Why are We in Such a Hurry to Lose Weight?

Jaw droppedI remain gobsmacked by a statistic I recently learned.

By this time of the year, north of 80 percent of people who — at the beginning of the year — said, “This time I mean it! This is the year I’m going to lose those extra pounds,” have given up. Done. Over. Wiped their hands and walked away.

The Centers for Disease Control says that, as of 2012, 69 percent of our population is overweight or obese, with almost half of those folks classified as “obese.” Those extra pounds underwrite a multitude of health conditions, both physical and emotional; and we all know about them. Therefore, one might think that the urgency to shed an expanded waistline could be enough incentive to stick with a program longer than six weeks.

One might think that. One would also be wrong.

The number one reason people quit their program is that they don’t feel they’re losing quickly enough. Granted, if they could slow down racing to the refrigerator long enough to realize that a slow weight loss is faster than a no weight loss, they might stick with it a tad longer. Yet, in all fairness, it’s difficult to remain cold sober logical about your progress when the scale won’t budge. “Get-thin-quickly” scam artists are partially to blame for the false expectations that drive the frustration, but they are actually symptoms of a deeper problem fostering the unrealistic drive to drop weight faster than a brick can fall from a six-foot wall.

So, why are we in such a hurry?

There are two factors at play.

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A List: Top 5 Ways to Fail at Everything

I am fascinated by lists.

man-looking-at-list

In college, my “go to” book was “The Book of Lists,” which was, um, well — basically a list of lists.

In today’s digital age, most are on-line. One site I found had the most popular “bucket list” ideas. Some of the trendiest objectives included visiting virtually every locale, jumping into a pool fully clothed, and — I kid you not — covering someone’s car in post-it notes. You scamp, you!

Techcrunch posts the most common Google searches. It contained “Ice Bucket Challenge”, “Ebola,” and “Flappy Bird” (a game). Sadly, the loss of “Robin Williams” generated the most searches.

Finally, Listverse, whose raison d’être is to make lists, presented its most popular of all time. Claiming spots in that prestigious ranking are “Top 15 Amazing Coincidences,” “Top 10 Amazing Facts About Dreams,” and the most popular list ever: “10 Fascinating Last Pictures Taken.”

Different times of year spawn season-appropriate lists. January might bring forth “Ten Tips to Getting Organized in the New Year.” In April, we’re informed of “Most Common Forgotten Tax Deductions.” June could give rise to “Top Wedding Ideas of Successful Brides.” (Of course, I don’t know what an “unsuccessful bride” would be.)

I want my own world-famous list. So, I thought of something no one else has done, which I now unveil: (insert fanfare please)

“Five Things You Can Do to Make Sure You Never Achieve Anything.”

In reverse order (because that makes it more exciting I guess):

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Is it Really a Sacrifice – or it is Actually a Gift?

Giving up a habit can feel like a major sacrifice.

Therefore, our inner cranky child emerges and we grumble and complain, dragging our feet, resisting what we know has to be done. Like a small child, we wail and moan, crossing our arms in a huff, stamping our feet, and resisting vehemently.

girl-having-tantrum

“I don’t wanna eat less!”
“I hate exercise! Do I hafta?”

“Do I really have to organize my house?”

What would it be like if – instead of focusing on what we have give up – we looked at it as how excited we’re going to feel once we do it?

Instead of looking at it as a sacrifice, we focus on how good we’re going to feel when we drop those few pounds, or when the house is organized, or when we can enjoy a walk on a sunny day.

The amount of work won’t change, but our attitude sure will.

And that’s definitely worth a lot.

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