.
I was so concerned with the hair loss that I put all of my energy into finding a cure for it. But all those hair loss creams and pills did absolutely nothing to stop my hair from falling out. Why, because my hair loss was only a symptom of a bigger problem. The problem with focusing only on the symptom of weight is that we tend to overlook the circumstances that cause us to overeat.
I know, I know…we don’t want to think that it goes deeper and a lot of us really don’t connect with things that we perceive as too touchy-feely. But, unfortunately it’s time for some tough love.
…if you can’t control the food that you place in your mouth, for whatever reason, then you have a problem that goes deeper than the food itself.
Are there people who have medical conditions that make it difficult to control their weight? Yes, there are some. Do some people have a genetic predisposition to carry more weight or a slower metabolism that has existed since early childhood? Yes, undoubtedly this is the case for a small percentage of people.
Ok, so then that leaves the rest of us armed with our excuses. I was the same way, so I know exactly what you’re thinking. I have counted 10 separate occasions in my past where I dieted and lost at least 25 pounds, up to 40 pounds, on a diet. Each and every time I told myself that would be the last time and each time I reverted back to the same old excuses and habits.
So, I am launching into a new series. Over the next four weeks I will tackle the top four excuses for being overweight and how to move on with action steps specifically targeted for each of these excuses. These steps will focus on mindful eating and will help you develop a weight loss mindset in order to lose weight for good.
1. I Eat Because I’m Bored
2. I Eat Because I Just Like The Taste Of Food
3. I Eat Because I’m Stressed
4. I Eat Because The Food Is There
I would love to hear your thoughts on these four excuses. Which one is your biggest excuse? I would be so appreciative if you would comment or send me a private message. I would love to use some of your experiences in this blog (of course, your privacy is always my utmost concern) without using your name.
As always, I want to encourage you that weight loss over 40 is attainable, just as it is for any other age. Come back next week and we’ll launch into our first excuse!
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