Losing Takes Believing

At any given time, approximately 45% of women and 30% of men in the United States are trying to lose weight. In 2006, The US public spent $46.3 billion dollars on weight loss products alone. Yet, over 65% of Americans are overweight. Why can’t we as a nation get control of our weight?

The answer is that we must change our belief system to succeed. Change takes two beliefs: I CAN do it, and it’s WORTH doing. Failing to lose weight is failing to believe one or the other (or both) of these statements.

Think about it. If you, down deep, don’t believe that you can lose the weight you need/want to, whether it’s because your family doesn’t support you, you feel you don’t have time, or even that you don’t have the willpower to stick to a program, how much effort will you truly put into it?

What if you don’t believe it’s worth it? “Working out, sweating, watching what you eat, smaller portions…. that’s not worth it. It’s just too hard. Isn’t it?”

These fundamental beliefs are what we need to change in order to attain our health and weight loss goals and I’d like to offer a few words to help you move forward with that.

Can you? Absolutely! In my 30 years as a Personal Trainer, I have never met anyone that couldn’t, if they thought it was worth the effort. You don’t have to change your life all at once. It’s about making small modifications (tweaks) in what you’re currently doing. Ask yourself, “What 1 or 2 things could I change this week to start me in the right direction?” When you accomplish that, pick another 1 or 2 for the next week, then the next week, etc. Before long, you’ve accumulated enough better behaviors to really see a difference in yourself. Next stop… reaching your goals.

Is it worth it? Ah, this is one that only you can determine. Health risk warnings aren’t enough, if effective at all. It has to be very personal to you. How would being leaner/healthier change your life? If you can’t answer that question with clarity, you’ll never care enough to change. Try answering this way, “I want to be able to (i.e. look, feel, do) because…”

Like a toddler, you have to continually ask yourself “Why?” So, you want to lose weight…why? Your doctor told you you should…why? Because he said you were at risk for cardiovascular disease…why does that matter to you? You could die prematurely…why is living longer important to you? You have two young kids and you want to see them grow up and be an active part of their lives. Now we’re getting somewhere.

So, if you’re going to try to lose weight and get healthier, first make sure you believe.

Best wishes, Mark

Mark Nutting, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT-AR*D, National Strength and Conditioning Association’s 2009 Personal Trainer of the Year, holds 12 certifications in the field and has 30 years experience in personal training. A national presenter and an educator of Personal Trainers, Mark’s areas of expertise include weight loss, post-rehab conditioning, and brain fitness.