Many people get stuck in losing weight and gaining it back again, also called yo-yo dieting. It doesn’t make much sense why you would self sabotage the result you wanted so badly. You are becoming healthier, fitter and leaner and then you find yourself eating loads of crap and you stopped exercising. One part of you wants to be thin and the other part of you wants you to be fat. It doesn’t make much sense. People think that they don’t have enough will power, but will power doesn’t have much to do with it. Will power comes from the conscious mind and your behaviour comes from the subconscious mind. We are ruled 95 – 98% by our subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind can be hacked without your knowing. It follows the programming it gets daily from your environment and can also be manipulation by emotions. The subconscious tries to keep you safe by looking what is going on in your tribe. To make sure you fit in.
Here are some reasons why you can’t stop yo-yo dieting.
1. You grew up in an unhealthy family (tribe). Kids copy the behaviour of their parents to keep them safe. They learn the acceptable behaviour of the tribe. They can’t take care of themselves and rely on the parents. So the quickest way to bond with the parents is to copy their behaviour. If your parents smoke, drink alcohol, eat junk food etc you will do the same. Now when you are an adult and you become healthy, old emotions warn you to stop the healthy behaviour or it will break the bond between you and your parents. The parental approval is deeply wired in.
2. We live in a sick promoting society. If you are sick you get the attention, the appointments, the special treatment. If you get very sick you get to meet your idol in person. There is lots of money for the sick, but not when you are healthy. Appointments with specialists will keep you busy as well as talking about it with friends, family and the neighbourhood. When you get healthy, all this stops. If you are lonely it can be an attractive option.
3. Many people have been abused as a child or later in life. Getting in great shape and being healthy draws a lot of attention on you. Including unwanted attention. It can feel saver to be fat, but this only keeps you in victim mode.
4. Coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, weed, chocolate, sugar, junk food are all pain killers. They sedate you so you don’t have to feel the pain of your past, present or future life. They also make you fat. You can do without them for a while but when the pain gets too much, you slip back in old behaviour.
5. If a healthy lifestyle is very unfamiliar for you, the mind can see that as a threat and wants to retreat to the unhealthy lifestyle it is used to. You’ll miss out on Friday night booze parties or Saturday night pizza feast. If you become healthy you may need to leave some friends behind and you don’t have new friends yet.
These reasons may seem illogical but it makes sense to the subconscious mind who just wants to keep you safe. To change it, you need to acknowledge it and accept it first. Then do the opposite, again and again. Hack your mind with positive, healthy behavior and images. Don’t give up. Go for the best version of you and create your best life.