How to Cope With the Mental Challenges of Weight Loss


Weight loss does not only mean exercise, diets, and a healthy lifestyle. It is much more. It is a mental challenge, and you first have to train your mind to be ready for the process, and the body will follow. Losing weight can come with frustration, anger, self-doubt, discouragement, resignation, loneliness, anxiety and sometimes depression. This happens when the results do not stand up to our expectations, when we want to achieve more but do not know how. Yes, help from other people and their support play an important role, but our mind is the secret to overcoming these mental challenges associated with weight loss. Try to stay focused on the positive and if you catch yourself going into negativity, force yourself to think about one of the many positive things in your life. Staying in a positive mental space can take work sometimes but most things worth having take a little work. You got this!

How to deal with mental challenges?

You have to find the emotional cause that leads to your weight gain (abused, mistreated as a child or bullied). Sometimes excess eating can be used as a defense mechanism against society, hiding behind an overweight body to avoid confrontation with others. You have to solve these issues once and for all, asking the help of a good psychotherapist or counselor. You will learn to make peace with the past and calm the emotional storms.

One of the main cause of obesity is emotional eating when you eat for comfort and not for hunger. What you need to do is learn some effective stress management skills to soothe painful emotions and solve the cause of your distress. You will learn how to take action, make a plan and find healthy solutions when you feel like eating something (play with your pet, talk to a friend, walk around the block, see a movie, take a relaxing hot bath or workout with me here).

Weight loss is a long term process, so the people around you will react differently to efforts. Some will admire and encourage you while others will make fun of struggle and try to knock the spirit out of you. I have always used this as fuel, but we all have different ways of dealing with things. Learn how to confront them tactfully or take the remarks in stride. Always be very careful about those who try to sabotage your success. Some of your overweight friends will not understand why you order a salad and not a cheeseburger. You will feel more attractive and self-confident, and this might make your honey feel insecure about the future of your relationship. Be prepared for all these situations and learn how to deal with them in a polite and when necessary a sarcastic way.

Eliminate the negative thoughts. Do not stand in front of the mirror and call yourself fat! This thinking will keep you from seeing the results that you are achieving. Accept the fact that you will need to buy clothes in a smaller size and do not fall into old habits. Learn how to make the difference between an occasional cookie and stocking up on desserts. Do not weigh yourself everyday. Once a week is fine. Do not stress too much over numbers, because there are other variables. The biggest being that if you are working out and gaining muscle, the scale can mess with your head. Muscle weighs more than fat and you could actually be losing fat and see the scale rise a few pounds..while your clothing is getting looser.

Weight loss is a challenge to anyone, but you do not have to go through it alone and you do not have to make it a miserable experience. A psychotherapist or a health counselor which whom you can click or a support group of people who are leading the same fight as you can really make things easier. If you have taken the path towards weight loss, always remember that if you see yourself as a slender person, you will start thinking like one.

Remember, a rolls royce takes 6 months to build and a toyota takes 13 hours…you can’t rush greatness so try to learn to enjoy the ride.