When people sign up for a weight loss transformation program, many go in with the expectation that they are going to lose weight and become a brand-new person.
While coming out as a brand-new person is true on one level, the truth is that a weight loss transformation is a process that unveils the real person that you already are, rather than turn you into someone else.
Who are you at your core?
All of us have habits that either work for us or sabotage us. (If you’re not sure how habits impact your weight be sure to read our blog What’s a keystone habit and why do you have to focus on it to get results.)
However, many people don’t realise that their behaviours, mindset and beliefs are also habits. For example, someone who doesn’t like having their photo taken may say “I’ve never been into photos”, while someone who finds it hard to get up early to go for a walk might say “I’m just not a morning person”.
But have you ever stopped to think about where these habits, thoughts and beliefs have come from?
Let’s come back to that question in a minute. First, let’s look at some of the most common habits that people have.
Most people who struggle with their weight have one (but usually more than one) of the following habits:
- Low self-esteem and low self-worth — “I’m not good enough”
- Lack of confidence (aka imposter syndrome) — “I can’t do that”
- Compare themselves with others — “They are so much smarter than me”
- Want to please everyone — “I’m a nice person”
- Put their needs behind other people’s — “I want to be helpful”
- Hide behind alcohol — “I’m more fun when I’m drinking”
- Go with the crowd — “I want to fit in”
- Perfectionism — “I hate making mistakes”
- Worry about what others think — “What will they say or think about me?”
- Are not willing to work for what they want (looking for a quick-fix) — “But I want it now”
- Let fear dictate their actions — “But I’m scared”
- Believe they’re entitled to certain things — “Why can’t I have what I want?”
- Want to control everything — “I like to be organised and know what’s happening”
To learn more about how these habits impact your life and your weight, click on the links above.
Why we develop habits?
If you can relate to any of the habits listed above, you may be able to identify when you started engaging in that behaviour — or you may not. If you can pinpoint when you started doing some of these things, chances are there was an event that triggered it. A Trauma of some kind.
You see, when we’re born, we don’t have any of those habits listed above. They are learned behaviours — we either learn them from people around us, or we develop them over time.
As we go through the various stages of our life — childhood, teenage years, adulthood — many things happen to us that shape who we are. Some of these things may be traumatic for us, so we develop coping mechanisms to help us deal with them.
How do these habits help us?
We don’t have to experience significant events such as the death of a loved one, a natural disaster, or abuse to feel traumatised. Trauma — especially in the case of young children — can be anything that is emotionally painful and distressful. This can include:
- Having someone comment about your looks
- Teasing you because of your weight
- Being left out or excluded by your peers
- Being laughed at or ridiculed
- Constantly being put down by family members
- Being bullied.
These are just examples. There are many things that can cause emotional distress in people.
Often the younger you were when these things happened to you, the bigger the impact. That’s because our immature brains can’t process the event and put it in the proper context. For example, if you were bullied as a child, you are more likely to grow up thinking that there was something wrong with you (hence the reason you were bullied). However, as an adult, you can look at that situation with more mature insight and understand that the bullies were the insecure people, just trying to feel better about themselves.
Without our mature insight though, we end up developing habits (behaviours, mindsets and beliefs) that are designed to keep us feeling safe from a similar event happening again.
Habits are often born out of fear
Let’s say you were teased because you weren’t a fast runner when you were a child. When this happens, you’re likely to tell yourself that you’re not good at sport so you better not participate, otherwise you’ll be teased again. Not taking part in sporting activities is a conscious decision designed to keep you safe from being teased. After all, if you don’t do sport, no one can tease you about it right?
So you grow up believing you’re not ‘sporty’ and avoid all situations where you’d have to engage in some physical activity. While avoiding sports at school may have felt safe at the time, as you grow older, your lack of physical activity ends up sabotaging your overall health and wellbeing, and your weight.
The same thing happens with all the habits we develop that were originally designed to keep us safe — whether it’s going along with the crowd to prevent us from feeling left out, to not giving our best efforts in case we fail and feel terrible.
In other words, the safety nets we create for ourselves, to stop us from feeling scared, end up strangling us and robbing us of the life we could have had. And the greatest irony is that the habits that were supposed to protect us from feeling afraid, have actually caused us to be even more afraid.
How do we react to fear?
All of us experience fear. Sometimes it can be born from experiences or trauma, or even just uncertainty. But whichever way you look at it, fear is based on our own thoughts and beliefs — our habits.
Fear is useful, as it elicits the ‘fight or flight’ response (you either fight a threat or flee from it). This aspect of fear has actually ensured the survival of the human race. But these days, most of us aren’t in physically dangerous situations that threaten our lives, like the earliest humans were. The kind of fear we feel is emotional. And most of the time, we choose the ‘flight’ response, when we experience it.
However, we dress up our fears as practicality and make excuses or think of reasons why we can’t do something.
I don’t like having my photo taken.
I’m a private person and don’t post on social media.
I’ve never liked clothes shopping.
I don’t like wearing jeans.
I’m too busy.
And so whenever we’re confronted with something that scares us, we run away. We avoid the situation completely, or we make excuses as to why we can’t do anything.
How fear hinders our weight loss
At the heart of our fears, is the fear of not being loved. Of not fitting in, not being accepted and of being judged.
This fear of not being loved means that we’re too afraid to be seen for who we really are or what we really want. Instead, we continue to develop layers and layers of habits and excuses to keep us safe. Eventually, this becomes like a suit of armour we wear to protect us from getting hurt.
But, when we run from our fears, we only hurt ourselves and we sabotage our weight loss efforts.
I’m not going for a walk because I don’t like what I look like, and I’m worried about being judged
I’m not going to ask a coach to help me because I’m worried about what they’ll say
I’ll have another drink because my friends want me to, and I don’t want to upset them
I’ll eat takeaway with the family, even though I don’t want to, because it’s easier.
I’m not trying on my jeans because I can’t handle how I’ll feel if they don’t fit me
I’m not weighing myself because I don’t know what I’ll do if I’ve put on weight.
Do you see that giving in to your fears means you’re running away from your problems? And if you don’t confront your problems, you’ll never be able to solve them.
When we don’t confront our fears and face the things that scare us, we end up making decisions based on fear. Often these are decisions based on our emotions, and the majority of the time, decisions based on emotions are usually bad decisions.
How does weight loss transformation help?
Undergoing a weight loss transformation then isn’t so much about transforming you into another person. It’s about stripping back the layers of habits, mindsets and beliefs that have led you to where you are.
It’s about confronting your fears, and ‘unbecoming’ the person that these habits have turned you into, and becoming the truest version of yourself, without the emotional baggage that you carry around. It’s about ‘unlearning’ the habits you currently have and developing new ones that will support weight loss.
True transformation is the journey to discovering your real, authentic self — warts and all — without the perceived safety of the habits, you have developed over time. It’s about learning to have the courage and confidence to stand up, as you are, without hiding your true identity from the world.
Confront your fears
To do this, you need to confront your fears instead of running away from them. Confronting our fears helps us to discard the ‘safe’ habits we’ve been carrying around our whole lives — the ones that have led us to become overweight — so we can be the person we need to be, in order to lose weight, and gain the freedom we crave.
Imagine not caring what other people think of you.
Imagine not comparing yourself with others all the time.
Imagine not being afraid to be seen for who you are.
Imagine being able to eat what you like, without feeling afraid you’ll gain weight.
Imagine feeling happy, confident and worthy in your own skin.
The beauty is, you don’t have to keep imagining this. This can be your new reality.
You see, we’ve seen firsthand how running away from fears leads to weight gain, misery, and the very common problem of people ‘not knowing who they are any more’.
That’s why we created the Diet Antidote Transformation System (DATS™️) — the Not-diet diet for people who are sick of diets and want more than a good body.
Through DATSTM we help you uncover and believe in the amazing, capable, awesome human you were (that you’ve always been), before the world told you otherwise; before you developed the habits to protect you; before you stopped believing in yourself.
Our DATSTM Program will give you the knowledge, systems, tools and skills so you can ‘unbecome’ and ‘unlearn’ the things that have led you to your painful place, so you can transform your body, but most importantly your mindset and your life.