How to Be a Fat Loser
We have the great fortune of working with some great folks.
Folks that, just like you,
wanted to lose fat,
get back in shape
and start living a life that they knew they could live.
Everyone starts off having the right mindset.
They are motivated.
They are fired-up.
They are willing to do whatever it takes to make the change,
and that’s amazing!
We love that.
The unfortunate thing is that life gets in the way.
Kids have sports,
Your work has deadlines,
Lunches have to be made,
Dogs have to be walked,
Laundry has to be done,
And dishes need to be cleaned.
It all gets in the way of reaching your goals.
And often times, your motivation to change is strong until life gets in the way.
Well, let me tell you.
These things are always going to get in the way.
There is no way you can avoid child care, parent care, spousal support, work, traffic, taxes, whatever.
It’s always going to be there.
One of the ways we work around this is to practice one daily habit every 2-4 weeks using the habit-based method. (Link to article).
The other thing to consider is character traits you can develop.
Keep in mind that you aren’t just born with these traits.
They can be practiced and improved over time.
There are certain traits that we have consistently seen among our most successful clients.
Here are those traits:
1.They take ownership
One of my new favourite dudes these days is Jocko Willink, an ex-Navy SEAL who now runs a leadership business.
Jocko also co-authored a book called Extreme Ownership with one of his SEAL-mates, Leif Babin.
The title principle is to take extreme ownership in everything that you do, 100% of the time.
So, basically, you are where you are because of you.
There is no one to blame except yourself.
Once you recognize that everything you’ve ever gotten is because of you, then you can make the changes necessary to fix them.
When you blame the government, your parents, your spouse and your job on how much your life sucks, that renders you helpless.
You can’t change those things.
You can only change you and how you react to them.
So, take ownership for where you are today,
take ownership for the mistakes you’ve made
and take ownership for finding solutions to solve those problems.
Here’s how to take ownership:
i-Understand that your ego will try to blame something or someone else
ii-Make the choice to take ownership in the problem
iii-take ownership in generating a solution to the problem
2.They are humble
Humility, as in understanding that you do not know everything.
Fat losers accept that they do not know everything and understand that what they have done in the past did not work for them.
If you knew everything then you wouldn’t be here reading this in hopes of making a change.
Your ego is delicate and tries to stay protected in the blanket of being right.
But, where has that got you?
BEING right doesn’t matter.
WHAT is right, is what matters.
So, ask yourself, how is your current way of doing things working for you?
If you are developing new habits,
not getting injured
and dropping fat,
Then keep doing your thing!
If not, then something needs to change.
Here’s how to be humble
i. Check your ego
ii.listen attentively without thinking about what you will say next
iii.don’t assume that you know something even if you have heard it before
v. ask questions and clarify
3.They are self-compassionate
Self-compassion is basically just being nice to yourself.
When I started learning about this in my coaching course, I thought it was a bunch of granola-eating,
frolicking in the tall-grass,
I had always been under the impression that the harder I was on myself, the more I would achieve.
I believed the pressure I put on myself would push me to act and get stuff done.
Not the case.
As compared to people that are hard on themselves and are self-critical, self-compassionate people:
- lose more weight and keep it off
- have decreased emotional eating
- stress less
- exemplify less impulsive and reactive behaviour
- bounce back better
- feel less anxiety and depression
- have better relationships
- are more satisfied with life
- are psychologically healthier
The truth is you will miss workouts,
Not every meal will be perfect,
And you will miss out on sleep every once and while.
That’s just real-life and that’s okay.
To come down on yourself for these things is a form of stress.
And that stress can manifest itself in many ways.
One of them being an increase in fat.
Yes, more stress = more fat.
So, just chill out, be nice, and practice some self-compassion.
Here’s how to be self compassionate:
When you feel negative self-talk creeping into your brain,
i. be mindful and nonjudgmental of your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Ie. “this is difficult and uncomfortable right now”
ii. recognize that you are not alone – if you are having a difficulty, you are probably not the only one in the world going through it
ie. “many people go through this sort of thing”
iii. ask yourself, what would a wise counsellor tell me in this situation?
“It’s going to be okay, just use this experience as an opportunity to practice bouncing back and getting back on the wagon”
4.They see feedback not failure
This one is much easier to practice when are self-compassionate.
Making change in your body and in your life requires stretching yourself and putting yourself outside your comfort zone.
And when you are “toe-ing” the edge of your comfort zone,
You’re probably going to fall.
That’s the nature of stretching and personal improvement.
It’s supposed to be hard.
If it was easy,
Everyone would be fit, happy millionaires.
Well, we know that’s not the case.
People that are willing to stretch get further ahead than those who aren’t.
Your willingness to expose yourself makes you vulnerable to falling down.
But it’s how you see the falling down is what matters.
To see falling down as failure can be pretty demotivating.
Not many people get motivated by failure.
What is really motivating is seeing the failure as feedback.
Feedback that you can use to make adjustments,
and use as useful information to continue pursuing your goals.
Here’s how to see feedback not failure
i-notice your thoughts, feelings, emotions. What are you saying regarding “falling down” and failure?
ii-make the choice to view the failures as feedback
iii-practice it every opportunity you get. You are undoing years of patterned “failure-recognition”. Give “feedback-recognition” time to sink in.
5.They line up values and identity with their goals
The things we do everyday,
The choices we make,
The people we associate with,
and the way think
are driven largely by our identity and values.
Our identity is who we believe we are.
Precision Nutrition uses this list of questions to determine your identity:
a. I’m the kind of person who ____.
b. Growing up, I was always the one who ____.
c. People who love me would say I’m ____.
d. People who don’t like me would say I’m ____
Our values are things we believe in.
Oftentimes, your values flow from your identity.
To determine your values, Precision Nutrition suggests the following questions:
a. What do I want to be?
b. Who do I want to be?
c. What is important?
d. What is “right”?
e. What really matters in life?
Going against your values and identity hurts.
It feels like you are swimming upstream.
Everything feels more frustrating, agonizing and difficult.
If you value your family, how did it feel the last time you let your kids down?
Pretty shitty, right?
Living in accordance with your values makes life so much more fun and enjoyable.
Tasks have meaning,
You have an internal drive to get stuff done,
And you don’t have to grind quite so much.
So, when it comes to losing fat, line up your values and identity with your goals.
For example, if you see yourself as a good role model to your kids and one of your tasks is prepping meals for fat loss (link to meal prep article),
Why not include your kids in the process of meal prep?
Or why not Include your kids when shopping for healthy foods?
Do you value work-life balance and need to squeeze in some physical activity?
Why not take a client out to a spin class?
For a meeting, why not go for a walk outdoors instead of being coped up in the office?
How to line up goals with identity and values
i-determine your identity. Who are you?
ii-determine your values. What do you believe in?
iii-line up fat loss tasks to your values and identity.
The biggest losers we know have common characteristics that they have developed over the course of their fat loss journeys.
These are not personality traits that people are born with, they are skills that are learned through effortful and mindful practice.
These skills not only lend themselves to getting in shape, losing fat and looking and feeling better, these are skills that help you become a better human being.
Being a good parent requires you to take ownership in the actions you take to raise healthy, respectful and responsible children,
Humility and checking your ego is essential in being a better spouse,
Self-compassion allows you to get more done at work,
Seeing feedback not failure is crucial for taking on adventurous new tasks,
Acting in accordance with your values and identity is crucial to living a happy and fulfilling life.
Now, go be a fat loser!