Do you want to loose weight so effortlessly, that you don't even know it's happening?
Would you like to live a happy life while you are at it ... and beyond?
How to make 'maintenance' a mere triviality?
If you, like me, have lost a significant amount of weight just to wake up one day and realize: all of it is back, it's okay to be doubtful.
- We all want to lose weight
- We all want to be happy
But - those two are being portrayed as being mutually exclusive: as if one has to choose one or the other. You can either be lean or be happy, but not both :) despite numerous examples around you: friends, neighbors, relatives ... ( living a reasonably happy life, while being naturally slim!)
I remember standing at my back yard after a very satisfying bike run in the summer of 2017 ... thinking what's next. And It was obvious it was time to lose weight ... finally and for good!
Now I had just spent five years of my life working on the "happiness" bucket. And I was not willing to throw it all away.
I knew how to lose weight fast. The mental side-effects involved having obsessive food thoughts almost every single minute of the day; intense hunger just after 30 minutes of eating to the degree of having to curl on the floor with both arms wrapped around the belly; and my social life sacrificed in the name of the 'scale'. In 2010 my birthday fell on a dieting cycle. Friends brought me a large green celery pierced with candles in lieu of a birthday cake: "because we all know you won't have a real one".
That's not how to live one's life! That is not a road to happiness.
It was not like I read free marketing stuff online, fumbled with one of seven major diets, and tried to do it on my own. Oh no, that was the lesson learned in 2002. I did things the proper way. I went to a diet clinic, and tried losing weight under a doctor's supervision. My first run happened in 2010. The result? Well, after dropping a whooping 80 lbs in four months, I had returned to the clinic in 2014, where I was given exactly the same food list, with exactly the same instructions, and exactly the same weekly mods. The long term result is an extremely miserable person, who spends most of his time fighting cravings, has zero energy and can't help but slowly gain all the weight back.
Side note: in the event you had failed a diet in the past due to lack of will power or discipline. Give yourself a break as we have achieved exactly the same result. In fact you did it faster :)
These were my thoughts standing at the back yard back in the summer of 2017. I wanted to be happy, to be healthy and to be slim, don't you?
Surprisingly, my starting position (and I hope yours too) turned out to be not as bad.
"Uh, I was so disgusted with myself and how I looked, I had to close my eye while having sex with my husband."
"Weight has been a 20 year struggle with ups, downs and arounds. At this stage I am ready to give up."
"At 453lbs I was simply afraid I was going to die."
What do we want?
- Loose Weight ...
Do we want to be happy before during and after?
- Yes, sir!
Do we want to not have to worry about it coming back?
- That's the whole point.
Is this even possible?
- The Answer will surprise you.
Let's take a look at people who are already there (plot twist they are not on the cover of a magazine nor do they care much).
And let's consider some evaluation parameters. Let's start with taste first! People tend to eat what tastes good, we can all agree on that.
I'm also going to pick something neutral food wise, let's say a salad. Now you can think about your salad as having some healthy carbs (quinoa, beans, maybe even croutons) and meat or fish. I'll refer to the dish as simply salad.
Now when you think about a typical salad, you probably think that it's some disgusting stuff that tastes like sh*t, and you would probably have to force yourself to have the first bite. Inspired by a recent weight-loss fiasco you'd buy all these fancy ingredients just to watch them go into the waste bin one week later :)
What about Happy-Healthy-Slim people? When they think about a salad, they crave it! Do you want to know why? Because it tastes good (let that sink in for a moment).
Salad tastes good: they begin craving it within a day or two if they don't have one, AND they start to feel like something’s missing if they haven't had a salad in a week.
Aha! Eureka ... it's not about 'will-power'. It's just that intrinsically... it tastes good. Would you eat something that tastes good? Of course you would. The trick is how? (more about this later, let's continue).
Not Yet Slim○ Tastes bad
○ Requires will power to eat
○ Goes to trash
Slim/Fit○ Tastes good
○ Regular / normal food
○ Elicits healthy cravings
Next, let's talk about physical activity such as going to the gym (meh).
When you think about going to the gym or in some cases playing sports the thought process results in a bad feeling, and your subconscious simply avoids pain.
A bad feeling can be formed in a number of ways:
- over-training during the first (or first few sessions)
- weird social dynamics (is everyone judging how l look, my size, how much I lift, how much I sweat, etc.)
- relieving boredom developed from the past routine (I just got so bored from being 1hr on the treadmill, could not stand the same music, too)
- time burden: packing, traveling, showering, changing, washing old clothes, etc. etc.
- humiliation from constant defeats and / or bullying (I grew up as a boy, too)
- being afraid of getting into a physical fight
- over-training (typically, a person loops the hardest and the longest sports day over and over and over again in their head)
- what if 'that girl' is going to see me while I'm fat (you only get a chance of first impression once)
- reliving the pain from past physical injuries (back hurt 5 years ago, don't want to hurt my back)
- reliving unpleasant experience(s) from the past, stuck on a de-motivation loop
On the other hand, on the other side of the spectrum, when it comes to slim-fit folks the thought of physical activity simply feels good. They feel good before, and most of the time after. If they don't workout they feel kinda like they’re missing out (kinda feel bad category).
Let me tell you a story:
Let me tell you a story:
During COVID-19 pandemic all gyms and fitness stores were closed. My father-in-law was unfortunate enough to survive a heart attack. Now he was an avid fitness guy and he had accumulated a large amount of weights. All of them were very old, very rusty, and many unmatched in size and manufacturer.
[TODO: Insert Image of old rusty plates]
Unable to work, being short for cash and having no need for the weights anytime soon, he asked me to help out selling some of the stuff. Naturally, I agreed.
Now I knew new plates went for $1 a pound (give or take), but when I began doing research on used ones ... people were asking $4 a pound. Think about it ... Used stuff was four times more expensive than the new stuff ... Why? Gyms closed, stores closed, plates were sold out everywhere in North America AND there was a huge unfulfilled demand.
So I posted the plates at $4 a pound stating in the ad that they have a bit of rust, but they still work like new, because at the end of day, it's still a round piece of metal with a hole in it.
If you had never sold anything on Kijiji or Craigslist, here is how it goes. You post something at a fair price. You get an inquiry every two to three days. Ten people ask you "is it still available"; you reply "yes", and then you never hear from them back. Another four will try to low ball (unreasonable low offer). Another five will have a fair negotiation, book a time, and never show up. Finally, in about two months time, someone organized will actually come to pick things up.
NOT during the pandemic! One hour after posting this old junk at a ridiculously high price price … 16 inquiries in my inbox. Is this still available? When can we meet? I'm in my car in your neighborhood can I pick them up in 20 minutes or so? I'll eTransfer 50% deposit right now!
Think about it, people who were prepared to pay 400% more for a used piece of exercise equipment, do you think they felt bad about going to the gym?
Do you think they had to gather all of their available willpower just to pack their bags?
No, these were junkies, gym junkies! They were just addicted to a different thing. Instead of being addicted to the couch… Their fetish was moving some metal around… Because it feels good.
Done correctly, physical activity feels good!
Not Yet Slim○ Idea feels bad
○ Experience feels bad
○ Needs extensive motivation to start
○ Consistently abandoned
Slim/Fit○ Idea feels good/natural
○ Experience feels good
○ Prolonged breaks feel bad
○ Consistently restarted easily, if required
Do you want to know why most diets fail?
They fail to account for non-biological components.
Example: let's say that someone takes on a "no sugar for 30-day challenge"
whenever you hear something like this you want to hear an alarm going off: warning, warning, temporary, temporary approach!'.
Now at the end of the period (first yo-yo phase) they report experiencing a huge black-hole in their life. As if something was missing. Life became dull and boring. Going through sugar withdrawal for a few days was not so much of a big deal. But the rest of time felt ... well, weird.
They have learned to depend on products (not real food) for entertainment, fun, productivity and comfort. So for those thirty days there were no donuts when they felt bored, no sugary coffee when they felt tired, and no ice-cream when they were stressed. All of a sudden all of those needs became instantly unfulfilled.
Additionally, their taste buds had been spoiled by artificially intense variety, so stuff without added sugar wasn't that exciting. And finally, their brain became dependent on insanely high levels of dopamine. We can go on and on.
The 30-day challenge folks usually revert to their old life-style (second phase of yo-yo) ... "because it's not worth it"
WE WON'T! Because we're smarter than that.
Let's say someone wants to eliminate sugar from their coffee. They drink three coffees a day so focusing on that is worth it. It should yield good benefits even if the scale won't be able to recognize them!
They try their coffee black, and they don't like the taste. No problem, I've got a very easy and effective strategy to deal with that.
Well - yeah: now they don't feel as productive throughout the day, and they don't get as much done. And that is important to them.
The answer? Productivity optimization. Eliminate distractions, eliminate time wasters, a bit of planning, a bit of prioritizing ... easy.
And boom they are at a higher productivity level, the black coffee tastes good, and they have decreased their sugar input, putting themselves into a position to take care of the next thing.
Now who would want to revert from this?
Those 30-day challenges are just an approach to get people to start and subsequently comply. People then say ; well - I don't have to eliminate all sugar from my entire life, I'll just do it for thirty days. It makes things easy, it makes the task manageable. They get started, later on the going gets tough, boring, etc, and unconsciously people begin to bail out: sometime along the process they begin to attach a strong desire to the action of bailing out and abandoning that path at a 30 day deadline. Therefore in a nutshell, people use a method that makes it possible to get started but at the same time sets them up for failure in the long run.
The trick to permanent change and weight loss is to simply get started with a different mindset. The one that sets you up for success ... in the long run. More about this later.
Not Yet Slimdepends on food for:
|Depends on unhealthy life-style to function||Depends on healthy life-style to function|
Food tastes good
- "unhealthy" food tastes good to an out of shape person
- "healthy" food tastes good to a slim person
Physical activity feels good
- sitting on the couch feels good to an out of shape person
- walking, playing, working out feels good to a slim-fit person
In my consulting business I sell high ticket items.
Usually, the task of research is delegated to a secretary.
Over the years I have learned that if someone calls me on the phone and asks: "Do you do XYZ?".
The best answer is to say: "Yes!" And get to the boss as quickly as possible, because
even if we go through A, B, C and D and the whole nine yards ... guess what's going to happen when the boss talks to me?
That's right, I will have to explain the entire thing over again?
Now when it comes down to weight loss ... you are the boss, you are the decision maker, and you are the person paying the bill.
Some people though behave as if they are a secretary: genetics, family, foods, moods, emotions - these are the bosses of my life, and not me. I'm just answering the phone here.
- Are you paying the bill? The extra fat bill?
- Then you are the boss, so let's talk!
One day my dentist (who happens to own her own clinic) asked me: "Andrew, you're the expert? So how do you fight your appetite?"
- By staying ahead
- What do you mean?
Well, first of all ... by the time you decide it's time to 'fight your appetite' the 'battle' is already lost. Let me give you an example:
I asked her to hold her breath for as long as she could. Now she managed to hold it for a minute, and then began exhaling rapidly:
"Now, try to fight your body's desire to breathe."
Predictably, she could not. It was out of her hands by then.
If you have a question: "how to deal with appetite?", by the time you have it, it's too late.
Think about that evening, when things went out of control... When the fridge was being emptied, and your hand had a mind of its own. Products made from real food were making their way down your system controlling your hands (and you).
Well, you were just a helpless bystander.
Now, let's take a two hour step back in time ... and then another one ... and then another one ... until we get to the morning of that day.
You just woke up, and you were not hungry. They measured the hunger hormone and it peaked before noon.
Now you woke up! In control, didn't you. You could delay your first meal if you wanted to! Chances are you could easily skip it and be just fine.
It is what happens during that first meal that sets the tone ... for the next meal and that one for the next meal, etc.
So it's the first meal that de-facto sets the tone for the rest of the day.
And that time period, that window between you waking up and your first meal, it's the window of opportunity.
To start making changes, when you're in control, and it's wide enough for us to work with. Trust me on this one.
Secondly and surprisingly, you have been practicing the strategy to affect your body for years! That's right.
It is taught by the food industry for free in the exchange for ever increasing sales and loyalty (nothing is free with those guys!).
However, all we have to do is to use this strategy in reverse!
Think about it, is it possible for you to be one pound lighter than you are today?
- Yes, otherwise we would not be having this conversation.
So let me ask you these three questions:
- are there times when you are in control of yourself?
- have you been changing all this time (just not in the way you wanted)?
- can you be one pound lighter than you are today?
... that's all we need to start. They will never know what hit them!