There are adversities galore throughout the whole weight-loss process from starting to sticking to it to keeping off the weight you’ve lost.
Optimists have a much easier time negotiating their way through these adversities than do pessimists.
Optimists do more problem solving when it comes to these adversities rather than focusing on how to soothe or escape their feelings caused by the adversity. They are guided in this by a stronger belief that they will reach their weight-loss goals and that the outcome of their efforts will be positive and satisfying. Pessimists, on the other hand, have much greater doubt about the outcome of their efforts to lose weight and keep it off, and they focus on dealing with the negative and distressing aspects of the adversity rather than do the problem solving to overcome the adversity.
If being optimistic is so good when it comes to the weight-loss process, how do I get me some of this optimism, you might ask.
One hitch is that optimism and pessimism can become rather stable personality characteristics. But, as you probably have experienced, there are moment-to-moment variations in optimism and pessimism as well as changes in optimism and pessimism over time. So there’s still hope for you pessimists out there.
How then do you get some of this optimism about losing excess weight, especially if you are on the pessimistic side of the road too much of the time?
Here are some ways:
- Be proactive (e.g., read up on weight-loss problems and how to solve them).
- Develop the personal skills needed to solve adversities (e.g., practice problem solving).
- Have a plan ready for as many adversities as you can.
- Use social resources (e.g., connect with helpful people or programs).
- Identify and limit your negative thinking.
- Challenge your negative beliefs. Don’t just passively accept them.
- Practice reframing your thinking from negative to positive.