How many times have you tried --and failed-- to lose weight?If you're like most people, you've tried over and over and over.
The web is full of nutrition and exercise plans with promises of astounding fat loss and fit bodies. And yet research shows that most people fail to shed their bulk or drop it just to regain it back (and more) over time.
We are losing the battle against fat, personally and as a culture. Our population has never been heavier than now with about 40% of adults overweight. Even the "Biggest Loser" participants have ended up regaining most of the weight they worked so hard to lose.
Why do we sabotage our efforts each and every time?
We beat ourselves up for failing yet again. Often, we just give up, hating ourselves even more as we resign ourselves to limited lives or feeling unlovable. And yet -- what if we're not just lazy or lack willpower? What if there is a secret weapon to lose weight and keep it off?
The Secret Weapon Against Fat Loss FailureIt's all in your head. Seriously. Your mindset to be exact.
Perhaps you've heard that the key to losing weight is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. The missing piece is actually your mindset. The real key to losing weight is 80% mindset and 20% lifestyle.
1. You Can't Get There from There
Your mindset is your set of attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that determine your perception of and response to situations.
What baggage do you carry around your weight? If you're not exactly where you want to be, then it's a sure thing your mindset is not where you want it to be. If you want different results, you need a different mindset.
Be courageous and say, "I don't know."
2. Challenge your Current Beliefs
The first step in successfully losing weight is to discover what your current beliefs are with respect to your weight and body image. The best way is to ask questions because you may not even be aware of deep-seated perceptions. Let each question sit with you and feel how it resonates.
For instance, do you believe:
- People in your family are heavy and you have no choice either?
- It's impossible for you to lose weight because you've tried everything?
- It's not safe to be attractive?
- Successful weight loss requires too great a sacrifice?
- You just can't afford to eat right?
- You don't have time to exercise?
- You can't exercise because you have an injury or condition that stops you?
- If you could be guaranteed to lose weight, you would do the work?
- You know what to do and when you're ready, you'll try again?
3. Believe it is Possible to Lose Weight
This sounds so simple and yet it all starts with belief. Belief is a feeling of certainty about something at an unconscious level.
For instance, you believe the sun is going to come up tomorrow, that you will have oxygen to breathe, and that gravity is going to hold you on the surface of the earth. You don't stop to think about it. It's total expectation. In comparison, most people only hope they can lose weight.
"Hope" isn't as strong as belief or expectation because it contains a pocket of doubt.
If your belief isn't at least an 8 out of 10, you need to dial it up. Look for other people you know or have heard of who have been successful in losing weight and keeping it off.
Find examples like the 90-year-old grandmother who is running marathons like you want to and use her as your role model.
Next, use your imagination to vividly visualize how you're going to look, how much energy you will have, how you're going to FEEL once you've reached your ideal weight.
Trick your Unconscious MindYour imagination and emotions are your best allies in improving your belief in your ability to follow through and beat the mindset trap, because your unconscious mind can't tell the difference between imagined and real.
When you vividly visualize something as if it has already happened, your unconscious mind adds that to your collection of memories. Your memories, especially vivid ones, contribute to your identity in a powerful way. Your identity is the collection of beliefs, programming and strong emotional events you have accumulated, especially from childhood and how you were raised.
The Mindset TrapRod Hairston, founder of Growth-U, has stated that the strongest force in human nature is to stay congruent with your identity. Your unconscious mind is the security force whose job it is to keep you safe and healthy... and congruent with your identity.
Whether your identity is one of a lazy overweight couch potato or a stressed overachiever with no time to take care of yourself, your unconscious mind will do everything in its power to sabotage your best efforts to lose weight. Think of it like espionage with good intentions.
Want to change? No way!
Your unconscious mind perceives any change from the status quo as being potentially deadly.
"Danger, Will Robinson!"Your unconscious mind will do everything it can to deceive you, get rid of the danger and scurry back to the safety of your old comfortable identity.
The key is to be ready for the Deception, treat it like a challenge, and push through it. A positive mindset is crucial to successfully create the new identity that fits with your improved body and health. It all starts with a clear vision of how you want to look and feel, your belief in your ability to attain it, and a strong motivation to pull you through the Deception phase when it hits.
4. Get Clear on WHY You Want to Lose Weight
We all have different motivations for wanting to be healthier. Most often, pain is a better motivator for change than pleasure, the reward.
For instance, someone with high blood sugar may be motivated to get healthy because she is afraid of having to take pills for the rest of her life, or worse, insulin injections. Then there are all of the scary conditions that can come with diabetes like kidney, eye, and nerve damage, heart disease, or Alzheimer's. This is typically a far greater motivator than how she would feel wearing a bikini.
Whether the motivation is to achieve or avoid, get clear on your WHY. It's very powerful leverage when your unconscious mind is doing its best to derail you.
It is best to proactively think of all of your reasons as soon as you create your health and weight loss goals.
At Growth-U, we call this setting your O.P.A.: Outcome -- Purpose -- Action. Most people jump straight to the action, missing out on the most important steps. This is setting them up for failure rather than success. The action should only come after having set out your goals and WHY.
Time to Do your HomeworkAre you ready to lose weight once and for all?
Follow these steps:
- Get crystal clear on your weight loss goals, how success looks and feels, vividly imagined.
- Discover what baggage is holding you back.
- Tune up your belief in your ability to succeed.
- Get intimate with your WHY, your motivation to overcome any self-sabotage.