Today I am going to be taking a look at the elusive superpower when it comes to losing excess weight… Willpower.
Also having been there and got the T-shirt, I know that there is a certain amount of denial about how much we weigh… how much we really eat and drink….and how much it really matters to us.
I have met very large people who tell me that they are very happy as they are, they love their curves, and the fact that there are certain normal everyday activities they can no longer carry out, means nothing. I remember saying those very same things to people when I weighed 330lbs. The problem is that once you get three stone overweight it is not just activities that are restricted but also the function of major organs such as the heart and liver who are in fat overload. They are not happy!
So willpower is required to change habits, often of a lifetime. And most importantly it is vital that you create a paper trail that lays it out in black and white..here is what you are eating and drinking, when and how much…..very revealing!
We are not born with willpower, it is developed as we mature and it is based largely on our reward system and also our ability to make a decision and stick to it. I will be covering reward systems in the next post but right now – You have to make your mind up!
If you are reading this blog and have also looked at the last four posts on the subject, you will understand that I do not believe in crash diets or any type of regime that does harm to the body. A family wedding tends to be a good reason for an unexpected famine. Suddenly six weeks before the day when the dress fitting takes place there is a mass panic and suddenly food is off the agenda for the bride, bride’s mother, bridesmaids, grooms mother etc. Of course as soon as the wedding is over, normal service resumes and many of those lovely dresses and outfits never get to see the light of day again. (Don’t worry I was as guilty of that one too!)
If you have established that you need to lose excess weight that has accumulated over a period of months or even years then you need to make a decision to do so and stick to it for however long it is going to take. Carefully, slowly and with an awareness of the needs of your body.
You need to change your language as well. How many times have you said to yourself ‘I SHOULD lose weight’? That is very wishy-washy.. you need to change that to ‘I MUST lose weight.’
I appreciate that for some of you this means keeping to that decision for the next year or two possibly but it will be worth it physically, mentally and emotionally.
There is a process to making a decision that you need to do first to help stimulate your willpower.
With a clean piece of paper in front of you, draw a line down the middle of the page.
On one side write all the things that irritate, annoy, frustrate and worry you about your current weight. Health issues, not being able to buy clothes that fit, feeling older than your years, being unfit, unable to keep up with grandchildren, walk the dog etc. On the other side of the page write out all the benefits and pleasures you know will be associated with being a healthy weight.
When I did this exercise at 24 stone – my list was endless on the negative side – and you will be surprised what topped my list on the positive. I could not take a bath at that weight. There was no way that I could physically get in and sit down, and certainly there was no way I had the upper body strength to get myself out again!
I longed to be able to have a soak with a good book- showers are great but this was one simple pleasure that reinforced my decision to lose weight.
With that goal in mind – I lost my first 6 stone in ten months and at 18 stone I was able to take that bath. There were many other physical activities I had restricted myself from enjoying – and it was not wearing skinny clothes that spurred me on but being able to enjoy simple, everyday pleasures and activities that others take for granted.
What helps me keep my weight off 20 + years later, is that there is no way in the world that I want to go back to that place again. I have decided that it is not something that I want and I will keep fighting to stay where I am now. That is what fuels my willpower. There have been times, when stress in particular has tried to sabotage that willpower, but thankfully I have managed to get back on track supported by those around me. I do not want to give the impression that it is an easy process, but it is worth it.
Surgically implanted willpower.
At this point a little about surgically implanted willpower. I am against it for a very good reason, from a health perspective it is both risky and the long term affects have not yet been identified.
If a person can lose 10 stone in a year because they have a band around their stomach, restricting their calorie (not nutritional) intake, then they can achieve the same with the word “NO” and regular exercise. It is a quick fix and having been through the process of losing that amount of weight, I know it can be achieved naturally – but you have to work at it.
If you think that the only way that you are going to lose weight is by that route then I suggest you try the hypnosis alternative. It works for many people and is definitely safer than undergoing surgery. There are reputable therapists offering this in most countries now and most sites should give you all the information you need. The cost is about £300- £400 – surgery around £10,000 – so apart from the dangers of any surgery and the long term health issues, cost also might make you think twice.
So hopefully you have now made a decision to lose your excess weight and here is the second part of today’s blog to provide you with some more tools to help you achieve that goal.
Sometimes the little things make a big difference.
We have already established the healthy weight ranges according to your frame size. If you are overweight, there will be a link between the food you are eating and your extra fat. And it does not necessarily refer to the amount of calories you are consuming. For example.
Diet one. (I did have a client who followed this for 4 weeks to lose weight and she was not well at all)
- · Three 3 chocolate bars
- · = 1,500 calories (approx.) Plus of course lots of fats and sugars.
- · Bowl of cereal, with fresh fruit and tea.
- · Apple and orange
- · Chicken salad with tomato, lettuce, cucumber, and some new potatoes
- · 2 Ryvita with low fat cream cheese
- · Roasted salmon with carrots, broccoli and two tablespoons of brown rice.
- · Bowl of fresh fruit salad and yoghurt.
- · = 1500 calories (approx.)
No guesses which is better for your body!
One of the tools that you can use to successfully monitor your intake without counting calories is a food diary. It is amazing what leaps off the page at the end of the week when you review your eating.. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and the snacks in between. If you then circle in red all the meals that contain a lot of sugar you may be in for a surprise, as this can include many of the processed savoury sauces that you might have used.
Keeping this daily record will help you maintain your willpower too. We can all go into denial about what we are really eating and drinking and there is nothing like seeing the evidence on one page!
If you also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Candida or other digestive problems you will also be able to identify what foods within a 24 hour period might have triggered an episode.
It may seem a little time consuming to use a food diary but I promise you that after a couple of weeks you will find it is one of the most important tools in your road to health.
Next time the Fat Accumulation Table which shows that two is not necessarily better than one!
You can find all the other posts in the series on Weight Reduction in this directory.
Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and if you would like a private word then please email me email@example.com.