1. Lack of taking consistent action – Many people don’t take consistent daily action. Instead they’re flipping from diet to diet, never sticking with anything, being sure the answer is always in the next thing.

    Why do they do this?
    Because they think they have to change everything at once, as they don’t believe that these little habits add up to big changes over time. They think that what they do today doesn’t matter so why bother?
    But if they looked to their past attempts, at how changing everything at once never worked out for them? They would realise it’s the very definition of insanity!

  2. Being reminded of your goals – I think it bypasses the feeling. When you feel shit, when you’re having a tough time, being reminded of why you started or trying to look for the bright side doesn’t allow you to move through the bad feeling.

    Have you seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption? This is the part where they literally need to wade through the shit to get to the other side.

  3. Repression, deprivation, denying yourself and discipline don’t work. To be honest, for the vast majority of people, all they need to do to lose weight is eat less.

    They don’t need to change what they eat at all, they just need to change how much they eat.
    Now I’m not saying they will be healthy! But they will lose weight.

    I think the problem is they give up all their favourites, force themselves to eat stuff they can’t stand, and like holding a beach-ball under water, eventually their arms get tired and the ball bounces back and smacks them in the face!

    There is only so much time you can force yourself to eat kale and drink smoothies before you go FUCK THIS SHIT!

  4. The deadline – starting a weight loss journey with a deadline in mind. Like wanting to reach the goal weight by Christmas, my wedding, birthday etc. Putting SO much pressure on themselves.

    They see weight loss as linear, I need to lose X number of kilos per week to be ‘on track.’ They think this will motivate them into action, but instead the pressure shoots them in the foot because as soon as the deadline has passed so does their motivation.

    The wedding is over, let’s eat ALL the food!

    Pressure can start them, it can motivate them to take action. But it can’t sustain them.
    They need an inner reason to keep going.

    They’re convinced they have to give up things they love and do things they loathe in order to reach not fat.

    Of course they can do it for a while, but no one can endure that indefinitely! I mean Superman can be near kryptonite for a moment but it weakens him. Iimagine what it would do if he thought he had to carry it around all day, every day?

    It’s a myth that they can never have the things they enjoy again (e.g. have to quit chocolate).

  5. You can’t build a life you love by doing things you hate. Doing things they hate in order to get quick results works for a short while. But then they lose the results when they stop doing the things they hate, and then blame themselves for lack of willpower.

  6. Motivation is not the full answer. People often believe if they were motivated enough they wouldn’t struggle, and that they lack willpower because they can’t stick to this 100% of the time.

    When in fact motivation is an exhaustible resource, it waxes and wanes. It’s not constant. When we use motivation we are going from internal pain (eg I’m fat) to external pain (eg exercise) and its like holding a ball underwater, we can do it for a little while, but eventually we get tired and the ball shoots up and hits us in the face and we are on the ‘fuck it’ train back to chocolate town!

    If instead people go from internal pain (eg I’m fat) to internal pleasure (eg positive self talk) then no motivation is required and thus they don’t run out of it.

  7. Willpower is like petrol, when present you will get there faster, but without it you’ve got to walk. Losing weight requires commitment. A ‘no matter what’ reason.
    People have that in other areas of their lives. Eg I don’t get up to my kids at 2am because I have willpower, I do it because I’m committed.

    I don’t go pash some random attractive dude because I use willpower not to, I don’t because I’m committed to my husband.

    You have commitment in other areas of your life, you can have it with weight loss too.

  8. Inspiration PT training teaches you to uplift them and ‘inspire’ people. It feels false. It feels like bypassing the issue. People don’t need to be inspired or uplifted, they need to be seen and heard.

    The pseudo-positivity and JFDI of the PT world is why so many people feel like outsiders, because if they admitted how they truly felt they would be ostracised.

    What makes me angry about perceptions of my industry is: That fat people are lazy and just need someone barking at them to get their fat lazy ass moving. Fat and lazy are not related. Most fat people have lazy dysmorphia. They are so used to being labelled as lazy that they go above and beyond to prove that they’re not. Barking at someone, yelling, shaming, it doesn’t help. It just makes them feel even more shit about themselves.

  9. Hope is the enemy. They hold onto this pattern because it gives them…Hope – I just need to find the right diet / plan / program. Hope is external, it’s giving your power away to the program. I hope this works for me. What they need instead is an inner knowing. I can do this. I am worth this. I have the power to change.

10.Starting with the environment. Most people start with the environment and this is where they go wrong. Because 6 months later they find themselves in the same place yet again. So then they change their behaviours and the same thing happens. They are taking a bottom up approach. When they need to take a top down approach.

If they don’t value their health then it’s always going to be a struggle until they hit rock bottom and they suddenly value it! So the trick isn’t to pretend they value what they don’t, but instead to work out what they DO value and identify how being at their goal weight will help that.

One of the exercises I take my clients through is identifying their top 5 values. Then for each value identifying 10 reasons being at their goal weight will help with that value.

Also the value thing can be a bit tough to grasp for new people so I don’t lead with it. Instead we talk about beliefs. Because if on some level you don’t believe you can reach and maintain your goal weight, you won’t.

People think they will reach the weight and then they will believe. When the reverse is true, they need to believe BEFORE they can release the excess weight.

11.It’s a myth that weight loss is linear and predictable. If you do X you will get Y result on the scale. You can expect to lose this much over this time. So the posters advertising most programs show radical fast transformations BUT if you read the fine print it says *results not typical. Yet they’ve used these results not typical to advertise their bloody program! This really pisses me off.

Next article – What DOES work to lose weight


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