How to Overcome a Psychological Trap

Being stuck in a psychological trap stops you before you start. This page is about how certain judgments block progress and stop you from achieving your goals.

It's possible to achieve weight loss that lasts. If you are stuck, here's how to dissolve psychological obstructions.

If you have avoided major psychological blockages, congratulations!

You have already made significant progress towards balanced living that will, over time, automatically result in permanent, natural weight loss.


If you are stuck, it's time to recognize that you are stuck. It is time to learn how to dissolve psychological obstructions. Permit us to mention two such psychological obstructions as samples.

One major psychological trap

Let's agree that we all have the same goal, namely, living a balanced life. Anyone who believes that there is only one way to reach that goal is in a major psychological trap.

Each of us is unique. Each of us has a unique genetic code, and we've been shaped by different experiences.

It's very important to realize this.

Why?

Well, even if we share the same destination, each of us starts from a different place, and, so, each of us must travel a different route to get to the destination.

Your body is unique. For example, your brain is unique. Your brain at this moment was shaped by a process different from the process that shaped anyone else's brain.

(1) First it got big. (2) Then it shrank. (3) And it's still changing.

(1) Your first neuron [brain cell] appeared 42 days after conception and 120 days later your brain had one hundred billion neurons! 60 days prior to birth, your neurons started trying to communicate with each other by literally reaching out (on strands known as 'axons') to each other. Each successful connection formed a synapse.

By the time you were three years old, each of your hundred billion neurons had formed 15,000 connections! This extensive and intricate pattern was unique to you.

(2) Your brain then shrank into adulthood. Many of the connections were not used and, so, disintegrated.

By the time you hit your 16th birthday, half of your connections had permanently disappeared! As your brain became smaller, you became smarter. Why? Billions of connections were closed down to enable you to exploit more fully those that remained.

(3) As you are experiencing life, some synaptic connections are getting stronger. Some new ones are being developed, while extraneous synaptic connections are being lost. This process will stop only when you die.

Your route to weight loss will be unique to you!

sidebar quotation from Andrew Weil, M.D.: "People are different, and what works as a dietary plan for you may be different from what will work for me."

sidebar quotation from John Ivy, Ph.D., & Robert Portman, Ph.D.: "there is considerable individual variation in response to the same training program . . . everyone responds differently . . . your training program should be individualized."


So it's not surprising that what works well for one person to achieve permanent weight loss may not work well for another. What works well for someone else may not work well for you.

Furthermore, it may even be true that what used to work well for you doesn't work well today and that what works well for you today may not work well for you tomorrow.

Your challenge is to find and travel the route that will continue to work well for you.

Our challenge in producing this website is to help you do that.

Always keep in mind also that, even collectively, we remain ignorant. There is still a lot to be understood.

In fact, "lasting weight loss" may have different meanings for different persons.

Instead of thinking of an absolute standard that applies to everyone, only think about achieving a permanent improvement in body composition in whatever way works best for you.

Avoid all or nothing thinking


Implicit in the last point is that it's important to font avoid all or nothing thinking. It's not either complete success or total failure. Seeking perfection is a major trap.

For example, the goal is not to eliminate all body fat. As Covert Bailey quips, you never want to "remove all fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat [sic]. Without a brain you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office."

The psychological trap of perfection, of all or nothing thinking, also affects more than just dietary and exercise habits.

As we explain in the Meditation section of our website, the primary benefit of spiritual training is freedom from compulsive thinking. This includes ego reduction. Your ego does not want to be trained (disciplined, purified)! It will fight back against the training.

If it can get you to think that awakening from the stream of incessant thinking is nothing but an impossible dream, it may get you to stop the training. You may become so discouraged that you'll begin to believe that you'll never become a spiritual master, which may cause you to quit meditating.

For example, it's an important obstacle in spiritual training. A beginning meditator may think, "Either I spiritually awaken or nothing counts."

To learn more about this see our meditation pages. You will find them listed on our site map/index.

Similarly, does your body want to be improved? No! It wants to remain just as it is, which is the principle of homeostasis. It will fight back against your new dietary and exercise habits even though they result in improvements!

If it can get you to think that a permanently trim body is nothing but an impossible dream, it may get you to stop improving. You may become so discouraged that you'll begin to believe that you'll never achieve a healthful percentage of body fat, which may cause you to quit.

Just as your ego is trying to trick you to avoid being trained, your body is trying to trick you to avoid being trained. Please avoid the trap of all or nothing thinking.

The cure for releasing yourself from a trap is simply to persist in challenging yourself a little bit more. Each time you practice, stretch just a little bit beyond your comfort zone.

Persistently practicing in the right way will yield excellence for you.

Let go of seeking perfection.

That's the route of frustration. Instead, seek lasting improvements. That's the route of satisfaction.

As little successes accumulate, permit yourself to savor how far you've come.

Enjoy the process!

The only alternative would be to keep focused on perfection. Doing that is like trying to reach the horizon. Please decide to be kinder to yourself than that!

Weight loss and psychology belong together!



Web pages to help you further

In this the psychology for weight loss section of our website we have the following pages:

  • 1. Psychology for Weight Loss (main page)
  • 2. Emotional Eating: How to Cure It
  • 3. Meditation for Weight Loss and Tranquility
  • 4. Meditation Techniques
  • 5. Releasing a Psychological Trap (this page)
  • 6. How to Build Self-Esteem
  • 7. Overcoming Obstacles to Weight Loss
  • 8. Breathing Exercises
  • 9. Visualization for Weight Loss
  • 10. Behavioral Weight Loss
  • 11. Commitment and Weight Loss
  • 12. Goal Setting for Weight Loss
  • 13. Learning for Weight Loss
  • 14. Positive Attitude and Achievement
  • 15. Stress Making You Fat
  • 16. How to Sleep Better

You will find the direct links to those pages on our site map/index.

Meanwhile, here are two of those page pages:

Overcome Obstacles

Positive Attitude


Also see our short video (below) about the psychology of Living Well in the Present Moment:




Our recommended book list for this page


Here's an excellent book to get you started rebalancing:

  • Bradford's Compulsive Overeating Help.



If you looking for something in particular in relation to this subject, you can search our website or the World Wide Web.

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