I’ll Tell Ya What I Want…

Ok, today’s common obstacle is not about the Spice Girls hit single…but it sure was a dang good song in the 90’s.

What we will be weighing in on is the subject of knowing what you really want.  

Clients often reveal the reason for coming to see me is that they want to lose weight. Classic.

WHY do you want to lose weight?  Now were getting a bit deeper.

Well, I feel like crap, I can’t tie my shoes without losing my breathe, I can’t walk up that flight of stairs without sweating, I feel like people constantly are staring at me, I feel unattractive for my spouse, I think my partner may be cheating…

Now we’re getting somewhere.

I don’t ask this question to hear their deepest darkest secrets.  Those things aren’t easy to admit.  I realize that.  But that’s precisely why I ask.  To get them to admit out loud why they really want to lose weight. Then it’s real.

The more you can dial in on what you really want the harder it becomes to get talked out of sticking to your wellness mission when cravings and temptations come at you, AND THEY WILL COME AT YOU.

USE THIS: Here’s an example a woman and I recently came up with to combat the short term lure of cravings for long term satisfaction of success:

“Yes, I’m not gonna lie, that looks really good (insert temptation) and I want that.  BUT, what I really want is to step out of that dressing room at the mall and feel good about myself in what I’m wearing.”

Another one: “Hey, you know what, I’ll eat that (insert craving) tomorrow….”   Tomorrow never comes:)

Are these tricks?  Maybe.  But what are we getting at with all this?  What’s the one thing, that if we had this one thing, everything would become not necessarily easy, but a lot easier.

QUICK STORY: A few year back I was working at a medical weight loss clinic when a woman came in for an initial visit.  She was hesitant about seeing me (a young man) which wasn’t uncommon, but with no one else available at the time she was stuck with me.

As we began the session she was reluctant to dive below surface level motivations – saying she wanted to lose weight to look good and fit into old clothes.

Then, on our way back from taking weight measurements I can still remember her turning to me in the middle of the hallway and screaming,

“Ray, I just want to control my brain again!”

It was then that I really grasped what people trying to lose weight really wanted. Control.

WHEN DID WE LOSE CONTROL?  I’ll take a shot in the dark and say it began the first time you came home from school crying because someone made fun of you or called you a meany face.

And what did mama do?  “Oh, sweety, hear I baked these for you!”  Even though she had just baked them for herself because someone did the same thing to her at work a few minutes ago, but Adult rated.

It was at that moment that that food empowered you!  It made you feel good again!  It gave you just that escape you were looking for.  You felt comforted and dang it tasted good, too.  And, it gave you…control.  Or so you thought.

But under the surface what was it really doing?  What were you really doing?  Giving up control.

Ever so innocently you were giving this (your choice) food control to make you feel good.  To take away the pain.  And every time you did it, you became just a bit more dependent and gave up just a little bit more control all in order to gain what you thought was control.

It may have gotten to the point or is at the point where when you get home, regardless of how you feel, by auto-pilot alone you find yourself with that (fill in the blank) in your mouth without you even realizing it.

It’s like driving to your destination and getting there only to ask yourself…”how’d I even get here?”

WHAT TO DO NOW: This particular topic may not be your current battle, but for those whose battle it is…

If you want to gain control back you must first admit that somewhere along the way you lost control.

Then, you must honestly consider those things that you’ve allowed to take control (carbs are often the culprit…you know the usual suspects.  The really addictive ones) and decide…enough is enough.

Then –  lose the ego and admit something without a heart beat has been persuading you to eat or drink it over and over again with the promise that, “I’ll make everything better don’t you worry,” all the while you know you shouldn’t be doing it.

Finally – Take a stand.  Like I tell my athletes…Go compete.

HOW WILL YOU KNOW YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT?  You’ll be crabby as you know what for the next week or so.  It’s called detoxing.  It’s that substance’s way of telling you just how much of a hold it had on you.  Not anymore.

If you say, “Oh I feel fine…” yah, you’re not doing what you said you’d do.  Start over and do it for real…if you want to get control back, of course.

Once you are back in the driver’s seat – you’ll never regret it.  Could you fall back into old ways?  Sure, we all do.  But you’ll have a taste of what it feels like to control your emotions and behaviors when all around you is chaotic.  That’s power. That’s Control.