When we want to change the way, we look invariably this will mean changing the way we behave. Our habits, actions and so on.
Not feeling the need to change is either out of satisfaction with present conditions OR through a lack of self-awareness. The problem for some people has not been identified.
Now the new year's underway - our goals maybe coming under pressure – many people will suddenly identify with the need and realisation that they may not have shed that winter weight. They’ve identified a ‘what’ – what is it? It’s excess fat, stored energy – which makes you feel upset with your body image, clothes feel tighter and you may feel less attractive. For physical performance, if you are involved in sports where power to weight ratio is important, the excess weight might hamper your ability to perform at your maximum.
Life is full of information. There’s more than we’d ever be able to read and assimilate in terms of plans ‘the what’ is clearly out there and easy to find.
The next thing people start to think about is the ‘how’. Once they’ve gained suitable self-awareness (some people also lack self-awareness). People will say – ok, what’s the plan? How do I go about changing the what?
Again, there’s heaps of plans and ways to get results. Most of them work, often for reasons different to those claimed on the mechanisms behind the solution. For diets most of them apply some rules, which act in some way as a filter, which involves creating a deficit of some kind combined with some exercise.
Given it’s so easy to measure things and so easy to find solutions to these things, why is it we often struggle to make the changes we need to and maintain them?
Well this boils down to the ‘why’ and this in turn boils down to a cost benefit ratio of the shorter-term alterations in the way you act and choose to the longer-term outcomes which result from these choices. These cost benefit ratios tie directly into a pleasure pain continuum – how much is the lack of perceived pleasure, or indeed sense of pain going to be worth the longer-term outcomes associated with the longer-term behaviour change.
For example, if you have to give up cookies – the net result might be hankering after them each day when the cookie trolley comes out at work – it does in so many offices these days. Verses the drop in clothes sizes and sense of better self-esteem, lower body fat and other beneficial effects on your longer term health from adopting a filter habit such as this.
Obviously how you tell yourself you feel about giving up the cookies goes a long way toward whether you actually feel this as a withdrawal or alternatively a positive, new habit and one which makes you feel empowered. This process might be called reframing. It takes time, and emotional intelligence. Or at least a degree of self-control and reflective behaviour.
It requires at some level a sense of inner strength and is not always possible across all areas of an individual’s life.
The point about this really is spending some real time on the ‘why’ is really, really important to successful longer-term behaviour changes.
When you sit down and go through all the areas around which say dropping fat might be a good idea – then often the cost / benefit ratio starts to look quite good. Then when you apply the ‘how’ and you are faced with difficult choices – reaffirming the ‘why’ keeps you steadfast in your behaviours.
I love the scene in ‘braking bad’ when he’s faced with the choice of whether he has to kill the rival dealer, he writes a long list of reasons why killing is bad. Then on the list of reasons why he should kill this guy he just writes (from memory) if you don’t, he’ll kill you and your whole family. 20 reasons why he shouldn’t do it, 1 essential reason why he should.
Losing fat isn’t normally that cut and dry – it’s often a nice to have rather than a must have. This might be why the nations losing it’s battle against fat, against obesity, diabetes and cancer. All of which are on the increase.
I often wonder why this is. It must be, in my opinion a mixture between desire (instinct to eat) and availability of poor food choices. There’s a lot of other super complex stuff in there too involved with emotion, financial stability and opportunity – subject for another post, but ultimately, we are programmed to eat, if we are hungry and given the wrong foods to eat – without education then poor choices are the obvious result.
Ultimately it’s this lack of strength, control or will power over our instinct to over eat or lack of self-awareness (what’s wrong with being fat) everyone else is! Which might be part of the problem.
Creating a harder mind set is essential in this situation. Feeling hungry? Feeling like things are getting hard. Well Boo Hoo – it’s kind of time to suck that one up. Grit your teeth and battle through, after all you are working towards the great good.
Reframing the pleasure pain continuum – all part of being strong for life. Part of the Amino Man code.
You’ll find the quick start fat loss guide and also the Amino Man DNA guide which gives you some of the background to staying strong for life and other areas we believe are part of keeping strong for life.