OK. So you eat too much. And you have all this weight to lose. What do you do about it? Do you head for the nearest dieting and exercise routines? Most people who want to lose their unwanted weight do just that. They put themselves on a diet and try to get themselves to exercise as well.
But, as you know, if you’ve tried the well-worn exercise and dieting route to wished-for weight loss, you either didn’t lose the weight you wanted to lose or you lost it and then regained it. The highly touted, always recommended way—dieting and exercise—doesn’t work. Why? Because there’s something missing from that too-neat equation: diet + exercise = permanent weight loss.
Here’s what’s missing from the formula. It’s you being overly susceptible to overeating and/or eating particularly fattening foods. What is making you so susceptible? You could say that it’s the pattern of eating you’ve established. You’ve made it so much a part of who you are. There’s truth in that, isn’t there?
But it’s not only the pattern of eating you’ve established that makes you susceptible to overeating and/or eating fattening foods. There is what came before you locked-in such an eating pattern. There is what made you establish this eating pattern in the first place.
There were probably some emotions that were too unpleasant for you to handle in a more straightforward way, and so you ate over them. That’s often how a pattern of overeating and eating fattening foods gets set up.
Maybe there were too many difficult events in your life that caused these unpleasant emotions. Or perhaps no one helped you learn the right emotional coping strategies. Or, you might even have learned to interpret some of these emotions in ways that made you think of them as more unpleasant or more incapacitating than they needed to be.
Whatever is the case for you, in order to lose weight and keep it off for good, you will have to bring working on your emotions right into the dieting and exercise formula. The new formula will look like this: diet + exercise + emotional work = permanent weight loss.