Yes, you read the title correctly, nobody has a weight problem, what we have is a behavioral problem.
The first thing you absolutely must realize, if you want to achieve sustainable weight loss, is that you don’t have a weight problem or a fitness problem, what you have is a behavioral problem. Being overweight and out of shape is the symptom of your current habitual behaviors that you repeat on a daily basis with little conscious thought. Sometimes you are not even aware of them. Unless you eliminate the habitual behaviors that got you overweight and out of shape, and replace them with good behaviors, you will never be able to achieve sustainable weight loss. Just look at all the weight loss programs on the market today, that don’t help people make changes in their habitual behaviors but instead focus on helping people lose as much weight as fast as possible. Although most of them are able to deliver fast results, those results don’t last too long. Just look at the national statistics, over 95% of the people who lose weight regain the weight back. Why? Because they don’t help people eliminate the root cause of weight gain, which is their daily habitual behaviors.
To help you stay focused on the root cause of the problem, which is your habitual behaviors, don’t use the scale as your success indicator.
Let me explain what I mean by that. Most of us, when we’re trying to lose weight, use the scale as our success indicator. In other words, we weigh ourselves every week to see if the scale shows a lower number (which makes us feel successful) or a higher number (which makes us feel defeated). By doing this we focus on the symptom and not the problem. Instead, track on how you are doing on the healthy behavior you are trying to develop or the unhealthy behavior you are trying to eliminate.
For example: Let’s say you are working on breaking the habitual behavior of eating junk food Monday through Friday. You should keep track of the number of times you engaged in that habitual behavior Monday through Friday and each week try to eat less junk food than the previous week. So let’s say the first week you engaged in that habitual behavior 10 times. In other words, you ate junk food 10 times during the week, Monday through Friday. Let’s say the following week you engaged in that habitual behavior only 7 times. That means you made progress and you should consider that week a successful week regardless if you lost weight or not. Each week you try to do better on the behavior you are trying to develop or eliminate than the previous week. Before you know it, you will have developed the habitual behavior of not eating junk food Monday through Friday. Now, keep in mind that developing one new behavior does not mean you will start losing weight because sometimes you need to develop or change 3 or more behaviors before you start losing weight. You just keep reaping this process with each habitual behavior you need to develop or change and sooner or later you will have changed enough behaviors to lose the weight you want.
Another reason why you should not use the scale as your success indicator is that it does not tell you the full story. Sometimes you can do everything right, eat the perfect diet, do all your exercises, and the scale can still show you that you gain weight. This can happen for many reasons — eating salty food or a large meal before a weigh-in; for women, accumulated water weight during a menstrual cycle; or any number of other reasons. A person’s weight can fluctuate 3 to 5 lbs or more in one day. That’s why it’s more realistic and encouraging to focus on the behaviors you are trying to develop or change than the weight you are trying to lose. Besides, your habitual behaviors are the real problem, not the excess weight.
So if you want to maintain the right mindset focus on the behaviors you are trying to change in order to lose weight and get in shape and not the weight you are trying to lose.
At Live Your Way Thin the way we use the scale is to tell us if a client has changed enough habitual behaviors to affect their weight, we don’t use the scale as our success indicator.