1. Do You Really Want To Lose Weight? Or Do You Want To Want To Lose Weight?
Read that again.
Endless times we hear people complaining that they canâ€™t lose weight. But on a close enquiry, they wanted to want to lose weight, but did not want to do anything to get there.
Thatâ€™s a problem.
Donâ€™t try to fool yourself. Don’t try to pretend that youâ€™re on a diet. Don’t try to pretend you will exercise but then find all sorts of excuses for not â€œhaving the timeâ€ or â€œnot having the willâ€ to do it.Â Everybody has the will â€“ only that not everybody has the right motivation. But more about this in a moment.
First, if half of you wants to lose the weight and half of you still wants to eat the foods that make you put on more weight, maybe you need a Parts Integration. Parts Integration is an NLP technique used often in coaching when people are half-half about things. You cannot decide either way, when inside your mind youâ€™re conflicted.
2. Eliminate the Need â€“ Keep the Want
When you hear somebody say, â€œI need to lose weight!â€; in that very sentence there is a very important presupposition which paradoxically makes losing weight close to impossible.
In NLPCoaching one of the things we do, is to listen carefully to the words used by our clients. Maybe you have not considered this before, but the words youâ€™re using to describe something and the order of those words in your sentences are not chosen by chance. You express much more through your words than what is apparent to an untrained ear.
Here we have a situation where a person expresses a â€œneedâ€. A need presupposes a condition requiring relief, something major that is lacking. Now, this is interesting. If I was to write the most important email of my life, but never press the send button â€“ in other words I am keeping it close to myself because it is essential to me â€“ will that email go anywhere?
This is whatâ€™s happening when your behavior is motivated by a â€œneedâ€. It presupposes that you will not be all right without that which is needed. This is a very different situation compared to when you want, or desire something. A need slowly eats up your energy, will-power and desire.It makes you flat and frustrated, unless you make it happen.
Although there is a very slight difference in the dictionary, the presupposition behind these three words are very different. When you want something, you go for it, at the same time knowing that you are going to survive and be just fine even if you don’t get it.
Get the difference?
There is a reason behind it. And itâ€™s hidden unconsciously in your values.
3. Your Values Define Your Motivation to Go For It â€¦ or Not
The diets around us have multiplied like mushrooms after rain, and yet weâ€™re nations of overweight people where obesity has become an epidemic. How many times, how many blowups, how many trials does it take to convince you that there is something else that must be present that makes your body not cooperate?
When you try to improve a body but you don’t pay attention to the mind directing that body, you find yourself bound to fail again and again. It gets you nowhere. Itâ€™s as if a free and strong long-distance runner said to himself, â€œIâ€™ll put myself in a wheelchair for a little while, and then Iâ€™ll stand up.â€
The reason for all these diets not working has to do exactly with that â€“ you think of them as diets, as restrictions, as constraints and limitations. But why do you do that? Because you don’t want to cut yourself from enjoying â€œsomething goodâ€.
But why don’t you think of healthy foods as being something good?
Here is how it works:
First of all, you need to know that your motivation to do something is directly related to your values. Unfortunately your values are not conscious. And you may say, I know what I like!
Values are NOT about what you like. Values are about whatâ€™s important to you. You may hate doing your taxes, but they are important so you do them. You may hate paperwork in the office, but it is important so you do it. You may hate having to clean up the garage,but it is important (at some point) so you finally do it.
When you ask more people whatâ€™s important to them about their health, most of them will tell you something likeâ€¦ uhhhhhâ€¦ being healthy, of course. Or even worse â€¦not being sick!
Wow! And you wonder why things go so badly?
Every person should have several good values in all different areas of life. Examples of different areas of life are career, family, relationships, health and fitness, etc. these are just a few examples, but you get the idea.
Each of these areas has a few good values by which we get motivated. For example, in career somebody may say when asked whatâ€™s important to them: recognition, appreciation, service, good money, team work, integrity, etc. So, for this imaginary person, it is important in their career to be appreciated and recognized for their work, it is important to offer service, and to make good money, and so on.
But when you ask – and a person has no values in their health and fitness area of life it simply means that nothing is important to themin their health and fitness.Which means in turn that there is nothing present to motivate them.
And you wonder why many people are not really motivated to lose weight?
So, you must have some good values in your health and fitness area including â€œbeing slimâ€ or â€œbeing the prefect weightâ€ â€“ whatever that is for you. Without these values, you will go on a diet, maybe shed some pounds only to put them back on faster than you realize.
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as deciding that you want to have some good values in your health area. They must be â€œworked inâ€ or inserted your unconscious values hierarchy and that is a process I cannot teach you here. It takes a whole afternoon in our NLP Master Practitioner training to learn how to first elicit the values, and then to change what is not working for something that you want instead.
But, I hope this article made you aware that there is something you can do and most important that you are in charge. Not the next diet, not your spouse, not you mother, nobody but you!
In the last part of this article weâ€™ll get into details about how stress makes you put on weight and what you can do about it.
Until next time, be well.