With the new year 28 days in the making, many New Year’s resolutions have already hit a brick wall. The infamous:
“I want to lose weight”
“I want to be more physically fit”
“I want to feel like I did when I was twenty years old”
is a recurring mission many of us undertake, but few of us successfully achieve.
WHAT MAKES THIS MISSION SO DIFFICULT?
After 20+ years working with patients, I have concluded that people insist on following patterns of behavior that have achieved (AT BEST) temporary results. They seem to believe the PLAN was “sound,” but their commitment (at some point) waned for a multitude of reasons. They believe this time, however, “it will somehow be different.”
For most people, it won’t be different! Initiating “new attempts” using the same FAILED approaches results (typically) in the same FAILED outcomes. The real problem is found in the METHODOLOGY.
People “contort” themselves trying to conform to dietary and exercise plans that are simply UNREALISTIC. They want to believe they can be “that person” who drops 50+ pounds in 12 weeks. They want to believe those meals delivered to their house will solve their eating problems. They want to believe the latest infomercial demonstrating the electrical stimulating abdominal band is “THE ANSWER” to achieving “6 pack abs.” They want to believe THE PILL containing Garcinia Cambogia, Green Coffee Beans, or Raspberry Ketones will cause the weight and/or fat to “melt away.” Maybe the convenience of a Bowflex machine used in the comfort of one’s home is the solution to regular exercising?
When these methods don’t produce LONG TERM RESULTS, medical weight loss doctors become the “answer.” Their assortment of pills and injectables causing “fullness, “suppressing appetite, reducing the speed of stomach emptying, reducing fat absorption, etc… becomes the “answer” to the missing piece of the puzzle. This too, however, ultimately FAILS! Finally, demoralized, we realize the “TRUE ANSWER” to weight loss is surgery. But wait, how does the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery define success?
“Successful weight loss is generally defined as weight loss that equals to or greater than 50 percent of their excess body weight.”
This means if a person was originally 100 pounds overweight and remains 50 pounds overweight two years later, the surgical procedure would be considered a success. Do you think the consumer that may have lost 100 pounds only to wind up gaining 50 pounds back would be excited with this outcome?
DISCOVERING THE “RIGHT” METHODOLOGY
The ANSWER is NOT found in books, on TV or in a doctor’s office (for the most part.) Weight management and physical conditioning is based on BEHAVIORAL CONTROL determined by PERCEPTION.
What does this mean?
It means when a person is told they will DIE if they continue to eat fast food, live a sedentary life, maintain levels of high stress, live on 3-5 hours of sleep per night and follow other various destructive lifestyle patterns, DEATH is NOT PERCEIVED as REAL on a cognitive level? If a person says, “I’m aware this lifestyle will likely KILL ME, their rational acceptance of DEATH is DENIED by their EMOTIONAL BRAIN preventing the individual from taking corrective measures. Even when SYMPTOMS manifest to the point requiring surgical intervention (like cardiac bypass,) the RATIONAL BRAIN convinces the EMOTIONAL BRAIN the problem has been “FIXED” by the surgeon and life can resume as usual.
The LONG TERM SOLUTION is, therefore, based on reversing and strengthening our STRONG POSITIVE EMOTIONAL BRAIN by creating a personal need that drives the RATIONAL BRAIN to override destructive behavioral choices.
A parent’s LOVE of a severely handicapped child. The STRONG POSITIVE EMOTIONAL NEED to support this child’s welfare as long as possible convinces the RATIONAL BRAIN to alter an unhealthy lifestyle out of FEAR that no one will love and care for this child in the same way if this parent should die prematurely. The PERCEPTION and concern about DEATH only becomes REAL out of FEAR FOR THE CHILD’S WELFARE; not from the “FEAR” associated with a self induced destructive lifestyle.
A grandfather giving up smoking after a grandchild says, “I can’t wait until I grow up so I can smoke cigarettes too!” The STRONG POSITIVE EMOTIONAL NEED to alter an unhealthy habit (choosing to give up smoking cigarettes) only exists because the RATIONAL BRAIN is unwilling to accept responsibility for the unnecessary potential DEATH of a loved grandchild wishing to emulate his beloved grandfather’s destructive habit.
STRONG POSITIVE EMOTIONS directing RATIONAL thinking becomes the foundation that supports NEW HEALTHIER BEHAVIORS. The focus is no longer on external factors (exercise machines, diet plans, etc…) The focus is turned WITHIN to discovering STRONG PERSONAL EMOTIONAL NEEDS that incentivize and motivate the RATIONAL BRAIN to behave in a MANNER consistent with satisfying STRONG POSITIVE EMOTIONAL OUTCOMES.
Once the individual accepts this NEW PERCEPTION based on the EMOTIONAL BRAIN/RATIONAL BRAIN model, LONG TERM RESULTS become achievable. The need created by the STRONG POSITIVE EMOTIONAL BRAIN overpowers the SHORT TERM NEED for immediate gratification. The RATIONAL BRAIN begins to understand this and provides the PERCEPTION needed to reinforce the POSITIVE EMOTIONAL BRAINS’ GOALS.
The grandfather will give up smoking (short term destructive emotional gratification) because the STRONG POSITIVE EMOTIONAL NEED (the need to prevent the grandchild from smoking cigarettes) outweighs the satisfaction of smoking. This permits the grandfather’s RATIONAL BRAIN to overpower his emotional need to smoke. The PERCEPTION that HIS smoking can lead to the unnecessary death of his grandchild is reinforced by his RATIONAL BRAIN which makes quitting smoking a REALISTIC LONG TERM OUTCOME.
Notice, however, that his own death was not a strong enough positive emotion to alter his PERCEPTION of cigarette smoking and the death he could face.
Each person looking to create a LONG TERM HEALTHY LIFESTYLE must find their OWN PERSONAL POSITIVE EMOTIONAL NEED(S) that supersedes their SHORT TERM destructive behavior(s). These EMOTIONAL needs are UNIQUE to each INDIVIDUAL. They can only be found by looking WITHIN oneself. Once discovered, they provide the PERCEPTION for the RATIONAL BRAIN to incentivize and reinforce behavioral changes necessary for LONG TERM RESULTS.
THIS METHODOLOGY FIXES WEIGHT MANAGEMENT AND PHYSICAL CONDITIONING ISSUES BY PRIORITIZING LIFE’S PERSONAL EMOTIONAL NEEDS.
Once the EMOTIONAL BRAIN is in sync with the RATIONAL BRAIN:
LONG TERM SUCCESS IS ACHIEVABLE!
Stop searching for answers where they can’t be found. Start searching WITHIN YOURSELF where the answers already exist!