If you are looking to lose weight, you have to understand that you cannot get instant results. Losing weight is not like whipping out instant noodles and then just adding water and the flavoring mix, and you have yourself a big meal. It doesn’t work that way. Lifestyle change is difficult for most people because it requires changes in character. It requires patience. It doesn’t happen overnight. In many cases, it is a marathon rather than a sprint. It’s not just something you budget a few hours to every single day and you’re done. It doesn’t work that way. It takes commitment. It takes a long term focus. Most importantly, it involves changes within you as well as outside of you.
It’s very easy to define weight loss as something that just involves stuff that you do, and stuff that you eat; but, it’s more than that. It involves how you feel. It impacts how you look at the world. More importantly, it involves how you feel and think about yourself. Make no mistake about it. Lifestyle change needs patience, and patience is a virtue. You need to exercise certain virtues for you to achieve sustainable weight loss. The good news is that your choice of attitude can help you get the virtues that you need to achieve your lifestyle goals.
Lifestyle Changes Don’t Happen Overnight for a Reason
The main reason lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight is because they impact how we look at ourselves, the place we think we occupy in the world, and our assumptions and attitudes. There’s a lot more going on when somebody loses a lot of weight. For external changes to happen, there has to be internal changes that need to happen first.
This is one fundamental truth that you don’t get when you look at all those online ads for weight loss programs. These advertising campaigns sell weight loss products from a purely external perspective. They all work from the assumption that you only need one external thing, whether it’s a drug, a food supplement, an herbal supplement, an exercise machine, an exercise program, or a gym membership for your weight loss problems to disappear. Absolutely wrong.
Make no mistake about it. If you want to lose weight, you need to change your lifestyle. Anybody can lose weight. You can lose a pound right now if you decide, but let me tell you, you’re going to get that pound back. If you want sustainable weight loss, if you want weight loss that can withstand the test of time, it has to involve changing your lifestyle. Lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight because you have to change your internal world as well.
Unlearning Old Habits Take Time
If you’re frustrated regarding your attempts at lifestyle change and weight loss, don’t be. Expect that lifestyle change will take time. You are, after all, engaged in a big project. It doesn’t happen automatically. Unlearning old habits take time. Think about it. You have habits. These are behavioral patterns that happen almost automatically. The main reason these behavioral patterns happen automatically is because there are certain mental images, emotional triggers, and emotional payoffs involved.
That’s why habits are so powerful. Unlearning those habits need to take time, because all these different pieces need to fall into place. You need to find new mental pictures. You need to short circuit the emotional payoffs that you get. You need to select the right emotional triggers. Finally, you need to take the right physical actions. Do you see how many different parts are at play? It is no surprise that unlearning old habits take time. Unlearning habits, in turn, are crucial to lifestyle changes.
Adopting the Right Attitude Provides You The Patience You Need
Since lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight and unlearning old habits take time, you need a lot of patience. Patience admittedly is very hard to find nowadays. Think about it. Thanks to the internet and thanks to Amazon and other convenient services, things that used to take weeks, or even months, now take a few seconds. That’s how amazing the internet is. The problem is that we expect the rest of the world to function just like the online world. This is not going to happen.
For your to adopt the right attitude so you can adopt the right lifestyle, it’s going to take time. This is why it’s very important for you to realize the power of patience. You need to have patience. You need to focus on building your personal virtue of patience. This is very hard. Why? To get patience, you have to put yourself in situations where you become impatient. That’s how it works.
Just as a person trying to strengthen his faith, he’s often faced with a lot of trials that challenge that person’s faith. That’s how life works. If you want a virtue, you will be put in situations where you are forced to strengthen that virtue. If you’re trying to be a more joyful person, a situation that will really push you to become more joyful is when there is nothing to be joyful about. Do you see how this all works out?
Patience Is All About Looking At the Long Game
The good news about patience is it’s usually a function of attitude. Attitude impacts your expectations and assumptions. People are impatient primarily because they expect something to take place within a very short period of time. Now, if they change their expectation and, going in, expected that whatever it is that they want to do will take a very long time, then they will be a bit more patient.
That is the good news about patience. You can change your patience levels on a conscious level by simply changing your assumptions; by being clear about the fact that patience is about looking at the long game. You can make a lot of progress in increasing your levels of personal patience.
Changed Attitudes Happen In Context
People change their attitude based on the context they find themselves in. You have to understand that you’re physical body is strictly a data collection device. All the action takes place in your mind. Your personal reality only happens in your mind. You might think that objective reality is through your body. No. it’s your mind that puts together the picture. You have to understand this. Why?
Changed attitudes happen in context. This means that when you change how you perceive physical stimuli, it leads to changes in the story or mental image that your mind constructs. This mental image in turn pulls in emotional interpretations. Depending on the emotional interpretation, this is then released in a physical reaction. Of course, this happens in a split second.
The more of a habit your reaction is, the faster the process. Regardless, we can break down this chain reaction. And the good news is that when you break everything into a piece by piece or sequence by sequence framework, you can insert a lot of patience in there based on your expectations and assumptions. You have to be conscious of how this all plays out.
Always Focus On the Right Attitude
The right attitude, in terms of building up patience, is that things take time. Allow yourself that time. Allow yourself to wait. Allow yourself to watch things unfold. The good news is that the more you do this, the calmer you get. You have to understand that a lot of the reasons why most Americans feel like they have no control over their lives, and they’re always rushing back and forth, is they don’t give themselves the luxury of space and time.
You have to do that. You have to have the attitude of always give yourself that luxury, so you could see things in perspective and, most importantly, you can see the chain reaction happening in your mind which then allows you to choose your physical outcomes.