Why weight loss can be challenging to achieve and sustain

by | Aug 10, 2010 | Acceptance

Many people find it difficult to lose weight and keep it off  because there’s far too little focus on the psychology involved. Key psychological factors include motivation, commitment and resilience.  The first two are reasonably well understood. No-one succeeds in achieving a challenging goal unless they’re motivated by a clear focus on the benefits, though most perhaps don’t realise that one of the biggest benefits of weight-loss is that when we succeed in taking control of this aspect of our lives we can use the same techniques to take control of every aspect of our lives. And most know that commitment is needed to get us through those inevitable moments of weakness.

But few understand the role of resilience, let alone how to develop it. In the context of weight loss, resilience entails knowing how to deal with the emotions that often get in the way, how to generate self-acceptance (i.e. accepting ourselves despite being overweight …  the opposite might seem more motivating but in practice is generally just debilitating and demotivating) and how to break through self-limitations, such as a lack of belief in our ability to succeed. All these skills are vital to achieving and sustaining weight-loss goals.

The key to resilience is acceptance. Not acceptance in the sense of inaction, as we clearly need to take powerful action. Not acceptance in the sense of accepting the things we cannot change, as we clearly need to change ourselves by losing the weight we want to lose. We’re talking here about ‘accepting what is’, which means stopping wishing things were already different, including  ’accepting what was’, such as past failings, and accepting any uncomfortable feelings, as long as we have them. If we can learn to ‘accept what is’, while understanding we can always choose powerful actions despite whatever we may be feeling, we can start to take control of our lives.

Resilience and power is combined in the ‘Acceptance-Action Training (AAT)’ technique called Positive Acceptance and in the AAT adage ’accept the feeling, choose the action’. See www.abicord.com to find a free webinar and learn more about AAT.

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