For most of us the task of taking care of ourselves and improving our health seems daunting and scary to say the least. We have been taught that we are not smart enough to look after our own health and must rely on a man in a white coat to dispense the magic bullet to cure whatever ails us. Change is never easy. Especially when we are faced with a major health challenge. Why do most diets fail? Because people cut out all the things they love and have been eating for years and view it as a loss. Dieting is usually very draining physically as well as emotionally. It’s no wonder most people are not successful trying to lose weight in that manner. As my friend Kate Romero likes to say, “Diet translates to ‘die it.’”
Only extremely disciplined individuals with incredible will power can successfully incorporate major shifts in behavior. For most of us the best way to incorporate change is to do so in small steps. Setting attainable goals individually. Creating new habits one at a time. Diets and the breaking of addictions do not usually work because there is a perceived loss of something you enjoy, something that you may have loved and perhaps been rewarded with as a child. Then you will always perceive the diet or change in habit as a negative factor, coming between you and happiness. If on the other hand you can reevaluate the thing you want to change and see how it has served you in the past, then you can replace it with something positive to take the place of whatever it was doing for you.
Take for instance individuals suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The constant need to open and close doors three times or wash their hands repeatedly serves a very definite purpose in their lives. The comfort and security the compulsive activity provides psychologically are a great benefit in allowing them to function in other areas. However, many people with this disorder suffer terribly from the stigma associated with the disorder and often feel imprisoned by the urge to do these repetitive tasks. The key to freedom from this and any addiction is being able to see both the positive and negative qualities of the action, how it is serving you and what positive action steps can be taken to replace the unwanted activity. However, without a sincere desire to change or stop the activity, no long-lasting results can ever be attained.