Saturday, March 10, 2012
Fatloser tells me (this was the day 19 lesson) that I probably have a whole lot of "core beliefs" about dieting. And that many of them might not even be conscious beliefs.
Here are a few typical and unconscious core beliefs about weight loss and dieting, according to Steve Siebold, the "mental toughness coach" on fatloser.com:
1. Dieting is painful.
2. Dieting is short term for weight loss, and then I can stop.
3. I can lose weight without focused dieting (without tracking . . . just "cutting back" is enough).
4. Diets don't work anyhow.
5. I'll be unhappy if I can't eat what I want when I want (and I shouldn't be unhappy. That would be unfair).
6. Dieting means I'll have to deny myself all my favourite foods (and that wouldn't be fair either. Other people can eat whatever they want . . . and I should be able to also).
7. Dieting will mean I can't eat in restaurants. (And I like eating in restaurants).
8. Dieting is too much work (and I don't want to do the work).
9. Dieting requires extreme discipline (and I shouldn't have to be self-disciplined).
10. The pleasure of being "fit" (or slim) is not worth the pain of dieting.
Any of these familiar once they're dragged out into the light of consciousness? They sure were, for me.
Siebold suggests that we quite deliberately adopt a new set of core beliefs to replace those old unconscious beliefs. Here are his suggestions:
1. Dieting is pleasurable because it makes me feel successful, energetic and in control of my body.
2. Dieting is long term, like sticking to a budget, and and that's good because it will keep me on track and successful.
3. Focusing on my diet (tracking, 100% compliance) means I'll be successful.
4. Diets work perfectly every time, so long as I follow the diet.
5. I can be happy (much happier) choosing foods that make me feel fit and healthy.
6. I can develop new favourite foods that make me feel fit and healthy.
7. I can prepare to eat in restaurants by deciding what I'll eat in advance that is in compliance with my diet.
8. Being fat is too much work because it weighs me down all day long and makes me feel miserable.
9. Dieting is only a light discipline but it has disproportionately high rewards: I'll feel great and look great and get big compliments!
10. The pleasure of fitness is worth any price I have to pay because without my health I have nothing.
Siebold tells us that these are, in fact, the core beliefs of people who are fit rather than fat. How does he know? He's interviewed over 500 fit people, and these 10 beliefs came up over and over again.
What if I just don't believe those new "beliefs?" No problem. I don't have to believe them, I just have to tell myself that I believe them. I just have to be smart enough to copy the beliefs that already work for people who are already fit and not fat. If I copy those beliefs, then the appropriate actions will follow. The results I want. Fitness not fatness. Because these are the beliefs I need to believe in order to be successful at weight loss. Changing the belief changes the action. It might feel kinda phony at first to tell myself I believe what I don't yet believe, but persistent repetition of the new core beliefs will make them mine.
I'm never going to live long enough to learn everything I need to know, but that's OK. Because I can just copy the beliefs of successful people, leverage their knowledge and borrow their experience. If I do that, I'll become successful too. At weight loss . . . and at other stuff as well.
What an intriguing idea: I don't have to believe my beliefs. At first. But these beliefs will become my beliefs. Through practice and persistence. The actions that follow. And the results then follow the actions.
I took off 80 pounds in 2001. From 230 to 150. With a few blips, I've kept them off . . . and lost 10 more. Consistently at 140 (and still would like to be a few pounds lighter, about 138).
What Siebold made me realize is: I HAVE changed my core beliefs.
1. Dieting actually is pleasurable. (Almost always: although I grumble occasionally!)
2. It's permanent.
3. I'm pretty consistently 100% compliant. Hardly ever over my calorie range.
4. This is working for me.
5. I'm happy to eat healthily (and hate the "food hangover" feeling of high fat or salty foods).
6. I now prefer (genuinely) vegetables and fruits in salads and soups, lean protein, healthy fats. (Don't ask me about potato chips, however).
7. Had lunch at a restaurant yesterday: decided in advance it would be salad and chose a great one: grilled veggies with a little goat cheese and Parmesan crisps. Mmmmmm. Black coffee. No bread, no butter. No cream soup to start. Just half a teaspoon of DH's pecan pie. Enough? Yes it was. Delicious, in fact. While the others at the table ate quite differently. No problem: they don't have my metabolism.
8. Love feeling lean all day long, moving easily and lightly through life.
9. Love the compliments! "Those pants look fantastic on you" (yesterday). Vanity, I know . . . but I'm less than honest if I don't admit that it's great to look as good as possible.
10. Got my third year all clear mammo results back last week and I'm anticipating a good check-in at the oncology clinic on Monday. My health is worth this, yes it is. Not that freedom from recurrence is ever guaranteed or that recurrence, if it happens, would be "my fault". But, I know that I'm doing everything I can with healthy diet and exercise . . . and that's all I can do. So: not panicking. Not worrying. And that's a good thing too.
Fatloser.com helped me realize what I already knew. What I've already learned. But without being conscious of it.
Fatloser.com is a stellar program. And once again, I recommend it.
Yeah, Day 20 was terrific too . . . and I'm sorry that tomorrow it's all over. But: I've made notes. And I may try some of the other Steve Siebold resources. Because what he's offering (free, mostly) is pretty valuable . . . or at least I'm thinking so.
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
A number of us here at SparkPeople are trying fatloser.com . . . with varying degrees of pleasure!
I'm a fan. Really.
Fatloser is about mental toughness, and it's bigger than losing weight . . . it's about controlling our thinking by monitoring our moods and emotions to effect change in every area of our lives.
Steve Siebold pulls no punches. He says that if I'm fat, it's my fault. But that although there is a big price to pay for becoming "fit", I also pay a huge price (a bigger price) if I'm fat. So I've got to expect to experience pain, doubt and turbulence . . . work through the "season of pain" . . . grow up and fix the problem. Diets are "linear", he says: do the work, get the result you want. End of story.
For me, this 21 day free fatloser program is as valuable as Susan Estrich's "Making the Case for Yourself", Judith S. Beck's "Diet Solution" (I've blogged about both of these) and even SparkPeople itself. The fatloser site has a whole range of other resources . . . some free, some not . . . but there is no hard sell.
He's essentially focusing on the most debilitating addiction of all . . . addiction to the approval of other people. Being a "people pleaser" is something we learn as children, and it leads many to a place of "fear and scarcity" where the consolations of excess food become problematic. What's the solution? We have to use our logical minds to make decisions, and our emotional minds as cheerleaders to sustain the motivation to carry out those decisions. Regardless of whether other people approve or not.
And many of us know: there is huge social pressure to eat unhealthily. Especially in a society where 66% are overweight or obese right now, 75% will be by 2020, and 90% by 2032.
The weight loss industry in North America generates some $68B a year in profits by persuading people that they need to buy special products or coaching or supportive services to lose weight. There is no profit to be made in telling people that they can do it themselves. But people do have within themselves the willpower to do it for themselves. At no cost. Make a decision, develop the mental toughness to stick to it: that's Siebold's prescription and he spells out just how to do it. And Siebold's own fatloser program is now FREE, although he used to sell it for close to $500 a person.
Overeating, Siebold says, is not an addiction. Obesity is not a disease. We don't need medical attention to deal with this issue. (He does make an exception for the tiny fraction of the population with an eating or psychological disorder). But most of us just need the mental toughness to stick with a diet. Eating too much high calorie food just because it tastes good is . . . a bad habit. A tough habit to break. But: not more than that. Hmmmm. Siebold even says that if I'm a bit hungry when I'm ready for bed, that would be an indication that I'm sticking to my diet. And I need to think about it that way.
This makes sense to me. And made me consider: the mental toughness I learn from fatloser.com has to be useful in so many other areas of life.
So: how can it be that most people drop out of fatloser at about day 4 or 5? That's what he says at day 17. Which really astonished me.
Although: I'm betting that quite a few of those who make it past day 5 will pack it in at day 13. Day 13 is when he talks about the topic (THAT topic) which is pretty much NEVER discussed in weight loss venues . . . which would include SparkPeople. So I won't either. Even though Siebold is absolutely persuasive about how important it is. Matter-of-factly. But inevitably it's an approach that a whole lot of folks just might find . . . um yeah. . . . a little bit excessively candid?
Not me. I made it past day 5. And day 13. I'm definitely sticking it out for the last four days, and I'll be sorry when it's over . . . I'm hoping to take a couple hours and review all of the videos sequentially when I'm done. It's my understanding that the emails will all self-destruct shortly thereafter: and fair enough. It's quite a gift to provide this program at no cost even for a "limited time only"!!
Sure, I can see fatloser could be kinda in your face for some people, even for a lot of people . . . but it's so evident that Siebold had no intention of offending. He is simply trying to explain, to set out, with clarity and forcefulness, an approach to weight loss and to life itself which he has found infinitely useful. And valuable.
We can take it! We're tough enough. He's sure of that.
I can. It's great stuff. And: I do recommend it.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
What a guy: the incomparable TUFFMUFFIN!!
He thinks he needs to lose 10 pounds before the start of golf season.
I think he looks pretty darn good.
But . . . it's how you feel. As we all know. And carrying 10 extra pounds plus golf clubs . . . maybe more than the ol' knees can tolerate.
The knees have been fixed three times with arthroscopy (how many legs is that??) and most recently, an injection of some kind of goop that's supposed to ease the crunchy joint . . . it was good enough that TUFFMUFFIN (aka DH), Charlie and I were able to ski together on Sunday!
First time this winter. Charlie did NOT want to get into the car, really dislikes the skis which pass-through the back seat from the trunk . . . wouldn't get in until we removed the skis, closed the pass through hatch. And then of course Charlie simply pretended that they WERE NOT THERE at all when we re-inserted them, gazing stoically out the back window all the way to the golf course. But, it was worth it. Funny that skis don't bother him attached to our feet. And funny how he realizes that standing in front of someone trying to ski downhill is not a good idea.
He was in his glory, running back and forth between the two of us, covering about three times the distance we did . . . too bad I couldn't have taken credit for HIS fitness minutes too! The track has been lengthened, the wax was just right, the chickadees were singing . . . and Charlie was equally unhappy about getting into the car with those terrible SKIS (no, they're not here, I'm not looking) to go home.
So: there's a fun picture of me and Charlie on TUFFMUFFIN's photos . . . and TUFFMUFFIN is also joining me with the fatloser.com series. And so far, making great strides in logging his nutrition.
I know this guy pretty darn well after 33 years of marriage. Am I betting he's going to take those 10 pounds off before golf season starts??? Yes I am. He WILL do it!
But: your support will certainly help. So thank you!!
Sunday, March 04, 2012
I know, I know. The word "diet" is not politically correct. Not here.
We're supposed to be all about "healthy eating" and "healthy lifestyle".
But the truth is, for me: dieting is permanent. I can't sugar coat it ( . . . too many calories, right??)
No choice, no choice, no choice.
I've gotta diet. For the rest of my life.
I've gotta track my calories. Every day. Meticulously. Because at least 80% of weight loss maintenance for me is about nutrition tracking. And that means 100% compliance with my diet. Really. If I aim for 90% compliance, and permit myself to "mess up" once a day, or three times a week -- and average just 100 calories a day "mess up factor" (which is nothing, no gross self-indulgence at all, maybe an extra apple) -- I'll put on 10 pounds a year. Compounding! Ten pounds this year, ten pounds next year, ten pounds every year thereafter . . . yeah.
I've gotta track my exercise. Even though that's less important for weight loss/weight loss maintenance it's vital for cardio health, muscle maintenance. And yeah, I know that muscle maintenance boosts metabolism, but not by much. But above all, exercise is vital for sustained self-discipline. It's vital to sustain my mood of optimism and exuberance. Exercise makes me feel good. That's the main reason it's important for me.
I am not naturally thin. If you hadn't known me in 2001 when I weighed 230 pounds, you might think I'm naturally thin. People tell me that I'm "lucky" to be thin.
But: I'm not. I cannot eat "naturally" unless I want to balloon up to 230 pounds again. Ten pounds at a time. Two hundred and thirty is probably my "natural" weight. Maybe even higher.
And at 230 pounds I'm still hungry. All the time. I can be hungry at 140 or hungry at 230. I'd rather be hungry at 140, savouring my hunger, savouring my size six black levi jeans I bought off the sale rack yesterday . . . for $9!!
"Dieting is permanent. I am not naturally thin. I must be eternally vigilant and avoid the temptations I cannot resist."
That's one of my Beck cards.
Do I like it? No, I don't.
Sigh. Oh well.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
On March 3?
Just outside my back door, in a sheltered spot, on a mild day.
(I added the picture . . . from the Internet: but yeah, mine do look just like this).
And I'll be having coffee in my snowdrop mug to celebrate!
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