Choose To Unlearn Bad Habits to Lose Weight for the Long Term
The funny thing about people is that we often equate the person with what the person does. If a person steals from time to time, we call that person a thief. If a person tells a fib from time to time, we call that person a liar. If the person cheats on her husband wants, we call her a slut or a whore. What’s wrong with this picture? The problem is, just because you hammer a few nails in your line doesn’t make you a carpenter. Just because you wrote a contract at least once in your life doesn’t make you a lawyer. In other words, human beings are more precious and more valuable than the stuff that they do. Unfortunately, the human mind works in terms of stigma. We tend to put people into neat little boxes that are unfair and really quite damaging to them. But, we don’t care unless it happens to us. This is especially true when it comes to habits.
The reality is that you are not a fat person because there’s something wrong with you; you just have the wrong habits. You are not an unhealthy person because there’s something morally-flawed. That’s because you’re morally flawed, you just happen to choose the wrong habits. See how these all work out? It’s all about choice and sadly, when we choose to stigmatize and hardwire people to certain behavioral patterns, we basically take away choice. Being fat, evil, sexually-promiscuous becomes their destiny. You see how unfair this is? It’s definitely unfair when it’s applied to you than to other people. If you can do yourself, you can start changing your lifestyle by uncuppling what you do from who you are. You are not a fat person, a drug addict, or a nicotine addict. You are who you are. You have your own value. You are worth loving for who you are. You have your own intrinsic value. This is the key to breaking bad behaviors and to learning positive new habits.
The Big Divide between Understanding What You Need To Do & Doing It
Another key hurdle for dealing with negative eating and lifestyle habits that prevents or makes weight loss nearly impossible is that the divide between a physical, emotional and intellectual reality. It’s easy to understand why we need to do something and to intellectually get what we should be doing. However, it’s very hard to translate that into actual action. Why? There are a lot of things getting in the way. It’s one thing for people to understand that intellectual concepts of something, but there are cultural, emotional, and mental issues that get in the way. Habits are hard to break because they have emotional components.
You can intellectually understand and appreciate the importance of eating less calories everyday and moving around more. But unless it becomes more emotionally real to you, chances are, you probably are not going to lift a finger to lose weight; that’s just the bottom line. You are hardly alone in this; this is how the human mind works. There seems to be a big wall between intellectual and emotional realization, and physical action. Your job, if you want to live a healthier lifestyle is to break down these walls. The good news is that it’s easier than you think.
You Need To Unlearn Bad Behaviors
This is an easy realization. When you show a smoker a cigarette pack that shows a lung half-eaten by cancer or a person who has a heart with cancer growing all over it, it’s easy for that person to get shocked and to start thinking about stopping smoking. You might think that, “Well, this is a great victory!” Not quite. You hit the person on an intellectual basis. However, to drive that point home, you need to show an emotional component.
You need to show that person a picture of his/her child growing up without a father/mother. You have to show the amount of tears being shed because that person died an untimely death. Do you see where this is all leading? It’s all about the emotional trigger. Unfortunately, understanding that we need to hit the gym more or eat less; these are all intellectual-leveled realizations. Anybody can get this; this doesn’t take much effort.
When you are trying to break your bad eating and lifestyle habits, you have to understand how this intellectual realization works and resolve to get passed. In other words, don’t think you’re making progress just because you intellectually realized that you need to lose weight. As I mentioned earlier, anybody can do this.
Get Physically Motivated To Unlearn Bad Habits Through Visualization
As I mentioned earlier, it’s actually easier than you think because of one concept called “visualization.” Whether you realize it or not, the truth about the human mind is that we are very visual creatures. A picture/image comes to our minds and we develop an emotional response. Some people are auditory, so they hear certain things and there’s an emotional cascade. Others are more tactile; they touch something and there’s an emotional response. Regardless of how your specific person process works out, there is always an emotional response. Understand this, so you can see the power of visualization. Visualization is extremely powerful corporate training and motivation. Corporations use visualization strategies to train their employees. Make no mistake about it; visualization works.
When it comes to weight loss, a visualization is actually pretty straightforward. Focus on what you lose: health threats, low self-esteem, and emotional pain. Then, focus on what you can gain. Imagine the emotions flowing through you. The key with visualization is: the more you practice it, the more powerful it gets, because you’re basically rewiring how your brain response to certain of visual or external stimuli. The more you do this, the more in control of the linkage between the external signal and the emotional response. Remember, your brain is the most powerful machine and organism in the world. You’re going to tap its power.
Be Clear As To Why You Need To Adopt New Habits
One of the main reasons why people are unable to break a habit is because they’re unclear as to why they need to stop smoking or jumping into bed with strangers, or whatever addiction it is. If you’re trying to break a habit, you have to be clear as to why you need to adopt and have it. Make it emotional and urgent. In other words, hit the heart level instead of just keeping it at the intellectual level. As mentioned above, anybody can have an intellectual realization. That’s easy. What’s hard making it real through the right emotional responses. It’s only real when it becomes emotional.
Tie The Learning And Unlearning Process To Emotional Triggers
I cannot emphasize this enough. When you are trying to learn new habits, tie it to positive emotions. When you’re trying to unlearn unhealthy habits, tie it to negative emotions. For example, when you give in to the temptation of eating more ice cream than you should be eating, give yourself permission to feel like shit and to feel embarrassed to yourself. Feel ashamed. Let it rip. Feel the burn and sting. Similarly, when you hit the gym and you put in a few hours working out, give yourself permission to feel great; to feel like you’re on top of the world. The key to establishing positive new habits is that is takes time. It doesn’t immediately take crew, you have to stick to it. But, the more you persist, the higher your likelihood of success.
Keep A Journal
Finally, you should be as aware of this process as possible. While the best way to do this is to keep a journal. You don’t have to write; you can dictate your personal journal. Regardless of what you do, you have to focus on the different elements of your old and new habits. Understand the progress that you are making. Understand the efforts that you are taking. Write as much about the emotions you’re feeling as you wait. Take pictures. Pictures, of course, are worth a thousand words. When you see pictures of yourself losing weight, you become more encouraged. You pay more attention to the positive emotional feedback that you are giving yourself. The great thing about keeping a journal is that it is a conscious act. The more conscious you are regarding your efforts of breaking your bad weight loss habits, the higher the likelihood that you will succeed in your efforts.