Mike came to me wanting to lose 50 lbs. for life!He told me about his history with weight loss. His attempts in the past to lose weight and get in shape meant, “going hard.” As exercising is the easy part for him, he’d spend two and a half hours in the gym at a time.
Curbing his consumption was a bigger challenge. But when Mike had the physical activity happening it was easier to eat better. He was confident he could lose weight. His concern was maintenance – 50 lbs. for life. He didn’t want to crash again and resort to eating bacon every day.
It does to me. I hear versions of this story all the time. Most people who repeatedly gain and lose weight exhibit all-or-nothing thinking.That looks like trying to follow a strict diet, for example. Or working out for two and a half hours at a time. And then the wheels fall off because it’s too hard. Before you know it, you’re eating bacon every day. That’s all-or-nothing.
I suggested to Mike to notgo all in – to consider working out for much less time, say half an hour at a time to start. He proved two and a half hour workouts were not sustainable because he was no longer doing them. Cutting out all the food and drink he enjoyed was also not sustainable. I encouraged him to eat better, and less, most of the time. Not allof the time.
In our follow-up session Mike was working out regularly. As expected, his eating improved with it. He was tightening up his belt.There were still challenges with travel and social events but he was planning around, and for, them. He was talking a lot about balance. Yes!
Mike developed a brilliant rule for himself. Two bad days in a row are not allowed.If he blows it one day, he has to get back on track the next.I wish I had said that. (I guess I just did.)
If you want weight loss for life, you have to make changes you can keep for life. If you don’t intend to give up beer forever, don’t do it just to drop the weight. You will inevitably gain it right back as you belly up to the bar.