In the last topic, you saw how losing weight is all about three things: The right info, taking action on it, and being accountable to yourself.
Now, when women decide to take action on their obesity, it might be anything (diet/workout/etc.)…
… but first, they always think that…
“To lose weight, I need a hell lot of motivation and discipline!”
Well, here’s some good news for you…
You DO NOT need discipline, willpower or motivation to lose weight!
Often when we ask people “why haven’t you reached your weight loss goal yet?”
…the most common answer we get – “I don’t know… maybe I’m just too lazy and unmotivated after 2-3 weeks…”
Now, that might seem logical.
We all can relate to being lazy, we all know at least one person who is a couch potato, but the reality is that when someone says “I’m so lazy” it goes much deeper than that.
It’s not just about laziness because…
… if you ask that same ‘lazy’ person on the couch if they want to something they loved for just 30 minutes, they would jump off the couch out of excitement!
If they were going out with a friend they have a lot of fun with, they would get off the couch… no problem.
For e.g. if they were going to their favorite movie, they would fly off that couch.
So clearly it’s not just about laziness. There are deeper things going on.
But when the time comes… let’s say, for exercise, we all tell ourselves “Oh, I’m just so lazy”… right?
Well, for starters, there are 2 problems here…
The First Problem
So let’s say you have decided to exercise… now the problem will be clear when we ask you this question:
? So while working out, are you doing things you enjoy, or are you doing things you hate?
For e.g. are you running but you hate running?
Are you doing yoga, but you hate yoga?
Are you going to the gym to lift weights, but you hate that?
Meaning, are you doing things you enjoy, or you absolutely hate doing?
The Second Problem
The second problem is… are you making it a BIG thing?
What this means is – when we say “I’m so lazy” it’s just about mental resistance because we’ve made the goal huge in our head.
For e.g. the very first day we start working out, we do it for an hour.
This creates a huge resistance for the next time.
It gives rise to laziness because working out for one hour, every day, is very difficult.
It’s especially difficult for adults because after our childhood, most of us have lost the ability to be active for hours (remember those childhood days, playing for hours, when was the last time you did that!?)
However, the truth is – it is not about willpower or even motivation.
A big study on the Israeli parole system was done and they wanted to see what role willpower played in whether the judges would let the prisoners get parole.
Parole, for those who don’t know, is granting freedom to a prisoner under certain conditions.
So anyway, these researchers wanted to observe the willpower levels of the judges, and what they found was that the judges more often than not granted paroles during the beginning of the day…
… when they were fresh and they had already eaten, when they hadn’t used up a lot of their saved willpower for the day.
But then an unusual pattern was observed… they found that as they got closer to lunch time, the judges started denying paroles more often than not.
Almost every decision near lunch time was negative.
The researchers concluded that as the day went on and as the judges became hungrier and more tired, their willpower storage started exhausting, and as a result they couldn’t decide firmly, so they just denied paroles, rather than try to concentrate.
They reverted to their default thinking, the simplest option without any resistance = NO.
And it’s very much true.
As proven in the study, your willpower decreases as you go about our day. It becomes weaker and weaker.
And something that affects your willpower big time is, your blood sugar levels (research link), and your blood sugar is dependent on what?
YES, you are right… our blood sugar is dependent on what we eat.
So we CAN control and maintain our blood sugar… which means we can control, to a certain extent, our willpower.
But wait… that is just 1 aspect of willpower.
The other thing is that willpower is not some clear cut muscle.
It is actually affected by virtually everything.
- You don’t sleep enough, low willpower.
- You don’t eat enough, low willpower.
- You are not happy, low willpower.
- You are not looking forward to your schedule today, low willpower.
What it means is…
If you rely on willpower alone to lose weight… it is going to be tremendously hard to be successful, because willpower varies a lot, and it varies based on many externals factors of your life.
And that’s why it’s very important to develop some kind of a daily ritual or practice that works regardless of what your willpower feels like.
The third problem is “laziness”…
Often when you say “I am just lazy”, it’s actually a matter of mental resistance.
Think about going to a job you hate.
What does it feel like?
It doesn’t matter how much energy you had before, when you even just start thinking about the job you hate, you feel down, and you feel “energy-less”.
But… does that make you a “lazy person”?
No, it does not.
Its all about mental resistance; not enjoying the process, not enjoying what you are doing, and that’s where laziness manifests itself.
Recently, we had a talk with one of our clients.
A young guy in his twenties, and he was saying he wasn’t getting the kind of results in the gym that he wanted.
We asked him, “how long are you working out for?” and he said “Ohh I work really hard, almost 2-3 hours every day”, and we were shocked…
What? Dude, are you crazy? Most professionals don’t workout that long.
The point here is most of the time people are doing way too much.
There is no reason anyone has to do a 3 hour workout for just being fit and healthy.
And this is extremely common in today’s weight loss world.
We suddenly decide to lose weight one day, decide on a huge goal, and put in way too much effort in the first 2-3 weeks, without thinking if it will sustain beyond those initial days!
And that brings us to the core of this entire program…
Weight loss is all about your daily habits, and establishing a system in your life that will help you form these daily habits.
And the best part is…
… weight loss does not need difficult, time consuming habits.
It’s all about TINY, small habits, and each tiny habit takes less than a minute to track, which is why it’s so easy to put together.
So the first change in your thinking is to… start tracking habits, not calories.
9 out of 10 weight loss enthusiasts eventually fail because strict dieting, calorie counting, running endlessly in the gym, working out 1 hour every day, it all eventually becomes a big headache.
Now, on the other hand, instead of calories and monumental workout efforts, what if you can just adopt a few, small daily habits?
It’s a whole different picture then!
Instead of hundred different things, like “50 diet tips” or searching for “100 calorie recipes” and “8 pack abs workouts”… you only ever need to inculcate a few key habits to see the difference.
And the only “secret” in the weight loss world is…
You will succeed at losing weight not because of your diet, but because of who you are every day, what you do every day = because of your daily habits.
Also, when you track habits, it won’t be frustrating, because… when you are tracking calories, you are basically in a competition of how much you can deprive yourself!
“If I eat 100 less calories now maybe I can have that 100 calorie ice cream later, and if I have a smaller meal, maybe I can eat that fried food later…”
So then the whole game is based on denial, and if you are looking at yourself on a timeline… it’s something like this…
“I have 15kgs to lose, Ok… so far I have lost 2kgs… Whoa! 13 more kgs to lose, what do I do!?”
And then pretty soon… you are just looking at this long line and it’s like, “Oh god, I am just at 5% of my goal and that just sucks!”
This vicious cycle kills all motivation you had when you started!
On the other hand, if you track habits instead of having a yearly or a big weight loss goal, you just have a daily habit goal.
So every day…
- You end up going to bed feeling happy
- You feel like you accomplished what you had planned to do that day
- And you know that because of it, you are going to get to your goal eventually
It’s a fundamental change in your attitude, a complete change in your perspective…
And there’s another benefit to this… there’s no emotional downside.
When you don’t focus on the outcome, on those “15kgs to lose”, you focus on the process, those small daily things and actually enjoy it.
And be warned, these small things produce BIG results because of the power of consistency!
Just like a book author may have to write 1000 words a day for their book, or say, a sports person… he may have to practice his sport for an hour or two a day in the gym.
As long as they do that every day they will get there.
Our own Sachin Tendulkar didn’t become a cricket legend by abruptly practicing 30 days before the big matches…
He became a legend because of the thousands of days of consistent, daily practice.
It’s the same for everyone of us.
Being good at anything – your work, your health, even your fitness, is all a matter of carrying out some key daily things, without fail.
And even though you already partly knew this, in this program, we will see HOWto do that.
THE KEY THING TO REMEMBER:
Motivation and Willpower will eventually fail.
If you truly want to lose weight and improve your health, you need something that will help you bypass those…
… and that ‘something’ is inculcating small, daily habits.
You are the sum of all your conscious and unconscious habits carried out for the last few years (or even decades).
And in the next topic, we explore the most important topic of this program – THE HABIT BUILDER!