I have been working in the fitness industry for the past 16 years and have worked with thousands of people who want to lose weight and become more energetic or healthy.
The one thing that always puzzled me is that a lot of people that I worked with knew exactly what they shouldn’t do and kept on doing exactly what they shouldn’t. Even when it came to my own training and eating habits and I am the “EXPERT” and I couldn’t follow it perfectly.
When it came to this part of the clients that I worked with it didn’t matter if I gave them the best diets and training programs available they couldn’t keep the results they had achieved and they were usually only able to do the plans we co-created for a short time (2 weeks – 3months). And after recently reading the book Never let go by Dan John I discovered and confirmed for myself that fat loss is war and that if you want to conquer it you need to be a Warrior / Soldier / JEDI / “add in the word you like best”.
So I knew that it wasn’t because of lack of knowledge that my clients / athletes are behaving in such a way because, most of the time they were very knowledgeable about nutrition and exercise as well. It was all about closing the knowing doing gap as it is said by Dr Michael Hall an expert in Neurosemantics, NLP and coaching (This is not sports or strength & conditioning coaching but more performance coaching that unlocks your untapped human potential to perform in all aspects of life ).
As of late I had been contemplating these ideas that I was aware of and asked myself what makes people succeed in their goals? I am sure no one has asked that question before… I was on the road to a major breakthrough that will change the face of the UNIVERSE…
But before I go further with my changing the universe I want to re-tell a story that was told by Anthony Robbins.
Basically a friend of his was battling to lose weight and asked him for some help and he proceeded to tell him about the Alpo diet (for those of you who have no personality which means you do not have dog as a pet Alpo is Dog food). As you can imagine that friend was quite confused with this diet. But Anthony went further and explained how it works:
1. Invite all your friends over for a dinner party
2. Make sure you have can of Alpo or your choice of dog food.
3. Proceed to gather your friends around and announce to them that you are going to lose 10kg’s in the next 8 weeks.
4. Explain that if you do not manage to achieve this you will invite them all over to watch you eat this can of dog food.
5. Weight loss guaranteed!!
Imagine if you will that you had to do the Alpo diet… Just imagine every time you go into the McDonalds of KFC or your food cupboard or fridge for that FORBIDDEN snack and as you are about to take your first bite you suddenly get the image of eating the dog food in front of your friends! I personally cannot think of a bigger motivation than that.
After I had read this I realized the profoundness of this story because the idea within the story is actually so simple and it applies to any goal that you want to achieve not just fat loss. In other words Fat loss is actually simple…but just because it is simple does by no means imply that it is easy. Many of the simplest ideas in history had the most complex of executions for example:
The idea to end the Second World War… lets drop an atom bomb on Japan, and we all know how that worked out. The motivation of the atom bomb was also not to win the Second World War but to stop Japan from attacking the Unites states, thus the execution was driven by the motivation of fear of an invasion of the USA.
So in other words fear or pain or the negative aspects that you will acquire from your goals is a very very important aspect of achieving.
I then looked back on all the times I had successfully lost weight, I remember it was in 1995 I was in my 1st year at varsity and had just started working as a fitness instructor at Health & Racquet club. I had received a copy of a diet that was designed by my moms GP and seeing as I was very keen on the nutritional aspects of my own weight training and a lot of people asked me about nutrition I have consumed as much literature as I could about nutrition and regarded myself as some kind of an “self made expert”. Naturally I was keen on any conversation with the bodybuilders (luckily they were all competitive in the 60’s and 70’s so they still very much focused on heavy structural lifts as the key to muscle building) and powerlifters about what foods they consume. So I also had a lot of anecdotal evidence to support me. Armed with all this world of information (at that time the internet was only available in movies where I was) I embarked on designing my own fat loss diet. I used the diet the GP had designed and used it as a basic template and added my own portion sizes and increased the amount of lean protein and some other “worthless” and “poisonous” things like salad and vegetables. I kept the salad and vegetables at what I though was the MED (Minimum effective dosage). Without any mathematical calculation of my amount of calories protein carbohydrates vitamins or minerals because I am an expert with at least 2 months of professional experience in the industry and I am nearly finished with failing my 1st year of Human Movement science at University. I embarked on a 4 week journey of weight loss. My aim was to lose 6kg’s in the 4 weeks, I chose 6kg because I knew from one of my 1st year lectures (the 1 I actually attended) that you lose 70% water in the 1st week of a weight loss diet and usually the 1st weeks weight loss is more. So to get to the point of this story, in my conquest of fat loss and diet program design I had spoken to most of the members at the Health club, my family, fellow students and friends. And remember I am supposed to be the expert… thus I can absolutely not fail! I also trained with weights 90 minutes 3 times a week (really hard!) I also did some insane rugby fitness 3 days a week and extra treadmill running 20 minutes on a Tuesday and 20 minutes stair climbing on a Thursday after my weights. The end result was I did lose the 6kg’s and about 2 weeks later nearly died or at least thought I was dying form a potassium deficiency and dehydration. Many years later through the wonder of the internet I did read that you can actually die from potassium deficiency.
So now you are thinking… so what you almost died. I am asking what did I learn form this? I learned that with enough motivation you can do anything even without the correct knowledge.
What does all of this have in common? Firstly that fear or pain cannot be ignored in achieving your goal. When I did my 1st weight loss attempt I had unconsciously set up my environment that if I had failed that I would SUFFER great humiliation and pain if you will, the same with the Atom bomb scenario and the Alpo diet.
Thus most people fail in their weight loss goals because they are most likely not going to experience some kind of pain or discomfort if they do not lose 200lbs in 8 weeks, they are still just going to be where they are… in their comfort zone nice and squishy.
Even people on the brink of death because of obesity sometimes do not feel or notice the Dark side creaping up to them until it is too late.
Now another thing that you need to understand and this is the second key to success and that is that you brain and sub conscious automatically attracts and goes to what you are focusing on. That is why you have to focus on what you want and not on what pain or discomfort you are going to get. HUH?!? “But Naat you just said that the pain is the most important thing?” I know and yes it may sound like a massive contradiction but it is basically a push and pull mechanism that you want to create within yourself.
To guarantee success you have to ensure that if you do not achieve your goal it has to be absolutely devastating should you not achieve it and this can apply to any goal:
- Increased strength
- Increased power
- Financial independence
- Weigh loss
- Stopping smoking
- Starting drinking or whatever!
So very simple (remember simple perhaps but not easy):
1. Define your goal or outcome clearly and simple and in a positive way.
2. Make sure that if you should not get this goal it WILL be devastating
3. Stick to 1 thing, don’t try to lose 200lbs increase your Squat by 100lbs and train for the comrades marathon and learn to speak Mandarin while planning your wedding in 12 weeks you will FAIL.
Single minded focus works best when working to achieve the impossible! That’s why the title of this is FAT LOSS IS WAR and not fat loss is a ride on a merry go round!
The benefit that we a human being have is that a majority of people is programmed to know what they don’t want and generally spend the biggest part of their day and sometimes life avoiding pain or moving away from discomfort. The problem then is that they keep looking and focusing on that and inevitably they move toward it or have to keep fighting to get away from it. The fact that the weight loss industry is a multi-national multi billion dollar industry is evidence to this. Everyone is just waiting for the next Vibro-saurusPlateshake-oenergiser machine to magically drop 12 dress sizes with no diet or exercise, yeah right.
I also realized most people focus on the negative aspect of their goals because they would tell me the following in our first consultation:
“I want to lose weight” as opposed to “I want to be leaner / thin / X kg/ healthier”
“I can’t stop eating chocolates” as opposed to “I want to eat nutritious foods” “I am weak and slow” in stead of “I want to be strong and fast”
What I did then is I looked at the whole process of what happens when my weight loss clients cheated and I like to use the example of eating chocolates as a lot of them battled with exactly that.
When I asked them about it, it seemed that they made themselves believe that it was almost outside of their control or conscious sense of choice… I then asked them if perhaps they tripped and fell of the couch and they rolled all the way to the quick shop or seven eleven and when they found themselves to be conscious, the chocolates as if by some form of magic form the Dark side of the force appeared in their mouth, got chewed and ran down their throats?
When it is put like that it does somehow explain a lot of things, they then soon realized that they might be lying to themselves because they know full well that it takes a conscious decision to stand up from the couch get into the car drive to the shop park the car walk into the shop choose from all the different kinds of candy or chocolates available, then taking it from the shelf to the cashier and opening their wallet to take out money to pay for it and then driving back home and eating it while driving back or when they get home!
They (and I include myself here as well, yes I was also force fed by the Dark side of the force numerous times) even though they know that what they are doing is contradictory to their outcome they still do it out of their conscious sense of choice.
Obviously this “Fear” can be used to your advantage, because it is a strength and not a weakness which is away from or pain avoidance motivation, so instead of trying to change the persons personality it can be used to your advantage the next time you are setting up for a fat loss program or even conquering the world!
By following the steps outlined below I have used this away from motivation or pain avoidance aspect to help a client overcome a specific food addiction a few years ago.
This part is highlighted because the information is intended for people who are qualified as Meta-coaches or at least NLP-Practitioners and contains some jargon used in those fields.
(NB This pattern should only be done by a qualified Meta-Coach) I put this together from a session I had with a client and has not been scientifically tested or approved and their may be individual differences. Her outcome was to stop her “addiction” to chocolates to help her follow a healthy diet. The end result was that she almost got sick every time she smelled chocolates for about a period of 6months.
1. Identify the behavior the client wants to get rid of
2. Elicit the state of the above behavior – in the positive/ pleasurable effects thereof
3. Amplify the state to the maximum
4. Give the state a name (“eating chocolates”) find 3 primary state pleasures the person derives from this activity and ask them “which of the 3 do you find the most attractive or pleasurable”
5. Start to meta question the most desirable one of the 3 keep going up to the highest frame remember to keep moving towards the pleasurable energy in your questions
6. Show the frames that you unpacked to the person, and induce them into the state of the activity again and ask them to feel how this highest frame is being met by doing this activity(2.) This would get them into a negative feeling/ state as you put this high level frame on to that activity because the high level frame does not make sense at this primary level of the behavior they want to get rid of because of their own psycho logic. Because the high level frame is usually something like saving the world or feelings of self empowerment and somehow after the process eating chocolate just doesn’t measure up.
7. Amplify this negative state by playing the role of challenger / provoker – and let the person create a movie of this state that is a very strong away from motivation. “As you take a bite of this chocolate feel how your fat and cellulite is expanding and increasing with every bite… “ feel how al the fat that is growing with every bite is pushing you down into the chair making it hard to move your arms and body…” Really fully amplify this you can have a field day with this one “Imagine you role over and you find a half eaten chocolate under one of your fat rolls and as you take it to bite it you smell the rotten smell of fish and maggots as the worms crawl out of the chocolate”
As you can see you can almost make them want to vomit!! This part is really important as it adds energy to the fuel the changes that will take place in the next steps.
8. As they are in this state start to play the role of co-creator/ awakener and find or create new frames by meta questioning them about this state they are in. “So by feeling / seeing / experiencing this activity the way your are now what do you now believe about eating chocolate?”
9. Facilitate the person through a process of reversing the negative aspects of the movie as the new frames are being put into place
10. Co-create new behavior that they can put into the place of the old behavior that will be congruent with the highest frame that you unpacked in step 5.
11. End of by future pacing the new frames and behavior into the matrix and tasking it.
What happens is when the behavior is unpacked with the pleasure pattern and you then put the frame that was the driver back to the behavior the person becomes aware of the “psycho-logic” of the frame / belief driving the behavior and then it makes the behavior seem meaningless or illogical, what I have found in this case because it is and addictive pattern there really needs to be a lot of fuel in the system hence the really strong away from negative motivational drive which they seem to prefer together with the very attractive towards motivation to create a powerful propulsion system.
What you will find in retrospect of looking at the example I gave here you will find that it is a combination of the Pleasure de-pleasure pattern Axis of change model Matrix model and what I saw Anthony Robbins do to a Guy who had an addiction to pizza!
Somehow in the modern society we have come up with the idea that motivation is a “positive” thing. If we look at all the motivational speakers and self help guru’s most of us conjure up and image of this HYPER positive guy (or girl) that infuses their readers or audience with the positive image of the life / car / girl / body that they want that will suck them toward it by some form of universal physical law of suction or magnetism or attraction. Before all the New age fairies jump up to kill me with positive energy or an incense baseball bat; yes I do agree that focusing on the positive outcome or goal that you want is of utmost importance as I have mentioned earlier. The important thing is to not forget about the dark side that will kick your ASS if you don’t reach your goal! Setting up a goal or an aim even if it is without a conscious written plan as according to the scientific and university tested and proven research of Prof. Dr. Loubser MA. Phd ASCM. et. al. you cannot leave the next questions or thoughts out…
- What happens if I don’t reach this goal?
- What does not happen if I don’t reach this goal?
If the answer is not something that will be EXTREMELY painful, un-pleasurable or uncomfortable prepare to FAIL!!
In : Mental performance
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