Successful weight loss – it’s the thought that counts

“You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act. It’s a habit”

Aristotle

Weight loss is not just about what you eat. The way you think about food, exercise and why you want to loose weight is at least as important.

To turn my health around, I realised I had to address my mindset and consciously change the myriad of little decisions I make every day about what I eat and drink.  Your health is a reflection of your habits, and these in turn are a reflection of your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and emotions.

So, how do you change all this?

Everyone is different, and my example does not apply to everyone. But here is what I did:

I FIRST ADDRESSED MY SELF-MOTIVATION. I started by confronting my personal inertia and developed a technique to keep myself motivated and honest. This technique helped me make a subtle but profound shift in my thinking. It became more about the differences weight loss would make to me rather than the weight loss itself.

I RESOLVED TO DO MY OWN RESEARCH. The diet and exercise regimes I have tried in the past did not work very well and made me miserable and vulnerable to colds and flu. I told myself this time would be different, and I began to question everything I had been told about healthy living. This led me to explore the writings and research by serious minded people who offer an alternative viewpoint on human health. Many of these take an evolutionary perspective on health, which means they look at the life-style and diet of hunter gatherers for clues to how we should live and eat today.

I MADE EXERCISE PLAYFUL AND SOCIAL. Instead of being a means to an end or a chore, I turned exercise on its head. Exercise became something I would be able to do and enjoy as a result of loosing weight. I also chose to do social activities over solitary ones. I play a lot of basketball and tennis now. My level of proficiency in both games is no more than mediocre, but I enjoy the camaraderie and I have fun.

I will explore each of these three topics in more depth in separate articles. The main point I want to make is that to a degree you think yourself thin. You need to get your head right if you want to loose weight.

Often the epiphany that makes people change their life-style is some kind of dramatic or threatening event. It could be that a person close to you got seriously sick or even died. Sometimes it’s a medical test that says you are sicker and in more trouble than you thought. I hope that neither is the case for you, but in some ways these dramatic events make it easier to change your mindset. If you don’t have any of these things driving you, in some ways you it’ harder to get and maintain your motivation.

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Posted on 7 December 2011, in How Peter lost weight, Peter's Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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