Barriers to Change: Conflicting Beliefs


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Conflicting Beliefs

We go through life with all kinds of conflicting beliefs. Conflicting beliefs are barriers to change. On one hand we say we “can’t control our weight, that we have fat genes” and on the other side we refrain from eating potatoes and white bread because they make us fat. So, which is it? We have no control, or, certain of our eating behaviours are causing our problem. They can’t both be true. Ironically, both are barriers to change. barriers to change - conflicting beliefs

Barriers to Change: No Forbidden Foods

If we have a list of forbidden foods, it is an indication we have unhealthy attitudes toward food.Unhealthy attitudes toward food is one of the common barriers to change. While, eating whole grain breads rather than white processed flour, is a good health choice. The belief that we can’t eat bread is not a healthy belief. Likewise, avoiding white sugar, fructose, sucrose and other processed sugars, is a good health choice. But, that doesn’t mean we must avoid all deserts for the rest of our lives. There are foods we should eat in very limited quantities. They are not forbidden foods.

Barriers to Change: Predisposition to Obesity

While we may be genetically predisposed to obesity, we may have a very similar genetic profile to a normal weight sibling. A predisposition is not the same as something that cannot be controlled. Believing genetics are a problem is one of the common barriers to change. It is the belief not the genetic predisposition that forms barriers to change. 

Faulty beliefs, also manifests with people who have diabetes. There are diabetics pumping insulin and eating cake with frosting and ice cream. They may never exercise or may even state that exercising makes it harder to control their insulin.  However, there are people out there who were diabetic who took control of their exercise and eating and are successful in either reducing their need for insulin, or in some cases have been able to stop taking insulin.

Barriers to Change: Disease Myth

As long as we look at obesity, as a disease, with a need for a cure – such as some stem cell solution, or some diet pill solution, or some quick fix lose 100 pounds in 3 months cure, we are maintaining contradictory beliefs which will undermine our ability to reprogram the neural-pathways in our brain. I was victim of this type of faulty thinking for years myself. I just kept letting my weight escalate, as I continued to believe I was genetically and hormonally unable to lose weight. The biggest barriers to change are our own beliefs.

Even True information can form Barriers to Change

Both are to some extent true. Genetics do play a role. I have a cousin who boasted of his 365 pounds of weight by age 16. “A pound for every day of the year” he would chime.  All of my cousins on my father’s side were over 200 pounds by adult hood. While the cousins on the other side have done a little better with weight control, there isn’t one of them that hasn’t struggled with weight issues. 

This history can result in barriers to change – only if I let it. We must remove barriers to change, not be guilty of erecting barriers to change.

I was raised to believe ‘being full figured’ was a sign of well-being, and even wealth. My father always said Romanesque women looked healthy and normal women looked sickly.

Hormonal Barriers to Change

As far as hormones, yes, that plays a huge role and it is pretty near impossible to lose weight if your hormones are out of whack. This is one of the barriers to change, that maybe be real but is as with most barriers to change, it can be removed. A family history of thyroid problems, sufficed for an excuse.

The answer is that hormone problems are treatable. I did not have any help from the medical community. However, once I did my own research and went the route of alternative health practitioners such as Naturopaths, and Homeopaths, I have been able to get my hormones under control. Barriers to change are not insurmountable, we must remove barriers to change – it is better than climbing over them.

However, if you think getting your hormones under control will lead to a magical no effort weight loss, that isn’t the case. It takes hard work, and lots of focus. Looking for panaceas can be yet another of the barriers to change.

The behaviours that lead to obesity, no matter to whatever extent hormonally influenced, are well entrenched neural-pathways that are so powerful, it takes constant effort to rebuild my thought patterns and behaviours as I build new pathways in my brain. It can be done, it works. It also takes the support of others, an accountability partner, and applying all my coaching training to change in my own life. 

Coaching helps Remove Barriers to Change

For me a holistic nutritionist plays an important role, in my success. While I know lots about dieting, I don’t really know much about eating for optimum health. I am no different than anyone else, I need a coach. I need someone to point out when I am unaware of my faulty beliefs.  I need someone who can stand at arm’s length and point out things they notice.

Fortunately as we repeat new behaviours over and over, new pathways are build in our brain. In the process our self-esteem raises because we are now setting achievable goals and achieving them. The most difficult barriers to change, can be removed. It is a matter of taking action.

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