Why It Is So Hard To Change

Maybe you have identified something in your life you wish to change. Your job, how you spend your time, your financial situation, your weight and the list could go on and on. Why is it so hard to achieve the change you desire at times?

One reason is that your brain is wired to dislike change. Your brain likes what is predictable, what is known. When something is different, it can cause a stress response until your brain decides the change is not a threat to you. Your brain may try to force you to keep doing the status quo in an attempt to reduce the perceived threat to itself. If you can consciously help your brain work through change and help it realize there is not a threat to you, then over time it becomes easier.

Another reason it can be hard to change is that our bodies, at a cellular level, attempt to maintain homeostasis at all times. So when our body experiences a change, it will adjust to bring the body back to homeostasis. This can be a physiological reason why we plateau in weight loss attempts, because our bodies are super smart and deregulate as they sense a change in our energy input and output. So as your calorie intake decreases your body adjusts which is why you may lose weight initially but then find yourself in a stand still. You can overcome this by continuing to keep your body guessing so it never gets used what you are doing. A trainer can help you vary your workouts and your strength/resistance training to overcome this deregulation mechanism.

We also experience competing priorities that come with conflicting feelings and emotions. So at any moment there may be more than one choice you can take and you feel conflicted. Do we play with our kids after work or go for a walk to forward our weight loss goals. Do we give up ice cream as a comfort food and swap in something else. Even when we do not like the choices we have in front of us we usually do have a choice that comes with varied consequences and feelings we have to consider.

It helps to explore the ambivalent feelings that may arise as you try to embark on a change journey. These feelings can help you when you recognize the feelings are NORMAL and are just an indication of competing forces at play.  A nutrition coach can be helpful as you explore all the many reasons your body may be working against you as you try to change!

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