So I'm wearing my Exercise Scientist hat today. And my Psychologist cardigan. And my steel-capped, ass-kicking boots. I may be blunt. Okay, I will be. But honest. Possibly politically incorrect. Okay, probably. Will possibly say what you don't want to hear. Feel free to look away now.
Hmm... still here, huh? Thrill-seeker. Crazy kid.
Even though I've spoken way too much for way too many years about getting in shape (in the course of my work) and I'm kinda over it, recent events (stuff in the media here in Australia and several random conversations) have compelled me to write this article.
It seems we're still missing the point when it comes to losing weight (effectively and permanently). If you, or someone you know, needs to lose weight, pay attention and/or pass this post along.
Conventional thinking tells us that losing weight is essentially a physiological process; lift this, run there, stretch that, get your heart rate up, decrease your calorie intake, no carbs after three (crapola) and increase your energy expenditure. Mostly good advice.
And traditional approaches (by the medical profession and the fitness industry) tell us that weight loss is essentially about three key variables; exercise, food, and lifestyle. Oh yeah, and more education. And to a point, they are right. But only to a point.
I'm here to tell you that while exercise, food, lifestyle, and education are indeed important variables in the process, without doubt, the biggest determinant of weight loss (or gain) is what's going on in that nine-pound (four kilo) thing sitting on the top of our shoulders. Yet the psychology of weight loss is rarely discussed (in any depth) by the 'experts'. And in my humble opinion, that's because many of them don't get it. "It" being the head stuff that goes with the body stuff.
If you have been, or are currently, overweight, then you absolutely know that losing weight is first and foremost a psychological and emotional process. I was a fatty (200lbs, 90kgs at fourteen) and when I got my head in the right place, my body followed. I thought different, chose different, and created different.
Q. What really determines weight loss (or gain)?
A. Attitude, thinking, self-control, mind-set, and ultimately, decisions.
We know what to do. But we don't do what we know. We've never been more educated. Yet we've never been fatter. We've never had more resources. And we've never made more excuses (heard them all). We've never had more reasons to lose weight. And we've never wasted more time.