Many of us live with our mobile phone on us, or near us, the majority of the time. If you’ve ever accidentally left your phone at home – and felt completely lost and out of touch without it – you’ll have some idea of just how much you rely on your phone.
We use our phone for so much more than just making calls or sending messages. We check our emails on it, access all our social media accounts, use the browser to Google anything that pops into our head the minute we wonder about it.
With smartphones becoming mainstream we have access to more information, more resources, and more options than ever before. Plus it’s all available to us at any time. So in theory, shouldn’t this make it easier for us to lose weight? We can find diet plans, exercise programs, and motivational quotes in seconds.
So what’s the problem?
We get used to instant gratification. Our phone offers us quick results. An online purchase in just a few swipes and taps. An answer to a question. A quick feel-good fix (such as someone liking your Instagram pic). A way to not have to feel bored, even for 5 seconds.
All of these either offers something pleasurable or removes something uncomfortable… which is pretty much the direct opposite of what is required for weight loss. In order to lose weight, you need to be able to sit with some level of discomfort and get through it without giving up.
Exercising is going to feel hard at first. Finding recipes that are healthy (and that you like) will require time and effort. Preparing home-cooked meals from scratch will require work to be put in. Plus you’ll need to write a grocery list, buy the ingredients, put them away when you get home. You’ll need to get used to meals tasting a little different until your taste buds get used to less salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
Did that last paragraph make you want to give up before you’ve even started? You’re not alone.
Change the way your brain is wired
If you are still reading, chances are you have started to realise that losing weight is – at least some of the time – going to mean a certain level of discomfort. So how can we become better at dealing with things that are uncomfortable, and therefore increase our chances of hitting our goal weight once and for all?
Awareness is a good first step. Notice when you feel like quitting, throwing your diet plan out the window, canceling your gym membership. Start small, and work to delay whatever urge it is that you are having, even if it’s just for 5 minutes to start with.
Simply sitting with that yukky feeling for a little while, and noticing it without trying to change it, can build mental muscle. Getting used to being uncomfortable – and learning that you can handle it – slowly reconditions your brain. The more you practice, the longer you find you can stick it out, and the more positive changes you can make in a day.
The best part is, the more healthy choices you make, the more confident you become in yourself and your ability to lose weight. It’s a feedback loop that keeps building on itself.
Often we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for, and many of the guests at our weight loss retreats have made the comment that they were surprised at how much more they could do than they had ever expected. Part of this is no doubt due to the supportive trainers, plus being there with like-minded people.
The point is, that you’ll never understand what you are capable of doing until you just do it. Losing a large of weight can seem so hard, so unreachable, so impossible to stick to for so long. So just work on today. What can you do today, even if it’s uncomfortable, to take just a few steps in the right direction?