Generally speaking, you will tell someone you’re eating well if you’re asked. Scientific journals mention this all the time. We all think we’re doing well enough to lose weight but so many people are still overweight. When you say you eat “well, healthy, or okay”, it’s just your gut reaction or quick observation to a question you were just asked. You see this response time after time in studies involving overweight and obese subjects — it’s an observable, measurable, and predictable response. And that’s totally okay. But I find it fascinating.
If “well, healthy, or okay” is the predominant response, then why is obesity and body weight such an issue if we’re all eating “well, healthy, or okay” enough to lose weight? The hard truth is there’s a disconnect between what you think you’re doing and what you’re actually doing. This is all meant without judgment; I’m just thinking with my fingers right now and I’m a naturally curious person, especially when it comes to helping other people. If you’re like MOST people, you feel you’re eating well enough to lose weight and maybe just like MOST people (Americans) you are overweight or obese, there has to be a breakdown somewhere. Right?
My brothers-in-law, Brandon and Eric, are talented writers and storytellers. We were having a conversation a year ago during the holidays and I can’t remember who said this offhand comment, but it stuck with me: “Everyone is the protagonist of their own story.” How spot on is that? Nobody wants to feel like the bad guy.
What’s interesting is that you can easily find problems or faults or issues in other people’s lives and habits, but be blind to your own mistakes you make every single day on your diet. A great example would be that Karen in accounting keeps leaving her dirty dishes in the sink but you’ve had zero vegetables this entire month. Is looking at your own issue so hard because you don’t want to know? Or because you don’t know how or where to look?
Maybe your default response is “I don’t know” or saying that you “can’t do it”. Or maybe you say you’ve tried everything and nothing’s worked. The more I coach people, the more I realize: you can do it. You do know what to do. But you don’t quite know how to do it and you don’t yet trust yourself that you can stick to it.
Being overweight isn’t about being uninformed. If you want to lose weight and never gain it back again, it’s about more than just information. It’s about connecting you with what’s really happening on your plate, wanting to make a change, and becoming the kind of person who makes one small change at a time.
To lose weight you have to change who you are as a person and how you perceive yourself. Remove the blinders you put up to protect yourself. You’re not the kind of person who can’t lose weight. You’re not the kind of person who doesn’t have time to eat healthily. It’s time to stop pretending that it’s too hard.
Change one small thing at a time. And get real good at that one thing, until it’s a part of the new you. Cook one more meal at home a week. Pack one more lunch for work. Drink one fewer $7 latte. These small changes add up, and soon enough, some really awesome things start happening.