Weight Management and the Comfort Zone. Guest Post by Patricia Cherry
There are many theories around these days as to why people generally find it difficult to lose weight and in turn keep the weight off. Many of these theories are correct and some of them questionable.
There is the idea of sticking to low carbohydrate, one which I find works for me. Eating low fat foods has been around for thirty or forty years but it is questionable as to whether that works. Many people work out in the gym or go running and find that that keeps them on the straight and narrow.
But for many people nothing seems to work.
They lose the weight and just put it back on and in many cases more too. There are many ideas why this happens and people are caught in what author John Briffa calls “The Diet Trap”. His ideas are becoming very popular and he is joined by other authors such as Zoe Harcombe and Gary Taubes.
This week however, I came across another thought that resonated with me, from a chap called Bob Proctor, who is an international expert in Personal Development. His idea is that a lot of people cannot lose weight or keep it down because they are in their “Comfort Zone”.
His theory makes a lot of sense to me. It runs along the idea that as infants and children we learn so much about what life is all about, that we “soak” it up and it remains in our subconscious mind for the rest of our lives. There are many things that we grow up believing because we do not know any better. We do not have the ability to know any different. Because of this, we live our lives according to what we learnt and are used to.
This idea is in action in other areas of our lives such as relationships, careers and money. But for now I want to concentrate on the weight issue.
Recently on television there was a program about mothers instilling into their daughters the need to be thin at a very early age. There were children at the tender age of eight on slimming diets. I fear for these girls growing up to believe that a little bit of fat, no matter how natural and necessary it is to the body, is not acceptable.
What Bob Proctor suggests is that if you have been fat or overweight all your life you have subconsciously adapted to being just that. Consequently, no matter how often you lose weight, you will put it back on again if you don’t change your thinking.
That is the secret for so many people and it certainly resonated for me. On the one hand we have the little girls growing up to see fat as the sworn enemy: there is a strong chance that they will grow up with eating disorders. On the other hand we have many people who have been fat or overweight for most of their lives, and they are comfortable with that. It’s as if the subconscious is saying “Leave me be; I like being this weight because it’s easy and comfortable!”
A good example would be Dawn French, a celebrity in the UK who two years ago lost over 7 stone. She looked fantastic, but a few months after reaching goal she immediately started putting on weight again. In an interview with WOMAN Magazine in 2012 after losing over 7 stone, she admitted that she was happy in her own skin before her weight loss.
I believe that for many of us, this is something to think about in our battle with weight. Is our subconscious mind more comfortable with being heavier than our conscious mind is telling us that we should be?
The secret here is that we CAN change our thinking.
Perhaps, when you are aware that this is what's going on for you, in future you will stop before you eat something that you know is not going to help - and ask yourself if your subconscious is in control here.
Just simply being aware can help you to change your thinking.
How are you stuck in your own "comfort zone?"
Patricia is a Weight Management Coaching and the author of “Reflections of a Chronic Dieter.” available to download for free at her website.