Man’s greatest ability is the freedom to choose his own attitude. ~ Victor Frankl
Why do some people embrace weight loss as a challenge and a learning experience,while others feel defeated and hopeless before they barely even start? It’s all in the attitude!
Research shows that survivor personalities – people who make the most out of hardship and obstacles possess certain traits and attitudes. These attitudes can be learned and developed.
Permanent weight loss and the life changes that go with it requires that one develop a flexibility of spirit, an openness to change, and an ability to reinvent one’s self over and over again.
To become a weight loss master is to develop the traits of a survivor personality!
Weight is something that can be managed but never cured. Overcoming major obstacles (such as weight loss) can develop strengths that we never knew we possessed. It can even lead us to greatness. Life’s hardships contain life’s greatest lessons. Every experience in life holds a gift. It’s all in how you perceive it.
Coping techniques, stress management, and developing healthier attitudes towards life and change play a crucial role in living with and recovering from compulsive overeating, chronic dieting, and eating disorders. People who are proactive and who take responsibility for their weight loss and the state of their lives are more successful than those who don’t.
Many people are looking for a quick fix and there is none. It is much easier to focus on the latest weight loss diet, a drug, or look to a doctor to fix us than to look within ourselves for certain solutions and to effect lifestyle changes that lead to permanent weight loss.
Psychologist Al Siebert has extensively studied survivors of all kinds of hardship and written several books on “The Survivor Personality.” His research shows that survivors have a complexity of character, a union of many opposites, which he calls biphasic traits. They are serious and playful, logical and intuitive, introspective and outgoing. In other words, they have a flexibility of spirit, with a wider array of resources that they are able to draw on. This cluster of traits is known as resiliency.
Some of these traits are:
- Curiosity – these people ask questions.
- Creativity – they find new solutions to problems.
- Solution oriented – they stay focused on a solution.
- They don’t wallow in self-pity.
- Self-reliant – they don’t look to others for validation and approval.
- Synergy – they want things to work out for themselves and others.
- Optimism. When bad things happen they look for the good or the lesson in it.
- High self esteem and self love. They have self-confidence.
- They are flexible.
How does one develop a survivor personality?
Thriving depends on how well you can adapt and adjust to a changing world. People who have rigid attitudes (including many dieters and compulsive eaters) have a hard time coping with change.
How can you become a better thriver?
Look for the gift in your circumstance. There is truth in the saying every cloud has a silver lining. Focus on being grateful for what you have and stay present and focused on the solution, not the problem. Don’t be so goal focused that you don’t enjoy the journey. Celebrate and reward yourself for all that you do right each day and enjoy the small successes along the way.
Besides giving you a slimmer and healthier body, losing weight can teach you many valuable life skills. What are some of the gifts of permanent weight loss?
- Losing weight can help you develop qualities of perseverance, patience, self-awareness, creativity, discipline, compassion, and courage.
- It can teach you healthier ways of living, better time management, how to manage your stress, and new ways of setting and achieving goals. It can teach you to be a creative problem solver.
If you can master your weight problem, you can master any obstacle in life. The skills of weight mastery and life mastery are one and the same. How you do food is how you do life!
The Survivor Personality, Why some People Are Stronger, Smarter, and More Skillful at Handling Life’s Difficulties…and How You Can Be Too by Al Siebert, PHD.
The Resiliency Advantage, Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back From Setbacks by Al Siebert, PHD.