People differ a lot in the way they start our program. Some begin full of enthusiasm, like they’re jumping into a great adventure. Some are like students on the first day of school, waiting for their assignment and eager to learn. Others start off a little bit wary, not quite sure what they’re getting themselves into, and not entirely certain they can trust us. Yet others are struggling with a deep feeling of pessimism, hoping that somehow the program will help them, but quite doubtful that it actually will. All of these “types” are the result of different personalities, different family backgrounds, and different weight and dieting histories.
One of our patients struggled with significant pessimism which was associated with a high level of life stress and exhaustion verging on burnout. She really did not think there was any hope for her. We worked hard to help her find and achieve small goals, and we supported her through her stressful period, and slowly but surely things began to change. Suddenly she realized she had lost 20 pounds and that she could see and feel the difference. As she discussed this, she noted that the process was actually working, and “hoped” it would continue…she was still not fully optimistic, but definitely less pessimistic than before. Had her life situation completely transformed and that’s why she was making progress? No, the difference was that she had managed to persist in her efforts despite how hard it had been for awhile, and now her work was bearing fruit.
As the program continues patients tend to move closer together in their attitudes. All our successful patients have in common several operating principles. They all accept that it takes a daily practice to achieve their goals. They all take responsibility for their choices, even when they’re the wrong ones. They all accept that they are not perfect, and results fluctuate a little from day to day, but the long-term trend is what counts. They all believe they are capable of change…
Less successful patients differ in the details of why they fail to achieve their goals, but they too have something in common, in that they are stuck in a rut, continuing to repeat the same strategy that unfortunately is not working. They may say they aren’t losing weight because they “can’t” exercise enough due to an injury, or a hectic work schedule, but seem to reject all our ideas about how to incorporate some exercise into their daily routine. Or they may say they can’t stop themselves from giving in to temptation when they’re hungry and have nothing ready to eat, but never try out our suggestions for alternate coping strategies and better planning. It’s not that they don’t want to succeed, but they’re just not open to trying something new.
What counts in the end is openness to change combined with persistence and engaging in what’s called “deliberate practice.” Deliberate practice is using feedback to identify weaknesses and finding strategies to work on them, as well as strategies to build on strengths. Can we predict at the outset which individuals will go on to master their weight? No, the ones who go on to achieve and maintain a healthy weight will be those who keep practicing intelligently.
If you’re starting our program it’s obvious that you are highly motivated to succeed. Our program only attracts serious and motivated individuals, so congratulations on being one of them. Now, buckle your seatbelt and get ready for the journey. Stay on course and you will get where you want to go!
Zero Excuse GO is a comprehensive approach to weight control that can help you understand the causes of your weight struggle and to develop effective strategies to achieve your health and lifestyle goals. Our program combines an expert multidisciplinary team with innovative technology that keeps us connected daily, so we can help you be your best self. If you’re looking for the optimal help and support throughout your weight loss journey, do not hesitate to contact us at Zero Excuse GO.