Most people have a lot of factors that often work against them when they're trying to lose weight -- and make excuses for all of these things. There's the tight schedule, the lack of willpower, the lack of support. What we often fail to see is that these factors can all be overcome.
Each year thousands of Americans attempt some sort of weight loss regime or diet. For those who fail quickly, there is often one common trait that is overlooked. It's simple -- they're stubborn.
We know, no one wants to hear that. It may be reality though, so let's take a look at this closely.
Take Note of the Symptoms
Imagine a time when someone said something to you that you didn't agree with. There's a lot of that floating around these days. We debate religion, politics, sports, education -- you name it! When a comment was made that you did not agree with, what was your reaction? Did you feel the need to interject? Perhaps you even physically felt something, like your body tensing up or your heart beating faster.
These types of reactions stem from the desire to protect our ego. We naturally do not want to entertain the possibility that what we think, feel, or believe could be wrong. This is stubbornness. It's thoughtlessly adhering to your default beliefs without question. And we get that. For most of us (myself included), it's quite embarrassing to admit that actions we previously endorsed or even defended could be wrong. We made a choice not to challenge our beliefs.
What does being stubborn has to do with weight loss and fitness? Take a look…
Being Stubborn Prevents You from Learning Your Body
Chances are that you don't know everything about fitness and nutrition - unless you're a personal trainer or nutritionist. In order to know what regiment works best for you, you need to educate yourself.
For example: We talk a lot about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What if that doesn't work for you? Plenty of people insist that they don't eat breakfast and don't need to. Can you be open to something new? Open to the possibility that it could work the other way for you? If you aren't open to new things, you'll never know the positive difference many things could make in your weight loss.
What happens instead is that you stick to what you know and take an easier route of blame.
Being Stubborn Makes You Dwell
Imagine, as an example that you decide to go to the gym on your hour lunch break. You've decided this is the best time of day for you to get your workout in your busy schedule. On the way back to work there's traffic, you're running late, and you start to panic about being on time. Now you've decided there's no way you can keep going to the gym on your lunch break.
This situation makes you irritated and frustrated. You're likely blaming a thousand different situations for this traffic and you running late back to work -- and you stew on this anger. What's worse is that now you feel like your plans to become healthier have failed. It seems like the universe is working against you. You end up focusing on external factors you cannot change rather than focusing on what you can change and pressing forward.
One possible outcome of this sort of situation is that you'll lose determination because you think you'll always encounter this traffic or road block along the way. You'll convince yourself that getting healthier isn’t for you. A different outcome is that you could be choosing to focus on the idea that there’s other times to workout or that this situation will not occur every single day back to the office.
Being Stubborn Changes Your Ability to be Flexible
When we're looking to make a life change, it's easy to daydream about what said change will bring us. We develop these preconceived ideas about what it would be like, the path we're willing to take to get there, and we decide this is the course for us. But when that path is no longer working for us and someone makes a suggestion that we change course, our immediate reaction is to defend the road we've decided to work, to fight against change, and not hear what we're being told. We have removed flexibility from the equation by deciding that our preconceived idea is the best way to go.
Being flexible is required to go following any new diet or fitness regimen. There's a famous 80/20 rule that's helpful to adopt as a strategy. The concept is that 80% of the time you'll get things right and the other 20% of the time you allot for making mistakes. It means we'll be more likely to stick with the plans we've made rather than thinking it's an all or nothing proposition.
When It Comes to Fitness, Weight Loss, & Health… Don’t be Stubborn
It's hard. I completely get it. Because even though I can write this article and evaluate these types of situations and how they impact my personal health, it's a little hard to swallow. But we've heard it before and I might as well say it again -- weight loss is a mental effort. We have to remove the idea that everything we know is 100% right for us... because you don't know unless you've tried, tested it, and seen the results. We have to disarm ourselves from that knee jerk reaction that protects our ego and be open to flexibility, advice, and ideas that will help you with your overall goal.
And it won't be easy. Look at yourself and evaluate why you hold the opinions and beliefs that you do? When you're wrong, admit it and try another way. Your ability to realize what needs to change so that you can live the healthy life you're after will fuel your sense of accomplishment, even if you're momentarily embarrassed. The change in thought will help you to grow, learn more, and become a better version of you.
So, what do you think -- are you, too, a little stubborn when it comes to your health?