How are you all? I have been watching and reading a fair bit of weight loss stuff lately as next year I am looking at getting back into some Personal Training. Just admitted it out loud! Anyway…. I noticed a common theme amongst some of the stories. These stories related to weight loss or lack thereof, but honestly they could be applied to any negative habits. The common theme was that these people were all “getting something” from being overweight.
Now if you put them all in a room and asked them if they wanted to lose weight my guess is 100% of them would say yes. But in reality something was holding them all back, or several somethings. We all want to improve, be healthier, work smarter, be more patient etc etc. Frequently though we hold ourselves back. We may have excuses for being held back, some more genuine than others. Wanting change isn’t enough though especially when there are really strong forces at play holding us back. I think we often don’t acknowledge those forces and face them in practical ways head on.
You can buy all the gear, hire a trainer, read the books and not get there if you aren’t willing to sacrifice or even acknowledge the “benefits” of remaining the same. During Uni I tutored High School students sitting their end of year 12 exams. I will never forget being hired to tutor a girl who lived in a very nice house in a very nice suburb. I was getting paid a pretty high hourly rate (compared to other jobs). I showed up day 1 and the girl answered the door, pretended to be someone else and told me I had the wrong house. After several awkward phone conversations I realised it was the right house and meet the right girl she just didn’t want to see me. Next time I showed up she jumped out the window and the final time she was less comical and honest and said she just didn’t want to study. Her Parents gave up after that I believe (or at least on my help as the solution)!
It can be difficult to accept that we are getting something positive from our negative habits. I think it can be helpful to look at the costs and benefits. One of the biggest benefits in staying put is simply that it is just easier to stay put, it doesn’t involve change, or effort, or work. Change can be scary and challenging. Also it is comfortable to maintain our bad habits. We developed those habits along the way as coping mechanisms for various situations in our lives and we kept them because they sort of “worked”. So giving them up is not going to be easy. Maybe we started smoking to fit in and now we are addicted or drinking to relax and now one glass is more like 3-5 a night. Maybe we eat to comfort ourselves and distract ourselves from being present in the moment.
Whatever the habit is it really doesn’t matter, but why we hold onto that habit does! Next time you are taking a moment out of your day to be mindful think about a bad habit or habits you have held onto for a long time and struggled to give up. Why are you so attached? How can you tackle that situation head on? What habits can you work on forming instead that are healthier and more functional?