Saturday, April 06, 2013

Week #14 - Why We Do What We Do

Things have been quiet lately here at Outsmart the Fat Central. It's not always easy to come up with profound insights on the weeks' topics, especially when so often it boils down to "Get yourself a game plan!" or "Make changes that will be easy to stick to!" (perhaps I should embroider those on a pillow!)

I figured this week would be different, because we were attempting to explore the underlying reasons for our behavior. You surely didn't disappoint when it came to the discussion this week! There were a couple of thoughts that you brought up that I think bear repeating and thinking on some more:

The notion that once someone cleans up their environment, and there are no longer foods handy to use as a band-aid, it allows time for contemplation of what's really going on, and what emotions are really at play.

If you look at success statistics for the weight loss industry, the numbers overall are pretty harrowing. You may be part of those statistics – I know I am! I lost weight, quit, gained it back. Many people have done this, and continue to do this. What I've discovered in my observations is that being overweight is often a symptom of a larger problem, not the problem in and of itself. Sure, there are people who come to Weight Watchers who simply need to know which foods are healthy and how much they ought to eat of them. But think about the laughs we've shared. It is more often over an admission of eating a dozen doughnuts, not over our realization that broccoli was actually a healthy food! You can learn how to clear your spaces, you can learn healthy behaviors, but if you don't fix the real problem that you were using food to solve, you run a real risk of falling into old habits and creeping back up to your old weight.

The notion that digging into what's really going on can be frightening and painful.

When you stop and think "gosh, why did I do that?" sometimes the answer is simply "because I was bored" or "because I went grocery shopping when I was starving." Those are awesome insights because they are easy to fix. But sometimes the answers are more like "because something tragic happened to me and I have no other way to deal with it" or "because I've always hidden behind my weight, and if I get thin I'll have to deal with people noticing me." Those are awesome insights too, but not as easy to fix.

So what do we do with this? I'll be honest: I am a Weight Watchers program facilitator, not a licensed therapist. I can help you with the easy fixes. And I can help you recognize the harder ones by helping you ask yourself the right questions. The weekly meetings can help you acknowledge those harder ones and know that you don't suffer through them alone. That can be a huge help and can often get you far enough along to reach your health goals, which may in turn empower you to make some other Major Life Changes. I'd be lying if I said I never considered getting myself some professional help to deal with those other, deeper issues. I know in general, once our heads are in the right places, making healthy lifestyle choices tend to be much easier.

I definitely feel like I'll be mulling this one over far after we've moved on to different meeting topics. I hope you will, too!


Crabby McSlacker said...

Sounds like you do a great job helping people get below the surface with these issues, even if, yeah, some might need more exploration in a therapeutic setting. But for some people, discovering that this painful stuff is lurking beneath the weight loss struggle is a great start towards working through the issues and healing from them.

Outsmart the Fat! said...

Thanks, Crabby - I do my best! I'm still working on myself, too.

Keith said...

We do what we do because we are driven by our unconscious strategies. Every intention of the unconcious mind is positive even though it doesn't seem like it on a conscious level. The beliefs we form through our live create our beliefs and that's what drives all our behaviours.

Abby Ang said...

Thank you very much for sharing this very nice article. Yes, I totally agree with you. One great way to ensure that you get your activity accomplished is to have a plan.