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The Top Five Reasons Why Weight Loss is Temporary

The Top Five Reasons Why Weight Loss is Temporary
Top Five Reasons Why Weight Loss is Temporary

    We all know that the vast majority of people who lose weight, regain it. And while we know that nobody who loses that weight actually wants to put it back on, somehow we’ve become really good at it! Some of us have spent a lifetime cycling between the fit and fat versions of us. We even have the small, medium, large and industrial sections in our wardrobe. What a miserable and frustrating cycle that is. And I’m not talking about minor weight fluctuations here, I’m talking about a range of 10-50 kgs (22-110lbs) or more. We get on and off the weight-loss roller coaster for a bunch of reasons but here’s what twenty five years of working with people in this area has taught me. My top five observations anyway…

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    1. We don’t keep our head in the game.

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    For a range of reasons, somewhere along the way we lose it mentally and emotionally. And when the discipline, the self-control and the can-do attitude go out the window, so does the new and improved body. Pity. We know that what happens below the shoulders is driven by what happens above them (our physiology is a by-product of our psychology), so for most of us, mastering our mind is the key to mastering our body. Creating life-long change (in this case, weight-loss) ain’t about carbs, protein shakes, treadmills or pump classes, it’s about what’s happening between our ears. I know that this is a message I share regularly but it still seems to be missed and/or overlooked by the masses; fix the head to fix the body. Do whatever you need to do, to maintain focus, commitment and momentum over the long term. And as for that whole “it takes thirty days to create a new habit” thing… crap. As a rule, it usually takes much longer. Very few of us (okay, nobody) will undo thirty years of destructive behaviours, habits and thinking in thirty days. As is often the case, the theory and the reality don’t actually merge.

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    2. We do stupid things to our body.
    Oh how we love extremes when it comes to weight loss. Four lettuce leaves, two carrots, some diuretics, a few fat-blaster tablets and three workouts a day. Great plan. If you’re an idiot. And if you wanna lose a heap of fluid and muscle. And energy. And health. Extreme never works. Yes we all think our body is special and unique but… it’s not. It amazes me how many ‘smart’ people do stupid things to their body. Drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, excess food, no food, no sleep, poor hydration, over-training and under-training, just to name a few. Be emotional and silly about your football team by all means, but not with the decisions you make about your body.

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    3. We start things that we won’t maintain.
    We know that diets don’t work but geeeeze we’re good at doing them anyway. For a week. Despite being more educated than we’ve ever been, we (our society) still embrace what we know doesn’t work; the watermelon and air diet. And the boiled egg and grapefruit diet.

    4. We get in shape for events, but not for life.
    Yep, I’ve said it before, we’re great at losing weight for birthdays, weddings, school reunions, big social events and even summer. And then we’re great at getting fat again. It’s what we do. Don’t get mad at me, just take a look around. If only life was one long birthday, we’d all look amazing 24/7. We change our behaviour for a while, but on a level below our conscious (and temporary) behaviours, we’re simply waiting to go back to normal. Normal being the same behaviours that lead us to obesity in the first place.

    5. We don’t have a plan for life beyond the weight-loss.
    Some of us are pretty good at the losing bit… but kinda crap at the maintaining bit. We arrive at our destination (Skinny Central) and start to eat. And eat. And eat. After all we deserve it, we’ve been ‘so good’. And then we wake up six months later and realise that our trim body has well and truly left the station. Toot, toot. Losing weight is relatively easy. Maintaining habits, behaviours and weight loss for life is the real challenge.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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