Sunday, 13 November 2011

Stop The Diet Mentality As A Means Of Achieving A Permanent Weight Loss

Before you can even think about what to eat and how to workout you need to get into your head. You see, I have watched countless people start the lifestyle changes process only to quit three weeks later. There is so much more to it than eating right and working out. You MUST dig deep inside to find out what led to your current health status and find out what will motivate you to success. Let’s start digging…


ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY
You got yourself into this mess now it is up to you to get yourself out! No one forced you to gain weight or become unhealthy. Before you can go forward on this journey you must take responsibility for you actions. It is not your best friend’s fault because she ordered dessert or your kids because they keep you nusy running them around. You make your own choices and the sooner you realize the ball is always in your court the closer you are to weight loss success.

THE PAST IS THE PAST
Yeah, you have made some poor choices in the past. All those choices have led you to the shape you are in right now. Why do we eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies at one time? Why do you use that treadmill as a clothes line? There are many reasons for this behavior: self-pity, poor attitude, depression, lack of focus, no plan, laziness, no will-power, emotional turmoil and stress, to name but a few. Sometimes there can be deep emotional scars from childhood trauma or emotional event that need to be addresses. Sometimes these type of pent-up emotions can prevent weight loss or lifestyle change. I recommend seeing a therapist or pastor to truly get to the heart of the matter. Leave all that old stuff behind and start clean. The new you is just around the corner.

EMOTIONAL EATING
One of the biggest enemies of weight loss is Emotional Eating. That would be the action of eating an entire box of Girl Scout cookies because you are bored, stressed, had a fight with someone, etc. Most of us have done this at some time in our lives but when it happens on a daily basis it is a MAJOR problem. You need to learn to handle these moments of weakness with positive alternatives and more importantly learn to head them off before they happen. Understand what triggers these events will become very important in you overall success. We will talk more about this and how to handle these moments later in this book.

GET YOUR ATTITUDE IN CHECK
Another key element that could very well determine if you are successful in changing your lifestyle is YOUR ATTITUDE. People who have a positive attitude are always more successful in weight loss and life change. “I can’t” needs to change to “I will”. Self affirmation is very powerful.
Negative thinking creates self doubt, fear and discontent. Dr. John Sklare
Psychologists says, “It is the very fuel that creates and sustains a negative internal environment”. Simply put, he calls this “stinkin’ thinkin”. Change your thought and your body will follow!

Assignment: Make a list of at least five things you are going to gain from exercise and eating better. Post this list on the bathroom mirror, fridge or in your car, that way you will be constantly reminded of what you have to gain by sticking with your new lifestyle.

Here is a sample”
I will gain more energy.
I will have more self-confidence.
I will lose weight and feel better overall.
I will lower my cholesterol and/or blood pressure.
I will lower my risk of heart disease.
I will make all my friends envious!

“No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
As a trainer, I often see the “I can’t” attitude sneak into workout. Let’s face it, we don’t like to work hard and we find every reason to get out of exercises. I have heard all the excuses in the book.
“I have bad feet, back, legs (you name it) and I can’t exercise”.
“I don’t like to sweat”.
“I have PMS today and can’t workout today”.
“I had a bad day at work and can’t workout today”.
“I can’t workout in the morning, too early”.
“I can’t workout after work, too tired”. (Usually the same person as “too early”).

STOP with the excuses! Believe you have the power to succeed!

GUILT
(You Do deserve better health)
The #1 exercise excuse that I hear most often is “I can’t take any more time away from my family!” I think what that really means is, “I feel GUILTY for taking time for myself”. YOU OWE IT TO YOUR FAMILY TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! The house isn’t going to fall down, the chores will get done, the kids are not going to run away, your spouse will love the new you and you will be more productive in the end. Take time for your self and your family will thank you for it. YOU DESERVE IT!

“We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch” John F. Kennedy

NO FEAR
I know that change is a scary thing. We fear failure (yet again), letting others down, getting out of our comfort zone and being held accountable. Sometimes the extra weight that is surrounding us is like a safety cushion. It embraces us, protect us, we can hide behind it and use it to make sure no one gets too close. We fear losing that protection because the true us might be exposed. I say EXPOSE IT! Let it all out! You are an incredible person who shouldn’t be afraid to let your spirit soar and invite others in. Don’t fear the transformation you are about to step into. Embrace the changes and use them to learn more about yourself.

GET REAL
(Beware of Unrealistic Expectations)
NEWSFLASH!!!! All your problems will not be solved if you lose 30 pounds. However, the journey to get there may just change your life. Each step in your journey to better health is going to teach you about your strengths, weaknesses, educate you about proper nutrition and exercise as well as build your self-confidence. This is a journey and your weight loss and personal goals are not going to be achieved overnight. It took a while to put the weight on and IT WILL take a while to get it off. You can go out and do a deprivation, no crab, weight-loss-in-a bottle or dehydration plan and lose a bunch of water in a week. Problem is you are going to feel like a crap and gain it back (and then some) as fast as you can say “I’m a sucker, take my money”.

Listen folks, you are going to have to do thing differently than before. You are going to have to invest your time and focused energy into this thing. You must fit exercise in your schedule, take extra time to grocery shop and prepare food, commit to you workouts and get over your fear of exercise in general. Unless you are bed-ridden you can exercise. If you are in a wheelchair or cannot stand for a long period of time you can do Chair Aerobics (see your local YMCA) or seated exercises. If you have a bad back then do exercises that gradually and safely make the muscles that support the back stronger. STOP using old injury and current fear as an excuse not to gain control of your health.

EMBRACE YOUR MISTAKES
(cause’ you gonna make ‘em)
At some time in our lives we have all started a diet only to quit three weeks later. Stop beating yourself up and learn from these experiences. “ Regret is a signal from the brain that opportunity still exist”, says Neal Roese (PhD), author of If Only (Broadway Books, 2005) “ Studies have shown that it can help us assess risk, find more creative solutions and confer a sense of control over life.” This is one of the reasons I encourage clients to keep a journey journal. If you can see what behavior or events led up to the demise of yet another diet attempt you might be able to change those behaviours next time. Did you get sick, have something stressful happen at work, get in an argument or did you let a dinner party binge be the reason you threw in the towel. Look, we all have messed up! It is how you learn from those mistakes and move forward that determines your weight loss success.

Stop living a life of defeat! Through knowledge comes POWER!

KEEPING THE WEIGHT OFF
Most people think that once they lose the weight they can go back to living life as before. Don’t you think that if you stop exercising and eating healthfully your body wouldn’t take notice? YIKES! The tools, skill and lifestyle you are about to learn are keepers. If you revert back to your old ways I GUARANTEE you will regain every pound (and then some) you worked so hard to lose. The truth is that the new you is not going to want the old lifestyle back. You are going to gain so many wonderful things by improving your health and I doubt you will ever go back to your old ways.

Be aware of triggers:
• The girl in the office who is always bringing baked goods
• Your “best friend” who pushes you to wallow in fast food misery with her
• You over comforting parent or spouse who wants to feed the problems out of your life
See it coming and head it off at the pass!

EMBRACE THE NEW YOU
You have made many changes to get you where you are now. You may be lighter, more energized, more motivated and happier than ever before. Embrace this new you. This journey may have shown your strength in your responsibility that you never knew you had. Continue on you journey by involving friends and family. Together you can try new activities, exercises and recipes. Show them how far you have come and inspire them to create a healthy lifestyle of their own.

Use your newfound energy and self-confidence to gain a new friend, find a new love or put the sparks back into an old one. As a group exercise instructor, I have seen many friendships formed from conversations after class. There are a couple of ladies who met in one of my classes and are getting ready to walk their first 5K race together. Both admit they never could have come this far if it weren’t for the support of the other. Don’t go it alone, find a workout buddy.

CONTINUE TO BE AWARE
Your “old self” is going to rear its ugly head every once in a while. You need to have a plan in case you start to put on the pounds. Sometimes we get over-confident in our ability to self-monitor. Try breaking out the measuring cups every so often and checking your portions instead of eyeballing everything. Get out the journey journal and monitor your eating for a week to see if your eating is as “clean” as you think. Successful loser keep it off when they are aware of their choices and always in control.

Instead of telling yourself you “can’t” have this or that food, try finding a way to occasionally work it into your current plant. I often add an extra walk or exercise class a day before and/or after an event where I know I want to splurge. I burn off the extra calories and keep my mental attitude in check. If I didn’t do this I’m sure I would beat myself up for days and possibly slip into another splurge session. Think ahead and you can save yourself from days of regret.

ENJOY YOUR NEW LIFESTYLE
You did it! Now enjoy it! Many times I see clients reach their weight loss goals only to be miserable because they expected their lives to do a 1800 simply because they lose weight. It isn’t the scale numbers going down that brings happiness it’s the journey and what you learn along the way. It’s awesome that you lost weight but more importantly you have learned about healthy choices, digging deep into your self-confidence and willpower.

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