Honesty Is The
Key To Successful Weight Loss
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Listen carefully: weight loss begins in the mind.
I see people in my online counseling practice all
the time who are searching for the perfect strategy, the "correct" combination
of protein, fat and carbohydrate, the diet secret of the stars or the magic
pill that will help them burn fat and get the body they want. Many of these
people fail -- but not necessarily because they dont have the right
information. More often they fail because they havent taken the first
step, a step Im going to discuss in this column. And, its a step
that is absolutely necessary if your plan (whatever it turns out to be) is to
All actions start with a change -- no matter how
small -- in consciousness. And heres the first step toward making that
change: a scrupulous, meticulous, soul-searching inventory of exactly how you
really feel about losing weight and exactly what you are willing (and in many
cases, not willing) to do.
Far too often I hear from people who really want
validation for what theyre already doing, even though its clearly
not working. I ask them if theyre willing -- really willing -- to change
some basic assumptions about what it takes to lose weight, and Im going
to ask you the same question right now.
See, everyone thinks losing weight is a good idea
in principle, but when they find out its going to take more than just
walking on the treadmill a few times a week and cutting back on dessert, they
suddenly remember a million reasons why their lifestyle just doesnt
permit them to do anything differently than theyre doing right now.
And you all know the definition of insanity:
Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
So, the first step to losing weight is to ask
yourself if you really want to. Give yourself permission to say no.
Lots of people are really comfortable in heavier bodies, for many reasons way
beyond the scope of this article. (And by the way, you can be fit and fat!)
Others are fearful of change. Still others dont want to really
contemplate all the serious changes they have to make in the way they think
about food, time management -- indeed, self-care in general.
So, be honest: no ones looking and no
ones judging. If youre not ready, Im OK with that, and you
should be, too. Only if you give yourself the space to say no can
you really choose, in a meaningful way, to say yes.
This rigorous honesty is going to serve you well
as you begin your weight loss journey. And, its going to start with the
food diary. People absolutely hate the food diary. Believe me, I know. Yet,
its vitally necessary. Unless youre able to look honestly and
dispassionately at what you currently consume, your chances of making
meaningful changes are significantly diminished. Well talk about the food
diary in the next column.
Meanwhile, heres what I want you to do:
1. Buy a journal. Youre gonna need it, and
its going to be your best friend on this journey. Feel free to start
writing in it, but Ill give you more specific instructions next time. For
now, just make sure you have it on hand.
2. Make a list of three things you most dislike
about your body. (No more than three!)
3. Make a list of three things you could do right
now that would make a difference today. (Hint: these things could be as simple
as refusing dessert just for tonight or cutting portions in half for just one
meal. And heres a note to your inner voice: Dont invalidate
whatever you come up with by saying Well, that wouldnt make that
much of a difference. Thats not whats important here.
Whats important here is that you list something -- some tangible action
-- that would be a step, no matter how small, in the direction you want to go.
Well worry about how big or important its going to turn out to be
4. Make a list of three things that you are
giving up by not being fitter and having a body you can be happy in. What is it
costing you? (If youre really ambitious and want some extra credit, try
tackling this one as well: What do you gain by keeping things the way they are?
Whats the hidden payoff?)
Are you ready to let Jonny and eDiets help you
get started on the road to weight loss? Join eDiets and you'll be able to
participate in Jonny's September chats. Don't forget that eDiets has online and
printable journals to help you stay focused. Let the weight loss begin!
Jonny Bowden is a certified nutritionist,
longtime personal trainer and Associate Editor, Total Health Magazine.
He has been answering reader questions on weight loss, exercise, and nutrition
for the last three years on his weekly iVillage column and has the most highly
rated daily online radio show on e-yada. He is the author of Living the Low
Carb Life: Choosing the Diet that's Right for You: from Atkins to the Zone
(Sterling 2004) and Jonny Bowden's Shape Up! The eight week program to
transform your body, your health and your life (Perseus 2001) and Shape
Up Workbook: Eight Weeks to Diet and Fitness Success with Recipes, Tips and
More (Perseus 2002). Jonny lives with his wife in New York City.