Today we’re finishing up the last 5 fears from the post 10 Fears That Can Sap Your Motivation To Lose Weight and turning them into weight loss motivation. This is the third post in the series, so if you haven’t read the first one yet, please do that now because the points in today’s post are derived from that first post.
I’m glad that I split these follow-up posts into two posts instead of one because as you can see, I had quite a bit to say about how to turn each fear into a motivation to lose weight. Why? Because I can relate to 9 of these 10 fears very well. The only one that hasn’t been a fear for me is the last one which is the fear that healthy eating is more expensive than unhealthy eating, the way that is the accepted way of life in America and in much of the developed world – eating out of boxes, pre-made or partially made meals, processed and fast foods.
The reason I haven’t had much fear around this is because I eat more (and hence spend more) when I’m eating junky. Now I do have issues with not wanting to waste food that I’ve bought, even if it’s not healthy for my body, but I didn’t include a fear about that in this series.
To complete this series, here are the last 5 fears from the original list of 10 that I’ve turned around and dissipated, which will allow that positive motivation to flow so that you can achieve your goals of weight loss and fitness:
- Fear of Being Different: If you’re afraid of being different from your family and friends, I hope that a heart to heart talk with them will take care of that fear. Hopefully they will be supportive of you and your goals, and you might even find some new lifestyle and weight loss buddies, which would be the best! However, if any of your friends try to discourage you from making healthy changes, you just might need to keep them at arms length. This is more difficult when it comes to your family, but if you are strong and committed in your goals of health and fitness, it won’t affect you as much as you may think. Also, you might find that others really don’t notice what you’re doing (i.e.: eating healthier) as much as you think they would.
Therefore, perhaps this isn’t so much about a fear of being different, but more about being strong in your own resolve and doing what is best for your own health and fitness. No one else can take care of you like you can!
- Fear of Losing Friends: This fear can be closely related to the fear of being different, because if by being different you are living a different and healthier lifestyle than your current friends, you might fear that you won’t have anything in common anymore and that you will lose them. Especially if the main event of your social gatherings is centered on food, you could expect a shift in the dynamic of your friendships.
One way of looking at this fear is to firm up your life’s priorities so that you can move past the fear and allow yourself to feel that motivation (and take action!) to lose weight and get fit. In my opinion, your health should be your top priority because if you’re not well, you’re not able to be there for anyone else; not for your friends, family, co-workers, not anyone. Putting your health first isn’t being selfish, it’s a way of loving yourself. If your friends don’t support you in this and act threatened by the changes you are making, it might be that you will need to seek out new social groups.
On the other hand, it just may be that this fear is more of an excuse that you’re using to keep from getting on the healthy track and once you start making those changes (and even suggest that you meet up with friends for a walk or any activity that isn’t food focused), you could find that your friends fully support you and even get on a healthier track themselves. You don’t know though, until you take charge of your own health and set your goals and priorities in your life.
- Fear of Eating Food you Don’t Like: This fear is very easy to overcome; it just takes willingness to open your mind to change and try some new things. If you fear that the only way you can lose weight and get healthy and fit is by eating a bunch of foods that taste awful, I can understand why you would not be motivated to lose weight! Also, even though you’re probably not eating the healthiest of foods in your daily diet currently, I bet you like their taste.
What you can do is get out a piece of paper and list all of the whole foods that you do enjoy. If it’s been a long time since you’ve eaten anything that isn’t boxed, frozen, or pre-made, this could take a while, but maybe not. It just depends on what you eat right now. You might come up with a short list (i.e.: carrots, whole grain rice, chicken breast, red peppers), or if you’re lucky, it’s very extensive.
If your list isn’t very long, this is where being open trying new things comes into play. If you want to get off the processed foods and on to a healthy diet of whole foods, many of which you cook up at home into healthy meals, you may end up trying foods you never have before, or that you haven’t eaten for a long time. I think it’s important to give new foods a try (the last one I tried was a star fruit – I didn’t like it), but even more important is that if you don’t like it, don’t include it in your meals.
The quickest way to turn yourself off from eating healthy is by forcing yourself to eat foods you don’t like because someone told you that they would help you lose weight. Be open to trying new foods, include lots of whole foods that you do like, and let the ones go that you don’t.
One thing to remember on this: the longer you are eating clean and off of the preservatives, additives, refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and excess sodium, the more your tastes will change. You’d be surprised how good plain steamed broccoli and cauliflower tastes when you’re eating clean, but if you’re eating a lot of junk foods, the plain steamed veggies taste pretty bland. That’s been my experience, but I’ve also heard this many times before from others.
- Fear of Always Being Hungry: Another common misconception is that you must eat very little (and starve!) to lose weight. This is so untrue, and this unhealthy dieting (this really is dieting) is a good way to mess up your metabolism and grind it to a halt. Consequently, after you stop eating (or not eating, LOL!) this way and you return to your old habits of overeating, the weight can pile back on quicker than you can blink. It’s because the fire of your metabolism is out and it’s not burning the food for fuel that you’re now putting into your body in abundance.
Now, it is true that there is a big difference between being stuffed, satisfying your hunger, being hungry, and feeling like you’re starving. If you normally eat when you aren’t hungry and overeat beyond the point of being full, when you begin to limit your portions and eat whole foods, you’re probably going to feel hungry when it’s time for your next meal or snack. If you can’t remember the last time you felt hungry, you might think you’re “starving”. If you don’t eat all day (for over 8 hours for example) then yes, you probably are “starving”, but if it’s been 2 hours and you’re eating sensible portions, you’re most likely feeling hungry. 😉
You do not need to be constantly hungry in order to lose weight. You actually need to eat to lose weight, and it’s also important to drink plenty of water (at least 100 oz. a day). Thirst is often confused with hunger but water is also vital to maintaining good health.
- Fear of Cost: Here’s an easy way to overcome this fear if it’s holding you back from getting off those processed and junk foods and onto a healthy diet of whole foods: keep a daily diary of all of the money you spend on every food item you buy. Do this for one month. Include the coffees, Cokes, drive-throughs, groceries, snacks, everything. Now the next part you’ll need to take on faith, but if you can push through this fear and make the leap to clean eating, keep the same daily diary of the money you spend on food. Right away you’ll see the drop-off of the coffee (unless you like to buy black coffees without the foam, sugar, caramel and chocolate syrups, etc.), the fast food, and snacks. Do this for a month and see what you come up with.
My experience has been that when I first changed to clean eating, I spent some money up front. On what? Spices. Since I dumped the salt and sugar, I learned to cook with spices and herbs, but they aren’t cheap. The thing is, once I had my supply, I didn’t buy them again for at least another 3-6 months at the earliest. Besides the spices though, I found that I was spending much less on whole foods. A large part of the reason is because of not eating as much food, and also because I shop at Costco for many of my food items.
One other part of my experience is that I don’t buy everything organic. I know that this is the preferred way to go but this is the truth of the matter for me currently. If you do, then you will be spending a little more on organic whole foods, but you know what? How much less are you spending on all of those medications that could be prescribed for all of the medical ailments that result from obesity and inactivity? How often do you get sick when you’re eating clean compared to when you’re filling up on the gunk in processed foods?
While there can be some truth to the cost difference between eating healthy and eating junk foods, you could ask yourself if you’re just using this as an excuse to stay where you’re at. If you are, that’s OK because you’re being truthful with yourself and now cost is no longer an excuse, but if you’re not using cost as an excuse to change and get fit, then look at how much you’re saving in your quality of life and life experience by giving your body the optimum, premium fuel to run on. 😉
This has turned out to be another lengthy post on this topic of fears in weight loss. For months now I’ve been meaning to write about how fear can affect your weight loss progress and I’ve given you a good amount of my thoughts on it because my own weight loss fears have really affected my motivation to lose weight. As it is, I still have more work to do in this area, however I do feel that writing this series has already given me more clarity, so I thank you for hanging in there with me! 🙂
Can you relate to any of these fears? Have you already overcome them or are you still working on it? Do you feel more motivation to lose weight after releasing your fears about weight loss? Please feel free to share your experiences in a comment!