If I asked you which was harder – losing weight or keeping it off, what would you say? Most people would likely say losing weight because so many struggle with that aspect. Too many people are constantly dieting only to gain the weight back and then some and start the same roller coaster ride all over again.
In all honesty, as I say in Today is Still the Day, you can lose weight on just about any diet you try – temporarily. Just making a change can cause some weight loss. According to professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, Traci Mann:
“Evidence shows that people can lose weight on the short term on practically any diet; it barely matters what the diet is. The problem is, nearly everybody gains it back in the long term. I’m not saying it’s not hard to take weight off. But when people struggle to do it, they can, and often do, succeed…The majority of people gain the majority of that weight in 2–5 years.”
So it seems the more challenging aspect is to keep the weight off once you’ve lost it. This is something I address in Today is Still the Day, both the book and the coaching plan. Anyone can lose weight. However, if you don’t change your lifestyle, habits and thinking, that weight slowly but surely creeps back on and it becomes more difficult to lose each succeeding time.
What if your perception has a lot to do with whether you will get on the diet yo-yo train or successfully keep the weight off long term? I believe it does.
Your perception determines your reality and consequently your behavior. We all have filters created by our past experiences and beliefs that we see life through. Those filters determine how you feel about things and in turn will determine whether you succeed or fail.
For instance if you have tried to lose weight before and haven’t succeeded, even if you are using a totally different plan this time, by simply running on autopilot, you will still see your efforts through the filter of your past failure and feel as though it is a losing battle. You may not even be totally conscious of thinking those things, but your subconscious runs your life and that’s where your filter resides.
I talk about “refocusing your lens” in the Today is Still the Day plan. What that has to do with is adjusting your filter by becoming aware of it. You can slip off your plan and see it as a failure or you can consider it a lesson learned and move forward smarter.
You can look at a new way of eating as an adventure you will enjoy that will move you toward achieving your fitness goals and a healthy life, or you can look at it as depriving yourself of foods you love. You will totally miss the fact that you will be trying new foods that you may just (and probably will!) enjoy even more. But it all depends on how you see things.
You can see your daily exercise time as something you “have” to do and drag yourself through it hating every moment. Or you can look forward to building a healthy habit into your lifestyle that will help you look and feel years younger. Your experience of it will be very different.
While what you eat and how active you are have a huge impact on your success or failure in getting to the healthy goal you’ve set, it ALL begins in your thinking.
And you are in control of that! That is very good news because very little seems to be within our control. Your filter is something only you can adjust. That makes you very powerful, maybe more than you ever realized, and has a direct impact on how you feel. So begin asking yourself what you see:
If you see an opportunity, you’re going to feel courageous and motivated. If you see progress, you’ll feel momentum. If you see a possibility, you will feel encouraged. If you see a gift, you’re going to feel gratitude.
So let me ask the question again: Which do you think is harder – losing weight or keeping it off?
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