The Hokey Cokey Of Weight Loss

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The Hokey Cokey Of Weight Loss

04th Apr 2014

In & Out and Then Shake All The Weight Off

Okay, a bit gimmicky I know but I am going to talk about something very valuable when it comes to weight loss. As some of you know, I have lost about 70 pounds top to bottom. I started in September 2005 and at the time I did some very powerful things. The strange thing was that I didn’t realize what I was doing them at the time. One of those of things was the focus of my motivation.

Have you noticed that people tend to focus on the external things like a number on a scale? Or what other people think? Well, while these things do have a place in the weight loss journey I found that focusing on something more internal was the key to my success. I focused on how I was feeling instead. The difficult thing here is that you can’t tell people how to feel as that is bespoke to them. This provides a challenge when it comes to weight loss coaching.

One Very Powerful Weight Loss Tool

One of the classics I heard when I lost weight was “don’t you like the taste of chocolate?” Possibly of the most stupid comments I have heard aside, this is the problem when we try and lose weight. OF COURSE I like the taste of chocolate, as last time I checked, I was, well, HUMAN! Anyway, if you are on a weight loss journey, make sure that alongside the tangible things like weight and measurements, you are paying attention to how you FEEL as well.

Like I said above, feelings are very unique so you can’t really measure them. What you can do however is start to make subtle notes of how the little things feel different. I noticed how good it was to get up early and not be tired. I noticed how good it felt not to sweat when it got hot. I also noticed how good it felt to be “noticed” by the opposite sex. While this was an external trigger, it was how it made me feel that re-enforced the reasons why I was doing what I was doing.

The same thing happened to me this last few weeks to be honest. I have been trying to get down to a certain weight for the London Marathon and I have been succeeding. The weight loss is great but I feel even better. I am noticing more how I feel than what the scales say. This makes the activities I am doing more manageable (not easy)

Going “in” & “out”

So here are some practical steps to help you focus on internal feelings as well as the external things.

  1. Write It Down: OMG, not another fitness professional telling me to write stuff down?? Well there is merit to this. I once heard that you are 67% more likely to retain information if you write it down. I recommend that you write down how you feel when good and bad things happen. This way you are reminded of the good stuff and you have a warning about the bad stuff. .
  2. Anchoring: It surprises people that they are in control of their own state. This means that you can change your mood at any time. A great way to do this is “anchoring” which attaching a feeling to a certain physical response. A good example is hearing a song from years ago. People tend to remember how they felt even if it was 20 years ago. You can use this to your advantage. Try this little experiment, think about a time when you were really motivated. When the feeling gets intense cross your fingers for about 5-10 seconds. Then think about a huge pink elephant. See the elephants skin, ears and trunk. Then cross your fingers again. You should be able to access that feeling again. Powerful? Use this when you get a positive re-enforcement of your progress.

Conclusion

I promise that if you get control of your mind and your internal dialogue you will win this battle. When I did the first of my weight loss talks the other day, I told people that the first step to successful weight loss is understanding what went on in your brain that made you do this to yourself. I don’t mean the diet and exercise, I mean the series of thoughts that made you believe gaining weight was a good idea. First step is to write down on a piece of paper “why did I do this to myself?” and then explore the thoughts and beliefs that made you do it. Then start to replace those thoughts with the positive re-enforcements I mentioned above. I promise you that if you get this right, you win the battle.