Here we go again.
Everyone is staring.
Any other time you’re invisible.
You’re the last one to get help at the store. No one at the office asks for your opinion. Even around friends and family you don’t get the love an attention you deserve.
But now, as you reach for a bagel.
You’re the center of attention.
You’re all anyone sees.
Surviving the room a sea of disapproving eyes peer back at you. Avoiding eye contact you look down and wonder how you got here.
You’ve tried every diet out there. You exercise and eat healthy. But the results are always the same.
The more you fight to lose weight.
The more you gain.
Sure there’s some initial weight loss. But it’s always followed by an avalanche of weight gain.
No one knows, or cares, how diet after diet has failed you. Or how with each failed attempt your metabolism plummets.
Instead, judgmental whispers fill the room. And feelings of hopelessness, hurt, and anger overwhelm you.
Yearning for the lonely yet relative safety of invisibility you had moments ago, you wonder if there is any way out of this vicious cycle.
A way to lose weight and feel comfortable in your own skin.
There is, and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
May The Force Be With You
There’s a scene in The Empire Strikes Back where a young Luke Skywalker is training to use the Force. After many failed attempts to raise his X-wing fighter from the Dagobah swamp Luke, turns to Yoda and proclaims it can’t be done.
“I’m too small.”
“It’s too big.”
Without saying a word, Yoda lowers his head and closes his eyes. He concentrates lifting his arm like a puppeteer. Within seconds Luke’s jet rises from the swamp.
In awe, Luke proclaims…
“I don’t, I don’t believe it.”
“That is why you fail.”
The power of the mind is just as powerful on earth as it is on Dagobah. Like Luke, your thoughts sabotage your efforts.
In this section you’ll discover how your brain sabotages your weight loss. And how to reprogram your thoughts to lose weight, keep it off, so you look your best.
It’s A Love Hate Relationship
Food fills more than the hunger in your belly.
It fills the holes in your heart.
It’s more than vitamins, minerals, and fuel for your body.
It’s simultaneously your best friend and enemy.
It fills you with joy, and regret.
It provides entertainment, control, and camaraderie.
It lifts you up. And brings you down.
It provides comfort, protection, and therapy.
I don’t claim to be a psychologist, counselor, or therapist. But, I’ve found those who ignore psychological issues continue to struggle with diet and weight loss.
According to a 2013 study, stress is a potent driver of over eating. For 38% Americans it is. It might be your’s too.
Finding out the motivation behind when and why you eat is the first step on your weight loss journey.
What’s you trigger.
Take a few days. Pay attention to…
- what you eat
- when you eat
- how you feel
Are you board, sad, or lonely?
Are you happy, excited, or celebrating?
Are you trying to self medicate, hide, or protect yourself?
I’ve found clients who ignore their relation to food continue to struggle with diet and weight loss. So don’t ignore your’s.
It may hurt. You may need help resolving them.
But, don’t ignore them.
At times we’re our own worst enemies.
Think about it.
How often do you have negative thoughts?
How often do you think of reasons why you can’t lose weight?
- “I don’t deserve it.”
- “I Can’t do it.”
- “My feet hurt.”
- “It’s in my genes.”
- “I’m too old.”
- “It’s too hard.”
- “I have a slow metabolism.”
- “It runs in my family.”
- “I don’t like exercise.”
- “I have a bad back.”
Any sound familiar?
I know I’ve had more than one of those thoughts, and on more than one occasion. They’re natural. Some are even based in fact.
But they’re all lies.
I hear you.
You’ve had back pains for the longest time.
You’re run off your feet. Work and family keeps you running around 24/7.
Your height and hair colour are hereditary, so why not your weight?
While everything you’re saying is true, your beliefs are more of a roadblock than your circumstances.
Henry Ford said…
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
It’s something I see with clients all the time.
Previous life experiences and failed diets fill your head with negative thoughts that manifest into self-limiting beliefs. These lies act on your conscious and subconscious creating roadblocks sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
Because previous weight loss attempts haven’t gone well, doesn’t mean game over.
You can eliminate self-limiting beliefs and create a new mental picture that supports your weight loss journey.
It’s like riding a bike. You expect to fall a few times before it becomes automatic.
Weight loss isn’t any different. You’re going to hit obstacles. But they’re just that. Obstacles. Not roadblocks or dead-ends.
Eliminate your self-limiting beliefs by first acknowledging, then questioning them.
Once you identify an obstacle as a self-limiting belief
All self-limiting beliefs are based on realities. But don’t dwell on the validity. Instead, brainstorm ways to overcome the obstacles. Think of examples where you or others have successfully navigated the obstacle.
Keep a journal. Record your successes and express your gratitude.
It only takes a few minutes. But it’s a powerful exercise because over time you’ll see how you’ve succeeded despite obstacles.
Look at things from a different perspective. Concentrate on what you can do, not on what you can’t.
Replace all the reasons you can’t lose weight (bad knees, genes, job, family, money, car, your mother) with a list of what you can do.
Know that you will face rough patches. Nevertheless know that a clear plan and tiny steps can take you over any hurdle.
Nothing eliminates a self-limiting belief like forward momentum. Even small steps forward. That’s why I recommend baby steps.
Losing 100 pounds is a lot to deal with. But losing a quarter of a pound. Or even half a pound is like stealing candy from a baby.
Once you’ve experienced some success, it’s easier to keep moving forward.
What’s Your Soul Say
Why do you want to lose weight.
If you don’t know. You’ll struggle.
It’s a simple question. But it’s difficult to answer. And despite its importance, it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Without a strong reason as to why you want to lose weight, it’s too easy to throw in the towel. It’s too easy to skip the gym. It’s too easy to have another serving.
A powerful reason behind your weight loss, provides purpose and meaning to your journey.
Take some time and ask yourself the question…
“Why do I want to lose weight?”
Don’t stop at your first answer. Continue digging. Ask another why.
And keep asking. About 4 or 5 mote times.
Ask “why” until you find an emotion response.
Search your soul.
When you unearth the driving reason behind your weight loss. Jot it down. Keep it with you. Put it where you can see it. Then, multiple times throughout the day, remind yourself “why”.
This makes you unstoppable.
What really matters with nutrition
Celebrity trainers, magazines, infomercials, websites, even TV doctors claim there’s a secret to weight loss. A way to effortlessly shed unwanted body fat.
All you need is their hack, magic trick, or supplement.
You’re 30, 50, or 100 pounds lighter.
And, all without lifting a finger.
However, they’re telling stories.
Unfortunately, you can’t trick or hack your way to permanent weight loss.
To be fully transparent, no one has this weight loss thing completely figured out.
The human body is complex.
Weight loss is complex.
An intricate affray of hormonal and biochemical process goes into transforming food into fat and fat into fab.
But despite this complexity, there’s one underling principle that trumps all others.
A calorie deficit.
Everyone has their methods.
Everyone has their preferred method for creating a deficit.
But, there’s always a deficit.
Pick the diet of the month. Paleo, Weight Watchers, Detoxes. It doesn’t matter. Every single one, only works when they reduce calories.
It doesn’t have anything to do with carbs, fat, or sugar.
When you eliminate a food or food group, you limit choice. Less choice. Less food consumed. Especially when your favorite foods are restricted. Thus a reduction in calories creating your deficit.
How you create a calorie deficit is entirely up to you.
But to make things simple, I’ve listed a few do’s and don’ts. Follow them to cut calories without feeling deprived or hungry.
- Eat lean protein and fibrous vegetables at every meal.
Protein helps you feel full and satisfied. It also helps maintain lean muscle mass to maximize your metabolism.
Fibrous vegetables supply required nutrients, and add bulk to your meals without adding a lot of calories.
- Cook more meals at home. (Click here for Free Recipes)
Restaurants want you come back. So they make sure the portions are big and the food tastes great. Unfortunately that’s counterproductive for weight loss.
Adding fat is an easy and economical way to make your food taste better. But it comes at a high caloric cost. Butters and creams are calorie dense and skyrocket the number of calories in your meal.
- Don’t drink your calories.
Juices and other high calorie drinks aren’t bad. They just don’t fill you up. And the calories add up fast.
- Don’t fall into to the all or nothing trap.
All you need for successful weight loss is 85% adherence to your diet.
If you fall off your diet by eating too much or snacking between meals don’t fret. You don’t have to be perfect all time for your diet to work.
Brush yourself off and get back on track next meal.
- Cutback on processed foods.
Processed foods are’t evil. Refined sugar isn’t going to cause your fat cells to spontaneously ballon up.
However, processed foods are designed to taste good. They’re packed with calories. And they’re not filling. This is a perfect equation for destroying a calorie deficit.
- Cutback on meals you haven’t made yourself. (Click here for Free Recipes)
Not everyone is looking out for you. If you didn’t make it you can bet your bottom dollar that what you’re about to put in your mouth is a calorie bomb. Don’t let it blow your diet.
No need to go overboard with your nutrition. Following the simple do’s and don’ts sets you up for success with minimal change to your diet or lifestyle.
Shake your money maker
We all know how important exercise is. So I won’t bore you with that.
Instead I’ll make a few recommendations on how to get more exercise and how to make the most of it.
Step #1 — Make it fun.
If you hate going to the gym, you won’t.
If you hate to exercise, you won’t.
Thus, the first and most important aspect of your exercise program is to make it fun.
Your easiest option, join a group class in your area. Try out different classes, bootcamps, and instructors in your area. You’re bound to find one that you like.
Hook up with friends, family, or co-workers. Take them to a class or start your own thing.
Your choices are endless. Experiment and have fun.
Step #2 — Start small.
If your sofa has a percent imprint of your butt, ease into your new exercise routine. The easier the better.
Take a walk around the block. If that’s too much walk to the mailbox and back.
When that’s easy, go a little further.
Start off with one push up and one squat.
When thats easy, do a second.
Doesn’t matter what you chose to do, start so small that you can’t fail. If you think it’s too easy you’re on the right track. Ratchet things up a notch, only when you’re ready.
If you start small and enjoy what you’re doing, permanent weight loss with a tight and toned body is inevitable.
Step #3 — Move More
Formal exercise is great, but don’t discount non-exercise activity. Or what the science people call NEAT.
NEAT has the power to burn more calories than conventional exercise.
It covers all movement not considered exercise. Everything from fidgeting to yard work falls under its umbrella.
Being more active throughout your day increases NEAT. Thus increases your calorie expenditure.
If you tend to eat when you’re board or watching TV, NEAT gets you out and about. Away from the temptations of mindless eating.
Fun ways to increase NEAT.
- Join a dance class.
- Go walking.
- Start gardening.
- Go on a cleaning spree. Well, not so fun. But, it does have a tremendous impact on NEAT.
Anything that gets you up and moving increases NEAT.
Increasing your NEAT makes an easy to transition into formal exercise. Plus it’s fun.
Step #4 — Resistance training.
If you want to look your best, lift weights.
Nothing shapes your body like resistance training.
Resistance training tightens and tones those trouble spots and keeps your metabolism humming.
Resistance training sounds scary. But follow these tips and you’ll look like a pro.
Don’t go in there and try to lift the world. Start small. Start light. But start.
You don’t even have to touch a weight. Bands, machines, even your body weight is enough.
Train at least twice a week doing a simple full body workout.
Here’s an example to follow. It hits all your major muscle groups in three moves. Try it and let me know what you think.
Flab to Fab Template
- An upper body pushing exercise
- An upper body pulling exercise
- Lower body exercise
Here’s a bodyweight example:
- Upper body push – Push Ups
- Upper body pull – Inverted Rows
- Lower body exercise – Front Squats
Here’s a combo routine:
- Upper body push – Standing Shoulder Press
- Upper body pull – Band Pull Apart
- Lower body exercise – Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
Remember, keep it fun.
Workout with a friend. Test drive a few different classes in your area. Mix it up. Use a combination of free weights, machines, and body weight exercises. Hire a coach.
Look around. There’s something enjoyable out there for you.
Step #5 — Get your heart pumping.
Resistance training is one piece of the physique puzzle. Cardio is the other.
In addition to burning more calories, cardio has a bunch of health benefits. So the more often you can get your heart rate up, the better.
But start small.
Work your way up to 30 minutes a day.
If you can’t carve out 30 minutes, three 10 minute bouts or, two 15 minutes bouts is just as effective.
If you’re one of those who consider cardio a bad word, remember rule number one.
Cardio is any activity that elevates your heart rate. You don’t need to go to the gym for cardio.
Go for a walk. Take a martial arts class. Go for a bike ride. Do it with friends or family. Join a club or class. Take up soccer or ultimate frisbee.
Have fun and get moving.
Are you with me.
Sometime ago I heard a story about a woman who lost over 100 pounds. She was happy and looked fabulous. However her husband didn’t share her enthusiasm. For Christmas he bought her candy and 5x shirts.
It sucked all the wind from her sails.
Instead of being supportive he was insecure about her weight loss and became a saboteur. Unfortunately this happens all the time.
People sabotage one another for multiple reasons. For some it’s about control. Others feel threatened. For many it’s jealousy. They see you improving your life and feel bad because they’re not making the same positive changes. They see your success and feel it makes him look less successful.
Whatever the reason, there is always going to be somebody who is uncomfortable with the new you and the changes you’re making. They’ll either consciously or subconsciously throw obstacles in your path.
If you’re not prepared and aware, saboteurs will blindside you.
I don’t want that to happen.
What to look out for.
Sometimes the sabotage is overt. Others, it’s cloaked in kindness. Either way, avoid getting blindsided. Keep on the look out for these tell tale signs.
Buying food that isn’t on your diet. Even worse. Buying treats you can’t resist.
More demands of your time. Whenever it’s time for you to workout or eat healthy, saboteurs have something more pressing they need you to.
And of course there’s an array of comments.
Just a few utterances saboteurs hurl your way…
“You’re no fun anymore.”
“Didn’t you work out today?”
“What’s the big deal about one slice?”
“Don’t you want to spend some time with me?”
“Oh come on, treat yourself.”
“You’re fine the way you are.”
“You can miss the gym tonight.”
“Well, if you’re not going to have a dessert, then I won’t either.”
What to do
Dealing with saboteurs is like dealing with any other problem.
Meet it head-on.
Saboteurs need to know what they are doing and how you feel.
I know confrontation isn’t easy. But, saboteurs need to know how their actions hurt you.
Provide an example of unhelpful behavior. Spell out what you want done differently.
Be kid. Yet firm. And let them how much you need their support.
Meanwhile, don’t mention the physical aspect of your weight loss. Instead talk about how much better you feel. Mention improved energy, the reduction in stress, and how it puts you in a positive mood.
Talking about health and physical improvements instead of physical improvements makes it difficult for saboteurs to justify their actions.
Avoid social situations that involve food.
Suggest meeting for walks, a game of golf, or a spa treatment. Anything that doesn’t food and it’s an activities they enjoy makes it harder to fight or make negative comments.
If you can’t avoid food laden events, arrive late. Eat at home. Then when the food is gone it’s time for you to make your entrance.
Host the event yourself.
Hosting events gives you more control of the menu options. And the guest list.
This whole weight loss thing is oodles easier when you have help. Enroll your saboteurs on your support team. Ask them to join you on your journey. Once they’re onboard their ill-will transforms into support and cheers.
If all attempts fail, cut contact. Your health and wellbeing is worth more than any saboteurs relationship.
If they can’t support you, they either don’t value you, or have issues that need sorting. Either way they’re not healthy to be around.
Put Your Weight Loss on Autopilot
Build healthy weight loss habits.
Living with excess weight is stressful.
You’re tired of being invisible.
You’re tired of being visible when you want to be invisible.
You’re tired of being tired.
It’s time for a change.
Here’s how to move forward.
Make your weight loss path simple.
The easier the better.
Look at the tips above and ask yourself…
“What action looks the easiest?”
“Which one can I do today?”
Doesn’t matter if you think it’s too small to make a difference.
In a week’s time, in a months time, in a years time, you’ll build a pattern. You’ll be a different person. In a different place.
What you do today puts you on a path for tomorrow. Even a small change in trajectory has a huge impact on your future.
If you follow these simple steps I can’t promise you’ll look like an athlete or super model. However, I can promise you’ll look and feel better than you do now.
You ‘ll have more energy and self-confidence.
You’ll be visible for the right reasons.
You’ll feel comfortable in your own skin.
And it all started with a simple action you take today.
Remember, no forward momentum is too small. Even the simplest step taken today changes tomorrow and your life.
All you need to do is take one small step.