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Podcast: Why Persistence Isn't the Key to Weight Loss


Transcription of Podcast

Please note this transcription is generated by software. There may be some errors. I hope you find it useful.


Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena. This is what my son said to me the other day. “I’m done with this persistence thing and PJ's are hard”.

Persistence is Doing Something Even When It Feels Hard

That is what we are talking about today. Let me give you a little backstory and then I'm gonna tell you why persistence is not the key to weight loss, and this is why I think a lot of people have huge, great problems with weight loss is because they think it's all about persistence.

So backstory, my son is 10 and I was working on showing him how to develop plans how to develop certain skills such as initiative and persistence. And so how do you do this for a child? What you do is you see them doing something, you note what they say and you say, wow, that must take persistence.

So for example, with him, Oh, Sebastian, I see that you are tying your shoelaces, even though that is really hard for you. That must take persistence. And so we were talking about words such as persistence and initiative and independence and all of these things that I'd quite like my children to grasp the concept of .

And so we were talking about persistence. Persistence is doing something, continuing to do something even though it's hard, even though it feels hard, so, He had discovered that tying his shoelaces required persistence, and then after dinner time, his job was to wipe the table. My children are all supposed to do jobs.

Oh my goodness. He finds it so hard to do absolutely anything, so he was wiping the table. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to capture this image, but halfway through wiping the table, he's lying on the kitchen floor going, I can't do this. It's too hard. And we discovered that the reason it was hard was because his sponge was dry and that there was absolutely no way that he could possibly get any water on the sponge.

He did manage to persist and he did manage to finish wiping the table, at which point he collapsed on big Teddy and said This persistence thing is. Sorry, I'm done with this persistence thing and pajamas. PJs are hard, meaning I've now got to go and put my PJs on. Oh my goodness. Isn't life hard? and I did manage to capture a photograph of him lying on Big Teddy in total despair.

When We Think of Things as Hard, they Become Hard

I've melded with despair. I can't go on, I can't move, I can't do anything else. And that is when it made me think, oh my goodness, this is how so many people approach weight loss. It's about doing something that I find hard again and again and again, and. and that's a really hard way of doing stuff because this is what happens.

You get really excited about doing something. You go, okay, I can do this hard stuff. I can do it, I can do it. And you do it. And then life happens. Life always happens. And it may be, it may be just a thought, it may be a mood, it may be that nothing particularly has happened. You know, you're tired, you've got lots of things going on.

You haven't had a break, and something just breaks that thought that, you know, breaks your back a little bit, but your emotional back, not your physical back, and then you find yourself going, this is too hard. I can't do this. This is too hard. You've totally lost momentum of doing things. And I think this is a really, really difficult place to be.

Persistence Isn’t Always The Answer

Now, I want to give you another example of persistence and show you that persistence isn't always the reason, the the answer. So, and then I'll tell you my way of doing things and why I think my way is the best way. So you may or may not know that I like to swim in the sea. I love, love, love swimming in the sea.

It is totally what lights me up. And in the summer, I'm on the beach at seven o'clock in the morning every single day. Pretty much. Now, unfortunately it's not summer, it's winter, and it does get harder in the winter because it gets colder and that is more of a challenge. So in the summer, I'm, I love. By myself.

I l prefer to go with friends, but if my friends aren't available, I will happily go by myself in the winter, not so much. Now, the problem we have been having recently is jellyfish so many jellyfish in the sea, and this makes swimming hard work. Now, you can avoid the jellyfish, but it means that you have to swim looking around for the jellyfish because these jellyfish sting and they've got long tentacles.

And even though I'm wearing a wetsuit, I don't really want to be stung by jelly. Now, last year we managed to swim all the way through winter, and I remember a couple of times with jellyfish, but this year it feels like, oh my goodness, there are so many jellyfish, and I keep persisting in going swimming.

So last Saturday I went, I went with someone who wasn't wearing a wetsuit. We literally got in 40 seconds later, we're like, Ugh, there's jellyfish. We decided to go back. So I'm not swimming as much as I want now. Swimming is the thing that lights me up. I love. The other day we went 10 minutes. This has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks, and each time I think, okay, the jellyfish are going to have disappeared.

It's time for the jellyfish to go, I'm gonna go again. I'm gonna persist. I'm gonna keep doing this. This is hard. I know it's hard, but I'm gonna keep doing it until I reached a point on Tuesday where I'm like, okay, Thursday. Swimming pool. Swimming pool for me is boring. It's cold. I don't enjoy it as much.

I used to go to swimming training. They changed the time of the swimming Training. Training made it slightly more interest. , but swimming in the sea is really what lights me up. And swimming in the swimming pool is okay, a good second best, but not the same thing. But I can persist in going to the sea and swimming for only 10 minutes.

Sometimes Flexibility Works Better than Persistence

Or I can say, you know what, actually time to stop and be flexible and change. So that's an example when persistence is not helping. I'm trying to push through. I'm trying to push through and actually. Being more flexible is, is giving, don't give me the results that I want of helping me get back into my swimming groove.

And, you know, talking about swimming groove for me and you know, talking about what I was talking about right at the beginning where your energy levels go down and you feel. that your emotions have been knocked sideways. I noticed in the last few weeks I haven't been doing as much for me and my emotions have been getting more on top of me.

I've been feeling more like, ugh, as opposed to, Hey array. It's amazing. And I know part of that. . It's because it's winter, it's the end of term. But I also know part of a contributing factor is that I am not swimming as much as I normally do, or I've gone below my threshold of swimming. I don't normally swim as much in the winter as in the summer, but there's a threshold belief beneath which I don't want to go, and I have been thanks to the jellyfish.

Now, I can't blame the jellyfish, can I? I could blame the jellyfish, but it's my decision whether I go to the sea or whether I go to the swimming pool. So going back to persistence. If persistence isn't what's going to get you there, what is going to get you there? And I put it to you that there is a different way other than persistence, and that is to take a step back and do it in an easier way.

Weight Loss Can Feel Easy When You Focus on the Right Things

So when I coach people in my Healthy You Healthy Family Program, and particularly people who have just started off, we've got a lady who's been in there for a couple of months now and she's celebrating losing eight pounds. Congratulations for losing eight pounds. And I asked her, How did it feel? How did it go?

And she said, surprisingly easy. Like it doesn't really feel like anything hard is going on, and that is what most of the women in the Healthy U Healthy Family Program say. It feels really easy. Now, why is it that it feels easy? Because I coach them through thinking about what they are doing and why they are doing it.

So instead of coming from a place of, oh my goodness, I have to deprive myself, I have to put up with those sugar cravings. I have to go through this discipline, this depriving this. It has to be hard. No, I coach them on their mindset. So they're doing the same thing, but they're doing it from a place. Oh my goodness.

ReThinking “Hard” Things Makes them Feel Easier so they’re Easier to Do

The benefits of this are amazing. I am giving myself this gift. I am in this place, and I am choosing not to eat this thing or do this thing, and that makes it so, so, so much easier. It's no longer hard. Once you take the hard away, it's easy. So thinking about my son and he's there going, oh, it's so hard to wipe the kitchen table.

Most people would be. Oh, that's so easy. Why don't you just go and wet the sponge and carry on? Why is it difficult for him? He's perfectly capable of figuring out that he needs to wet the sponge. He's perfectly capable of going and getting the sponge. What's what's going on for him? And the answer is, He doesn't want to wipe the table.

He doesn't want to do it. That's the hard bit that he can't get his brain around. It feels hard to him because he doesn't want to do it, nor does he want to put his pajamas on, which is strange because when he has his pajamas on, he never wants to get out of his pajamas. So it's all really in your brain.

Persistence is in Your Brain. And So is Easy

This idea of persistence is in your brain, and I put it to you that there is an easy way to lose. Now, it's not just about what you eat and what you do and exercise and all of those things. Those things are important. There are ways of doing it that are easier and more likely to get you results quickly.

but most of this work is in your brain. It's mindset work. It's about how you think about something. If you are constantly thinking, I'm depriving myself, I'm making this hard for myself, this is a hard decision to make, then it is a hard decision to make, and you are depriving yourself. And not only are you depriving yourself, but you are having to make that decision frequently, frequently.

and you're using discipline to make that. Now, discipline is a useful tool, but it's what? It's not a long-term tool. You can use it for a little bit, but it's not a long-term solution because discipline is the ability to put yourself in a situation and make a decision that you don't really want to make, that your body's basically, Na, do you know what I want?

Chocolate cake. I don't want to eat broccoli now. And yes, you can make that decision to go against what your instinct is saying or what your desire is saying for a little bit, but you can't do that consistently unless you reframe that decision that you are making. So it can be easy. It can be easy once you start addressing the mindset issue.

So I hope that that has given you. Sort of insight into how when I say to people, Hey, do you know what weight loss is easy. That's what I mean, like you're doing the same thing. But it can be easy, and people do find it easy once they grasp this, oh my goodness, I can do this from a place of excitement and joy and actually do the things that I want to do, as opposed to, oh my goodness, I have to go to the gym.

Two people can go to the gym and one person can think I love going to the gym. It lights me up. It makes me feel amazing. Another person can go to the gym and think, I hate going to the gym. I go to the gym because I have to go to the gym because I want to get fit. But it is a nightmare and I don't enjoy it.

So I can't tell you what to do without talking to you. , I have to know you a little bit first, but more importantly, you need to know yourself. So I want you to think about how you can make 2023 the year that you lose weight and keep it off that you reach your weight loss goal and keep it off, and make it fun and easy and enjoy.

Come and Sign Up For The Smash Your 2023 Weight Loss Goals Workshop

Sign up here: 

And with that, I'd love to invite you to Wednesday's workshop. So it is happening on Wednesday, the 21st of December, and I'm super excited about this workshop. One of the problems I think about set, it's called smash your 2023 Weight loss Goals. And one of the problems I find with any kind of goal, it doesn't matter whether it is weight loss or something different, is we set ourself a goal.

We're like, yes, I'm gonna make this happen. Excited, enthusiastic, and you start off doing all the things that you want to do, that you said to do, and you're really excited about this. And then as time gets on and that deadline gets closer and closer, you begin to look at it and think, oh my goodness, there's no way I'm gonna reach that goal.

It's just not gonna happen. And at that moment when you. In your brain that it's impossible. You just go, oh, I'm gonna give up. What's the point of even trying? I can't do this. Now, what has happened there is that you have set yourself a goal that you do not believe, and it has to be about you, not me. I can tell you what I think is realistic and what isn't realistic, but more importantly, it's what you think is realistic.

And so when you set yourself. The right goal. Yes, you can a hundred percent achieve it. And that's what we're gonna be talking about in the workshop. How do you create a goal that you 100% believe and you have the ability to be able to follow through with that? And we'll be talking about that. And as I was walking my children back from school in the rain today, I realize that I have an amazing gift that I can give out to people.

Now, this is a super valuable gift. I'll tell you more about it. So if you turn up live, I think I'm gonna have to limit the spots for this. But if you turn up live, you will be first in the queue to get this gift, and I will tell you more about it. So Wednesday, the 21st of December at 2:00 PM Eastern Time, I will leave a link in the comments, in the show notes, and I'm super excited.

It's gonna be a workshop that is really going to give you clarity on how to reach your 2023 weight loss goals. Now, it doesn't have to be weight loss, if it's about health, if it's about general wellbeing that works. So even if you think, okay, I'm the weight I am, but I want to get more healthy, this will work for you too.

Okay? Have a fabulous, fabulous day and I look forward to seeing you at the workshop. Bye-bye.


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