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Why we can't rely on WILLPOWER and self-control

Have you ever seen the studies where the self-control of children is measured and then they are watched throughout their life? Several studies have been performed in this manner and had super interesting results.

Children with better willpower or self-control scored higher on their SATs, had a higher GPA, scored higher on measures of well-being, and even better relationships later in life. You probably think you know where I'm going with this...

SURPRISE, when it came to weight control later in life there was barely a difference! There was a difference, but it was very small (low single digit %). This indicates that self-control is not very important to weight loss and weight control.

Wait... W...

Motivation is a fleeting emotion and not something you can just choose to have.  It's not something that we can buy.  It's not something that is hidden.

So why do we say we need to "find motivation" to eat well/exercise/get that project done/etc?  

Relying solely on motivation in order to get things done is not going to get you far.  Yes, sometimes we will feel motivated and that will make something like losing weight be easier in that moment.  It can make things exciting!  But as emotions do, this feeling will ebb and flow.

So why solely put your success at the whim of an emotion that isn't within our control?

The Greek poet Archilochus known for composing on the theme of emotions said, “We don't rise to the level of our expe...

There are two different mentalities when it comes to eating for a lean body goal.

Mentality 1️⃣. I will restrict my food until I lose the weight.
Mentality 2️⃣. I will be responsible with my food and change my habits.

Mentality 1 is that of a crash or serial dieter. They want to achieve weight loss as fast as possible with as little thought as possible. These people tend to cut out carbs, cut out sugar, cut out gluten, or try whatever diet is trending.

Mentality 2 is of those who lose weight and keep it off. Habits are the way to lasting weight loss.

If we lose the weight using restriction of food types or food groups, what happens when the diet is over? We dump those methods and go back to our old habits and the weight comes back. 😭

Our habits are...

It's a tough time for a lot of us right now. Covid-19 has flipped many people's lives upside down and we're all just trying to navigate this thing together.

Yes it is important to be kind to each other, but also be kind to yourself.

We often forget about putting our own mental and physical health on the priority list when we have others to care for.

Ask yourself this... if a close friend was struggling, what would you say to them? Would you berate them or call them names for not being able to get through it? Would you say they were not worthy of something better?

Of course not!

Yet we do this to ourselves inside our own head. We talk down, call ourselves idiots or worthless, we can say terrible things!

It has to stop. You ARE worthy, and y...

Coronavirus is causing havoc around the world and in our own neighborhoods. Our routines are messed up, a lot of us are prevented from working, and a lot of us are now under shelter-in-place laws. It's easy to feel afraid and incredibly powerless in times like these. I get it. But here's the good news...

We have a choice in how we respond to everything happening around us, and therein lays our power.

We can draw the blinds, binge on tubs of Ben and Jerry's in front of the news each day, sleep the days away, and cower from the sound of the mailman's footsteps.

That's a choice.
OR
We can Facetime with friends, involve our kids in a game of tag in the backyard, try a new nutritious recipe for the family, or turn up the music for an impromptu liv...

The Table Next to the Bathroom

You've probably experienced this before. You're at a busy bar or restaurant with friends and the only table is right next to the bathroom. It's a tiny table with one high stool and one low chair and people keep bumping into you as they walk by. It smells. It's annoying, but you order your food or drinks and everyone sort of settles in. Two people awkwardly share one small stool, others stand. It detracts from your experience.

Then it happens! A table opens up, it even has 4 nice chairs and a view of the game on TV that you came to watch in the first place. But the group mentality has become complacent. Everyone looks longingly at the table and they all think it would be much better spot, but they kind of mumble a...

If you take your dog to the vet and they are overweight, what does the vet tell you to do?

Do they say they have some skinny tea that celebrity dogs recommend? Do they say you should put butter in their food in the morning and put them on keto?

Of course not. They say to exercise them and to feed them less (and less treats and junk food if they're having it). That's it.

Yes, humans are more complicated emotionally than dogs and we don't rely on someone else to feed us. Too bad though, because losing weight would be A LOT easier!

There are 2 possible ways to avoid succumbing to emotional cravings.

1.  Bottle it up.

2.  Question their validity.

I think we all know that bottling it up is not the best approach!  Things we bottle up get stored and as we cram the bottle more and more full the pressure builds.  Eventually the bottle pops open and everything you stored in there comes pouring out all at once.

Acknowledging and questioning the validity of our emotional cravings, on the other hand, is a much better approach!  If we take a step back before having a knee jerk reaction, we will realize the craving is solely associated with the emotion and it does not belong with our current goals.

Rather than storing it for later, we defeat it in the moment!  And that is a...

What's the best way to finally lose the weight and KEEP IT OFF?

▪It's not doing more core workouts.
▪It's not cutting out carbs or sugar or meat (the current most trendy options).
▪It's definitely not doing a detox (please don't do a detox).
▪You won't find it in the latest diet book.

So what is it?

▪It's believing in yourself and not second guessing or over-analyzing.
▪It's allowing yourself to be perfectly imperfect while continuing to take action.
▪It's knowing that self-care includes discipline and planning to help take the stress off of future you, not just a spa day.
▪And most importantly, it's coming to terms with the fact that nothing else has control of your weight other than that thing between your ears.

Notice how there is nothing...

You have to come to terms with the fact that you may not be ready to make a change.

At least not without a mindset shift.  Something I often hear clients say is that they "need to find the motivation" in order to plan ahead or eat better.  This may involve preparing some food ahead of time or reducing restaurant eating.

But do you feel like doing everything you do?  Like going to work, for example.  Maybe you actually want to go to work on some days, but you do it on all days even when you don't feel like it.  Even on those days when you'd rather relax in the sun or go grab a coffee and just hang out you still go because you want things that result from working.  Most of the time that want is money so that you can have a place to live and...

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