Developing Mental Toughness
For Permanent Weight Loss
Dr. Jeffrey Banas
Losing weight and keeping it off is much more than eating
right and exercising hard. In order to lose weight and keep
it off, especially in today's stressful society, you must
be mentally tough.
Every day we are surrounded with people and food temptations
that will try to sabotage your effort to lose weight. This
is why losing weight is so difficult and depressing. There
are so many diets and exercise programs out there; however,
none of them will ever work for you not mentally ready to
change your life.
If you have been unable to lose weight, chances are, you were
not mentally tough enough. Why believe me? Because, I am a
Doctor and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist?
That is one good reason. But more importantly, I have been
there. I struggled with my own weight issues for years. However,
in 2002 I personally lost over 60 pounds and I have been able
to keep the weight off for over three years now.
Tony Robbins said, "If you want to succeed in any aspect of
life, find someone who has already succeeded in that area,
and do what they did to get there." Here are some mental techniques
I used which ultimately helped me to finally lose weight and
keep it off. I am confident that if you apply these techniques,
you too will succeed in your quest to lose weight.
Write down your goals.
I know you have heard this over and over, and over. But did
you every actually do it? If you want to really change your
life and lose the weight, this time, write down your goals.
In fact, lets take it a little farther. I am sure this is
not your first attempt to lose weight. I am sure you tried
some other program or "diet" before and for some reason it
did not work. The first thing I want to say is, "good job".
Not good job for failing in the past, good job for trying
again. This is a little off the subject, and we will get into
this more later. However, anyone who has successfully lost
weight and kept it off failed on some other program. The difference
is, they never gave up. So, good job on continuing your quest
to lose weight. I know you can do it.
Now back to your goals. I want you to write down why you failed
in your past attempts to lose weight. Did you lack time, motivation,
direction, what was it? Now write down all the negative things
about your life, which are related to your weight. What will
your life be like if you do not lose the weight and keep living
the way you are living. Are you missing out truly enjoying
life because of your weight? My kids wanted me to play with
them in the pool at their year-end little league pool parties.
Do you think I wanted all those parents to see big old gut?
No way! I let my kids down. They did not care that I was fat.
They just wanted to play with their dad in the pool. I let
my kids down and missed out on enjoying my kids. What about
you? If you keep living the way you are living, what will
you miss out on?
Write down all the bad things that are associated with your
weight. Are you missing out on relationships? Are you worried
about your health? Are you worried about dying early? Do you
want to see your children get married? To be perfectly honest,
obesity is currently the second leading cause of preventable
death in the United States, just behind smoking. If you are
overweight, you have a very good chance of dying earlier than
you should. Write this stuff down. The goal here is to make
yourself feel bad, real bad.
Do you remember when you were a school kid and the teacher
gave you a homework assignment that was due in a week? How
many of you ran home and finished the assignment on the first
day? Ok, a few of you probably did. However, if you were like
me, I waited until the last minute to do the assignment. Why?
Why did I wait until the last minute? Because I associated
more "pain" with the process of doing the assignment than
the "pleasure" I would get from knowing I had finished it.
That is, until the night (or morning) before it is due. Now,
the assignment is due in a few hours and all I can think about
is the "pains" that will come if I do not get it done. I will
fail, my parents will get mad at me, I will get grounded and
not be able to play with my friends. So what do we do? We
do the damn homework, even though it causes us pain.
This might sound a little harsh, but the only reason you have
not lost weight is because you associate more "pain" with
the process of losing weight than the "pleasure" you will
get with losing weight. When you eat that doughnut you are
thinking about how good it pleasures your taste but instead
of thinking that you just added another 200 extra calories
that you did not need which will cause you to gain more weight,
which will make you fatter, unattractive, more likely to have
a cardiovascular disease, which will cause you to die earlier,
missing out on so much. Harsh, but true.
Now write down three month goals, six months goals, and one
year goals. Be realistic. Think about losing two pounds a
week as a goal. Put these goals somewhere you can read on
a daily basis.
Visualize your goals.
Everyday, especially when exercising, visualize the body you
want and the person you want to be. Picture the new you in
your mind. See your new body. Visualize what that person will
be like, how will losing all that weight change your life.
How will that person act? Now, be that person. Act as if you
had already reached your goals. When a situation comes up
that might adversely affect your weight loss program, such
as blowing off your exercise routine, or that tempting doughnut
at work, stop. Visualize the person you're trying to become.
Now be that person. What would that person do in this situation,
now be that person. "Hold an image of the life you want, and
that image will become fact." Come up with a motivation phrase.
This is a continuation of above. In addition to visualizing
your goals, come up with a phrase that states what you are
striving for, and speak it out loud when doing your exercises.
Some of the phrases I used when I was losing my weight were,
"Every day I am getting fitter, healthier, stronger." If you
say this over and over, and you are not what you are speaking,
your mind will sense a mismatch and then have to adjust to
make the connection.
Start the morning moving.
You will get more benefit from getting up fifteen minutes
earlier and going for a brisk walk or light jog than you would
get from sleeping an extra fifteen minutes. When you are doing
this visualize your goals, and say your motivational phrase
out load. This is a fantastic way to start your day. You will
be more awake, more energized, and focused for the rest of
Sign up for an event.
Studies have shown that about 50% of Americans who begin an
exercise program eventually quit. However, the study showed
that when the subjects had a goal of participating in an event,
a 5K run, a triathlon, a charity walk, improved compliance
with the exercise program, and only 20% of the subjects dropped
out. Having goals helps. So, look for an event in your area.
A 5K run or a charity walk for breast cancer is great events
to train for. Instead of constantly thinking you are exercising
just to lose weight, you are training for the event that is
a few months away. This is what I did. I signed up for a short
triathlon. Since I was not going back out of it after signing
up, it motivated me to continue my exercise program. After
I completed my first triathlon, I set a new goal. I signed
up for another triathlon that was longer. I never got bored
and my exercise program never got stale. This was because
I always had an event goal. Also, do not think that you have
to be in great shape already to participate in the event.
As you will see, there are a lot of people simply walking
these events. Find a partner, and just do it.
Hire a wellness coach.
You hire a CPA to help you with your taxes. You hire an attorney
to help you with legal issues. You hire a real estate agent
to help you buy a house. But, what do most people do when
they want to lose weight? They buy a book and try to do it
by themselves. I already mentioned that obesity is a killer,
and you already know how difficult it is to lose weight, so
hire a professional. But what is a professional? Sure you
can go down to your local gym and hire a personal trainer,
but what makes them a professional? Just because someone may
have played high school football, does not mean they help
you with losing weight.
Obesity is a disease, and you need to treat it as a disease.
So hire someone who can order blood test, work with you mentally
on changing your habits. Hire someone who can develop an exercise
and nutrition program specifically to your needs and abilities.
A wellness coach will be with you through the good and the
You are the only person you can count on.
What? I tell you to hire a wellness coach, and then I tell
you that YOU are the only person you can count on? Hear me
I want to exercise, BUT I have no time. I did not want to
eat those potato chips, BUT there was nothing else to eat.
People who use a lot of "BUTS" usually have a big one.
The weight loss program I run at my office works. When my
patients come to my office, I can tell them what types of
exercises I want them to do for today's session, and I can
review their nutrition and give them ideas on how they can
do better. However, when they leave my office it is up to
them. What is there to stop them from picking up a hamburger
on the way home? Nothing. Just themselves. This is why you
need to not just follow an exercise program, and not just
try to follow the latest fad diet out there. You need to focus
on changing the bad habits that caused you to gain weight
in the first place and replace them with new ones.
Be honest for a minute. You tried a weight loss program in
the past and it did not work, right? Did the program really
fail, or did you fail the program? Lets face it. If you develop
diabetes or have a heart attack because you are overweight,
who are you going to blame? Are you going to blame McDonalds,
because they did not tell you that a bacon double cheeseburger
might not be good for you? Are you going to blame your trainer,
because they did not make you exercise hard enough? Are you
going to blame your parents, because "it is in the genes"?
Obesity runs in our family. At some point you need to take
responsibility for your own health.
If you fail to lose weight it is because, more than likely,
you did not do what you were supposed to. However, the opposite
is also true. At my office I have seen my patients lose twenty,
fifty pounds or more. I have seen first hand how this can
totally change their life. I have seen their relationships
improve. I have seen them gain more self-confidence. I have
seen them do better at work and make more money. I have seen
them become a much more happy person. And, they thank me for
it. Every day someone thanks me for helping him or her finally
lose weight. I am grateful for the thanks. I tell them, I
gave you the path and the knowledge on how to exercise and
how to understand nutrition, but you are the reason you lost
weight. I helped, but you did it. You are the only true person
you can count on.
It's all about Attitude
If you have been trying unsuccessfully to lose weight for
some time, you might need to change your attitude. Take a
minute and think back over the past years. How did you approach
the weight loss program? Were you reluctant? Were you skeptical?
Did you really think this was the one, the program that would
finally work, or did you have doubts and think that you would
"If you continue to think the way you've always thought, then
you will continue to get what you always got".
If you think you will fail you will. If you know you will
succeed you will. Charles Swindoll said…
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude
on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It
is more important than the past, than education, than money,
than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what
other people think or say or do. It is more important than
appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a
company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is that we have
a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for
that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact
that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the
inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string
we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life
is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so
it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes".
That says it all. When I was losing weight, I read this daily.
When I did not feel like exercising I would read this. When
I weighed myself and thought about giving up because I did
not lose any weight, I read this. I now give it to all of
my patients on their first visit.
Never Give Up.
Never Give Up, Never, Never Give Up, Never Ever Give Up, Never
Give UP! That's right, the secret key to losing weight is
not a new fad diet, it's not a new medication, it's not gimmick
supplements, it is A STATE OF MIND!
Lets face it. You tried to lose weight in the past, and you
failed. So what! The key is what do you do now. Do you give
up, or do you start again. Anyone and everyone who has successfully
lost weight and kept it off had failed in the past. However,
the reason they were finally able to lose the weight was because
they never gave up.
I know how hard and frustrating it can be, but never give
up. If you have a bad day and eat a bunch fattening junk,
so what, forget about it. Just do not give up, never.
Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except
what you're going to do now and do it. Just start a new day
and never give up. If you tried to lose weight, and did not
work, try something different.
JUST NEVER GIVE UP!
"Have you ever considered the cost of quitting? For real eye
opener…ask Thomas Edison...Steve Jobs…Michael Jordan…or Sylvester
Stallone. Ask them how much it would have cost them if they
had quit. What about you?"
Dr. Jeffrey Banas is a Sports Chiropractor, Certified
Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and a member of the
2005 Amino Vital Triathlon Team. Dr. Banas personally lost
sixty pounds in 2002 and now uses his experience to help others
lose weight. He can be contacted at his office in Gilbert,
AZ at 480-633-6837, or at his website at www.sportstraining-weightloss.com.
Article Source: www.healthguidance.org