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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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    Craig Harper

    Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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