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Dump that "For a Season" Mentality

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weight loss is hard.

Oh... I hear you, naysayer.
And I've read your comments and blogs and emails.

But let's be clear here.

Weight loss is, indeed, hard.

Don't believe me?

Then ask yourself this simple question:

Why is the weight loss industry generating BILLIONS of dollars in revenue if weight loss is so blasted easy?

Because it isn't easy.

Fact: Americans are fatter than ever.
Fact: Americans throw money at weight loss almost as badly as they throw money at crappy junk food.
Fact: Americans aren't particularly successful at losing weight and keeping it off.
Fact: Obesity is a problem at all age groups.
Fact: Americans are less active and more likely to sit on their backsides doing mindless things like "liking" things on Facebook than to actually DO something.

I can go on.

And you might not like my facts but that's too bad.

Facts are facts.

So we chase the dream - the dream of being losing the weight.
Sometimes we have some success.
Sometimes... well, not so much.

And we'll try just about anything.

My favorite example of grasping at straws...

The stupid juice fasting that people will do.
Even folks here on SparkPeople.

People will try anything.

And the real problem - the REAL PROBLEM - is that people have this "for a season" mentality.


Stop that ridiculous notion that you are dieting for a little while until you reach whatever goal you've set.
That is the mindset that will just end up in failure.

I had that mindset 8 times - EIGHT TIMES - over 25 years.
I can lose the heck out of some weight.
And I can put it all back on when I have that kind of mindset that says "if I just do the blah-blah-blah diet for six months I can cut the weight and then go back to eating the things I like."

Change your brain, people.

Change that line of thinking that you just need to "get things right" and then you can return to business as usual.

A young lady whose blogs I followed on here has that mindset.

I wish her no ill will whatsoever.
But I'll bet, as the saying goes, dollars to donuts that she's not going to be successful.
Not with her current mindset.

And I bet that if you have this "for a season" mindset you'll fail too.

Hear what I'm saying - I don't WANT you to fail so that I'm shown to be right here.
Heck, I'd rather see that you do, in fact, succeed. Honestly.

But if you keep thinking of this as "going on a diet" then... well, you can be pretty sure that you aren't going to be successful long term.

And long term is the ONLY term that matters in my mind.

SO WHAT if you lose five pounds or twenty pounds or fifty pounds.
It means NOTHING if you just put it right back on when you turn back to your old ways.

Again, I'm THRILLED when I read about your successes.
But if you think you can just follow whatever the new hotness is in dieting - Paleo or maybe Wheat Belly or Dr. Oz's diet or whatever... doesn't matter, really - and then revert back to eating like you did before when things get boring/unmanageable/tired on that diet....

well, you're going to fail.

Plain and simple.

Weight loss is hard and it requires commitment and dedication and hard work and it requires that you figure out how to control your food intake.

Because FOOD INTAKE is where you'll fail.

It won't be because you stop going to the gym.

Don't use THAT as your excuse.
"Oh I put the weight back on because I couldn't get to the gym."
"I gained the weight because Chuck's hours got cut at work and we couldn't afford the YMCA membership anymore."

That's a load of horse...umm... hockey.

If you put the weight back on it is because you cannot manage the food intake side.

Because if you MUST work out to keep your weight in check.
You are taking in TOO MANY CALORIES.


There's good news.

Did you know you are pretty strong?
I bet you don't know how strong you are, do you?

Well, most people don't.
We put ourselves in boxes that say "this is all I can be" and "I'm only this strong" and "I can't do anything more than this".
I've written about that before - about the box and how you need to get out of it.

You are strong enough to beat this thing and be successful in your weight loss.
You are strong enough to overcome that food craving.
You can control your food and eat to a net calorie target each day.

You just might not realize that yet.

Track your food - everything every day.

Until you are at a point where you KNOW how many calories you are eating, eyeballing it won't be sufficient.

It's WAY TOO EASY to overeat and underestimate.

Weight loss is hard but it IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE.

Remember that.

You don't have to be a statistic.
You don't have to throw good money after bad in an attempt to find the magic way to lose the weight.
Keep your money and learn to control your food.
Get you butt out of that chair and move around a bit.
And start DOING SOMETHING rather than sitting and staring at your TV, your computer, you iPad, your cell phone... whatever.
DO SOMETHING and start changing your life for the better.

Start living and you'll make progress.
Don't wait around to get motivated.
Fake it until you make it.
That's a secret to getting motivated.

I am SURE you can do this.
Heck, I don't even know you and I'm sure.

And hey...

Make it a great day!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BBECKER1955 3/29/2013 5:37PM

    "Change your brain", there's an interesting concept. I've lost my mind more than once, so there's no reason I shouldn't be able to change my brain.

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MOBYCARP 3/29/2013 4:54PM

    For a season . . .

Apples are for a season.

Oranges are for a season.

Strawberries are for a season.

Melons are for a season.

And by then, we're getting back to apples.

You know, I can make "for a season" work in weight maintenance.

I know, that's not the "for a season" you were talking about. ;)

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MY1FAN 3/29/2013 3:21PM

    So true. Great blog and I love your honesty.

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KARENCRANER 3/29/2013 10:40AM

    Amen to everything, and preach it, Sparkbrother! emoticon

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SUGAR0814 3/29/2013 10:07AM

    Tell it like it is! Thanks! emoticon

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CELIAMINER 3/29/2013 9:36AM

    Love the honesty in your blogs. I totally relate to the diet mentality, and as much as I love Dr. Oz, he also seems to promote too many gimmicks that keep people dieting instead of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

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GINGERHAWK 3/29/2013 9:10AM

  I can't tell you how many times I tried to 'diet' and failed in the long term. Not once did any of those earlier plans include consistent exercise and regular food tracking - no wonder I failed. Now I do both. After several months I'm still not able to 'eyeball' food and track every bite but maybe, just maybe, one day I'll get to that point.

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DEBRA0818 3/29/2013 8:49AM

    A wise person once said: weight control is 90% what you put in your mouth. Exercise is important, but the other side of the equation is where the action is. For sure!

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MESEATURTLE 3/29/2013 12:49AM


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DOVESEYES 3/29/2013 12:43AM

    Another 'in your face' blog I love these ---especially because I've aready stopped at that mindset and squashed it's power over me and moved on.

but I know you'll get to my 'mindset' really looking forward to that day...

emoticon emoticon

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BOOKAPHILE 3/29/2013 12:19AM

    I had that "for a season" mindset 3 of the 4 times I've lost the weight. This time I have not quit tracking food or exercise. I will balance the calories in & out to maintain only the pounds I want to keep!

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ADAPTOR 3/28/2013 11:38PM

    Nicely put. Not dressed up and disguised, rather say it like it is.

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MICKEYH 3/28/2013 11:32PM

    You are so right about food intake and our excuse... Let's get to the point and get busy ok?! emoticon emoticon

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