There’s a million weight loss blogs on the internet. Fact. There’s hundreds of diet books on sale throughout the world. Fact. Gorgeous personal trainers and online fitness personalities are a dime a dozen. Fact.
Yet despite some pretty significant advances in science and an enhanced understanding of exercise and nutrition, not much has really changed in the weight loss and fitness space. Sure, we create new buzz words, we repackage old concepts and put flashy new graphics and titles next to them, but really not much has changed.
We live in a culture that values a pretty smile and the illusion of a perfect physique. We like instant gratification, and living inside someone else’s manufactured Instagram feed. And we love being told what we want to hear. Sometimes these words contain an ounce of truth, but there’s an ever-present fear of causing offence, losing fans and declining sales.
Fuck that, it doesn’t work. This post might lose me some fans and cause offence, I don’t really care because someone has gotta tell you the truth. This post is for all of you in pursuit of weight loss and health but aren’t prepared to face up to your own truth – Why you’re not losing weight.
The Brutally Honest Truth About Why You’re Not Losing Weight
Note: I’m not perfect, I can write about these because at some point I’ve been guilty of every single one of them. I don’t list them to make you feel guilty, it’s about recognising these behaviours and moving on from them.
A lot of people ask me about weight loss. Fair enough, I lost weight and I write about weight loss. I kinda saw it coming. People want to know how I did it. Fair enough, we don’t know what we don’t know and we all need a little guidance. In these conversations, I reckon I can gauge pretty well who will actually come out the other side and go on to achieve their goals.
If you can demonstrate some insight into the choices you’ve made and accept some responsibility for those choices. You win. Sooner or later you’re gonna make it!
If, on the other hand, you’re comfortable blaming everything and everyone else. You’re probably not ready.
Excuses are easy, acceptance and accountability is hard.
No-one else is responsible for the choices you’ve made, or where you find yourself today. You’re a grown ass adult – you’re responsible for yourself and the decisions you make. It’s your life, now own it!
When you can make that leap, you’ll have come a hell of a long way to achieving your goals.
Weight loss is not a hire-purchase. You’re not gonna make 12 monthly payments and then own it for life. Long term health and sustained weight loss simply doesn’t come with an end date!
Setting an end date implies that whatever healthy habits and activities you’ve started will suddenly stop. So, what, you return to your old unhealthy habits? You know these habits and you know where they’ll take you.
There is no finish line, there is only now. Setting an end date is a dangerous mindset, it’s a dieting mindset! It shifts your focus to the finish line and robs you of this moment right now. Instead, you look into the future, dream about a better life but never think about what you can do today, what you can do right now.
If you’re planning an end date, then you’re clearly not planning on making permanent changes and without permanent changes you’re not in this for life.
If you’re planning an end date, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
1. an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.
Chocolate bars, bags of chips, lollies, a few wines, beers and takeaways. They all give you great pleasure but are they really a treat? Are they out of the ordinary? If the answer is no, then they’re not a treat, they’ve become habit, see:
1. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
I’m not saying you have to give these things up entirely but if you’ve convinced yourself these things are a treat, you’re kidding yourself.
60 years ago you might have a bag of lollies a couple of times a year and the only time you saw cake was on your birthday. That’s a treat! You savoured it, looked forward to it and remembered it. Today the world is a different place – cakes, lollies, chocolate and takeaways are an everyday thing. You’re exposed to them EVERY SINGLE DAY. They aren’t treats anymore – they’re not out of the ordinary. They’re a decision you make, they’re habits that you’ve formed.
Remember, by definition a treat is something out of the ordinary. So if it’s something you have regularly, it simply isn’t a treat!
Do you have to give these things up? Hell no! I love chocolate, cake, lollies and takeaways. Do I still eat them? Hell yes! But I’ve learned to turn these things into a treat, rather than a daily occurrence.
Fitness evangelists and other people that like to post photos of themselves wearing bugger all clothes will tell you it comes down to sacrifice and commitment. And for them it does. You will need to sacrifice a lot if your goal is 10% body fat, rippling abs and head-to-toe muscle definition.
If on the other hand your goal is to lose weight and gain health, sacrifice and commitment are hugely overrated and in my opinion, a little bit bullshit. You can still have treats but you’ll need to unlearn old habits and form some new, healthy ones in their place.
We live in an age of instant information and instant gratification. When we want something, we want it now. I get that, I’m like that too. Hell, my hire purchase history will tell you I’m exactly like that! Credit cards and the internet, drive through takeaways and delivery pizza. The world has made it pretty bloody easy for us to have the things we want right now.
That’s why diets are so appealing to us –
- 12 Week Bikini Body Breakthrough
- 30 Day Fat Blasting Workout
- Lose 10kg in 2 Weeks
They all promise to deliver what we want in short period of time.
Question: How long has it taken you to gain the weight you want to lose? 12 weeks? 30 days? 2 weeks?
None of the above?
It snuck up on you over time, right? Over months and years you slowly formed a series of unhealthy habits (probably without even noticing) that led to an extra belt notch here, a slightly larger shirt there. Now you’re a much larger version of yourself, sporting an entirely different wardrobe.
You decided to make a change. Great! But there is no quick solution here, there is no instant gratification on this mission. The same way you put weight on, is the same way it’s gonna come off – over time healthier habits will lead to a belt notch tighter here and a slightly smaller shirt there.
Sure, you can get results in 30 days. Will they last for the next 10 years? Probably not.
There is no quick solution for a long term problem.
You’re worried about what people will think of you. You’re worried about how hard it is, or how hard it’s going to be. You’re worried about how long it will take. You’re focussing on all the things you think you’ll have to give up and you’ve got a long list of reasons why you can’t lose weight, get fit and be healthy. I get that, but the toughest battles are often fought in our own heads – allowing ourselves to believe we’re worth it, capable of it and understanding that we’re all stronger than we know. These can be the biggest hurdles.
We’ve all got problems. Life is hard and we’ll always have problems. These things don’t define us and we shouldn’t let them stand in the way of what we want to achieve.
Bruce Lee once said: “ As you think, so shall you become.”
I believe this. I believe you are capable of amazing things and you’re stronger than you know. But you’ve gotta buy into it, you’ve gotta get out of your own way and believe you are capable of success and worthy of it too.
I’m not about to go all self help guru on you but your attitude is important – stop convincing yourself you can’t and start telling yourself you can!