Here's an article I wrote a couple of years back.  I recently found in the computer and thought I'd share it with you.

If you’ve ever experienced a failed attempt at weight loss you know the frustration that comes with it.  You're in good company.  In a country where more than 2/3 of the population is either overweight or obese, and where as many as 80% are trying to lose weight at any given time, I think it’s time for a mindset shift. 

Americans attribute their excess poundage to stress, lack of time, the “fast food” industry, kids, medical conditions … I could go on, but you get the idea.  The point is that all of these circumstances are limiting us, not physically, but mentally.  I can’t put the entire on us the individuals experiencing these mental limitations.  Some of the responsibility belongs to companies that sell weight loss “solutions” with clever (and sometimes not entirely truthful) marketing campaigns.  Some of it belongs to the news media, who in order to relate to their viewers, listeners, or readers, perpetuate myths about losing weight.  Some of it belongs to people you know, who perpetuate those same myths as the media outlets. 

Americans attribute their excess poundage to stress, lack of time, the fast food industry, kids, medical conditions... But what about the mindset we're all being convinced of that weight loss is supposed to be simple and painless and easy?

With the possible exception of some of the less scrupulous marketers, I would say that nobody from the above list is doing it purposely, but they are all sending false messages to your mind.  Messages like:

  • Weight loss should be quick and easy.
  • I’ll never be able to lose weight.
  • If I can’t lose weight, there must be something wrong with me.
  • I have a slow metabolism (and the bonus: I hate people with fast metabolisms.)
  • The solution is in a … (pill, gadget, medical procedure, etc.)
  • Diets are too restrictive.
  • Exercise is too strenuous.
  • I don’t have time to exercise.

These are the beliefs that we, as a culture, have formed from a lifetime of passing along inadvertent messages to one another.  For example, following a segment where a trainer leads a reporter through a workout, the news anchor says something like, “Wow, that sure looks like hard work!”  To which the story reporter can only respond, “Yeah, Bob.  It was a tough workout.”  This, of course, is followed by a commercial for the latest lap band procedure.  What’s the message?  “Exercise is hard … get surgery!” 

We are inundated with these messages day in and day out, creating the cultural mindset of: “I know I should exercise and eat right, but I just can’t, and I really don’t want to.”

 

The truth is that honest-to-goodness fitness results come from honest-to-goodness hard work. 

You have to become obsessed for a short time.  You will know when you’re on the right track when family, friends, and acquaintances start making fun of you or trying to talk you out of working so hard.  You have to reach a point where you’re so tired of being disgusted at your current situation that you finally decide to take control (by force, if necessary) of your life.

I mentioned earlier that I can’t put the entire onus on you, but that doesn’t absolve you of all responsibility.  Some may read this and think, “Well, what’s the use?  I have no control over the messages.”  That line of thinking couldn’t be more wrong.  You are solely in charge of your thoughts.  You are in control over what messages you let get through your mental filter.

So now that this line of flawed thinking has been brought to light, what can you do with it? 

For starters, I need you to make up your mind right now to take 100% control of your life and 100% responsibility for what happens to you.  The alternative is to continue on you present path, letting everybody else make up your mind for you. 

If you choose the road I suggest, you can regain control of your mind and your body and gradually gain some headway toward your goal.  If you choose the latter option, you will continue to be influenced by the wrong sources and your level of health will continue declining at an increasingly alarming rate.