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Expectations and Disappointment

Expectations and Disappointment

 
     We all have expectations of what we want or would like to happen.  This begins to occur at a very young age.  My young grandsons have an expectation that each time we visit, we will have something for them.  They have developed this expectation because we have always given them something when we visit. If we now fail to do the same thing, we will create disappointment for them.
 
     It is not always bad to have disappointment in our lives.  If everything we expected we received, we would become spoiled and self-centered and become like Veruca Salt, "I want it now!"  Throughout life we will all have many many disappointments.  These can be a frustration for us or we can use these disappointments to learn and grow our own character.  We will always be disappointed by the actions or verbalizations of other people.
 
     Nearly all of the time these disappointing interactions are not deliberate, but do to the fact that each person is living with their own agenda.  Most often a person's agenda does not focus on us.  Learning this at a young age is powerful.  It's not to distrust or not like others, but just to realize that nobody cares for us as much as we do or very close family and a few friends.
 
     When it comes to expectations of ourselves, this becomes a bit trickier.  We come to expect how we want to behave, improve, and live.  Take getting leaner and more healthy.  We develop expectations of doing that.  We want to look good and feel good each and every day.  Yet, those expectations often fail to live up to our reality.  To get our expectations, we must do the work. Sure, our genetics can work against us in this effort, but we are still the only ones responsible for making our expectations happen.
 
     I see patients every day that are disappointed with their weight loss results.  When they come to the office for a weigh-in and evaluation, I can see the disappointment in their face and eyes..  They wanted to and expected to lose more weight than they did.  They may have done quite well but did not hit their monthly goal.  A 6 pound weight loss occurred but they wanted 10 pounds off.
 
     If we focus on outcome goals, we will more often than not be disappointed.  We don't have control of outcome goals.  We have control of the process that will lead us to our outcome goals.  We should focus on setting process goals and if we do them then the outcome will happen.  If we don't perform the process goals then every time we will be disappointed by the result.  My patients will do better when we get them to focus on the weight loss process rather than the outcome.
 
     Process goals include, how much water will I drink today, what physical activity shall I do today, what meals will I prep in advance today, and so on.  Setting these activity or task goals allow us to track our progress.  If we don't hit the activity goal, it's much easier to analyze and adjust than any outcome goal.  We all know the basics of how to lose weight.  We need to define each key task that will assist us in the process.  Once each task is defined and then undertaken on a daily schedule, they weight loss is spectacular.
 
     I have a 200 plus page manual that tracks every day's food, water, vitamin, medication, and activity progress.  Patients who use the manual lose more weight as they are consistently tracking process activities.  Those who put the manual on the shelf or stop using it are mystified by whey they have not lost weight or in fact gained weight.  I ask what they did differently when they were losing weight and many can't state this variance.  I can and do and advise them to perform the same process tasks now that they did when they were losing weight.
 
     There is no magic to beating our fat genes.  The magic is in proper treatment and following the daily processes that will give consistent results.  Yes, It's that simple.  Not Easy. Just Simple.   Let's begin to focus on expectations regarding our processes and activities and not on the end result.  End results are great to visualize and put out in front of us, but it's expecting and performing the daily tasks that get the job done.
 
     I was told a long time ago that it's great to dream big, but without the work a big dream or goal will never happen.  I was told to shoot for the moon, but even if I didn't hit my target I would still land among the stars.  Let's start working our plan day in and day out and get the health, the fitness, the weight, and the look we want.  No disappointment in the end!
 
Author
Dr. Gregory Oliver Dr. Gregory Oliver has practiced family medicine for 35 years. He has assisted thousands of patients to become healthier and combat illness and disease. He believes that prevention of disease is the key to a long and active life. In recent years, Dr. Oliver has focused on prevention of disease and weight reduction to achieve optimal health. The disease of Obesity and Overweight Syndrome is responsible for so many other medical disorders and a shorter life, and can be treated, managed, and put into remission with focus on 5 key treatment areas. Dr. Oliver is glad to provide weekly information to help you improve your health.

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