Oh how I love this article. Why? Because it speaks the truth about what it actually takes to not only GET that lean body but more importantly KEEP it. In fact, as we approach Thanksgiving, the time dedicated for giving thanks for our many blessings…and promptly celebrating those blessings with eating as much of the “special” foods as we can, this article can help you address participating in that, without ruining your life.
It means being weird, sometimes. Or what your friends might perceive as weird.
You might be riduculed.
Once you get off the fat train and onto the weight loss wagon you might notice the amount of discouragement you receive from your peers. Those people you thought would support you instead try to sabotage you! They see you losing weight and their first instinct is to bring you food and say “oh one donut won’t hurt, why not go off your diet for one day?” And in the long run, they are right, but what they don’t tell you is that they will try to do this to you EVERY day and that WILL hurt you.
In fact, let’s talk about that for a minute…
Those of you who have lost weight, were you surprised at the amount of people, friends even, who didn’t support you? They got mad at you, turned their backs on you, became snotty or what have you while they saw your success? Sure, they liked you when you were fat, but when you actually did what you said you were going to do and started taking the weight off, suddenly they didn’t want to hear about your struggles any more?
There are a few reasons for that.
- It makes them realize that THEY are all talk because they see what it takes to get it done and they don’t want to admit their laziness.
It’s true. If you don’t do the work to lose weight (and come on, you KNOW what it takes, deep down, right?) then you are not putting forth the effort, you aren’t doing the work, it’s YOUR FAULT. Nobody can do the work for you. It’s easier to complain than to do the work and that’s why your friends don’t like you all the sudden, because it’s so much easier to have a friend to complain with and share in the blame game, than it is to actually suck it up and quit with the extra nibbles. I know, because I have been there. I like the extra bites. But I know that when it comes down to it, those extras add up, and suddenly, I’m whining about not losing and my friend is.
- Your success makes them feel like you are bringing their weaknesses into the light. Aka: you call them out without meaning to.
This goes along the same lines as the first point, but isn’t it true? Why do we envy people? They have what we don’t. Some times we can change that. If they have more money, well, get off your butt and go MAKE more money. The government won’t give it to you, you have to, as Dave Ramsey says “get up, leave the cave, go kill something and drag it home.” YOU are not entitled to anything. This includes money, cars, fame, or that hot body that you want. You want it? Go after it and do what it really takes. Stop kidding yourself. You KNOW what you need to do but most people would rather complain about why things aren’t happening than looking inside saying “you know, this is going to be a butt-load of work, but I want it, so I’m going to do what it takes”. This includes fat loss. It takes HARD work to get that body. It was hard to pass up the extra bites out of the candy dish at work. It was hard to get up and go do your walk every day like you know you needed to. It was hard to drag yourself out of bed early to go to boot camp class. or to workout with a trainer, or to pass up that extra whatever it is and eat more protein. Fat loss sucks because it’s HARD. That’s why so few people succeed. We’re not good at doing hard. We want it and we want it now because I exist I have the right to have it.
NO, you don’t.
You have the right to go out and do it and get it, but you don’t have the right to just become it. That’s why you’re still fat. Ouch. The truth hurts. And that’s why your friends don’t like you. You going out and DOING it brings light to the fact that being fat IS your fault, you CAN do it and all they are doing is complaining. No one likes to be called out.
Oh wow, it’s easy to get on a soap box isn’t it?
What I said might hurt and you might be saying “but I have a medical condition! It’s genetic! My parent’s fed me too much junk as a kid which meant I was a fat kid and I can’t be anything but fat!”
Ok, fine. It’s still your fault.
No, it’s not your fault that you have a condition, you have “fat genes” or your parents didn’t know the difference between a box of Swiss Cake Rolls and an apple. What IS your fault is what you are going to do about it.
If you are sitting here saying those things, then the answer is, you’re going to complain and blame and stay right where you are.
I can say that, because I have fit in that category for too long.
Brief Explanation of Why I Can Say This Stuff
I wasn’t a fat kid, my parents aren’t fat and I didn’t struggle with body image growing up.
I was doomed.
You see, my mom, her mom and her grandmother ( my great-grandmother) AND my dad’s mom (my grandma) all have hypothyroidism. To varying degrees, and I may be the worst out of the lot, only because I’ve had more tests done than they have. You see, I competed in a figure competition and while I wouldn’t change that experience for the world (I did some seriously hard work and I reaped the rewards of watching my body change almost daily before my eyes), I did go about it blindly and stupidly and probably had a hand in wreaking my own health without knowing it. I hired a well-known coach (he produces Olympians so I thought “get the best!”) who provided hardly any support, would not sub out anything (I hate asparagus and cream of wheat but no, I had to eat them several times a day…really??) and gave me cookie cutter programs of 6 days a week training and 2x’s a day cardio. Sadly, the norm in the competition world. If you see that, it’s the mark of a man or woman who doesn’t know the science behind it all, but sees it work on a few (maybe themselves) and gives it to many. This is otherwise known as “bro-science”.
In any case, the addition of “fat burners” several times a day probably did nothing for my pre-disposed thyroid.
What happend? Well,after the post-competition rebound weight gain of 20 lbs, I developed a habit of binge eating that destroyed my relationship with food that lasted for 2 years and culminated this past year in the resulting weight gain of my highest weight: 156. I gained 20 lbs. in only a few months. On a 5’3″ person, not so good. My competition weight? 114 lbs. A couple years ago I kept trying to lose weight, couldn’t and finally got to the point where the brain fog was so bad and lack of energy so pronounced as that I couldn’t get out of bed (literally) that I saw a doc who ordered tests, finding out 1) my thyroid had shrunk almost in half on one side 2) It hardly worked at all 3) what it did produce did not convert to the active form.
What does that mean? Means I am on Armour Thyroid meds (combo T4 and T3) for the rest of my life and the dosages will have to be constantly tweaked according to my lifestyle.
Also means I have a NASTY time losing weight.
Point in case. I was 156 in March. My fighting weight is a happy 120. If you’ve seen my wedding pictures, that’s where I was. I decided that after much therapy I had broken the addiction to food and binging and was ready to try weight loss.
I lost 3 lbs in 5 months.
Says to me something’s wrong right?
First trip to the doc showed T3 levels were still about the levels of an 80 year old man. So I upped the meds. Came back in July and everything showed great! Doc gave me the standard I have no idea what’s wrong with you answer “you’ll just have to work at it a little harder”.
He must not have heard me because at the time I was
- biking up to 100 miles/week
- leading 2 beach boot camp classes (participating as much as leading)
- Lifting 3 x’s a week
- Training several times a week
- Alternating trying to run with swimming (due to a hip injury that won’t heal)
- Restricting calories
Yeah, the mantra “move more, eat less” didn’t seem to be working. Until my massage therapist opened my eyes. She said
“Are you being consistant?”
The truthful answer was NO, I wasn’t. I was tracking “everything” but leaving an awful lot out of the log, so I hit my 1500 calories but in reality was eating more than that. No idea, because the extra bites of cereal, grapes, peanut butter, candy, you name it, didn’t go into the log.
I said ok, enough, I am the problem. Let’s fix this.
So I have been HONEST with myself, logging everything. Hitting my protein more often than not and my calories almost daily. Yes, I’ve had slipups and those days have cost me progress, but I’m aware and honest and guess what? I hit a new low today of 144.6! Not that much but mind you, this is a learning process and every little ounce of fat loss is a victory for me. I am staying consistant. Consistant with my tracking methods, honest, consistant with EVERYTHING.
I bemoaned my state for so long saying it had to be something else, my meds weren’t right, blah blah blah. But really, I wasn’t being honest with myself.
So if you are fat, more than likely, you are the problem. BE HONEST. What are you not counting, not logging, lying to yourself about? Just write it down and don’t feel like you have to make yourself have a large deficit, make it a small one, stick to it, and on days you feel like you can go lower, go lower.
Did I mention most of my weight loss has come in the last few weeks when I have been LESS active? Yeah I’ve gone to 2x’s a week lifting, not participating in boot camps and the cycling has come down. Mostly this is due to the hip injury I’m getting looked at, but the good news is, my body responds positively to less. That’s also a bummer
I can also say that the journey will be more difficult for some than others.
Maybe you have medical conditions, maybe you don’t. Maybe you have an unsupportive family/spouse, maybe you are surrounded by people rooting for you. Whatever it is, just go for it! It’s your life, and life is too short to live in excuses.
There is, obviously by my case, more than one way to lose fat/weight. Sometimes people can lose by just moving more (not in my case), some by just eating less, some by just being consistant. The equation is always the same: Calories in vs calories out, you have to burn more than you consume. Period. How people’s bodies respond to different styles of training, different foods etc. are all different so the specifics of that formula will change as well.
- Some respond better to heavy exercise
- Some respond better to very light exercise
- Some do better on larger deficits
- Some do better on smaller deficits
- Almost everyone responds well to cycling programs (be it calories, carbs, both)
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach as that figure coach made me believe. Your body is different, so go find out what makes you different, how you respond. But believe that weight loss is possible, because it IS! Give it time, but go do it. Don’t live another day under your own excuses. And if you need help, well, that’s why I’m a trainer. I can train you, I can point you to fat loss experts (Leigh Peele is one “ I highly recommend her Fat Loss TroubleShoot if this article rings a bell with you. Lyle McDonald is another, and you can see the items of his that I endorse in my shop and on his site (have you seen the women’s book?) He is the expert at this and can teach you so much, I HIGHLY recommend his books, especially the Guide to Flexible Dieting), and I am here for you.
Contact me and we’ll get started!
So, QUIT WITH THE EXCUSES! If you want it, go get it!
as you can see, this article was written quite a long time ago and while it may be out of fashion or insensitive to use the language I did in this article, I’m not going to change it. Yes, it might have been nicer to say “bigger than you want to be “instead of “fat” but sometimes, don’t we NEED to hear raw truth for what it is? Especially when it speaks to really difficult things? To that end, since this article was written, a book I’ve read several times and highly recommend has come out:
And read the article above. Well, shucks, I’ll post it here.
3 Lean Body Secrets No One Has Told You.
I’ve said this before: weight loss is easy. It is keeping the weight off that is difficult. The difficulty is due to the fact that maintaining a lean body over the long haul has little to do with grams of protein, fish oil, or block peroidization of you’re exercise program. Lifetime leanness is achieved not through nutrients per se it is achieved through persistence, fostering a lean culture, and feeling good (maybe superior?)about your achievements. Here’s what I mean.
I’ll talk about this a little later in the post, but one thing you need to realize is that in order to consistently attain a lean body you will be fighting an uphill battle, especially with your diet. When you travel, no one is waiting for you at the gate with a grilled salmon salad for you to take on the plane with you. No, there is a 16 year old working at Qdoba that wants to sell you a 3 lbs burritos which contains 1/2 cup of sour cream. When you go out to eat at the local wing joint with your buddies, the waiter isn’t asking you if you’d like to order off the menu something healthier, no he just wants to know if you want blue cheese or ranch. This is why you need to be persistent. You need to be persistent about what you need to stick to your plan. Last week I was out to eat with some friends and my buddy Joe (how maintains 6% bodyfat) displayed the ultimate level of dietary persistence. Weâ€™re at Buffalo Wild Wings. Joe looks at the menu, sighs, the waiter comes over and asks what he wants –
Waiter “Breaded or boneless wings? 12, 25, or 50?”
Joe: “I’m going to order off the menus.” Joe puts the menu down and doesn’t look at it. “Can you make me a big green salad, lots of vegetables, and then I’ll have two blackened chicken breasts on the side.”
Waiter : Blank stare. “Oookay. What kind of dressing would you like?”
Joe: “Do you have olive oil and vinegar? I’ll have that on the side.”
Waiter -“I don’t think we have olive oil…yeah we don’t have that.”
Joe: “Can you go check with the kitchen for me?”
Waiter: Visibly annoyed. “I’ll be right back.”
That is persistence. Joe knew what he needed for dinner and he asked for it. The waiter didn’t have all the answers so Joe asked him to go find the person that did. There were at least 3 opportunities where Joe could have given in, but he didn’t. He was persistent and he got what he wanted. It is going to be a rare occasions that you can order directly from the menu. It is going to be a rare occasion that you will wake up 10 minutes before your alarm goes off energized to hit the gym. That is why you must be persistent.
I cringe a little using the word culture because it is has become such a buzz word in business nowadays but it is the best way to describe this key. You need to create and foster a culture of healthy habits so that you aren’t making healthy decisions because you are forcing them upon yourself but because that is what you do. Here are two examples to illustrate my point. My kids eat fruits and vegetables at every meal and when they snack on baby carrots and red pepper strips during the day they say things like “Ummm that is delicious.” They eat broccoli, they eat peas by the handful (literally, it is a struggle to get Peter to use a spoon). They eat this way because that is just how we eat. Eating vegetables was never an issue for them because those are the foods that we eat. Fruits and vegetables were never signaled out as foods that we don’t really want to eat but do because we have to. We just eat them, that is the culture at our house.
In that recent trip to a seminar with Joe we got to discussing food choices and eating out (how could you not after that encounter with the waiter). He said that at his gym, all the trainers eat really clean as that is the culture. If you came to the gym with unhealthy food you’d get made fun of.
Sometimes you need that. Sometimes you need the added peer pressure when your tired and your guard is down so that you order your burger without the bun and to substitute the fries for vegetables instead of eating it as is on the menu. The point about culture is that you want to work to immerse yourself in a culture where the healthy habits you hold important are the norm. This is key for maintaining a lean body for the long haul.
Okay, so this last one is a little controversial and I debated not including it. Andrew Carnegie once said that one of his keys to ultra achievement was carefully measured arrogance. This was mirrored by marketing and small business consultant Dan Kennedy when he applied Carnegie’s view to his own life regarding time and project management
A sense of lack of control is the worst thing. This is a common characteristic among chronically overweight people that I have worked with. So when you get control and are working your plan, feel good about it. Geez, near 70% of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. You’re succeeding against all odds! Against 99.8% of all food marketing. Against every gadget that makes life “easier” so you can move and do less. Against all the thoughts flying in and out of your mind each day telling you to skip the gym or have the pancakes! Fostering a feeling of superiority doesn’t have to have negative connotations, it doesn’t mean that you are putting others and their dietary foils down; it means that you recognizing that you’re doing something great, something that pretty much everyone wants to do but can’t consistently.
Like I said at the beginning, it isn’t about nutrients and supplements. It is the mental stuff. It is knowing what you want and getting it whether it is the right food at a lousy restaurant or a quick workout at your in-laws house. It is about creating an culture where healthy behaviors are normal and then surround yourself with people who also feel that way. And it is about giving yourself credit for raging against the machine, doing what most people won’t, and then using that good feeling to fuel your persistence even more.
Technorati Tags: featured, mental fat loss tricks, weight management
Tags: featured, mental fat loss tricks, weight management
- You Asked: Increased Cardio but Gaining Weight (fitsugar.com)
- Personal Health: Why Even the Most Resolute Dieters Fail (nytimes.com)
- 10 Nutrition Tips to Burn Body Fat and Lose Weight (herfitnesshut.com)
- 10-Minute Fat Loss/Weight Loss Plateau-Buster (herfitnesshut.com)