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Fatloser Day 19: Taking Inventory of Core Beliefs

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's hard to imagine a more practical and useful piece of advice than Siebold offers today. He says, if your beliefs are standing in the way of your success with losing weight (or anything else) then:

1. take an inventory of your core beliefs;
2. turn each of these beliefs around and reframe it as its opposite;
3. repeat the new belief (even if you don't believe it at first) until it's absorbed by the conscious and the unconscious minds, just like learning a new language.

What would I have to believe in order to succeed at losing weight? The belief precedes the action, so if I change the belief I'll change the action.

Siebold gives us a list of 10 core beliefs he had when he was fat. Dieting equals pain; dieting is short term; I can lose weight without a formal diet; diets don't work; diets make me unhappy because I can't eat what I want; diets deny me pleasure; dieting means I can't eat in restaurants; diets are too much work; diets involve extreme discipline; the pleasure of fitness is not worth the pain of dieting. He says he had a whole lot more,

Then he deliberately "replaced" each of these core beliefs: Dieting equals the pleasure of being successful, energetic and happy with his body; dieting is long term success; dieting just means following a successful system; diets work perfectly so long as I stick to it; I can develop new favourite foods that are on my diet; dieting is pleasurable because I like feeling fit and looking great and being successful; I can eat in a restaurant so long as I prepare in advance; being fat is too much work, it weights on me all day long every day; dieting is a light discipline which returns disproportionate rewards including looking terrific all the time; the pleasure of fitness is worth any price I have to pay because without my health I have nothing.

He didn't believe these new beliefs at first. He felt like a phony repeating them over and over, learning the new language of the new beliefs. But with adoption of the new beliefs came changes in behaviour, changes in results, and genuine belief. Most people quit too soon: small changes in behaviour take maybe 3-4 weeks, and major changes in behaviour following deliberate replacement of old core beliefs with new ones may take a year or more. But with persistence, the reiteration of the new core beliefs does create permanent change in behaviour and in results. It's a simple process but it takes time and it takes patience.

Siebold bases this approach on years of interviews. He asked 500 fit people about their core beliefs and then he copied them. (He did the same thing for rich people; and for people with good relationships/marriages; and for people who are good parents.)

Is he right? What do I have to lose by trying it, by copying the success of others?

I was stunned to check the difference between my answers to the homework questions from last time I took the fatloser course and this time.

Last time, my strongest beliefs about dieting and exercise included: I don't like dieting; dieting means that I can't eat what I like(chips and French fries); dieting is a lot of work; I don't like to exercise; exercise hurts etc. etc. And: at that time I'd already lost the weight. I was in maintenance.

This time? And, nope, I didn't peek in advance. But I had very different responses. Diets work. My diet is permanent. I like the food I get to eat on my diet. Exercise feels great every time even if I didn't want to exercise. And so on.

Replacing core beliefs sure does take time and patience. And the old beliefs will creep back unconsciously if I permit them. But taking an inventory of core beliefs from time to time seems to me a terrific maintenance tool. And taking this fatlosers course over again (for the third or fourth time) has given me a chance to do that.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NANCY-
    It is nice to revisit our core-beliefs. You are one amazing lady. I love how you are following your helpful beliefs. It is incredible tht how we think can make such a difference,
    1609 days ago
    When I did this exercise about my core beliefs I really surprised myself. I was not conscously aware of what they had been. And it turns out they were not good They worked against my successful weight loss.
    This exercise, more than anything, helped me to see the positive changes I have made since joining SP four years ago.
    1610 days ago
    Going to extra homework on this topic of the day! Thanks for sharing.
    I have so enjoyed following your Seibold blogs.
    1611 days ago
    Not much else to say but... emoticon

    Taking responsibility, is taking control of your life. Living in a state of denial isn't really living at all. This is so much "bigger" than losing weight.
    1612 days ago
    Thanks for your synopsis... I'm behind you (on Day #10) and reading your previous entries help recap for me. Coach Steve may not be everyone's emoticon but he gets through to me. I think he's making a dent in my lifelong habits.
    1612 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/23/2014 9:42:15 AM
    Oh my gosh, yes! We sometimes DO have to fake it when it comes to developing new habits/lifestyles until we DO come to believe it. In the meantime, we have to behave as if we believe it!

    1612 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    We are all learning!
    1612 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    We are all learning!
    1612 days ago
    Great progress! Isn't this fun? Spark on!
    1612 days ago
    Powerful stuff! Prolly has a LOT to do with my lack of permanent success.
    1612 days ago
    I failed to maintain 3 of the 4 times I lost the weight because I believed "dieting is short-term" and acted on that belief. I know better now. I agree that reviewing your core beliefs from time to time is a valuable tool of maintenance! Old beliefs can creep back in without "eternal vigilance." I'm glad we remind each other of things to check!
    1612 days ago
    I really love this edition of Fatloser. Replacing core beliefs is essential to having success.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1612 days ago
    great blog - very true - there many times in my life that I needed to focus on core beliefs to over come a situation . Change your thoughts , change your outcome .
    1612 days ago
    I think this is maybe the most powerful of all the lessons. It is always interesting the way you not only summarize the lesson, but show how it applies to you as an individual. Great stuff!
    1613 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Since listening to Siebold, I have started actively reframing thoughts aloud to the amusement of some people. When I catch myself with a not-so-positive verbal statement, I will say something along the lines of 'oops, let me rephrase that . . .'

    Self-esteem issues have been addressed with a Cognitive Behavior Specialist at a Chronic Pain Management problem. A beginning phrase I need to get back to using often, is

    . . . I AM WORTHY (fill in blank, i.e., of shopping at Whole Foods for organic, wholesome foods)

    Yesterday my 'Die Fat or Get Tough' book arrived. I haven't had a chance to look at it but plan to read a few chapters a day as he recommended in an earlier video.

    1613 days ago
    1613 days ago
    I like this, especially how you achieved maintenance and hung in there with those negative beliefs intact.
    I'm very grateful to you fr going through this with us all on your blog. Thanks, Ellen.
    1613 days ago
    I so agree! I love self care. It's easy to care for myself. Feeling well is the ultimate boost!
    1613 days ago
  • _LINDA
    This was so very interesting comparing your core beliefs from last time and this time. If you believe long enough you will become it. Like visualization for a lifetime.
    It makes perfect sense to copy those who have had success.
    Chips and chocolate are still my stumbling block. I love my fruits and veggies and have them in abundance, but I still love to have those others :P
    1613 days ago
    Awesome blog! Congratulations on day 19! You rock girl!
    1613 days ago
    Great blog! Yes, reframing our core beliefs is critical. One of my favorite reframes has to do with diet-
    Diet is not a verb. Diet is not a temporary intervention. Diet refers to what, when, where, how and why I eat. There are no "bad" foods, just poor choices.
    On exercise-I don't have time....well, the truth is, I can choose to make time on any given day-opportunities abound.
    Yes, reframing is very therapeutic-thanks for the reminder!!
    1613 days ago
    Reframing is such a powerful tool and one that so many people seem to forget about, me included! Thanks for the reminder. Great blog. Day 19 already? How did that happen.
    1613 days ago
    Excellent! I too am replacing core beliefs and am finally "getting" that this is a permanent way of life for me. NOT A DIET.

    My changes:

    Making healthy meals is a bother...Planning healthy meals is easy if I have healthy foods in the house.

    Tracking takes too much time...tracking is quick if I do it as I go along.

    Exercise hurts...exercise makes me feel powerful and strong.

    Fruit is a poor replacement for the stuff I can't eat...fruit is delicious and satisfying.

    I can't lose weight...I can lose weight if I am patient and do what I know works.

    Thanks for sharing your takes on Seibold's videos. It's great to have a summary without having to actually watch him! ha ha
    1613 days ago
    YES! Have been doing this in a variety of ways since my re-set!

    Here are a few of my changes in core beliefs:

    Numbers are bad...numbers are GOOD

    Tracking is bad...tracking is GOOD

    Workout to burn those calories...workout to enjoy my body

    epting, self-valuing

    I can’t control my food choices…I am in charge of my food choices

    Plus I have locked in a morning meditative pattern which includes other vital new "lessons" which I am planting for myself.

    1613 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/22/2014 10:04:14 AM
    I am definitely going to work on this area.
    For some reason, despite what a generally optimistic person I am, I find myself thinking some variation of "I can't lose wt".

    1613 days ago
    I could definitely see how my beliefs about diet and exercise are changing. They are much more postive and "thin-thinking". Still have some work to do, though.

    I'm going miss the program when we are done on Saturday.
    1613 days ago
  • KANOE10
    That was an amazing blog. Some of his beliefs resounded with me. " Being fat weights on me all day long every day." This is so true. You really are conscious of your weight everyday, all day long. This is an excellent reason to stay thin.
    "the pleasure of fitness is worth any price I have to pay because without my health I have nothing. " This is also well said and very true.

    There are core beliefs that I still need to work on that need replacing. Old beliefs can creep back. I am going to work on this.

    Thanks for sharing a blog with a powerful message. It is not easy but necessary. I also like the way he says to keep saying them, even if you do not believe them at first.
    1613 days ago
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