We all have that bit in us that says, ‘Damn it, I’ll do what I want’. It’s kind of like our inner 2-year-old screaming out in full tantrum. It might not be what’s best for us, but for that moment we want it. Logical or not, it’s part of being a person – that raw emotion.
And when it comes to health choices and weight gain, we can find that little rebel lurking inside. Despite what some might think, obesity isn’t actually about being lazy or careless. It can be about rebelling, asserting yourself, even if it lands you in more trouble long-term.
Clients I see who are seeking help to lose weight are surrounded by a slew of information, relationships and everyday predicaments that remind them of their desire to find a solution. But these triggers also remind them of their perceived flaws. Many are perfectionists, who hold themselves to high standards. When the task seems impossible, rebelling against it can feel good.
Generally, shifting the perfectionism to reasonable standards will help, along with recognising how to tame the inner 2-year-old. We can learn how to recognise and respond to what we need, rather than being caught in what we want. Using that stubbornness for something positive is also possible. Many times, clients who identify a rebellious bent with food choices, were also more able to stick to their guns against various tests as they developed a new approach to food. In some cases, achieving weight loss was a way to show the nay-sayers that they could do it. It’s inspiring to see people like this put that inner rebel to good use – a rebel with a cause this time.