The Most Under-Utilized Weight-Loss Tool
The Most Under-Utilized Weight-Loss Tool
By Aaron Gould, RN, CPT, NCI L2
In my 21 years as a professional person on this planet I have seen a lot of people struggle with health and weight issues. I was indeed one of those people, and I can tell you from my personal experience that when your health isn’t great, you are overweight, and trying to achieve fat-loss, that it is REALLY easy to fail. But why is it that? Why do people so often fail to reach their goals? It’s really pretty simple...they give up! And there are a million reasons for this!
In our world, stress and overwhelm are everywhere, and people are exhausted. Add to this mix a person who has low self-esteem due to body image issues, who isn’t feeling great due to chronic health conditions, and who has failed to lose weight multiple times in the past, and you can see clearly how they can develop massive overwhelm! And in the face of massive overwhelm, our minds and emotions become depressed and we turn to negativity. That negativity promotes discouragement, and when we are discouraged it becomes really easy to quit on ourselves.
So, how can we even give someone a fighting chance to succeed where so many fail? The answer is to work on developing a positive mindset. I believe it is the single least addressed part of a fitness journey, but really so important, because if the person’s mind is not in the right place, if they become easily discouraged and can’t let go of frustration or disappointment, it will be easy for them to want to quit at the first sign of perceived failure. Let me explain!
What happens, for example, when the mother of 2 young kids steps on the scale after a week of working out and trying to eat better and the scale hasn’t budged? Well, imagine her scenario...she probably doesn’t sleep well because the kids don’t sleep through the night, so she is tired. She is running around all day chasing a toddler and infant while trying to run the household and run her business, so she is very stressed. She is likely unhappy with her body image because she has gained weight after having the babies and not been able to get it off. And now she has made a good faith effort to eat better, and get a workout in everyday even though she is busy, stressed, and overwhelmed with no weight-loss to show for it. Well it’s not hard to imagine that after all that she is going to get discouraged!
If it continues for very long, discouragement is going to start to lead to self-doubt and then the internal stories start! “Can I do this?” “Maybe I’m just not meant to lose weight!” “I hate myself!” These and many other similar things could be running around in that head, and they take their toll. They cause anxiety, depression, worsening self-doubt, and lead right down into a negativity mindset. Once that negative energy is flowing, the future outlook for success looks bleak, and it becomes so easy to give up and just quit! Has this happened to you? I know I have certainly been a victim in the past!
So what do we do about it? Well, we need to develop a toolbox of things that we can use to combat that negativity at the source before it ever gets started. A few simple, but powerful things to do that can help are to find your “WHY,” and to learn how to reframe those stories in your head! Finding your “WHY” is important, because it becomes your reason for overcoming motivation issues and not quitting. Why do you want to get healthy and lose weight? What do you have to gain from reaching your goal? What happens if you don’t reach your goal? Really sit and ponder these things, and dig down below the surface to find the real reasons behind wanting to reach your goal. And I can tell you that reasons are more than wanting to look good at the beach! But you have to dig to find those reasons. Why do you want to look good? Do you feel bad about yourself because you have extra weight? Are you afraid you won’t be loved if you aren’t attractive? What is the big motivator that lies under the surface? If you can identify this in a powerful way you will have an important tool to use to help you keep going when you want to quit!
If you would like a tool to help you find your “WHY” click here: https://unbreakablehealthandfitness.click/freegift
Ok, so now that we have developed our “WHY,” how do we use it? Well, each time you get discouraged you can sit back and remember why you started this journey, remind yourself of how you will feel and what you will gain when you accomplish your goal. And also remind yourself of what you stand to lose if you don’t reach your goal. This should help reset you and keep you moving in the right direction!
But what about those stories in your head? You know, the voice inside that keeps telling you that “you just can’t do it!” How do we deal with that? Well, all those stories you are telling yourself need to be reframed, by which I mean, you need to give them a new ending. See, in most cases the inevitable outcome of the story that you are telling that says “I can’t do it,” or some other variation of that same story, has you feeling depressed, and defeated. When that happens the resolve to continue your journey starts to fade. We need to find a way to make these thoughts we are having play themselves out in a new way, a way in which we come out with the psychological edge.
So how do we do this? Well first you need to be aware of the story you are telling yourself, how it is impacting you, and how it is making you feel. If we use the example of a story such as “I just can’t lose weight,” we can safely say this makes us feel bad and is not heading us toward our goal. In fact it is really moving us further away because we become frustrated and feel like giving up. So how do we break out of this? Well, ask yourself if it’s really true that you can’t lose weight. I mean have you ever lost weight in your life? If you have, then the story you are telling yourself isn’t true and you can just remind yourself of that by saying “you know, it’s not necessarily true that I can’t lose weight because I have done it before.” Whatever version of the story you retell to yourself, make sure it is true, and make sure you remind yourself that you are heading in a positive direction. This steals the negativity away from the original story, keeps your mind positive, and keeps you headed in the right direction versus wanting to become discouraged and quit.
So, to recap, mindset, inside of health and fitness is extremely important, because most people just simply give up too soon. If we can train our mind to avoid negative stories and focus on the positive direction we are moving in we will not become discouraged by the ups and downs of the journey. And If we have our “WHY” firmly in place we can overcome any lack of motivation or frustration that threatens to derail our progress by reminding ourselves why we started in the first place.
If this resonates with you, or you have questions I can answer, I would love it if you would reach out to me at aaron@unbreakablehealthandfitness, or follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gouldaa or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aaronrunsfar/.
I look forward to connecting with you!
My name is Aaron Gould. I am a Registered Nurse, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach. I have 20 years of experience in healthcare, two college degrees, and countless hours of education garnered in the course of my career.
I also have been really sick with severe anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression that had me heavily medicated and stole my life for years. As a result of medication side effects and a sedentary lifestyle I became obese, weighing close to 300 pounds, and became severely deconditioned. I was fortunate to have survived this experience, and spent years working on my fitness, losing weight, and repairing my nutrition.
Currently, I have completely turned my life around! I enjoy trail running, and have completed multiple obstacle course races and ultra-marathons. My passion as a coach is working with people who have suffered major setbacks in their lives (such as obesity, medical problems, mental illness, injury, or other significant life stressors) to find their way back to health and wellness by providing them needed solutions to improve their Fitness, Nutrition, Mindset, and Lifestyle challenges.