Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Weight Loss Mindset and Swimming upstream

Here are two interesting weight loss articles I came across in the last two days, and a few of my thoughts.

1. Why You Really Get Fat (Via Mark Young)

  • Interesting Points:
    • He compares the process of weight loss to swimming up a raging river.  
    • "The current is driving us towards fat gain, disease, and inactivity and when we become motivated to lose weight we must choose to swim against the violent current…forever.  As soon as our motivation wanes and simply “stop swimming” for a short period of time we are swept back up by the river only to lose the forward progress we have made."
    • Most of us want to put in the effort, and attempt the long journey upstream but get tired of "swimming". 
    • He proposes we stop the current.  While I agree 100% with his thoughts, I wouldn't hold my breath for that current to stop anytime soon.  Lifestyle is a choice, and a commitment.  You can choose to be the victim of your environment, or you can choose to do something about it.  You just need to decide what's more important to you.  I try not to judge anyone who consciously chooses a certain lifestyle, but most of us don't choose... it's just easier to follow what everyone else is doing (the current)... whether it be family, friends or coworkers.   It's a difficult decision to make and people or things may be left behind because of it, but ultimately you are in control of your lifestyle.   

2. The Weight Loss Mindset (via written by John Romaniello)

  • Interesting Points: 
    • The Monday Mindset limits results since "you can always start over on Monday." Monday is always the fresh start day for everyone, pick a new day during the week to start over... John suggests a Thursday as most of our mistakes happen over the weekend.   
    • Learning to Fail Small.  When we blow it, we usually blow it big. Plan to fail, just do it in smaller increments and get back on track immediately. 


  1. Small steps to better health. My wife and I look at changing lifestyle with small steps. Smallest step that you can accomplish in changing your lifestyle, then stick with it until it becomes a habit. Then the next smallest step that you feel you can make and keep. It's like getting a toe hold of a rock so that you can steady yourself against the current, until you make the next move forward. Continue to find food holds (smallest steps) and keep moving forward. Soon you will have made lasting changes to your lifestyle. It's the mindset of society that determines what the current feels like and the mindset of society right now is still being influenced and brainwashed by big pharma, monsanto (big agriculture), and big oil. Ultimately unhealthy weight is a result of emotional issues that wants to pull the body back to it's heavy emotional weight and so we fight to keep our weight down by grinding it our physically. Yes that might keep the weight off but it's a battle of back and forth. Find the emotional triggers and it becomes much easier to swim against a much gentler current. One last thing, what we resist, persists, Mother Teresa said "I won't attend an anti war rally, but invite me to a peace rally and I will come." What she meant was if we decide to fight the current, the current will always be there. So instead of "fighting back against the upstream forces" as the author suggests, we need to empower and emphasize the gentler, kinder ideals that will see us through. I choose to stand up for the positive, not against the negative. Thanks for the article Jason.

  2. Very insightful Dr. Sammy! I couldn't agree more. Small incremental steps are the key to achieving any goal, but for whatever reason we always want to rush the process. I'm sure you get it all of the time, but I can't tell you how many of my clients tell me on a daily basis that "They can do more... " whether it be reps, weight, etc. That's great! But we achieved our objective for today and we'll inch it up next time. It's something I have to remind myself all the time. I've found it far more beneficial to train a bit more on the conservative side of things, then constantly push our physical and mental limits and risk prolonged periods of injury. We've got an entire lifetime of Personal Records to hit, we don't need to achieve them all in one day. We don't need switch to the "perfect diet" in one day. Give the body a small stimulus, let it adapt... lather rinse and repeat as needed.