Have you ever wondered how some people manage to lose weight successfully and maintain it while others never succeed despite repeated attempts? I ponder these questions myself, frequently in fact. Well this book seeks to uncover why. The author, a health coach and motivational speaker who has clearly worked with hundreds of clients in the area of weight loss, wrote out what she has seen as the 8 reasons people are successful at permanent weight loss.
Her theory is simple. If, for example, we look at successful people to learn how achieve greatness, and to wealthy people on how to manage money, and to organized people on how to manage our time, why don’t we look to thin people on how to be at a healthy weight? I mean, these are the people making healthy choices day-in and day-out. Somehow thin people make choices that keep their weight in check and their lifestyle in line with their goals and values. The author’s premise is, then, that we need to dig into some of these behaviors to see how they might apply to others who are struggling. Clearly another diet book is not the answer, so this approach is a breath of fresh air.
The book is divided into 8 key areas or “secrets” that should be addressed in order to change ones thinking about food, weight and happiness. Specifically, there are several key thought patterns and behaviors that need to be challenged. In what I think is probably one of the most important, secret #1 talks about self identity and the importance of relinquishing the connection between your behaviors and who you are as a person. Once you can separate those, you can start to more easily change those behaviors while remaining true to yourself. That realization alone can help people move to the next level of accepting themselves and making positive changes.
Other important areas she hits on includes drilling down on your true motivations for diet and lifestyle change, breaking change into manageable pieces, learning what your values are and aligning your life with those concepts, becoming more in-tune with your own body’s cues, learning from failure instead of succumbing to it, and taking full responsibility for your lifestyle and change.
The focus of this book is not to tell you what to do (most of you already know WHAT to do!). In that sense it’s not another diet book. The goal is to help you actually DO it. That is the hardest part. The mental component is so critical. We can talk healthy nutrition all day long but the key is how to implement that in a way that is sustainable and successful to meet your goals. How do we stop thinking about our weight and instead focus on being healthy and happy? These tips will get you there.
Overall, I strongly agree with all of the points the author makes. These areas are so important in allowing someone the freedom and ability to make lasting change. It takes the focus off of food and calories and places it on motivations, internal cues, and WHY you are seeking change in the first place. Just the realization that you need to address these areas can be an amazing first step for someone struggling with yo-yo dieting and the feelings of failure.
The one drawback is that each section is rather short and leaves much more to be desired in the areas of education and learning how to apply the particular principle. For this reason I would highly encourage anyone attempting to follow these steps to seek the guidance of a Dietitian or health coach to walk through this path with them in order to make sure you are applying each correctly. Additionally, the author’s website has more materials and information that can be helpful as well. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out your true motivations or why you desire change without some objective counsel to help. If you have based your happiness on the scale for years it can take some time to re-wire your thinking to a new paradigm. But certainly it is possible with these tips and some guidance.
To bring in my own personal experience as perspective, I am fortunate to be one of those people who rarely obsesses about my weight. As I was reading this book I was able to pinpoint the different areas she mentions as tools I use in managing my own weight without even thinking about it. I eat to feel good, and so that guides my food choices. I exercise to feel strong both mentally and physically, not to lose weight, and so that motivation keeps me moving. I was able to recognize that many of my motivations and WHYs of doing what I do are for reasons other than weight. Furthermore I listen to my internal cues of hunger and fullness and understand what foods work for my body and what foods don’t. I rarely eat past being full and I avoid foods that make me feel weighed down or bloated. That’s not to say I don’t have days where I eat terribly, but instead of feeling like a failure, I pick myself up and get back to my healthy lifestyle. I don’t let minor setbacks ruin everything. As someone who has been following these guidelines somewhat subconsciously, it was educational to see it written down on paper in an easy to digest format. This will help me as a practitioner be better able to educate others on following these same principles.
So, if you are about to buy another diet book, please don’t. Have a read through these 8 secrets to keep the weight off for good. Here’s to a healthy holiday season and a successful, diet-free start to 2015!