Decades ago I read a book called “Women Who Think Too Much.” I bought it because I was oftentimes accused of thinking too much by my loved ones. Overthinking. Overanalyzing. Making the lives of everyone around me too difficult, including my own. Is there a correlation between being an overthinker, happiness and weight gain?
Overthinking can present a challenge to the achievement of your weight loss goals for several reasons. First, if you are someone who overthinks a plan to death in an attempt to make sure it is the perfect plan that cannot fail before you are willing to take any action towards weight loss, then you are going to spend too much time planning and not enough time actually taking any action that will lead you to your desired goal.
Achieving health and well-being, through weight loss if you are overweight, is a very active process. It’s about taking action, not being in your head. It’s about proactively taking action to reach your desired goal. People who overthink are obviously spending more time in their heads than they are at the gym or walking in the park. By way of contrast, overthinking is passive and often results in stress and anxiety which can hinder your weight loss progress, not to mention any other area of your life.
In addition to being passive with your thought processes rather than physically active and working toward your weight loss goals, overthinking presents another issue peripherally related to weight loss. When we are overthinking, we tend to focus our attention on our dissatisfaction with past events or the worries about the future. When we are in our heads, we are not in the present moment. The truth is we should spend only enough time in our heads as it take us to (a) learn a lesson from the past, positive or negative, that gives us a distinction or competitive edge in our decisions about what is happening in life right now, and (b) give us a direction in which to head with regard to our desired result. To the extent we are caught up in heads and overthinking about the injustice of this event or the fear about some future event, we are creating stress and anxiety in our bodies. And as we know, stress and anxiety in our bodies can trigger stress eating which can lead to weight gain and can also trigger high levels of cortisol which studies suggest interfere with weight loss.
The solution, of course, is to get out of your head and take action. Don’t worry about finding the perfect plan or solution before you take action. Keep track of what you have done, notice if it has worked, and if it hasn’t, change course and try a different action. Also, spend less time in your head fretting about the past or worrying about the future, and enjoy the present moment. It’s the only moment you actually ever have because the past is gone and cannot be re-written, and the future is an illusion that may or may not ever happen. Today is all you ever really have. Embrace it, be fully present in it, and take action toward your desired goals.
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