Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Who You Calling a Fool About Weight Loss Success

Got an interesting comment on my post "Carbs Cause Obesity?" which was in response to a comment from a reader...since the first comment was anonymous and the 2nd was not, and given the difference in the tone in the two comments leads me to presume that they were from 2 different readers.

In this post, the reader, signed "Donnelly" questions the validity of mindset in weight loss success. While I think Donnelly could have been more polite in questioning my position, and it is quite obvious that s/he hasn't really read much of my blog by the statements, I wanted to respond because there is a very common misconception about losing weight and mindset out there. So here goes an explanation in brief...

Sure, what we put into our bodies and how much we move our bodies has an effect on our physical condition, including weight. However, it isn't simply math...different types of foods are used by our bodies in different ways so it is important that we eat a variety of healthy foods to fuel our brains, our muscles and the rest of our bodies.

Many of us know what we are supposed to eat...we know that eating too much saturated fat isn't great for our heart or our hips...we know that we should eat more fresh fruits and vegetables...we also know that we must get up and move our bodies if we want to be healthy...and yet we don't do it...and sometimes when we DO eat properly and move our bodies we STILL don't successfully lose weight. Why is that?

This is where mindset comes in. And contrary to what Donnelly thinks, this is not me "parroting back the propagandized misinformation that big Agra has indoctrinated you with"--this is my personal experience, having spent most of my life on a diet and not successfully losing weight, feeling bad about my body and myself, feeling like I was a personal failure because I wasn't a size 2 or 6 or 10...

I have found (and have written about in my book) that we will actually retain fat, even if we are doing things "right" if our mindset is such that we believe we are fat, believe we don't deserve to be healthy. On top of that, with this mindset we will find it harder to stick to our healthy choices; we will sabotage our own efforts. Our minds are incredibly powerful and they will do whatever necessary to prove the beliefs we hold strongest are true.

That is why diets don't work...they are short term solutions that address symptoms rather than taking on the REAL issue.

If you don't know that it is healthier to choose an apple over an ice cream cone, then it is important to educate yourself. But if you have struggled for years with your weight even though you know some nutritional basics (you don't have to be an expert, by the way!) then I believe there is an underlying EMOTIONAL component that you need to address.

On top of all this, we are hit with messages about how hard it is to lose weight, especially if you are over 40. We're told on a daily basis that we MUST be thin and at the same time that it is next to impossible to get there! That's just not right--and it isn't true, either!

We must look at what we are currently eating and WHY, and first work on changing our mindset not slashing calories or carbs or fat grams or slaving at the gym. If we don't change the FEELINGS behind the eating and understand why we want to lose weight then we will not keep it off, but we will be doomed to a roller coaster of dieting the rest of our lives until we finally give up.

I know how hard it is to change...but if we focus on changing our mindset about weight loss and learn to believe WE CAN LOSE WEIGHT no matter our past experience, our age, our genetics. I teach about this and know that by making SMALL changes we will get permanent results...but it starts with what you are putting in your MIND not your mouth!

Don't let people like Donnelly bully you into believing that you are a failure or a fool. We are not talking about "mindset alone"...but the truth is that mindset alone will get you a lot further on your weight loss journey to permanent results than any diet.

And if you don't believe that Donnelly, look up placebo effect and you will learn just how powerful the mind can be.


Danny said...

Great article. You made many great points throughout. Exercise is easy, and dieting is seen as a short term solution.

I think this is what you were trying to say, and that is, dieting and exercise is all about lifestyle and the choices you make.

Again, great article

Danny Lupiani

LesleyFW said...

'Donnelly' can have his/her own opinion (which I choose to ignore) on your well thought out principles of healthy weight loss practice. I have only praise for your common sense advice helping toward the slimmer/healthier body I am slowly developing.

Laurie Tossy said...

Thanks Danny and Lesley for your thoughts and kind words. Truly we can all achieve improved health through the choices we make and starting with the thoughts we choose to foster in our heads.

To our healthy, energetic, slender bodies--we all deserve them!