You want to lose weight/fat, you see reasons to do something about it but you also see reasons not to. You want to change habits but you also don’t want to, all at the same time.
This is actual quite normal for most of us, it is an ordinary part of the change process, a step along the way.
We call this being ambivalent. When I first heard this word I didn’t get it, with English being my second language, a quick Google search and here is the definition. “the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone”.
If you are ambivalent, you are one step closer to changing.
Most people who want to lose weight are aware of the downside of their behaviours towards that goal, yet other motives conflict with them doing the right thing, even when they know what it is.
Ambivalence is simultaneously wanting and not wanting something, or wanting both of two compatible things, It’s just human nature. It is therefore normal when a person is ambivalent to hear two kinds of talk mixed together.
One type is CHANGE TALK, the person’s own statements that favour change. The other type is SUSTAIN TALK, the person’s own arguments for not changing.
If you are ambivalent you probably experienced change talk and sustain talk within the same sentence, for example:
“ I need to do something about my weight (change talk) but i have tried everything and it never lasts (sustain talk)”.
“ I mean, I know I need to lose weight for my health (change talk) but i just love to eat (sustain talk)”.
People can remain stuck in this state for a very long time, vacillating between two choices, two paths, or two relationships. Take a step in one direction and the other other starts looking better. The closer you get to one alternative, the more its disadvantages become apparent while nostalgia for the other beckons.
A common pattern is to think of a reason for changing, then think of a reason not to change, then stop thinking about it.
The path out of ambivalence is to choose a direction and follow it, to keep moving in the chosen direction.
Ask yourself these questions?
Why would you want to make this change?
How might you go about it in order to succeed?
What are the 3 best reasons for you to do it?
How important is for you to make this change, and why?
Summarise the above answers and ask yourself one more question:
So what do you think you will do?