If you’ve never lost weight and kept it off in the past, it’s natural to doubt if you can ever do it in the future. But while it’s natural to lack confidence in your ability to lose weight and keep it off, a lack of confidence may be killing your motivation and leading you to the very failure you are predicting. In this Thursday Therapy Glenn shares his thoughts on how to overcome this extremely common challenge.
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LINKS FROM VIDEO
TT on Taking Focus off Scales: http://bit.ly/2AhnpXB
TT on Bariatric Surgery: http://bit.ly/2zi3hRe
TT on HAES® Vs Bariatric Surgery: http://bit.ly/2yyrUMe
TT on Getting Into the Right Mindset: http://bit.ly/2CcVtWC
Blog on Ways to Develop 7 Key Mindsets: http://bit.ly/2GJLgiv
Mindset for Transformation Online Program: http://bit.ly/2BWJ0Gy
- Viewer question on losing weight and keeping it off. [01:56]
- The self-doubt cycle explained. [03:15]
- Self-efficacy (& why it is so important). [03:18]
- How taking the focus off the scales can improve your overall health and wellbeing. [04:10]
- Exploring medical interventions that can help. [04:42]
- How working on your mindset can help. [05:31]
- Hypnotherapy & Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT Tapping). [05:37]
- How to learning to think positively leads to long-term change. [06:13]
- Enlisting support to help you reach health goals. [07:06]
- Parting thoughts on making long term changes. [09:01]
Welcome to Thursday Therapy, where I answer your questions on the psychology of eating, physical activity, weight, and body image. I hope you’re doing really, really well. Me, I’m doing brilliantly. I’m just coming off the high of attending Dietitians Unite, which is a big day for dietitians here in Australia. I was fortunate enough to be asked to chair the clinical stream, which was a bit interesting as a non-dietitian, I kind of did feel like an honorary dietitian for the day. The speakers were totally top-notch, so it’s great to see that dietitians in this country are in such great hands. I was also asked to present, and we had a lot of fun. The speakers, the discussion, the energy of the whole thing was just truly amazing, so I was very, very happy to be there and hope that I get asked back too.
But enough about me, let’s get to answering Karen’s question because it applies to almost everybody.
Karen asks: “My biggest struggle is deep down I honestly don’t think I can lose weight and keep it off. I think even if I find something that works, it will only work in the short-term, be it a few months or a few years, and then something will happen, like I will change jobs, or move, or some other life event, and then I’ll go back to normal; my usual overweight, non-exercising self. So I sort of think why bother? All that effort, and ultimately, it won’t make a difference.
This is a really brilliant question, Karen, and it’s something that applies to almost every single person that comes into my office; part of them thinking: “I really hope this weight psych guy can give me something different and he’ll be the answer for me.” And then, that other nagging part is thinking: “Mm-mm (negative). This is just going to be like everything else.”
Now, if you’ve got a little bit of that going on the good news is you’re completely normal. Of course, how could you be completely confident that you’re going to do something you’ve never done before? So it’s completely normal. But Karen, as you identified in your very self-aware question, it is a problem because you start off with this lack of belief. Psychologists call this self-efficacy; it’s your belief that you can do something specific and then get the results that you want. Then, because you don’t have this belief or this self-efficacy, you don’t put as much time, as much effort, as much money, you’re not as motivated to really get into the work of change, and because of that then you’re more likely to fail. And when you don’t get the success you want, that feeds back into this lack of belief and creates an even stronger doubt that you’re going to get where you want to go.
Let me see what I can do for you to help you build your sense of belief, to build your self-efficacy, so we can start to get a bit more motivated, get a few runs on the board, and start a more positive self-fulfilling prophecy.
One of my favourite things to do differently is to take the focus off weight completely and focus on overall health and wellbeing instead. For a lot of people I see weight loss just comes with too much of a sense of failure, and guilt, and hopelessness, and heaviness, that it’s better to shift the focus onto some goals that seem more achievable in the first place. If you think it would help you to take the focus off the scales and develop some great non-weight goals we’ve got a link to a great video for you.
One thing that I often encourage clients to do is to get themselves checked out medically and see if there’s any medical interventions that can support them. So, things like untreated sleep apnea or thyroid issues, even looking into the possibility of bariatric surgery for people who are well above their most healthy weight because research does show that people get bigger weight losses, but also longer lasting weight losses, with bariatric surgery.
Now, if you’re considering this we’ll provide a link to a video we did on it; it’s actually one of our most popular videos. If you are debating: “Do I like option one, where I take the focus off the scales, or should bariatric surgery be a different thing that I do?” We’ve actually got a video specifically on that if you want to explore that a little bit further too.
The third thing that I like to do differently is, of course, to focus on your mindset. Now, two specific tools that you might not have looked at are hypnotherapy and emotional freedom techniques. I really like both of these because the initial research on them shows that results improve over time, which is quite rare. In a lot of research, we see people can get some short-term gains but they revert pretty much after the treatment finishes, so we’ll provide a link to a video we did on tapping and a link to a video we did on hypnotherapy. So, if you haven’t already, you can explore them even further as something different that you might like to do.
Whichever way you go, your mindset is going to be really important for your long-term success, so it’s really important to learn to think positively. Just willing yourself to get there is often not enough, your willpower only works until it runs out, so what we like to do is we like to use that initial burst of willpower to work on mindset skills and create the mindset that will lead to a long-term change. What I’m going to do is I’m going to refer you to our last Thursday therapy where we talk about getting into the right mindset and how you do that. There’s some brilliant little skills in there. Then, I’m going to refer you to a blog I just wrote on simple ways that you can create the seven key mindsets for a lasting change; what I call the mindset for transformation.
We rarely achieve anything great by ourselves and the same goes for reaching your health goals. If you’re going to feel confident that you can do something that you’ve never done before, then you’re going to need coaches, mentors, trainers, supporters, cheerleaders, friends, to get you through it, so it’s your job to get them. Now, some of these people will come from your friends and your family, others might come from support groups, and others might come from professionals.
I’m a really, really big fan these days of encouraging people to get all the support they need, so they do it right the first time, rather than half doing it forever. So, when I have conversations with people that say: “Oh, Glenn, I don’t know if I can afford to go and see that dietitian,” or “Oh, Glenn, your program’s really expensive.” I say: “Look, you know what, I’d rather you get it all done now, so we don’t have to keep half doing it for the next 10 or 20 years.”
On that note, if you really do want to transform your mindset and feel super-confident in a long-term way, we have our upcoming Mindset for Transformation programme available now. In the programme we go through the seven mindsets required for long-term change: Mindfulness, motivation, perspective, balance, patience, resilience, and, of course, confidence that you can change long-term. This is the programme I did with the Biggest Loser contestants after they exited the competition to help ensure that they got good long-term results, and because I love you I’ll give you my usual 10% off [GMac 00:08:57] discount code, so there’s really no excuses.
So that’s it for today, guys. I really want to encourage you to do something that is truly different; think positively and get any support you need.
Now, guys, I hope you’re cool with me giving you all of these links? I just think if you’ve been with me for a while you don’t want me to re-explain the same thing to you over and over again, and if you’re really interested in one particular area, it’s better you can go into that video or into that blog and really explore it in a much deeper way, so I hope you’re cool with that. YouTube is actually telling me you’re liking it a bit more, but I’m always open to feedback, so very keen to hear your thoughts.
As you know, this year I really want to help you transform; not only just understand an idea or have a little insight about yourself, but fundamentally change. So I’m going to leave you with the thought to do something with what you’ve learned today, and also with a quote from Henry Ford, who said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Of course, if you like this, let us know. If you have anything to comment, let us know. If you haven’t subscribed, please subscribe. And, if you have a friend who is in this boat, and I’m pretty sure you do, why not share it with them?
I’ll see you at next Thursday Therapy.