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Friday, January 27th, 2017

Why Are You Waiting To Start A Diet?

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By Hamilton Erridge

If you are someone who went for years ignoring your weight gain and not doing anything about it, can you think of a reason why it took you so long to attack the issue? Or, in simpler terms, why did you wait so long to do something about your weight problem?

As insensitive or lacking in understanding as this question may seem, this is actually something that my wife asked me a few years ago.

Of course, what makes it so funny coming from her is that she is someone who has never had a weight problem and cannot even remotely understand what its like to overeat on a continuous basis or use food to handle stress or cravings.

Now, what she meant by her inquiry is actually very specific. Allow me to explain: From the perspective of someone who doesnt have a weight problem or any eating issues, she treats her own weight as something that needs to be handled from time-to-time.

Meaning, if she puts on a few pounds and feels that her clothes are getting tight, she simply cuts back on her eating.

So, in viewing the world from her perspective, its literally impossible for her to understand how I could have put on 100 pounds over an extended period of time without ever stopping along the way to do something about it.

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The question really has nothing to do with a single event in my life or a call to action, but its more related to why I didnt stop the insanity along the way. Why did I choose to ignore the problem and allow the weight to build up over time?

And it is this simple question that really allowed me to get to know myself better. It allowed me to come to terms with the understanding that I wasnt necessarily ignoring the problem, but more that I was ignoring the causes.

Meaning, I personally used food to handle stress and to comfort myself. And it wasnt until I was able to get a grasp on these concepts that I even had a chance at losing the weight and keeping it off. In addition, what makes having these issues truly unique is that as an overweight person, we all literally carry our issues with us.

So, when I had reached the point of being 100 pounds overweight, it was my own personal breaking point of knowing that things had become out of control and that I needed to figure out what was going on.

In fact, what was truly funny about the process is that I started losing weight without even having a clue as to what was going on in my life to cause me to be overeating so much.

But, like two worlds that almost immediately collide, the act of dieting and the need to comfort myself had very little room for one another.

So, it was with great pain that I was able to come to terms with my own issues and carry on. However, do not think for a moment that my issues or your issues are so black and white. Meaning, they are often shades of grey, including overeating, comforting ourselves, dealing with unhappiness, and an overall lack or non-existence of exercise.

In fact, this question is often the easiest to answer for those that do have identified problems (stress or comfort eating). However, for those that have not come to terms with their own issues yet or truly put on weight because of bad eating habits or a love of food, this question can be incredibly difficult.

In many ways, whether you have issues or not, the truth is still the same. We all put on weight over an extended period of time, watched it happen in the mirror and did nothing about it.

To an outsider, it can all seem very crazy. But, to those reading this and having lived this experience, its a very real thing and can also be equally confusing with hindsight.

But in working through this puzzle, it is also one of the biggest steps forward that you can make towards your own understanding of yourself and long-term success.

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