Why do people lose weight, get in great shape, and start feeling amazing only to slip all the way back into old self denigrating habits that lead to diminished health? I’m going way deeper than the whole “life started happening” or “I just got really busy” reasons so often used. These are only a surface glimpse of what’s occurring. Do not read any further until you fully appreciate and accept this fact.
The specific hang ups will vary for each person based on your experience but the overall concept is ridiculously consistent.
The “problem” with actually achieving your goals is that getting better and making progress can frankly be alienating or even downright frightening. However bad or unfulfilling the current situation may be for you, it is still comfortable and imminently familiar. When elevating yourself you inevitably open yourself up to hope and subsequently the possibility or fear of loss. This is the most powerful motivating factor for human beings.
Our biological wiring is geared towards sounding an alarm and utilizing fear to prevent us from embracing significant change.
The thing is this wiring is antiquated and doesn’t always work to our benefit. It’s not concerned with the pursuit of our highest self. This system is supposed to prevent you from wandering to far from your cave (thousands of years ago) where you ran the risk of being gobbled up by a Megistotherium Ostiothlates (a giant dog-bear thing that grew to 1,900 lbs! so cool…). Today it just ain’t gonna happen.
Try this simple exercise to assess where you are in the area of self-sabotaging..
Think of a few things you really really want. You know, the things that will “make you happy” (another topic altogether, but you catch my drift). Now ask yourself: Do I deserve xyz?
Don’t just gloss over with a “yes!” or “an of course I do!” the way you say “I’m good” when someone asks you how you’re doing out of courtesy.
It’s ok to not pour your heart out to strangers and acquaintances, but you owe yourself to disclose and accept what’s really going on.
Don’t treat yourself like a stranger. To experience true self-development, it’s crucial to become self-aware enough to recognize your hang-ups.
Your ability to accept positive changes depends on the quality of your self image. Some of us truly believe that the only way we can feel fulfilled is through a temporary high delivered by food, tv, drugs, social media, and alcohol. It sounds cliche but whenever someone is trying to drag you down into eating a ton of dessert or having 5 too many drinks, it’s because they don’t want to open themselves up to the hope that one can really change. These are subtle things and they may not be consciously sabotaging, but rest assured this is the reality.
To have a sustained flow of natural good feelings seems too good to be true when we’re accustomed to (or subject to) peaks and valleys. Instead of short term highs subject to crashes, you are going to be taken into an “upward spiral” where things truly get better and better. This doesn’t mean you will always be happy or even positive, but the roadblocks have now been cleared off the highway! Traffic can again flow.
When someone gives up their crutch it is common to experience more intense feelings of pain in the short term. A common example of this is low energy and even mild depression after giving up sugar. Don’t struggle with this or try to wrestle these thoughts to the ground. Just be aware and resolve to maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
In summary, the best thing you can possibly do to cultivate good health is develop the belief that you deserve it. This takes just as much work as the actual physical activity.