How many times have you said, “I have … overweight, if I only did something when I just had 20 more pounds”? Often we put off our weight problem until tomorrow.
Why do humans procrastinate, why overweight people put the problem off until tomorrow?
There is obviously no simple answer, but there are common patterns of thought.
1. IRREALIST VISION
People who procrastinate often do not have a realistic view of how a successful person was able to achieve their goals. They think it was easy for their friend to lose 50 pounds. Anyone who has lost 50 pounds knows that this is not realistic, because there are ups and downs, stress, etc. To succeed, you have to accept that there are frustrations and failures and that there are obstacles along the way. The key: to persist.
2. FEAR OF FAILURE
Many people fear failure and will base their self-esteem and self-image on their achievements. If they fail in their weight loss efforts, they feel that they have failed as a human being. It may be too dangerous to try, so rather than risk failure, they might do nothing at all.
Many of us have been brought up to think that we have to be the best at everything we do. As a result, many overweight people feel that if they cannot have a perfect diet, they might as well quit smoking.
4. REWARD SYSTEM
Successful people recognize themselves for their successes (big or small), procrastinators often do the opposite and continuously depreciate. To be successful, we must learn to accept that if we have 6 good days out of 7, it will be a good week and be happy with these results. Remember – “Success begets success”.
5. NEGATIVE SPEECH
Try to avoid “I have to lose weight” phrases, as this type of statement usually does not work and often makes you feel guilty and prevents you from gaining weight. Change your speech by taking a more positive approach, such as: “I choose to be slim, healthy, energetic and attractive …”
6. LACK OF ASSERTIVENESS
Lots of people (to be nice) put it off because they do things they often don’t want to do. For example, they might be afraid to tell their host that they are watching their weight and will have to skip dessert. They don’t want anyone to be mad at them.
7. LACK OF MOTIVATION
In life, our motivation goes up and down. Understanding this and accepting that it may be the cause of your procrastination can give you useful information for the future. You will accept that what you need to work improves your motivation and start working on your list for all of your reasons and benefits for losing weight.
There are many other examples that can be given. However, identifying the reasons for procrastination using the examples above is the first step (awareness). Accepting your personal reasons and agreeing to want to change is the second step. You are now ready to take action. Please refer to my article: “AAA”, POSITIVE CHANGE PROCESS (AWARENESS, ACCEPTANCE and ACTION) published in MLA Newsletter # 05/2001.
One last word: Remember: -the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second best time is today! The same applies to those who put things in to control their weight. Yes, it would have been better to lose weight months or years ago, but the second best time is now !!