There is not another subject on the planet more confusing than weight loss. There are literally thousands and thousands of books written on the topic and each one disagrees with the next. But, there is a secret to permanent weight loss, and it is simple.
The real secret to permanent weight loss is
The ability to sustain the daily practice of healthy, moderate eating and exercise habits long enough to attain the results you desire, and then continue performing these habits in order to maintain your results for lifelong success!
There is it. I know, it sounds simple, but it is not! We live in fast food, everything-should-be-easy, bigger-is-better society. Gluttony and instant gratification are the norms.
I believe there are three obstacles that thwart our ability to practice the healthy, moderate eating and exercise habits necessary to attain the results we desire, they are:
1) Getting most of our pleasure in life through the food we eat
2) Lack of long-term self-discipline in the areas of health and fitness
3) Lack of long-term self-motivation in the areas of health and fitness
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Most people are so busy day-in and day-out that the food they eat is their greatest pleasure. This is a true danger that prevents permanent weight loss. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, rushing from one commitment to the next all day long, when you sit down to eat you want it to be extra good because you deserve it.
Find ways to get more pleasure in a day. Have ten minutes of quiet time every day reading your favorite book or magazine, spend a few minutes with a friend on the phone, or begin a new hobby that is fun. It doesn’t take a lot of time; just find other ways to load up on pleasure so that you don’t have to load up on food.
Most people do not have the chip in their brains that allows for joyful self-discipline in the areas of health and fitness. Most of us have to be disciplined to get to work on time, meet deadlines, follow traffic laws, but not to limit food or exercise regularly. Some rationalize that since they have to be so disciplined in other ways they don’t want to be when it comes to their food and exercise.
To establish long-term self-discipline you must focus on the joy of the reward you will get at the end of the road, not the challenge of the journey. So make a list of the top ten rewards you will gain when you lose weight. You must also ask yourself what it costs you to be overweight. Does it cost you your self-respect? Your joy and aliveness in life? Has it cost you a relationship or a job? Remembering the rewards and the cost makes practicing self-discipline a lot easier.
It’s easy to be motivated around January 1st, but what happens to all that motivation around March 1st? Or the first time a brownie passes by? Believe it or not, most people are not the master of their own motivation. They think just because they want it that it is motivation enough, and it is not.
You must reinvent your motivation every day. To do this write the top ten reasons you want to lose weight and keep it off. Also, make a list of the people who motivate you to want to lose weight and why. Review these lists, along with the ones you created above, in the morning and in the evening. Your motivation is ever-evolving so what motivated you last week might not be motivating next week. So revise your lists regularly.
When you overcome these obstacles you will lose weight because, over time, you will find other ways to get pleasure in your life, you will practice positive self-discipline and learn to live on less food and love it, and you will reinvent the motivation every day to keep it all going.