Let’s say we’ve already decided on a vision for our health. A dietary regime and exercise have been set and it looks like we are on the fast track of getting rid of some extra pounds. And yet things are still not going our way. Something must be wrong, something seemingly beyond our control. One day, however, we discover that the true reason is within us.
Today we want to look at how some false notions can wreck our efforts. It will be in regard to the popular objective of losing weight. In the end, you might be able to acknowledge to yourself that you are holding onto some wrong ideas. In case you do then you would have made the very first step of getting rid of them.
A story familiar to anyone
Most of us have been in a similar situation when we are 100% sure what we want as well as how to get it. Then a plan is outlined and we enthusiastically jump into executing it.
At first, everything is perfectly well. We eat following some nutrition program, we exercise regularly during the week. This can go on for a while depending on our level of will power. It could be a couple of weeks or so when we start having our first doubts about the whole thing.
Our optimism is being eroded bit by bit. We begin asking ourselves if we are on the right path and where it will take us.
We’ll show that all of this is the result of our limiting beliefs.
What do they do?
They spring into action just when we are losing our initial momentum. We aren’t even aware of their presence when they whisper in our ears “stories”, such as “This is pointless and nothing will come out of it. I am overweight and will stay that way regardless of anything I do.”
The outcome could be one of the two:
- We give up and stop trying;
- We constantly change strategies. One day we focus on what we eat, the next day it’s running in the park or dancing classes.
To put it in other words – these insecurities seriously shake up our faith in the whole endeavor and we simply give up.
That’s why we appreciate so highly this one principle of our system – 10 “Buddy laws”.
This golden rule is:
Once you’ve set your mind on an objective you have to keep pursuing it without giving up or changing course for at least 90 days.
That is the way to give your strategy a chance to take effect. Only after these 3 months pass you can reasonably assess its worth and make an informed choice on how to proceed.
The invisible enemy
The issue at hand is that these wrong ideas operate on a subconscious level. We don’t even suspect their presence, much less that they strongly influence our behavior. While there are many different ways overcoming them, the hardest thing is to acknowledge their existence in the first place.
It’s a lot like at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting when you have to first admit the problem to yourself.
Recognizing a limiting belief is the first step to be taken.
The “Aha!” moment
In theory, it’s a cakewalk. You find out what the problem is, you fix it and move on. In fact, the crucial part is to become aware of these psychological barriers. We’ve experienced that ourselves, as well as we’ve seen it during our workshops. When some of the participants share their thoughts we oftentimes recognize them as our own. “Oh, I feel exactly the same way!”
That’s why we are going to lay out the most common mistakes about weight loss. Some are our own and others are made by people using our system.
# 1 “My bones are simply too big.”
This though has been lodged in Ivan’s mind for years. Many in his family were built big and it was natural for him to assume it’s okay to be that way too. He willingly accepted the easy explanation: having big and heavy bones is part of what he is supposed to be.
And that was that until one day someone mentioned to him that the skeletal structure of the average person is about only 30 pounds. So, there was actually no excuse for the extra pounds. His misunderstanding had led him to assume that the issue was not only beyond his reach but also didn’t warrant a solution.
But that wasn’t all.
# 2 “I’m not a sporty person”
The first time Ivan was able to say it out loud in the open was at a personal development seminar. He was invited to share his goal-setting experience in front of an audience of around 2,500. Only after he got off the stage he realized that he named this limiting belief. All his life he was conditioned to think and act as someone who is not particularly good at sports.
When you think you are not good at something you do act accordingly.
You may view any physical activity as a necessary evil meant to keep you from turning into a “meatball”. Or you can adopt Niki’s view that any sports activity is to be enjoyed. He was lucky to develop this attitude early on in his life and still holds it to this day.
# 3 “It is so hard!”
Everybody knows the saying “No pain, no gain!” and some fully subscribe to it. But, sooner or later even they will question it. The pendulum will swing towards thoughts like “No matter how much effort I put in the result is still the same.”
When you think that success depends solely on how difficult it is, then you aren’t getting the full story. In the end, it all depends on various factors such as personality, timetable and the chosen strategy.
# 4 “Better be fat and happy rather than fat and miserable.”
Many people get to the point when they think it’s bad to keep trying. For them, it became a clear-cut case of “adding insult to the injury”. They haven’t lost any weight but they lost much of their self-esteem.
Ivan was able to overcome this by looking for ways to make the process more interesting and enjoyable. It’s good to have some variety in your food. We, for example, are fans of the Intermittent Fasting Diet. And although its primary purpose is body cleansing and regeneration, no one would mind some of its “side effects” such as increased energy and fewer pounds around our waistline.
# 5 “To get rid of the extra pounds I have to go to the gym. And I hate it.”
Some people associate getting into shape only with the gym. There are countless other ways to be physically active. You can take on so many other sports instead.
If you are the “lone wolf” type of a person then you can try swimming, cycling, running. And if you are looking for the excitement of facing an opponent then you can choose between things like tennis, football, basketball. Some other options are dancing or any type of group training. Just remember that when you sweat, you burn calories which is all you should care about.
# 6 “Some are naturally thin and others are just not so lucky.”
This is very much like the “big bone” assumption. The notion that it is all a matter of some unknown and predetermined circumstances makes it so much easier to give up without much guilty conscience.
In fact, anyone can be physically fit as long as they eat properly and exercise.
# 7 “It is impossible to stay in shape after a given age.”
Niki too went through this one. In his mid-30s he started telling himself “Oh, my metabolism is very slow now. There is nothing I can do about it.” And while human physiology inevitably exacts its dues, it doesn’t mean that our hands are tied in that respect.
One very telling example is Ivan. As a child, he was quite chubby but now, in his 40s, he is in perfect shape. He has figured out what works best for him and enjoys an excellent health relative to his age.
# 8 “The only way to slim down is to starve yourself.”
We often hear this and in our opinion, it can prevent you from trying new approaches.
Niki tried a program that required frequent but lighter meals and snacks. He didn’t feel hungry all day long but he lost weight nevertheless.
In our opinion, a balanced diet is essential. Starving yourself has only a temporary if not the opposite effect.
# 9 “It’s genetic. “
This is what Ivan was convinced of for a long time.
Again, it’s quite convenient to shift responsibility as far away from us as possible. Fortunately, this isn’t quite true. The fact that many people managed to lower their body fat percentage doesn’t support that claim. This fact will give us back the confidence that we too can regain control.
# 10 “It’s just my fate to be like that.”
This type of defeatism is to be experienced across anything we might dream of. Many at our “GoalBuddy” workshops shared the same sentiment for a range of goals such as financial independence, personal relationships, career, etc.
Usually, it’s those who weren’t particularly successful in the past. They think, “I’ve tried everything but nothing good has ever come out of it.”
Our advice is to give the “GoalBuddy” system a try. You set a 90-day goal and then apply the chosen strategy every week, without exception, until the end of the three-month period. But you have to make sure you work together with your Goal Buddy discussing progress as well as issues.
# 11 “If I manage somehow to shed off a couple of pounds I always end up gaining more. It’s foolish to even try.”
Our friend Georgi Nenov made a deep impression on us with his words “No one can outperform their dinner fork.” It was at an event called “Live to Lift” when he deliberated on a sustainable balance between food and exercise. You may go to the gym every day but if you don’t have a sound dietary regime based on good habits you won’t get far. He focused on changing his program so that it is oriented towards a healthier lifestyle. If you decide to implement the “Who strategy” and seek help, Georgi’s approach is a very good one. We strongly recommend it.
# 12 “It’s way too expensive to stay in shape.”
For a while, Ivan did buy into that too.
It is true that good quality food is more expensive. But don’t you think to eat less means that you end up spending less! Plus, some of the superfoods are actually quite economical since they last longer (such as quinoa and chi). And lastly, some diets restrict the intake of protein which is far more expensive nutrient.
Another good news is that nowadays, we all have much more varied options for what we choose to consume.
# 13 “It takes too much time and I can’t really afford it.”
Let’s say you can’t quite fit the run in the park in your busy daily schedule. Here is what we would suggest.
We made it a habit of ours to exercise following the same timetable. This actually saves us a lot of time. Things tend to go “on auto-pilot” when pre-set and part of a routine.
# 14 “I am supposed to have 6 small meals a day! How is that not complicated?”
That’s the perception of those who got into some of the more demanding and elaborate programs. There are, in fact, countless other simpler options.
One trick that we use is to plan our meals in advance.
# 15 “Food is not to be thrown away because children in Africa are starving.”
This is a wide-spread rationalization.
However, it is more environmentally and socially responsible to think twice about this when we buy or cook the amount of food. Better planning is the right thing to do here.
# 16 “Carbohydrates make me fat.”
We too fell for this at first.
Ivan did practice a ketogenic diet for a considerable period but was surprised by the minimal result. Niki went vegetarian for a while which meant a lot of carbohydrates, but it didn’t make him any bigger. Here we come back to the idea that balance is the key.
# 17 “I must have insulin resistance…”
This is a fear which spreads quickly thanks to the internet. It made Ivan throw away any hope he can win that fight. He simply gave in to the “doom and gloom” of this possibility.
Eventually, he did run some lab tests and it turned he didn’t have it. So, he got back into the fight.
# 18 “It’s not so important to be in good physical shape.”
Of course, it is. One will need all the energy and positivity of a healthy lifestyle to be successful. Let’s not forget this piece of wisdom – “health is wealth”.
Did you recognize yourself in any of those?
Perhaps you didn’t. But if you did, like most of us, then the objective of this article has been achieved. The first and most significant step is done – you are fully aware now of the limiting beliefs that are sabotaging you. Let’s get to work on eliminating them and start reaching for our dreams.