Ever said something like, "I just need to lose some weight and then I'll focus on getting healthy"?
Or perhaps you've uttered the equally erroneous, "If I lose weight, then I'll be happy"?
If you've said (or assumed) such things...you may not like this article, but it might be something you desperately need to read anyway.
Stick with me.
While there is definitely some truth that losing weight can improve many markers of health and happiness, the real truth is, focusing primarily on body weight as the most important outcome can (and usually does) leave you worse off than you were before--physically and emotionally.
Not knowing this (or not wanting to believe it), has led countless people to oversimplify weight loss, and run after the hollow promises of low-calorie dieting and other quick "fixes."
IT'S TIME FOR SOME HUMBLE PIE
A few years ago, I invested in an expensive, three-day, in-person training with a renown leader in the business world.
The lessons he passed on during the training were fantastic, but it was a side comment he made during a dinner may have been my biggest takeaway.
He mentioned that he doesn’t even target business owners under 35 because they haven't had enough failure in their past to realize they need what he can do for them.
In short, life hasn't humbled them enough…yet.
In my experience, the same is true for the vast majority of those looking to lose weight.
Many people become so frustrated when weight loss proves challenging, that they start reaching for more and more extreme ways to "get the job done."
It's not until they have tried enough things that don't work (i.e. don't produce lasting results), that they start to become open to getting real help--by that I mean pumping the brakes, looking at the big picture, and going to work on themselves--their knowledge, values, mindsets, priorities, responsibilities, excuses, etc.
Sadly, some people, many people, maybe even most people, never make it that far.
WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING
In our way-too-busy, reach-for-the-sky, you-can-have-it-all society, most people have hit the limits of their capacity and developed such an over-stuffed life, that their health has slipped, and finding the time to become healthy again has become a real challenge.
The problem is, instead zooming out, and accepting the hard work of real change, they go for the quick fix--it "fits the schedule" so much better than system-wide change.
According to marketresearch.com. Americans spent more than $72 Billion on fads and quick fixes in 2018--a clear indication that we'd rather try to cram some new behavior into the margins of our lives rather than wrestle with our limitations, triggers, and bad habits.
THE CYCLE YOU INEVITABLY HAVE TO BREAK
Imagine you own a large field that's a mix of grass and weeds.
You don't like the way it looks, so to clean it up you decide to mow it, and hope/assume the weeds won't come back.
YOU SEE THE POINT?
What happens if you don't uproot the weeds?
Yeah, they all grow back, some even stronger.
When you run after quick fixes to lose weight, you're doing the same thing.
Yes, you can get an outcome of weight loss by taking all sorts of measures--counting points, insane workouts, liposuction, bariatric surgery, gastric bypass, hunger-suppressing injections, VLCD, (very-low-calorie dieting), or even The Biggest Loser.
The problem is, those things don't pull out the weeds, i.e. they don't changed the situation that created your problem.
When your diet/intervention is over, the grass grows back...alongside the weeds, and you end up right back where you started, except now you're older.
FINDING THE COURAGE (AND TIME) TO PULL UP THE WEEDS
I think one of the biggest reasons people are reluctant to put their brainpower to work on themselves, and their situation, is simply a feeling of overwhelm, and/or feeling time-poor.
There’s so much to learn, and we all have so many responsibilities--who wants to go through the frustrating trial and error of figuring out what advice to listen to...let alone figure out where to find the time?
Doing that, takes humility and courage.
For most people...
ADDRESSING YOUR HEALTH IS NEVER URGENT...UNTIL IT IS
In a somewhat sad commentary on our culture, almost everyone who comes into our Healthy-Lifestyle Reset coaching program has already been humbled.
In other words, they have tried so many fads, "hacks," and quick fixes, and are at (or near) the end of their rope.
The question is, can you avoid the trial and error of the fads, and skip right to what works?
Truthfully, because of the "humble-pie" reality I mentioned, I don’t think most people can avoid a lot of trial and error, or more accurately stated, will avoid it.
We humans are wired to look for the easy way. That's not necessarily bad, but that tendency can come back to bite us if we believe there's a shortcut to sustainable weight loss.
There isn't, and shortcuts can leave you susceptible to things like a damaged metabolism, glands that burn out, digestive problems, hormonal issues, and more.
FIXING THE REAL PROBLEMS
Until you realize:
You're not invincible.
You can't fight the biological laws of physics.
You have weeds to pull up before you start thinking about weight loss...you won't have any enduring success.
The good news is: You may not have avoided a lot of trial and error in your past, but you can avoid a lot more of it in your future by thinking differently.
In my experience, the only way I know to help people find sustainable success is by addressing the big picture--the trade-offs, the lifestyle, the values, the schedule, the emotional blocks, the excuses, the gaps in understanding, and the reasons the journey will be worth it.
If you haven't failed enough, you probably don't want to face those things...you'd rather keep believing the lie: "I just need to lose some weight, then I'll worry about all that."
My friend, it doesn't work that way.
The flip side is, if you address those things on the front end, game on!
The rest of the puzzle is way easier!
IF YOU'VE FALLEN BACK INTO BAD HABITS
My encouragement to you is to not wait for that embarrassing moment, missed opportunity, or significant health challenge to face what it will take to pull up the weeds and level up who you are.
Talk to people who have been successful.
If they're anything like me, you'll find they've been fed their own servings of humble pie too.
Success leaves clues.
The exciting part: All areas of your life start getting better when you focus on the big picture.
In fact, life gets so much better, you might even think of weight loss as a side-benefit.
If you want some help, I'm here for you,
PS. Want a holistic approach to level up your life, and your health, at the same time? That's what we do. Check it out and find out how we help people lose weight, stop pain, and heal their bodies without crashing their schedule, willpower, or relationships.