Finally, an end to the frustrating cycle of weight loss and gain!
Change your approach to weight loss and begin making a more permanent transformation of your body AND mind
Why you can’t lose weight (and keep it off)
If you’ve struggled with your weight for a number of years you’ve probably seen everything that’s come down the pike.
You’ve tried every diet and followed every workout plan, and they all work for a while… until they stop working.
I’m not here to tell you how clean eating or running are the magic bullets you’ve somehow managed to miss in all these years of searching.
I have no doubt that these are already in your repetoire of moderate-success-followed-by-fall-off-the-cliff-failure.
The truth is that almost any approach to weight loss will work IF you can stick to it.
And this is the major issue, because you can’t get what you love by doing something that you hate.
You can’t get what you love by doing something that you hate
Human beings are different from other animals in that we have the capacity to imagine a future that doesn’t yet exist.
We can picture ourselves in our mind’s eye looking all slim and healthy, and create a story about what it’s going to be like when we get there..
‘When I’ve lost weight / dropped 3 clothes sizes / don’t look like a beached whale… then I’ll be happy and can start living my life’
But of course you never do, because a few steps into the journey you realise that the road you’re on is pretty uncomfortable and is itself causing more pain and discomfort than you ever believe will be waiting for you when you get to where you want to go.
You get told that all you need is more willpower; that you ‘just have to want it badly enough and it’s yours…’ which of course makes you feel like even more of a failure because you should be able to conquer this.
We all have willpower and granted, some of us have more than others.
But by itself it’s not a great strategy for making effective, long term transformational changes to your life.
I expect you are more than familiar with the ‘battery effect’.
Where you wake up in the morning feeling motivated and determined, but towards the end of the day you find yourself succumbing to more and more ‘oh sod it’ moments.
Think of your willpower as a battery: fully charged in the morning but the more decisions you make and the more you compromise with all those people making demands of you, the more it depletes.
Until it’s running so low you forget all about this inspiring image of the future version of you, pour yourself a glass of wine or tuck into a bag of Minstrels when you get home.
But it’s ok because you can just start again in the morning…
Imagine stretching an elastic band between two fingers.
The further you move away from your fixed finger the greater the force you’ll feel pulling you back to the start.
Your fixed finger is how you see yourself.
It’s your identity, your beliefs, and the stories you tell yourself about how the world works.
You can change the way you do things – eat different foods, go to exercise classes, meditate, get an early night – but this is like moving your other finger away from the set point.
It works for a while, but the more progress you make the greater the force pulling you back to square one.
Transformation change requires a different approach
What neuroscience tells us about behavioural change is that for it to become permanent we need to create habits in a completely different part of our brains to where we set goals and use willpower.
In short, we need to change our view of ourselves at the same time as introducing new behaviours.
Here are three tips you can try on for size immediately.
#1: Create an awareness
There’s one thing I know for sure, and that is that you have conversations running through your mind all day long. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to have competing voices chattering away inside your head, though it can be exhausting when you try to listen to them going on all the time!
Awareness is simply you noticing what’s going on.
Without any kind of judgement or attempts to stop and ‘clear your mind’… simply notice.
The reason this is so important is that without awareness you cannot change. Those voices aren’t going anywhere and the more you push against them the louder they are going to get.
But start paying attention to what they’re saying and seek to understand them, and you’ll find yourself remaining more mindful, more of the time.
#2: Find your WHY
You may have heard this before, but identifying a deeply compelling reason why making these changes is important can hugely increase your chances of success.
The surface level goal might be to lose weight, but the deeper meaning might be that losing weight would give you more confidence and help you more fully experience life.
The ‘goal’ is an intellectual one, but the meaning is almost always emotional.
You can see how powerful that can be as a driving force behind creating long lasting change!
The problem is that most people who do this still find themselves cycling between periods of okay results and frustrating set backs.
The missing link is to hold that WHY in your conscious awareness every single day.
When you begin to tie in your new behaviours with your deep understanding of why it’s important to you, you begin to rewire the circuitry in your brain.
You’re now not only giving your actions repetition, but you’re giving then attention with a clearly defined intention behind them.
A simple way to access the potential of this concept is to have your WHY written down next to your goal.
Keep it somewhere easily accessible and commit to reading it through every morning when you get up, and every evening before you go to bed.
#3: Set BEING goals
You’ve read plenty about the importance of goal setting and how we should get clear on exactly what it is we want to HAVE. But how many of us decide who we need to BE in order to get there?
Instead of waiting until you reach your goal weight to be happy and confident and free and all those other things you hope it will bring, decide how you can live a little more of those things today.
Attributes like happiness and confidence are arbitrary and mean different things to different people.
But by getting clear on what they mean to you means that you can begin taking steps to be more of them immediately.
You don’t have to be perfect, and I’m not saying that you should fake it until you make it.
But if you know what confidence looks like, you might find that you can begin trying to do some of those things long before you get to where you want to be going.
A simple way to access the potential of this tip is to keep a ‘Victory Log’ before you go to bed at night.
Note down any examples of where you showed up as your best self during the day, and remind yourself how good that felt. This process begins to rewrite some of your stories of how you ‘can’t’ do this, or that you’re a particular kind of person.
Start gathering the evidence to the contrary, and you’ll begin to shift your identity.
The more you show up as this new, upgraded version of yourself the further along you move your set point.
And as the set point moves, the force pulling you back to square one decreases.
“Imperfect action carried out consistently over time will bring you better and longer lasting results than trying to do it all perfectly and then failing in frustration”
– George Anderson
Need some help?
I have a couple of programs that might help you apply some of what you have just read more systematically and efficiently.
I work with a small number of people one to one, and if you think you would benefit from my direct support, you can read more about my personal coaching over here.
Online wellbeing course
You will also find great support in my online wellbeing program boost.