Everything we do is driven by our personal demand to fulfill some of our needs. One of our important needs is that all people have a need for variety or spontaneity. Unfortunately, there are a large number of methods that people use to fulfill this need that aren’t healthy; junk food or food in general, alcohol and drugs - these fulfill this need but could hardly be considered a healthy choice.
How we try to fulfill our needs can be broken down into two different types of behaviors…
- The first type is the most fulfilling: the behavior fulfills our basic needs, it is good for us and it positively impacts others. Exercise, contribution, loving relationships and serving others are some examples.
- The second type is not beneficial: the action or behavior fulfills our basic needs, but it is bad for us and it is not beneficial for others. Using food in this way or alcohol are examples.
Eating foods that we know is unhealthy for us; that make us gain weight, that make us feel bad about ourselves long after we are done eating, that leads to a low level of self-esteem and health – and that negatively impact people around us - are type 2 actions. It is not a healthy choice for us but unfortunately it is fulfilling a human need.
When you decide to take charge and make a change, what you must embrace is that this is not only an opportunity to change your diet, but to also change the method you are using to meet some of your needs. It is a chance to change behaviors from type 2 to type 1.
If you go on a diet and you don’t fill the void in the fulfillment of your basic human needs created by the diet, then you will quickly feel overwhelmed. You can’t ignore the human need. You will experience this loss or void as; feeling uncomfortable, feeling uncertain on how to feel good, and you will also feel like things are boring, a lack of variety in your life. When you begin to sense that your needs are not being met you will sabotage your diet.
If you don’t want this to happen, then…
…to lose weight - you must fill in the void. Replace it with a positive, type one behavior. Find your variety, your spice of life in other ways…exercise, books, conversation, living fully and outrageously. These are the things that increase your quality of life. Let’s face it, when we die…we only get to take our memories with us. Do you really think that you will remember the dumb T.V. show you watched or the fattening meal you ate while watching it because you were sad or bored? No!
So fill the void by doing things that enrich your life, increase your health and create a better version of you. Those types of behaviors will fulfill your needs, are good for you, and will affect others around you in a positive way.