I was talking to a member just yesterday and we were discussing her goals and what it would take for her to achieve them. Her biggest goal was to LOSE WEIGHT and after listening to her for several minutes I chimed in and said that losing weight was not a goal and her eyes lit up like she had seen a ghost. After several minutes of trying to tell her why I said that, she folder her arms and stated that she did not believe me and then gave me her argument. It was the following:
1) She had a lot of weight to lose and once she lost the weight she would feel better
2) Her weight is what is keeping her from doing anything
3) Her weight has given her diabetes
4) Her weight has given her low self esteem
Now it in of themselves these are valid points, but only points. After listening to her I asked her about what she did in high school and college and she told me that she was an athlete and a good one at that. She showed me pictures of herself just 10 years earlier and I have to say… what a difference a few years have made. I then asked her what she thought had changed and she told me that when she was really active she ate like a horse and now that she is not as active she still eats like a horse. I then told her that she was right with that statement. Our bodies get accustom to the fuel we give it to support the activity we are presently in and when we slow that activity down unfortunate we don’t slow our eating paterns down.
Then I asked her a big question… “Say you achieve this goal of losing the 50 pounds you want. What next? How will you keep it off?” She looked at me as if I were speaking a different language, thought about it and said, “I don’t know I guess I will not be able to eat certain things any more, which I am not looking forward to doing. But I guess I will no longer be able to eat like I do now and become very cautious at what I put in my mouth.”
Now that statement she made is a true one but I said something to her that made her take notice and caused her to think… “All food is good and God gave us food for our consumption. Without it we won’t live. There is nothing wrong with having a hamburger or two with fries.” She was shocked to hear that come from me but then I went on. “The problem is not the food; it is you and your inactivity. By focusing on your weight, you make food the enemy and it is not. By focusing on your weight, now you say to yourself… I can’t do this or I can’t have that and in the end research shows that you put a lot of stress and tension on yourself and eventually give in and do what you said you weren’t going to do. You restrict yourself of the food when in essence you don’t have to and shouldn’t. Your correct response when faced with a dilemma should be that you choose not to indulge in that food because of a specific reason outside of our weight issue.”
The problem we are facing as a society in inactivity and wrong focus. The media wants us to believe that it is about our weight so that we will buy their products. It is not about our weight and if we just began to get active and plot activity based goals, we would feel much freer and much more in control of our ultimate outcome… better fitness. Your goals should be activity based and not weight based. Weight is the end result of you achieving an activity based goal. As an example, take the person who can run a mile in 12 minutes and after a few months can now run a mile in 8 minutes, do you think they lost some weight? Now if they want to stay at that level of activity, 8 minute miles, do you think they will maintain that new weight? Or take the swimmer or walker or biker, whatever, plot your goals in an activity then and only then will you finally LOSE THE WEIGHT you were looking for and keep it off. There is the real answer to the dilemma on how to lose the weight you want and keep it off.