People Who Lose Weight All Do This One Thing
To lose weight is a goal many people have when they engage my services as a habits coach.
If, as the experts tell us, it is true that all behaviour is learned, then it stands to reason that habits too are learned. That being the case, anything learned can be unlearned. People who want to lose weight must take this to heart.
This was highlighted to me recently when I spent time with a person whose days are spent counselling others on various methods of weight loss.
This person has spent the better part of 20 years in this field and, in his own words, “I have seen and heard every conceivable and imaginable excuse and reason for why people cannot lose weight that is causing so much grief in their lives.
“My clients pay me a great deal of money to ignore my advice, to tell me I don’t understand their situation and to vent their frustrations.”
To Lose Weight, Track Your Habits
He has an interesting practice that he follows with each client. For 30 days prior to their first session, they are required to keep a food journal with two important pieces of information: everything they eat and drink each day and the time of day they are doing so.
They are also expected to list the approximate size, weight or quantity of everything consume.
Each new client signs a pledge committing to absolute honesty in completing their journal which they bring along to their first session.
He carefully studies each journal and what he has seen repeatedly over the years has helped him understand that the weight challenges his clients live with are more a function of acquired habits than anything else.
He can very quickly see patterns in their food intake, and it is the repetition of these patterns that keeps his clients overweight, de-energized and disillusioned.
Interestingly, it is not uncommon for these journals to reveal that it is not what his client eat at meal times that contribute most to their weight problems, but rather what they eat between meals, particularly what they eat habitually after dinner.
He used to counsel clients on eating different foods to lose weight. Now he spends most of his time helping clients understand that it is internal dialogue that provides constant opinions about the food they should eat that has the greatest influence on what they put in their mouths.
It’s About the Story You Tell Yourself
Snacking on carrots as opposed to potato chips and choosing water over soda is not about “Can I do this?” but rather, what the voice in our heads is telling us and the feelings that result from that voice.
And when the voice is encouraging us to choose carrots, is reminding us of how much we enjoy the taste, prompting us to focus on how we will feel when the weight has fallen off, then and only then will we make the choice of carrots over chips.
Then and only then will we make the choice of carrots over chips.
Experience has taught him that those who truly are willing to make habit changes and commit to doing the work this requires, always succeed in reaching their weight goals and sustaining the new lifestyles.
And those – sadly, the majority of his clients – who choose not to, and instead commit their lives to frustration, self-loathing and the constant searching for the nonexistent magic pill, never get to experience how magical our life can be once we decide to own it.
For those folks, it is just not important enough.
As my friend reminded me, when things are important we always find a way, and when they’re not, we always find an excuse.And living that way is, too, a habit.
Are you ready to change your habits? A habits coach can help. Contact me and set up a free consultation.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.