There’s no question limiting beliefs will hold us back from losing weight and getting the body we want. In this post, I’m going to share some examples and what to do about them.
But first and foremost, I’m extremely excited to welcome my son, Zachary Leo, to this crazy, amazing and miraculous world.
He was born on April 5th, and over the last 9 days, I’ve stared at him in awe so many times.
I can’t help but think how we all start off as a blank slate loaded with nothing but potential.
Sure, we have our natural temperament but our surrounding environment has a big impact on us as well.
Our fears, hopes, and dreams are impacted by who we surround ourselves with along with what has happened to us in the past.
Which led me to this thought experiment: What if somehow, someway, our memory of ourselves was erased?
We wouldn’t have any limiting beliefs or self defeating thoughts.
All of our failures, screw ups and mistakes would be gone from our brain.
Our assumptions about what we’re capable of, or not, based on our past experiences wouldn’t exist.
In other words, we’d have a spotless past.
[Though, no matter what our past has been like, we all do have a spotless future.]
Sounds nice, right?
It’s important to think about the limiting beliefs we might have. If we never address them all the tactics in the world won’t matter.
Total Reading Time: 4 minutes. Please don’t read the rest of this post until you have some free time. I work very hard on my posts, and I know they can help you a lot.
Here are some common ones:
“I can’t do it.” —-> If you have tried to lose weight in the past unsuccessfully then you might feel that you can’t, no matter what you try. (Many of our clients felt this way too at first.)
“I’m doomed to stay this way.” —-> Sometimes, it feels like everything is working against us. Some people feel this way even though they don’t have any logical evidence to support such a belief. This tends to happen when we feel stuck in other areas of our life as well. (This is why starting with ourselves is the best way to change other areas of our life. Once we feel confident about our ability to change ourselves, it snowballs into so many aspects of our life.)
“My family is overweight.” —-> Many people feel that because their family is overweight they’re destined to be overweight, no matter what they do.
“It’s too hard.” —> This is so common. Maybe the ways you’ve tried in the past seemed too hard but do you truly know that every way to lose weight is too hard? (So many of our clients are surprised at how easy our program feels. Bingo!)
“I can’t stick with it.” —-> You can’t stick with it, or you don’t want to stick with it? Big difference.
Tip: Replace all of your “cant’s” with “I don’t want to”. Then ask yourself why you don’t want to…
There’s very real reasons why we don’t want to stick with it. Sure, many plans are just not sustainable. But many times it’s fear holding us back. We fear sticking with it because we’re scared to give up “using” food to soothe ourselves. We think we’ll never be able to eat our favorite foods again. So whenever we get close to sticking with something we let this belief get in the way (instead of exploring) and just quit.
“I’ll never be able to eat my favorite foods again.” —-> Ugh, any plan that asks you to do that is a guaranteed failure. Reminds me of a client who told me she was once asked to sign a contract before she started a diet. She had to sign something promising that she’d never stray from the plan.
Hahahahaha what?! Ugh. If only it was as easy as just signing a piece of paper. But many people feel that they’ll never be able to eat their favorite foods again if they want to lose weight. So they never bother to try to lose weight. I don’t blame them! (Of course, us MBT-ers know this isn’t the case.)
“Now isn’t a good time.” —-> If not now then when? There is never a perfect time. The stars never align and we tell ourselves, “I’ll just focus on my health once…” or, “I’ll just focus on my health when….” Once or when what? We’re deluding ourselves to think we’re going to be less busy in the future. This is also something many clients say once the change starts to feel more and more real. It’s an “easy way out”.
“It’s too expensive to lose weight.” —-> Expensive compared to what?
Let’s talk about live music for a second. People don’t go to cheaper concerts. They just don’t value the concert enough to go at all.
Here’s the thing: Everyone values their health and fitness (unfortunately, many don’t think about it until they don’t have it). I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t desire to be healthy and fit. It’s that they’re scared to change. So they’ll find every excuse and reason in the book to make themselves feel better about not taking any action. “Ah, yes, it’s too expensive.”
Remember: Our desires never go away. We just cover them up with rationalizations.
Also, it’s expensive to eat indulgently! Clients tell me all the time how much money they’re saving on food.
It’s interesting. We don’t think twice about running across town to buy overpriced junk food when we have a craving but we’ll question spending the same amount of money on healthy food. We don’t question buying stuff that is usually very fleeting – yet we’ll question investing in ourselves for what is the most important thing of all?
I sincerely believe that our health and wellness is priceless. We’ve heard it before but health is true wealth.
“No matter what I do…” —–> Ever hear people say, “No matter what I do I can’t lose weight”? This is a self-fulfilling prophecy because they are essentially waving the white flag before they even allow themselves to succeed. Again, many people talk about the fear of failure but the fear of success is just as limiting, if not more.
“I’ve tried everything” to lose weight. Hm, interesting…
Check this story:
There is a story about a woman who attends a weight loss seminar, and complains to the keynote speaker, despite trying everything, she can’t lose weight.
“You’ve tried everything?” asks the speaker.
“Everything,” the woman replies.
“What were the last hundred things you tried?” asks the speaker.
“Well,” the woman admits, “I haven’t actually tried a hundred things.”
“Then what were the last twenty-five things you did?” asks the speaker.
“I haven’t tried twenty-five things, really, either,” the woman responds.
“So how many things have you actually tried?” asks the speaker.
“Well,” says the woman, sheepishly, “maybe five or six.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg on some of the limiting beliefs we have when it comes to being healthy and fit. I’ve heard them all, and I understand them all.
The purpose of our limiting beliefs is to protect us. Every behavior we do – positive or negative – serves us in some way. Limiting beliefs give us a way to rationalize doing the easiest thing of all: Nothing. This way, we can remain the same and blame it on these beliefs we have.
Until we identify and deal with our limiting beliefs, we’ll never succeed for the long term.
This is why we’ll go from one diet or program (if we even give ourselves a chance by starting one) to another thinking we’re “lazy” and “unmotivated” and lack “willpower”.
This is when the salesman chimes in, “It’s not your fault!” Uchhh.
But you know what? In this case, it’s not.
Did you know 10% of all bestselling books are diet books? If the books worked, there would be no reason to write them anymore.
Us MBT-ers are smarter than that. We know focusing on tactic after tactic, without the critical mental side of weight loss, is as useless as a screen door on a submarine.
Sometimes, it’s not so obvious what our limiting beliefs are, and it takes a little (or a lot of) digging. Sometimes it is. But, knowing what they are makes a big difference.
Most people would rather write about tactic after tactic because it’s easier but that doesn’t actually change habits and behavior.
My question to you on this lovely Monday: What are your limiting beliefs?
Message me and let me know. I read and reply to every email. If I can help you, I will.
I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. We get amazing results for 3 reasons:
1) We give you a plan that is sustainable. One that is totally doable and practical, no matter your living situation.
2) We offer daily and personal accountability + support. This is critical. We’re in communication with you every single day. This is why we get the results we do, and it’s what separates us from the billion and one other companies out there. It’s not just, “Hey, here’s the plan, now let’s touch base in a few weeks to see how you’re doing. Good luck!” Ugh.
3) We understand the psychology of weight loss better than anyone. I’m not tooting our horn. This is what clients tell us every single day. If you’re interested in learning more about out program, and why we get the results we do, you can learn more about it by clicking here.
Jenn, a client, writes me this email today:
“Adam, I’m really upset because I gained two pounds last week. I know why I did but it’s still very frustrating! Sometimes, I feel like what’s the point? Ugh it’s so frustrating! Any insight? You give such good advice. I’m not quitting although I usually would at this point. Just so you know, this is the only program that has kept me going. (I know that’s the only way to get the results I want.)”
Let’s help Jenn out…
She feels that her efforts aren’t paying off even though she wasn’t at home, wasn’t reporting, and was in an environment loaded with temptations.
Oh and she’s already lost 20 pounds.
But, the scale, for some reason, has a lot of power over us – unless we change the way we view it…
Let’s talk about chicken and eggs. Actually, ya know, I’ve always wondered, what comes first, the chicken or the egg?
It seems like we have our own chicken or the egg debate here though.
What came first?
The results or the effort?
Many of us are obsessed with only the results. We work our tails off only for results. We make healthy choices only for results. We exercise for an extra five minutes only for results. Everything we do is only for the results.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m VERY results oriented.
However, when the results don’t happen when we expect or want them to occur, the very first thing most people want to change is the amount of effort we put forth.
However, the amount of effort we put forth absolutely has a direct impact on the results we’ll see and feel.
When we see results, we become more motivated, and are willing to put forth more effort.
Does this mean we should follow an extreme diet that will give us results as quickly as possible?
No, I’ve tested this countless times. If the plan isn’t sustainable, eventually, we’ll just abandon it altogether. This is why people who lose weight with extreme diets almost always gain it all back, and then some. I couldn’t be less interested in people who lose weight only to gain it all back.
The good stuff might take a little longer — but it sticks. How many people do you know who ate only grapefruits, or “cookies” or shakes to lose weight kept it off? The more rigid the plan is – the more likely we are to revert back to our old ways of eating.
It’s gotta be a way of life. I know you know this already.
Results then can either make or break the effort dial. If we see results, we’ll turn up the dial. If we don’t see results when we want to, the first thing we want to do is turn down the effort dial.
Here is what I can assure you of:
Your body and my body never lie. We can think we’re fooling ourselves. We can think we’re fooling our Body Tutor.
But like every basket counts toward the final score in a basketball game, whether it’s scored in the first 25 seconds of the game or the last 25 – every thing we eat counts — even if no one sees it. Our body never lies.
Individually, each meal and snack we eat might not seem like they matter much but collectively they matter IMMENSELY. This is about the accrued power of 1000′s of meals and 100′s of workouts.
The amount of effort we put forth really does matter.
Whether it’s exercising for an extra five minutes or pushing through an intense moment of discomfort when we have a craving — every feeling of fatigue, and every period of discomfort we push through, really and truly makes a difference.
Results will happen. It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when.
Our body has no choice but to work its magic when we’re eating right and exercising *consistently*!
Let’s do a quick experiment.
Raise your hand in the air.
(C’mon. Just do it!)
Now raise it one inch higher.
We can always push ourselves a little more.
If we want results quicker, we have to turn up the effort dial. In 98% of the cases I’ve seen (out of thousands), that’s the case.
Very, very rarely is it about anything else.
We can’t control exactly how our body responds to certain things but we can control the amount of effort we put forth.
It’s impossible to lose weight week after week. Plateaus happen, our body adjusts, etc. (Side note: Unless we’re staying very consistent it’s not a plateau when we don’t lose weight.)
Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
The question isn’t if we’ll have a week or two without weight loss. The real question is how are we going to respond once we do…
Are we going to turn up the effort dial or turn it down?
It’s much easier to get through these weeks, when we focus on how great we’re feeling. Let’s not let a number dictate our mood. Besides, there are other ways to measure progress…
How our clothes look on us, how we look without clothes, how we’re able to move, etc. The scale is just one measure of progress.
Besides, if someone said we could have our dream body but weigh 500 pounds, we wouldn’t care. What we’re really after is how we feel and look. What we’re really after is fat loss…not necessarily weight loss.
What keeps me going, what keeps me believing in what we do so much, is this simple but very powerful fact:
No matter how much I enjoy eating junk food, and believe me I do, I have never felt better from eating poorly and not exercising than I have from eating great and exercising.
In other words, I feel better – heck I feel amazing – on the days that I eat great and exercise. So much better than I do on the days I don’t. That’s the REAL reward.
It’s the difference between a great day and a not so great day.
And if we truly focus on feeling as good as we can by our actions (eating right and exercising) – our body will work its magic the way we want it to, and weight loss becomes a wonderful side effect!
Let’s just stop playing the chicken or the egg game!
But certainly feel free to eat both of them.
“In baseball, my theory is to strive for consistency, not to worry about the numbers. If you dwell on statistics you get shortsighted, if you aim for consistency, the numbers will be there at the end.” – Tom Seaver
P.S. I understand how challenging it is to consistently put forth effort. Sometimes, we just don’t feel like it. This is exactly why most people start and stop all kinds of diets! It’s not easy. But it’s very doable if we have a system of support and accountability in place. (Yes, I know this sounds self-serving but it’s the truth.) We’re here for you! This is what we live for and it’s why we get the results we do.
P.P.S. Sometimes, doing the “right thing” doesn’t always feel good in the moment. Happiness doesn’t always feel happy in the moment. The things that contribute to our long-term happiness and well-being, don’t always make us feel good in the short term…or do they? (I’ll tackle this in my next email newsletter so make sure to sign up for it in the orange box below this post so you don’t miss it.)
P.P.P.S. Effort can be disguised as doing something our “old self” wouldn’t do. Usually take the elevator? Take the stairs. Usually drink soda with dinner? Drink water. Usually get a cookie with coffee in the afternoon? Have some fruit instead and/or go for a walk. Every bit of effort we put forth adds up. Effort when it comes to our fitness never, ever, fails. However, as we know, it’s very hard to sustain. Again, that’s where the power of the MBT program comes in. We teach you all sorts of tactics and strategies so you don’t feel like you’re putting forth a ton of effort all the time.