NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!!! One hears it all the timewith health and weight amongst the highest on the priority list of most New Year resolutions. Ironically, wanting to improve ones health is a need from within, this is due tothe experienceof the discomfort of increased weight.But somehow we stop the journey of weight loss or the path towards better health even before we have started. Some of us make an honest attempt to lose weight for a couple of weeks or a month and do take some measures as well, before all of it starts fading away and the old routine sets in. So eventually, the New Year resolution that was made with all earnesty looses its steam by the first week of January for most people and for the rest by end of January or early February. BACK TO SQUARE ONE!!!! Why does this happen, year after year ? Some scientific mind cookies.
- We look for quick fixes that are not sustainable. We desire to shed the weight that has taken time to develop just in a couple of weeks. Often, these quick fixes are hard on us and difficult to sustain. Generally, the steps we take to lose weight are based on “will power”, often making us experience a lot of discomfort. For example, the first thing that many of us do is to “decide” that we will no longer indulge in our favorite foods. Favorite foods are generally high caloried and range from deserts, sweets, to fastfood such as burgers, sandwiches to the deep fried food. Rarely do we hear someone say that my favourite food is a green salad. The moment we use “WILL POWER”, we are already in the mode of deprivation, which causes stress response. Our mind on the other hand works like an “auto responder system”. Our favorite food is already registered in the mind. So when we see our favorite food or even if we think of it or pass by our favorite restaurant, the mind starts working independently. The previous so many lovely experiences flash in our memory. The way we remember these memories are through our senses – big and bright pictures pop up in our head, we remember tastes which activate our mouth and salivary glands in and around our mouth and this is normally followed by an intense feeling of wanting to experience the taste by picking it up as if it is in front of us. This activity happens in split seconds, what we do experience in the body is an strong intensity or desire to have our favorite food. Also, How often have we heard this “the more we deprive ourselves, the more we want it.”
- Many of us also decide that from the next day “generally 2nd of January”, we will start living “HEALTHY LIFESTYLE”, this lifestyle that we desire to live is generally very very different from the life we are currently leading. For example, we decide that we will wake up in the morning and jog for about 5 kms or enroll ourselves in the gym for an intense workout or we will start eating healthy with every meal. The definition of healthy generally is lots of salads, fruits and vegetables or for others it is lots of meats. While the intention is noble and it does provide awesome results in the short run, it is rarely self-sustaining because as human beings “Familiarity is our strongest human instinct”. Many of our habits start at the womb. When we do something or follow a routine, that is very different from our existing routine, the unfamiliarity causes a lot of discomfort and leads us to having a stress response. Hence we follow back on the earlier routine. The will power lasts for a week, a couple of weeks or to a couple of months at the maximum.
- As much as we have noble intentions and have a strong desire to work on our weight or health goals. Often our values hierarchy or priority takes precedence over our goals/ desires. For a working professional, the roles and demands at work are more important. For the Indian home maker, taking care of the family’s needs, being the ideal mother and wonderful wife, the dutiful daughter-in-law takes over. Hence as much as we would like it, the health or the weight goals take a back seat or by the time we decide to give time to our health or weight goals, most of the day is over and the body is already has gone into a starvation/famine mode. By doing this we have already induced bad programmingon our mind and body and therefore resulting in increased weight.
- Take incremental steps that lead to large health benefits. Weight loss is a journey and not a series of some quick fixes
- Include your favorite foods in your plan to a lesser degree unless these are like addictions. We can also break the “auto responder systems” of our favorite foods using scientific mind techniques. Take expert help on it, if you are tending towards addictions. By addiction, I mean wanting to eat your favorite foods even when you are not hungry and you experience these episodes of hunger atleast once a day to a couple of times a week.
- Re-prioritize your value hierarchy to include health in the top 2 priorities of life. Good health when following sustainable methods positively impacts all dimensions of our life. Better health, leads to increased productivity at work, higher energy at home and more vitality in the long run. Abusing health shows up most during the silver years of your life, when you need your health the most and you are low on your finances. Today’s medical systems enables you to “live short” & “die long” and therefore take those strides towards a sustained healthy active lifestyle. ACT NOW!!!!