Extra Mindshift

A Mindshift In Weight Release:

Unlearn Helplessness

Learned helplessness is when someone believes that they are powerless to change their unhappy situation, so why should they even try?

Watch this short video to learn more:

We see learned helplessness in how people relate to their debts, their kids, the environment, their career choices…and of course in the arena of weight.

I’m not just talking about people who are ruled by apathy over their size – they wouldn’t be reading this anyway.

I believe that every time we discover a new fad diet, a kind of electric shock to our thinking happens as we swallow the fake magic pill of perfection that the diet is promising.

But when things start to go wrong with the new regime, it’s very easy to slip into learned helplessness.

This is what learned helplessness around your weight looks like:

  • I just had 3 glasses of wine at the party. What the hell, I may as well have as much dessert as I can inhale without anyone noticing.
  • I’m so damn hungry on this diet. Oh sod it! Where’s the nearest fast food dealer?
  • It’s all gone wrong. I’ve only lost half a pound this week. Tell you what, I’ll have the weekend off and the next diet startsMonday.
  • I’m just too tired to exercise. Why is my job so tiring? Why can’t I get a break? I may as well just watch TV, I’m so fed up.

ACTION STEPS: How To Unlearn Helplessness
First of all, identify it. When does it feel good to throw yourself a pity party? Can you call yourself out on it when you are slipping into a mindset of learned helplessness? Where else in life are you choosing this way of thinking?

Second, be neutral about it. Remember that this is a powerful coping mechanism – if dogs are choosing to put up with shocks rather than jump over a low barrier, that tells us something.

You can only choose to reject helplessness if you know when you are encouraging it.

And the third step is to date your diet, as explained in the course. For example, if your diet makes you hungry, questioning the diet’s validity (rather than your willpower) will prevent the self blame and towel throwing in described in our example above.

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