Why Over-Working Is The Same As Being Overweight
In a quest to help workaholics understand how to create a better work/life balance I like to use losing weight as an example of how to move forward. Sound intriguing? Then read on!
Being a workaholic
If you are a workaholic, you’ll understand what I mean when I say that it becomes the default setting when life gets tricky or you stop focusing on the life you want. But do you also see that the problem with only using your ability to “focus” is that it requires constant effort and it fails to get to the underlying causes, which are usually about our beliefs?
To make this point clearer, let me use a different example, but one where there is a very close parallel - losing weight.
Here are some facts:
Our desire to lose weight drives a multi billion pound industry in the Western world.
- There are thousands of different diets, books, exercise programs and videos all giving wonderful advice.
- They are usually telling us what we already know.
Being a healthy weight is just an equation.
- Take in more calories than you use in physical activity and you are guaranteed to put on weight.
- Use more calories through physical activity than you eat and you will lose weight.
- If it is so simple, why are so many people still significantly overweight?
Many people get as far as buying the product and by doing so feel good for a short while because they believe they have at least taken action.
The same principle is true of gym membership.
- People sign on for a six month or year-long membership and buy all the right gear.
- They go once, or a few times, find it hard or boring, maybe pull a muscle and then give up.
Specialised food is available in thousands of different guises.
- So why are more people in the western world overweight or clinically obese than at any time in history?
We are bombarded with TV shows showing obese people fighting their flab or makeover programmes.
- We see people having radical surgery to address the problem. Is it addressing the problem?
When I talk and work with people who are overweight and get to the heart of the matter, without exception they have a proven track record of being able to lose weight.
- In fact, many of them have lost their body weight several times over in their lifetime.
The problem does not lie with their ability to lose the pounds.
- It is about how they feel about themselves and the relationship they have created with food.
- The issue is how to enjoy food and maintain a healthy weight whilst feeling good about yourself.
How many of you or your close family and friends would recognise the weight cycle below?
*I feel bad about how I look, I must lose weight!
*I need lots of will power – I’ll go on a diet
*On a diet – all I can think about is food, it takes over my waking thoughts and most of my conversation outside work
*Lose weight – feel better about me
*Life happens – I find the weight creeps back on as soon as I eat normally or I want to feel valued and happy but I don’t – I need comfort so I eat
*The metabolic rate has been altered by being on a diet so I actually put weight on more easily
*I’ve put weight on again – feel bad about me – what I really need is will power – I need to go on a different diet.
Does it have to be like that? No!
Once clients change their relationship with themselves and they learn to love and appreciate who they are – wobbly bits and all - they can start to create a very different relationship towards food and life.
The result is a healthy lifestyle that is easy to maintain in the long term, a better self-image and a healthy emotional approach to food. The weight loss might be somewhat slower but it doesn’t rely on will power in the same way. They are able to create a lifestyle change that is lasting and doesn’t require a huge investment of will power.
The principles about changing your work/life balance are no different!
If you want true fulfillment and a great work/life balance, where you feel in control, you need to look at why you are driven to work such long hours.
Think about the benefits of letting work take over your life.
Think of the costs to your health, your sense of wellbeing, your relationships with family and friends. What has it cost you?
Think about the balance between the costs and benefits of continuing with your present life.
Does it serve you in the short term? How about over your life as a whole?
How long are you prepared to keep paying the price?
Are you ready to take control of your life?
What Is Your Default Setting For Life?
Remember: If you always do what you have always done, you will always have what you’ve already got.
Take action now! You may find these related blogs helpful:
Alternatively why not join me in a 1-2-1 personal development session, or attend a dedicated course. Please get in touch for more information!