First, we’ll talk about why change is so hard. Then we’ll talk about how to change.
Many of us (including myself) find it hard to tolerate change. Even change we know is good for us!
In short: Change is uncomfortable.
Post over. I’m out!
Who likes to be uncomfortable? It is human nature to seek relief when we’re uncomfortable.
The other thing about change is that we want it as much as we fear it.
“I hate my job but I don’t know how to do anything else.” “I hate my s/o but I’m too afraid to be alone.” “I hate how I feel after eating junk but I’m scared to give up the comfort of food.”…
Change can be paralyzing at times. Many people would prefer to keep doing what they’ve always done – even if they know it’s not right – because it’s what they’re used to doing. Because it’s comfortable.
Ever watch any of those business make-over shows? Those shows are ultimately about helping the owner overcome their fear of change. Every owner KNOWS what they’re doing is wrong — yet they can’t stop themselves. They keep doing what they know – even though it’s wrong and causing their business to fail.
Is the saying, “Better the devil you know” really true?
For many people it is. Humans are so resistant to change, from doing something unfamiliar to us, that we’re literally willing to risk our lives to avoid it.
The below is by Shawn Coyne
In his wonderful book, The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz tells the story of Marissa Panigrosso, who worked on the 98th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. She recalled that when the first plane hit the North Tower on September 11, 2001, a wave of hot air came through her glass windows as intense as opening a pizza oven.
She did not hesitate. She didn’t even pick up her purse, make a phone call or turn off her computer. She walked quickly to the nearest emergency exit, pushed through the door and began the ninety-eight-stairway decent to the ground.
What she found curious is that far more people chose to stay right where they were.
They made outside calls and even an entire group of colleagues went into their previously scheduled meeting.
Why would they choose to stay in such a vulnerable place in such an extreme circumstance?
Because they were human beings and human beings find change to be extremely difficult, practically impossible. To leave without being instructed to leave was a risk.
What were the chances of another plane hitting their tower, really? And if they did leave, wouldn’t their colleagues think that they were over-reacting, running in fear? They should stay calm and wait for help, maintain an even keel.
And that’s what they did. I probably would have too.
Grosz suggests that the reason every single person in the South Tower didn’t immediately leave the building is that they did not have a familiar story in their minds to guide them.
We want to know what new story we’re stepping into before we exit the old one. We don’t want an exit if we don’t know exactly where it is going to take us, even – or perhaps especially – in an emergency.
Even among those people who chose to leave, there were some who went back to the floor to retrieve personal belongings they couldn’t bear to part with. One woman was walking down alongside Marissa Panigrosso when she stopped herself and went back upstairs to get the baby pictures of her children left on her desk. To lose them was too much for her to accept.
The decision was fatal.
Our impulse is to stay safe by doing what we’ve always done before. To change our course of action seems far riskier than to keep on keeping on. To change anything about our lives, even our choice of toothpaste, causes great anxiety.
I think it is because change requires loss. And the prospect of loss is far more powerful than potential gain. It’s difficult to imagine what a change will do to us.
We want to know what new story we’re stepping into before we exit the old one. We don’t want an exit if we don’t know exactly where it is going to take us, even in an emergency.
Our impulse is to stay “safe” by doing what we’ve always done. Even if we know it’s causing us harm. To change anything about our lives – even our choice of toothpaste – can cause discomfort.
Question: How is uncertainty keeping you stuck?
“HOW DO WE ACTUALLY CHANGE, ADAM?”
I think the better question, though, is how do we know we’re changing.
The answer? It feels uncomfortable.
If we’re doing what we’ve always done, we won’t feel any differently because it’s comfortable to us.
Discomfort means we’re doing things DIFFERENTLY, and therefore we’re on the right track.
Let me give you an example…
Typically, if there is a whole spread of cookies and all kinds of indulgent food in front of us, we’d dig right in.
The more comfortable thing to do in the moment would be to take a plate, and load up. That’s what our old selves would do.
The more uncomfortable thing to do in the moment would be to say, “No thanks! I don’t want that. It’s not a part of my plan.” and walk away thinking, “It’s not going to help me to look or feel better!”
In other words, discomfort is our compass.
So, whenever we have an opportunity to feel uncomfortable we want to take it. That lets us know we’re headed in the right direction. It lets us know we’re doing something different. It lets us know we’re changing.
And if we keep choosing the more uncomfortable path, we’ll get closer to where we want to be…
NOW! Rationally, we all agree the only way to get to where we want to be – the only way to look incredible and the only way to feel amazing is by changing. Duh! And rationally, we can all agree that change by definition is uncomfortable. It’s doing something differently or doing something in a different way – that we’re not comfortable with – repeatedly and consistently.
That isn’t easy.
This is where the power of daily support and accountability comes into play + proven strategies and tactics. This is why we’ve been able to help so many people get (and keep) the body they want since starting MBT in February of 2007. Why hope and wish you look amazing and leave it to chance?
You can invest in yourself (the best investment you can possibly make) and guarantee you look amazing (or your money back). I’ve made MBT a no-brainer to join because I’m that confident in what we offer. What are you waiting for? What are you hoping for?
Why not give yourself the advantage of having us on your side. You deserve to love the way you look and feel…once and for all.
P.S. Curious how and why we’re able to get the results we do? Learn more about what we do, and why we do it by clicking here.
I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday!
Perhaps you’re still relaxing. Wonderful! It’s important to rest and recharge our batteries.
Already people are saying, “Well figure it out next week!” or, “Let’s work on this in the New Year!” or, “I’ll have so and so call you next week.”
The interesting thing is that January 1st is on Thursday and so many people are already lying to themselves telling themselves that this year will be different.
THIS January 1st everything is going to change.
-”I’m going to start eating better.”
-”I’m going to start exercising more.”
-”I’m going to finally make my health and fitness the priority it deserves to be in 2015 and lose the weight!”
These are the types of promises we make to ourselves year after year.
I’m sorry to be the Grinch but this is absolutely delusional.
If the only thing changing is the date, we’re fooling ourselves. That means we’re going to rely on willpower…yet again.
Deep down we all know willpower only goes so far. If you’re not learning skills, learning how to change your relationship with food and changing the way you think and react to food what makes you think this coming year will be any different?
If you’re not developing a new mindset along with new habits and behaviors what makes you think “grinding it out” or “buckling down” is going to yield a different result?
If you’re hoping / planning to lose weight in 2015, I highly recommend you read this post: “Why is sticking to a diet so hard“. It will help you a lot.
But I don’t want to just preach in this post on what you need to do in order to lose weight. I want to teach as well.
So, I’m going to share with you a practice I started several years ago that has helped me hit the ground running come the “New Year”.
Let’s get to it…
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book the Tipping Point he brought to light the idea of the broken window theory (although it’s been around since the early ’80′s). The broken window theory is fascinating, and I believe it applies so much to our health and fitness.
It suggests that people on streets with lots of broken windows, graffiti, garbage, etc., are more likely to throw trash on the street, graffiti the walls, and overall have much less respect for the property on that street than if it were gleaming.
Think about it this way…
When you’re in a sparkling bathroom you’re way more likely to keep it that way, right?
When former Mayor Giuliani first become mayor of New York City, he went after the small infringements like meter skipping for subways, graffiti, and getting rid of the guys that washed car windows whether you asked them to or not.
He felt that if you attack the small nuances, the serious ones like assault, rape and murder would diminish.
He was right.
I’ve applied this concept to my life.
I find that:
When my office is messy, I’m not nearly as productive, organized and on point.
When my kitchen is messy, I tend to order in food more.
When my laundry is piling up, I skip the gym because I don’t have any clothes to wear.
When I don’t have healthy food stocked up, I’m way more likely to eat unhealthy.
I try very hard to not let the small things build up.
Seems like common sense but it’s certainly not common practice, and it can make a big difference.
Like —-> spending just 5 minutes every night cleaning and organizing, dealing with unread and undone emails/tasks, and doing laundry every week, as opposed to letting it build up.
THE PROBLEM WITH LETTING THINGS BUILD UP…
Is that they become DAUNTING! As tempting as it is to say, “Alright, I’ll do everything all at once…”, it’s much more effective and way less daunting to do a little every day.
I find that when I stay on top of these small but impactful tasks, it allows me to do everything better.
So, if you’re unsure of what to do the rest of this week, why not spend some time cleaning and organizing and “do everything all at once” this week so come the New Year you can just do a little every day.
-Are there any lingering tasks that you kept putting off this year?
-Is there physical clutter (messy desk, closet, kitchen, etc.)?
-Do you have online clutter (unread emails, invites, etc.,)?
Dealing with these small things can make a big difference. It allows us to start the year off fresh with a clear head.
I hope you decide to try it out. It has helped me tremendously. And before you discount the simplicity of it …TRY IT! Then see how you feel.
I also hope you have a happy New Year! It’s a privilege to write this blog for you.
2014 is almost over and…
-I lost no weight
-I look the same
-My energy is non-existent
-I still don’t like the way I look in pictures
-The list goes on and on…
IF you’re in the same (or worse) place weight and health wise than you were in the beginning of 2014 read on…
IF you want to lose weight in 2015 read on…
I refuse to let 2015 be another year that just comes and goes for you without anything changing…yet again. Our health and fitness is too important.
We’ve all heard it…”Just eat right and exercise consistently!” Duh!
UGHHH! IF ONLY IT WAS SO EASY!!!
That’s like saying why doesn’t every aspiring musician just make a song with a catchy chorus along with a great beat and melody?!
BECAUSE IT’S EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!!
We know the secret to weight loss is about 3 things:
1. Eating right
3. Doing #1 and #2 consistently
Unfortunately, as we all know, it’s the consistency part that’s so hard.
This is why I’ve made it my life’s work to help people stay consistent. This is why MBT gets such amazing results.
BUT, in order to fully understand what it takes to help people stay consistent it’s important to understand why people CAN’T stay consistent.
In other words: Why is consistency so damn hard? What gets in the way?
I’ve boiled the reasons down to 3 key things.
Let’s get to it…
3 reasons why consistency is so hard:
1) The plan you’re trying to follow isn’t sustainable.
Forget about fad diets. We can only follow a cookie, shake or grapefruit diet for so long. (Yes, those all exist.) We can only a follow a no fat, no carb, no sugar, no anything diet for so long.
The plan has to be practical, sustainable and healthy.
Ask yourself: “Self, can I see myself eating like this in 5 years from now? If the answer is no — then the diet you’re thinking about starting clearly isn’t sustainable.
When you have the right diet and exercise plan, it’s a lot easier to stick with it.
This is why we’ll give you a customized diet that’s easy to follow with flexible options. Unlike other programs that encourage strict and limited regiments, you’ll have plenty of freedom with MBT.
This isn’t about never eating your favorite foods again. That’s not sustainable! In fact, we’ll teach you how you can have your cake — while still losing weight.
We’ll also give you a exercise plan that is sustainable. Killing yourself at the gym isn’t necessary. Besides, 70-80% of weight loss is about our diet. It’s about what, why and how we eat.
—-> If the diet or exercise plan you’re trying to follow isn’t sustainable, you’re doomed from the start. Failure is inevitable.
2) You never change your relationship with food
This is critically important.
Some studies have shown that more than 1/2 of the people who get weight loss surgery gain the weight back and then some.
Why? They’re dealing with the symptom of over-eating/over-indulging, not the cause.
Here’s the problem:
Most people go from one ‘food diet’ to the next. One month they’re only eating X. The next month they’re only eating Y. The following month they’re only eating Z. We all know people like this.
The only thing they’re changing is the food they’re eating. If the only thing you’re changing is the food you’re eating, you’re not going to change for the long term.
It’s critical that you change your relationship with food. It’s critical that you change the way you think and react to food. It’s critical that you learn the right mindset along with the habits and behaviors necessary to lose weight and keep it off.
You’ll follow a crazy diet for 30…60…maybe even 90 days. You might even lose weight.
But then what happens afterward? You wonder how the heck you did it. Ah, yes…willpower! The problem with willpower is that it’s not sustainable.
This is why people gain weight back. They never learn the right mindset along with the habits and behaviors necessary to keep it off.
They just “buckle down” and “try hard” for a few months until they can no longer do it anymore.
That’s not a sustainable strategy.
Changing your relationship with food is a huge part of what we do. Too many diets and programs and “experts” out there only focus on what you’re eating. Sure, we care about what you eat. But, when we understand why we’re eating, it’s a lot easier to change what we’re eating.
—-> Unless you change your relationship with food and the way you think and react to food you’re not going to lose weight for the long term.
3) Daily and personal accountability + Daily Support
First off, there’s a huge difference between knowing what to do, and actually doing it. People constantly tell me they “know what to do”…yet they never change.
It’s just too easy to make promises to yourself and break them. No one knows if you keep them or not…so you hardly ever do. We all know this feeling. The feeling of having been lied to. By ourselves. It’s an awful feeling…
This is where daily accountability and support comes into play. It’s hard to explain the power of accountability unless you’ve experienced it.
It’s your first day of school.
The bell rings, and in walks your new psychics professor.
He’s carrying a giant red physics textbook. He looks straight at the class, and SLAMS the book down on the table with a big thud…….
He looks at the class and yells, “YOU HAVE 6 MONTHS TO STUDY. AT THE END OF THE 6 MONTHS YOU WILL HAVE A TEST. GOOD LUCK!”
He then walks out of the room.
Now let me ask you…who do you think will actually pass a class like this????
This physics professor has set the class up for failure.
INSTEAD, what if the same professor:
- ….holds class everyday.
- ….has office hours.
- ….lets you ask questions.
- ….corrects you when you are wrong.
- ….supports you every step of the way.
THEN what do you think the success rate will be? Super high obviously.
The only difference between everyone failing and everyone passing is the amount of support they got.
Same with a diet.
Traditionally you’re told, “Here’s a diet to follow. You have 6 months to do it. Good luck.”
This is a huge reason why people on traditional programs don’t lose weight.
We’re set up for failure from the beginning! (Just like that bad professor set up his class for failure.)
Okay, so how do we set ourselves up for long term weight loss success?
We’ve already figured this out at MBT: We follow the same principles of supporting our clients every step of the way.
This is why 100% of our clients (literally 100%) succeed at losing weight with MyBodyTutor.
….Because we provide you daily support.
….Because we give you a plan that is actually sustainable.
….Because we set you up with a coach who is an expert.
….Because we support you whenever you fall off track.
….Because we set you up with clear and defined goals.
….Because your tutor will know the answers to all of your questions.
….Because we teach in bite-sized-chunks over time, not a fire-hose of information on the first day.
….Because we teach you the right mindset along with the habits and behaviors necessary to lose weight and keep it off.
….Because you get relentless support and accountability…..from a real human being…every single day.
OKAY…..I can go on and on. But I think you get the point.
—-> Unless you’re being held accountable and being supported daily, it’s very hard to not make excuses and rationalize those excuses. It’s also very hard to sustain the effort required to lose weight. There’s no question change by nature is uncomfortable.
If we’re doing what we’ve always done…it’s comfortable. If we’re doing something different…it’s going to feel uncomfortable. By having daily support and accountability it makes the discomfort a lot more tolerable and comfortable.
So, there you have it. The 3 reasons why consistency is so hard! Keep those in mind for your weight loss journey this coming year — no matter what you do. I sincerely want to see you succeed.
Would I love for you to try MBT?
OF COURSE! I believe in MBT with all of my heart and soul and I’ve seen what it’s done for so many people since I started this in 2007.
I sincerely believe (and know) it works better than anything else out there. It’s why I offer a 100% money back guarantee. You can try my program for a full month. If you don’t feel or see results we’ll give you your money back. I’ve made this a no-brainer because I want you to give us a shot.
If you have any questions please message me. I read and reply to all of my emails.
P.S. Why not start whatever you’re going to do sooner rather than later? It’s a lot more fun to hit the ground running on January 1 – vs – starting with zero momentum.
Before I teach you how to get over those persistent afternoon and relentless evening cravings, I’m going to teach you how to swim.
“Why in the world would learning how to swim benefit me?” you wonder.
Let me explain…
Let’s say we don’t know how to swim and we decide it’s finally time to learn.
Most likely, we don’t know how to swim (yet) because our fear of water. Learning how to swim really is about overcoming our fear of water. Bravo! That takes a lot of courage.
So, we find a local gym or pool club.
Then, we look online to find a swim instructor. We find someone who’s really passionate about helping people learn how to swim with a proven track record.
Boom! We’re getting somewhere…
Next, we need to get the gear! We look online and find a bathing suit. Ohh, there’s one we like. Eh, we don’t really like it after all. We go to another website…
We find THE bathing suit. Ugh, it’s not in stock!
After spending three hours searching we finally find THE one!
What about goggles? Can’t swim without goggles!
The big day comes. It’s the day of our first lesson.
Uh oh. We realize that we don’t have any shoes to wear by the pool! Whoops! We can’t swim without shoes to wear around the pool!
So we cancel and reschedule.
We’ve done everything we could possibly do but swim.
Sometimes, no matter what, we just gotta jump in the pool.
It’s like the monster I often talk about. Once we attack it, it’s not so bad. The monster is never as scary as it seems. We tend to spend more energy resisting the monster than if we were to just attack it.
We just need that push.
But we gotta jump in…
When we’re faced with an intense craving, we’re usually only thinking about THAT craving. We’re not thinking about anything else. And because of that — we can’t imagine our life without giving into those cravings.
Here’s the challenge: many times, we try to think about what life would be like without ever having that mid-afternoon or nighttime treat. We just can’t imagine it!
(You might not realize this but it’s subconscious. And because we can’t imagine our life without our “usual” mid-afternoon snack or dessert, we think:
“Screw it. Why bother not having it today if I’m only going to have it tomorrow and the next day? I deserve this and I’m entitled to this because I work hard.”
Why do we do this? Because the discomfort/tension in that moment is too great. So we have to rationalize it away.)
1) You’re a swimmer and someone is terrified of jumping in the pool. You know how much fun it is but they don’t.
2) There is a really fun amusement park ride that You know is fun but the person you’re with is scared.
3) You’re eating this really weird looking food that’s absolutely delicious. But the person you’re with is grossed out, and doesn’t want to try it.
What would you say?
Probably something along the lines of, “Just try it once. Everything will be okay. I’m right here with you. What’s the worst that can happen?”
What I’m suggesting is that if you want to break that mid-day or nighttime snacking habit — focus only on not having it TODAY. Don’t focus on tomorrow. Don’t focus on next week. Focus on today. Because once we go through the afternoon or evening without that snack or dessert, we realize it’s actually doable, and not nearly as bad as we thought it would be.
The monster is never as scary as it seems.
The best way to actually “jump in” and get over the craving is to distract or immerse yourself in something else. The challenge is that when we’re going through a craving, it’s all we’re (usually) thinking about. But if we immerse ourselves in something else and think about something else it makes all the difference.
This might sound silly but it’s very effective.
For example, as I write this it’s 2:05 PM EST on Wednesday 12/17. I HAD a strong craving before I starting writing. But because I love writing I’m totally fixated on writing these very words you’re reading right now. I’m not thinking about anything else.
Ever work on something you’re really passionate about and forget to eat?
What could you immerse yourself in next time you have a craving?
Here are some ideas:
1. Write an email to a friend
2. Call a friend
3. Look through some pictures that make you smile
4. Start saving inspirational / funny emails and read them
5. Log onto FB and get lost in what other people are up to
6. Go for a 5 minute walk
7. Chug a glass of water
8. Do work you’re passionate about
9. Do something you really love
10. Text your Tutor
11. You get the idea…
Here’s what a client wrote to me yesterday:
“It’s amazing how one real day like this gives me so much confidence.”
Boom! That’s the idea. When we do it once that creates momentum. It creates a feeling of empowerment. And we know we can do it again (especially if we have daily support, guidance and accountability)…
But we can’t feel that unless we “just jump in” and try it once.
I’ll be right here waiting for you with a huge comfy towel!
How to get enlightened in 20 seconds? I know. I know!
Big claim. One of those claims where you just want to roll your eyes.
BUT, I believe I can deliver.
Here it is…
So a monk tells Joshu, “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked, “Have you eaten your rice porridge?”
The monk replied, “I have eaten.”
Joshu said, “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At THAT moment the monk was enlightened.
I love this little story.
It reminds me to stop thinking so damn much, and just take the next action.
It’s so easy to get caught up in every day life. It’s also so easy to get frustrated and intimidated when we have a long journey ahead of us.
When something seems overwhelming (like losing weight), we usually choose choice C: None of the above and do nothing.
Instead, let’s just focus on our very next meal. Our very next workout. Our very next choice.
Focus on your very next action, your very next interaction, your very next task.
That’s it. That’s all we can do.
[This is why having a Body Tutor on your side helps so much. It's very easy to forget this. Too often we give up on our weight loss because we let ourselves think about the time it's going to take to lose all the weight. It becomes daunting. One of the many things a Body Tutor will help you do is stayed focused day in and day out. Learn more about how a Body Tutor can help you here.]
Although we can worry about eating poorly this coming weekend, or the upcoming holiday party, etc., there’s nothing we can do right now…
EXCEPT, focusing on our very next meal.
Your template for this sometimes crazy month of December:
When in doubt…don’t ask questions. Don’t ponder. Just wash the bowl.