No one I know wants to be known as a quitter. Not at sports, not in relationships, and definitely not in weight loss. But most people who try to lose weight do quit at least once. The reasons for quitting vary as much as we all vary as individuals, but most people who quit have one thing in common: They responded to the inner voice that told them to just quit trying to lose weight. If you’ve quit trying to lose weight a time or two because of that negative inner voice, here are some ways to silence it for good.
Clients I’ve worked with over the years have had varying degrees of success in their weight loss. They all gave it a good shot, but some got to their goal weight and some quit before even coming close to their desired weight.
It’s very common to want to quit losing weight. Even as I was successfully losing 150 pounds I contemplated quitting—but I’m sure glad I didn’t. A client of mine had lost about 50 pounds with just 25 more to go and she thought about quitting. She didn’t quit either, fortunately.
Why do we want to quit when we know that losing weight is good for us physically and emotionally?
I think it comes down to a couple of things.
1. We are listening to the wrong voice inside our heads—that one that says, “You can’t do this. All this effort isn’t worth it. You were happy being overweight.”
2. The process is hard. It’s natural to want to quit something that’s hard.
To overcome that inner voice you’ve got to have an action plan to drown it out when it becomes louder than your desire to make the right choices.
Identify truth from untruth. You know that it is true that losing weight is good for you. You also know that it is not true that losing weight is impossible.
When that voice in your head tells you to quit, stop right there and think about what you know to be true:
- You can lose weight.
- You can make good choices.
- Losing weight is worth it.
Write these truths down to banish the untrue thoughts that your inner quitter is trying to get you to believe.
Face your fears. Some of the thoughts you entertain about quitting come from fear:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of difficulty making the right food selections
- Fear of facing the rest of your life having to continually make those healthy choices
Face your fears and acknowledge them. It’s okay to be fearful of change, but tell yourself it’s not okay to quit because you are worried about those changes.
Expect setbacks. One of the most tempting times to listen to your inner voice telling you to quit is when you are struggling. That’s when the voice becomes loudest.
Expect to mess up. Expect to make poor decisions that lead to gaining back a few pounds. But don’t let those setbacks make you quit.
Instead, forgive yourself for the mess-ups and move on. Look back on all the positive changes you’ve already made and count each pound you’ve lost. Success in the past is a positive predictor of success in the future.
You will always have that voice inside your head that’s ready to tell you to quit, but it’s up to you to listen to it or ignore it. You are a strong person and you can tell that voice to stop spreading untruths and keep doing what you know will be good for your health in the future.