Last week, I started to explain intention being the defining thing that will predicted your success in weight loss. For some of you I am sure that this is a challenging concept to understand. Let me illustrate it this way:
Have you ever known anyone who lost weight on the Atkins diet and kept it off? I have. What about the Mediterranean diet? South Beach? Low Glycemic? Eat Right 4 your type? Diabetic diet? Food journaling? Weight Watchers? LA Weight loss? Oh, I could just go on and on here! I have known someone who has used all these diets successfully. I have also know someone who has used all these diets and others, only just to put weight back on, or never take it off to begin with.
What is the difference?
If one person can use a diet or meal plan with great success, then someone else should be able to use it with the same success, right?
Doesn’t that make sense?
“Circumstances!” you say.
“My aunt Sally lost the weight but then her mom died, and her dog got Lupus, and then the cable at her house went out, and then her kid spill paint primer all over the back seat of their mini van. She went through a lot and put the weight back on.”
But does that mean that “fit people” don’t go through tough stuff? Does that mean that our weight, our fitness, will forever be determined by the outside circumstances of our life?
Hear me now, I am not saying if this has happened to you that you are a failure or wrong. I hope not anyway, because this happened to me many times before
I understood the power of intention.
Let’s talk about it outside of fitness for a minute. So all of us know the “guy” who doesn’t live up to his potential; lets call him Sammy Sabotage. I know Sammy! He is that guy that is always searching for the next best job. He works a mid level, no growth job where he is always upset with the manager AND is always telling me about how he deserves a better job somewhere.
I totally agree, he has so much more potential.
Sammy starts looking for a new job, applies for a position that would be great for him. He gets the interview and nails it! They offer him more money than he asked for, gave him a team to manage right away, and lets him set his own schedule. Sammy is so excited and he is off like a shot, under-selling and over-producing.
He rocks it!
Lands a couple big accounts and is making huge strides forward . . . and then Mr. Sabotage does what he does best;
HE BLOWS IT!
He quits, makes a series of dumb mistakes, starts to complain about the boss in front of clients or otherwise just throws away the great opportunity and ends up working a mid-level, no growth job again.
Why does Sammy keep making the same mistake?
Is it because his Dad didn’t come to his baseball games?
He decided he didn’t matter?
Is it because he was looking for a job he could make 50K in and they offered him 100K and
he didn’t think he deserved it?
Is it because he never succeeded before, so there is no way he could this time?
Maybe the boys at the bar start to think he is too good for them, and that makes everyone uncomfortable?
You see, Sammy is more dedicated to one of his stories than he is to getting that job that will allow him to grow. He says his intention is to get a better job,
his intention is to make his friends, dad, or wife happy;
his intention is to not fail again;
his intention is to not let others down.
But can you see how Sammy keeps doing all those things he is so scared of because he doesn’t reach out and grab what he really wants?!
Soooo, now apply that to your life.
What are your stories around your fitness goals? Fat family? Compared to thin sister? Failed before? Got too thin at one point, everybody let you know it? Workout so much you started to look manly? Starting eating weird stuff your friends thought was crazy?
Have you ever been more committed to a story or past experience, than to a future goal?
If you are struggling like crazy and not getting your goal, I will suggest that you are doing just that.
How can you go about solving that?
Well, the first step is to recognize it.
And the next step is to raise your intention around what you DO want. So let’s use the example of not making others uncomfortable with your weight loss (aka, you are losing weight but your friends aren’t. You feel like they are making comments or acting in a way that shows they may be uncomfortable with your “new look”). Having people like you and your friends comfortable around you is an important part of how we live, so we have a high level of intention around that.
In order for you not to sabotage yourself, you must raise your level of intention around losing weight.
Why do you want to get fit?
Is it health related? Diabetes? Heart disease? Joint issues?
Would you rather die, than make a few people uncomfortable for a while?
Is it quality of life related? You want to play with kids or grand kids? You want to feel awesome for a wedding or special event?
Are these other people more important to you than your kids?
Take some time everyday to dream about what it will be like, feel like, when you are able to accomplish your goal. When you can run around the park without a care in the world chasing that little one. Imagine going to the doctor and hearing your numbers are great and you can come off the medication you have been taking for years; not living under a cloud of dread regarding your health anymore.
Make those moments real in your mind and that will raise your level of intention.
Also it will help to create a different story around the behavior others have toward your weight loss. Would you say in the past when you lost weight, you perceived some jealously from others? I read just the other day,
“Jealousy is just personal guilt directed outward”.
So the reason they may be jealous is because they would like to have your same success at losing weight for themselves. So it can go 2 ways, you stop losing weight and gain the weight back, or you continue to lose weight and maintain your goal.
If you stop losing weight and/or gain it back all that does for them is re-enforce that they shouldn’t even try, because now they have further “proof” that losing weight doesn’t work. You are the “proof” they will use that will stop them from attaining their goals.
You are not at your fit goal, and they are unwilling to even start.
If you continue to get fit and/or maintain your fitness level, they can no longer say it won’t work. This may make them uncomfortable at first, because it shakes the foundation they have built their stories on. However, they now have a choice to make. Using your example as inspiration, they can choose to also make changes to their life and get fit, understanding now that their goal is attainable. Or they can choose to stay where they are, and may continue to be uncomfortable by seeing your example. Who benefits here? You have attained your fit goal, so you benefit for sure; they may use you as inspiration and they will benefit, or they can choose to stay where they are at, with no benefit. In the first example where you sabotoge though, NO ONE benefits. One more thing to note, who controls whether they benefit? THEY DO. You cannot, by you accomplishing your goal, control how they will choose to react.
You can only control whether you attain your goal or not!
What will you do?
Will you be a Sammy Sabotage and throw progress out the window, or will you say, “This is it! No matter what I will attain my goal this time!”
But there will likely be set backs. Have you ever wondered why you do great for 4 weeks or 6 weeks and then buy a package of Oreos (intending on eating just 2) and find the entire package GONE? Would it help you to know the thinking behind this pattern and how you can stop it before you wind up covered in chocolate crumbs with an empty package beside you?