They are the seemingly innocent little phrases many of us use to talk about dieting and getting fit, but could they actually be working against us when it comes to losing weight?
Steve Siebold is author of the new book Fat Loser! Mental Toughness Training for Dieters, and someone who knows about what it takes to lose weight. He is a former professional athlete who got lazy and gained 40 pounds after his playing days were over. It wasn’t until he started studying the mental side of performance and weight loss that he was able to finally lose all the weight and get fit again.
He says be careful, what might seem like harmless ways to talk about dieting, even just in passing, can penetrate deep into the subconscious and have dire consequences.
Some of the most dangerous phrases according to Siebold:
– Diets don’t work: Just because an individual lacks the mental toughness to stick to a diet doesn’t make the diet any less effective. People have a difficult time accepting responsibility for their own behavior, so they blame their diet. That’s no different than a college graduate begging for money on the street and then blaming the school for his failure to succeed. Make a decision to stop treating your diet like a hobby and start treating it like a battle you must win.
– Big is beautiful: We’ve been sold a bogus bill of goods with ‘feel good’ marketing schemes that say things like ‘big is beautiful,’ ‘you’re just big boned,’ and ‘pleasantly plump.’ These dangerous phrases convince people that it’s okay to fail, and makes them feel good about giving up on wanting to get fit. Stop acting delusional and start operating from objective reality. There’s nothing good about fat. It will suck the life right out of you and it will even kill you eventually.
– One bad meal won’t make me fat: Don’t fall into the psychological trap of the masses thinking you can be 99% compliant on your diet and succeed. You may be able to cheat a little when you become fit, but in the beginning, you must commit to all-out massive action. Success is about sticking to the goal no matter what. You wouldn’t cheat on your spouse in a committed relationship so don’t cheat on something as important as your diet.
– I can start over on Monday: Stop letting yourself off the hook. Stop starting over and telling yourself you’ll do it next time. There is no next time, only this time right now. You said next time, last time, and allowing yourself the luxury of continually quitting is a deadly habit. If you keep letting yourself off the hook by succumbing to cravings, peer pressure, emotional swings and other distractions, you’ll continue to run in circles until you eventually drop dead.
– I just don’t have the willpower: Willpower is the foundation to successful dieting, and everyone has it. Some people just have to dig deeper. You have to get tough and hold your feet to the fire. When you feel those late-night hunger pangs and cravings, experience them fully. Embrace the pain, stare it down and look it straight in the eye. That’s the feeling of victory telling you if you can do this, you can do anything. When you embrace the pain and the discipline required to continue, you’ll start looking in the mirror and seeing the person you really are and were always meant to be.
– Diets are so boring: Dieting might not be your normal kind of fun, but yes, it is fun. The fun of dieting awaits you when you succeed. Isn’t it fun thinking how sexy you’re going to look next time you hit the pool or the beach? Isn’t it fun to buy a tight pair of jeans and slide them right on without having to inhale and hold your breath? What about attending your high school reunion and being proud of the way you look? How about reigniting the sex drive you had when you were fit? And the most substantial: isn’t it fun knowing you won’t drop dead in the street and leave your family fending for themselves?