According to Steve Siebold, an expert on mental toughness training, the answer is yes. Steve is a motivational speaker who lost 40 pounds in one year after deciding that he was sick of being fat. The author of Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People, he has now helped thousands of people lose weight by helping them change their mindsets.
Although I was skeptical of the book’s inflammatory title at first, on closer inspection, it’s nothing like a get-skinny-fast marketing scheme. Steve considers the mind to be an important part of weight loss, and his goal is to pull people out of what he calls the “middle-class mindset” and turn them into world-class thinkers. He recently gave us some insight, tips, and a concrete plan; his advice has a clear focus: by teaching fat people how to think like fit people, they can take control of their weight and their health.
Here are a few of the differences that Steve discovered in his research:
1. Fat people eat for pleasure. Fit people eat for health.
2. Fat people believe diets don’t work. Fit people believe people don’t work.
3. Fat people are waiting to be rescued from obesity. Fit people know no one is coming to the rescue.
4. Fat people eat emotionally. Fit people eat strategically.
5. Fat people expect weight loss without pain. Fit people know everything has a price.
6. Fat people allow failures of the past to hold them back. Fit people use failure to move forward.
7. Fat people are delusional about being fat. Fit people operate from objective reality.
8. Fat people believe they can always start over on Monday. Fit people know Monday is never coming.
9. Fat people see exercise as a burden. Fit people see exercise as a privilege.
10. Fat people make choices that keep them fat. Fit people make choices that keep them fit.
“The great ones know if they get fat, the only person who can save them is the man in the mirror. The mantra of the world world-class thinker has always been the same: I am responsible. This is the cornerstone of their success in everything they do.
If they need coaching, mentoring or support, they will ask for it without hesitation. The difference is no matter how much help they receive, they believe their success or failure is up to them. They refuse to blame anyone else for their shortcomings. If they lose focus and gain weight, you can bet it won”t be long before they”re back at their ideal weight…”
Steve’s 7 Steps for Staying Focused on Your Diet:
Employ Accountability: Get a support system in place or someone who can hold you accountable.
Just Say No: It’s okay to decline politely. Say something like, “Thank you, Aunt Carol. Your pie looks delicious, but I’m really committed to achieving my weight loss goals this year and will have to politely decline.”
Feed Your Visions (Not Your Belly): We need constant reminders of what we really want to accomplish this time of year. The best way to do this is to create a vision board and put it in a very visible location. It’s simply a poster board filled with pictures of lean, fit, and sexy people, along with words that inspire you.
Have a Plan: Maybe it’s eating a small snack prior to going out to dinner; maybe it’s filling up on water, which is good for you anyway; or maybe your plan involves steering clear of the buffet line and asking your spouse to make you a plate. Always have a plan in place.
Create a No-Cheat Zone: Cheating is detrimental to your diet because one bite here turns into a little more and a little more until you’re out of control. Create a no-cheat zone. This means we see 99 percent compliance as failure. You wouldn’t cheat on your spouse in a committed relationship, so why would you cheat on something as important as your diet?
Get Really Clear: Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight.” Get ultra-specific in what you want. “I want to lose 15 pounds of fat in my gut.” “I want to get out of my size 16 dress and fit into a size 4 in the next six months.” The more you can see it, the more likely you’ll be to accomplish it.
Stop Making Excuses: Develop the mental toughness to stop blaming outside factors like the season and all the food, and realize that you are the problem and you are the solution.