There’s an aspect to losing weight – or achieving *anything* for that matter – that has to do with mindset. We all have the potential for greatness, but so many of us fall short of our potential.
Why is that?
I think it starts with personal responsibility. Yep – you’d like to lose the weight but you have a lot of problems, ya know? You’re busy, don’t have time to cook low carb, there’s too many cakes and cookies in the house, you can’t resist the bagels in the lunch room at work, etc, etc, etc.
Excuses. These are my excuses, by the way. I lost the weight, and yet I’m no superhuman. You might share the same excuses, or have your own, but they are excuses.
OK. The first inclination that most people turn to is beating themselves up – ‘I’m weak, I have no willpower, I’m helpless, it’s hopeless, etc.’ Great. Your fat and miserable, and then you tell yourself a bunch of garbage that does nothing but weaken you further. If you had another person in your life talk to you like this, you’d probably get a restraining order against them, but you tell yourself this dreck over and over and over.
The first thing to realize is that your thoughts are not *you*. What the hell does that mean? It means that that internal chatter in your head are almost like recordings that pop up – it’s like a radio station that is being changed from channel to channel randomly. Some people refer to them as ‘brain farts’. They are usually junk that people told you as a child that your brain recorded, and your brain ‘helpfully’ pulls them out when you’re down to make you feel even worse.
Just knowing this fact is the beginning of you taking control of your own mind. And once you can control your mind, you can effect change in your life and lose the weight – and do just about anything you put your mind to.
Here’s another way to understand this: ask yourself ‘I wonder what will be the next thought I have?’ There was a moment in time before that thought occurred – that quiet in your head – that’s who you are.
Now that you know that your thoughts are not you, you can watch your thoughts as they bubble up from the swamp of your subconscious. It can become fun, really, to watch what your brain pulls out of the depths. You’re driving along, 45-years old, and your brain replays for you (in full-color, wide-screen Dolby audio) an embarrassing episode from when you were 9-years old and you go ‘where the hell did THAT come from?’
You still have these thoughts, but you don’t consider them all that important anymore. You have to think to get through the day, of course, you’ve just awoken to the fact that much of what you think is just junk and let it pass.
How do you know it’s junk? It’s not helpful. It makes you angry or sad. It saps you of energy. It leads you to the false conclusion that things are hopeless. It’s the same thought over and over and over and over. It’s real old – an insult or embarrassment from the dead past that has nothing to do with your present life.
With your new knowledge, you can catch yourself and snap out of it quicker. This doesn’t mean that these thoughts go away – it means that you ‘bounce back’ quicker.
To apply this to losing weight, you set a goal. Then you work toward it. When you fail, you just try again. when you fail again you just try yet another time, set another goal, try another approach. When the chatter tells you you’ll never do it, you realize it’s just a brain fart and try again.
Before going on my low carb diet in 2003 I probably tried 5o times to lose weight and failed. In fact, when I started the low carb diet, my wife said: “Why bother – you’ll just make yourself sick and go off it in a week.” This was the truth – it was the pattern I had gone through for 7 years.
I tried again anyway – and I lost the weight.
There’s a story about Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II. He was asked to give a graduation speech and was scheduled to talk for an hour. As the story goes, he stepped up to the podium and gave the following speech:
“Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”
Then he stepped down. The next day reporters asked him why he did this when he was scheduled to speak for an hour. and he told them that this was all the graduates needed to know.