I’m In Denial – Now What?
This was told to me by someone I knew some years ago:
“I know others have told me to lose weight. Even my doctor has told me to lose weight. I thought he said ‘wait, wait’ and I asked, ‘wait for what?’
‘No,’ he said, ‘The problem is W E I G H T! You need to lose weight, not wait for something to happen. Although if you do wait, it’s likely to be diabetes or a heart attack!’
So I have acknowledged that I need to lose weight, well … at least I heard my doctor say that and some of my friends too, but it’s too hard. I’ve tried before and failed. I was hungry all the time. I even went to exercise classes but nothing worked, I didn’t lose a single ounce. Now what?”
Agnes was in denial.
The virtuous spiral can be exited at any point if you choose and denying there is a problem is a choice. You may not think it much of a choice but nevertheless, you have chosen to leave. You may argue that “nothing worked before, so it won’t work now”, or “it’s too hard”, but those, and other phrases are just your body whining because it doesn’t want to have to leave its comfort zone.
Comfort Zone – What Comfort Zone?
Your comfort zone is where you do what you have always done. It’s where very little changes, where you eat the kinds of things you have always eaten, where you refuse to learn anything new because “it won’t make any difference” and where you hover between the fire and the ice, so you’re not too hot and not too cold, even though you may not be truly comfortable there, at least you’re not frozen or burnt. It also includes searching out those “sweet treats” or “allowable sins”, so you can keep your sweet tooth in the comfort to which it has become accustomed.
But NOTHING CHANGES there, unless something is forced upon you. That something may be slowly progressive, like joint pain, creaking knees and increasing breathlessness. They may be brushed off as “Just getting old” but the something could also be a dramatic event like a heart attack or a stroke or a diagnosis of diabetes.
That is what you are choosing when you deny that change needs to be made. Your choice to do nothing does not guarantee that things will stay the same, though they may. Your choice to do nothing ALSO contains the possibility of something dramatic happening to you through your inaction.
Agnes decided to take up a new exercise. She got herself a bike and used it for doing her shopping and travelling back and forth to her part time, local job. She lost her weight, by deciding to find something DIFFERENT to do that would give her more exercise and help her lose weight and of course by USING it. The best exercise or road bike in the world won’t help if it doesn’t get used.
The next stop on the virtuous spiral is to “Question”. You can use this to get yourself out of denial. Ask yourself WHY people (especially your doctor) might be telling you to lose weight. It’s definitely a topic few friends will bring up unless they are very close and concerned about your health. Most spouses won’t mention it either unless they are deliberately trying to upset you or get at you. Ask yourself whether your friends or partner might be deliberately trying to make you unhappy or whether they have your true interests at heart. If you think they are trying to help, then ask WHY they want you to lose weight.
Why Do I Need To Lose Weight?
Only you can answer this. Some of your answers might be:
- I don’t have the energy to do my daily jobs, work or housework
- I am finding it difficult to climb stairs or get breathless if I move far
- My knees or hips or both hurt because of the extra weight being carried
- My clothes don’t fit any more and I find it hard to get new ones that fit me
- My doctor has told me I have high blood pressure, or I am prediabetic
- My doctor or health adviser has said I need to lose weight
- I can’t bend down or reach to do up my clothes at the back
- A close relative has diabetes or has suffered a major illness because of overweight
- I don’t like to have my photograph taken and I wince when I see ones taken without me knowing
So Now What?
If you have provided yourself with some questions, now you need to get the information to answer these, so you have taken yourself on round the virtuous spiral to the next step – get information.