MIND OVER FATTER!!!!
I guess this is something that has been blatantly obvious to me over the years but so obvious I completely forgot to write a blog and share my experience and any helpful tips on tackling obesity.
Lets look at the plain and startling facts given to us by the university of Washington’s study that took place over 30 years from 1980-2013 with UK citizens. It found that more than two thirds of us now are more overweight than ever before with 67% of men and 57% of women being obese or overweight! This is not to mention children who are now 29% in females and 26% in males compared to that of 17.5% and 21% in 1980!
With such steady and significant increases in obesity we have seen the government implement many strategies such as the clearer labeling of food to give nutritional content and many documentaries with many specialists preaching how this epidemic is the silent killer. It is even considered by many top analysts as a bigger threat than that of terrorism.
I also forgot to mention the great cash in’s that we have seen from various celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver changing their tune to campaign for healthier eating (even though the naked chef produced many of my junk Sunday treats in the past). This is of course all for our health and not at all for his public profile, success of his franchises and clever PR to rebrand himself with last but not least the great bank balance he would get in endorsements which I am sure get back to helping all the people that need it.
The truth is, losing weight is more than just about eating healthily. There are always massive factors that are overlooked such as exercise and what I think is the important aspect, THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OBESITY AND IT’S TRAITS!
Over my decade of PT I have taken on many clients with obesity. My success rate has been fantastic. But it’s not good enough. It’s not perfect. I am a winner and I only train people that want to win their own personal battle with my help in the shortest and safest amount of time. That is my job. In a screening I can usually tell if someone who is obese will stick to the plan. But as I have mentioned I have been so very wrong in a couple of cases.
I’ve given back in the last year one obese clients money with whom I could just not work with. That was after taking him from nearly 30 stone to the low 20’s. I always said (and say to everyone with obesity) the training only starts once we lose the water and easy fat. That’s usually a few months in. Credit to them for taking the challenge on and sticking to my diet. But when they realize more effort comes into it rather than just eating well, this is when it is make or break. They must psychologically be prepared to break their behavior patterns not only in life but when it comes to food in order to get past the very small line between success and failure.
This one client in particular just wasn’t willing to. He instead complained of multiple injuries which were assessed and taken seriously, then even went to the lengths of getting consultant buddies to hook him up for a shoulder MRI scan only to reveal general wear and tear. What an abuse of the NHS?
But this is the problem. When things get too hard you fall back to character and soon enough the pretending to be someone new will stop and you will 9 times out of 10 revert back to your old archetype. This one client did just that, and after several abusive phone calls from him after several warnings that he wasn’t sticking to the plan, we decided to part ways.
Food is such an emotive thing. It is our best friend and worst enemy. How many times have you had the worst day ever to then only want to get home, put your pajamas on and watch a good film whilst scoffing ice cream and Haribo? Or get home and have a few beers, or get a feel good meal going to hide the shittest day of your life?
I see this in so many people, and guess what? I see it in myself.
But where we can stop, an obese person may have to go all the way back to childhood to realize why they can’t. It’s not like we have an epidemic of over eating salad munchers and wheatgrass drinkers. Do we? It’s all for the high fat and sugar foods.
Well, in brief, food makes you feel better, cheese releases a chemical to the brain, just as sugar does and so on to get almost a tiny high from it. That’s where the addiction comes in. When we first have a sip of alcohol or even a gallon of it we don’t necessarily become addicted. It is over time and how the drink or food in this case alleviates us temporarily of our stress and suffering. This is the same as any drug user. Before we know it we are dependent on whatever it may be and without it we feel even worse. We need more to feel even normal and although we know its bad, it is our only comfort. Inadvertently this alter ego can also become whom our peers see us as. The big guy or girl that’s always up for a drink or food, the person you can go to that will join in with your binging as it makes you feel less guilty and them feel popular. It is a vicious cycle and if we don’t seek any help, this can often lead to our death.
This is the same for food! It is just as addictive in my opinion as drugs and if you have suffered from huge tragedies in life, let alone none, food can be the one thing you turn to instead of heroin, cocaine, alcohol or tobacco.
That is why it is important to get professional help in conjunction with your PT if you are serious about losing some big weight. It is vital. I can’t do that for you as I’m not a shrink, I wish I was. It MUST be a two pronged approach as the body is strong, but the mind is ultimately stronger. And without understanding yourself and why you became obese, you may never be able to understand why you just can’t lose it or just cant stick to any diet or training program. Your addiction keeps pulling you back to square one. Your mind tells you “I don’t need a PT now I’ve lost 3 stone, I will never go back and I can do the rest myself” or “I hate my trainer, it is all their fault I feel so bad from exercising and trying to lose weight, they must be my enemy” etc etc etc as I have heard all of the excuses to give up.
My training page supports this idea of obesity needing a psychological aid when I posted last week an article that showed most people from the show “The biggest Loser” actually put the weight back on and more to the point that they are now even bigger than ever. One contestant went from 30 stone to 20 and is now 32, another from 30-13 stone and is now 21 stone.
Am I the only person that reads in between the lines and says, “Isn’t that the drug rehab equivilent of a relapse?”
So where is the support? Ooops my bad, it was the TV show making a lot of money from viewers and ratings which was only important. Not the follow up help or a designated therapist to deliver a weekly session for a year after the weight loss? A better prize for the winner would be a PT and shrink package for 2 years.
This topic could be a book not just a blog there is so much involved but in short what I am saying is this. To me obesity is more than a physical problem. It is deep stemmed in psychological issues and the appropriate action must take in a two- pronged approach to reach weight loss and stopping relapse. A PT alone is not enough. You must also do the work as I do with injured athletes or client alongside a physio or in this case a therapist. I am not both. It is essential that obese people gain support from their peers and family. Someone will always want you to fail or give up but don’t give in. As I have seen with my clients, the successful ones are always the clients that have heeded this and taken the steps to make sure my plan goes as smoothly as possible. Of course I have had two people quit and refunded them but thankfully in my stats my successes far outweigh the failures. Here’s to those guys and well done for never giving up at the hardest times of their journey: Some of my best biggest losers (and all maintaining)!
Martin, 16-12 Stone!