HEART PLAN — WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS Begins in Your Heart
This book is based on my 20 years experience (along with that of my teammates) helping individuals to successfully lose 20 pounds or more. Having worked with thousands over that time, the real problem, the stumbling block with weight loss programs for nearly all of them is not in losing the weight. It’s in keeping the weight off permanently.
I owned a large suburban fitness center for many years. At it I created a weight loss program, ScaleDown For Life, to accompany fitness and circuit classes, with and exercise physiologist and personal dietician counseling. A uniquely powerful program, it was not a diet. It was A WEIGHT LOSS EDUCATION PROGRAM THAT REALLY WORKED.
Because ScaleDown worked so well, it was fascinating to see how individuals using it reacted to their weight loss success. Surprisingly, in the first instance, they reacted rather strangely — non-intuitively.
Customers had come into the ScaleDown program, I learned, expecting to lose a few pounds, hit a plateau, then quit. That is what they truly expected. That is what everyone expects on EVERY weight loss program on the planet. It may not be what they say. It may not be what they hope. But it is what they truly expect.
Almost no one starts out on a weight loss program with total success in their heart. I think that is true of entrants in every weight loss program — they really expect to fail, no matter the bravado they use before getting started.
Why do they expect to fail? Because every weight loss program and every diet they have ever been on until that point has resulted in failure.
I have a good friend who is a famous physician with a national reputation (you would probably know him if I told you his name). He figures he has lost about 2,000 pounds, going on every diet known to man (plus some he devised on his own). And he is 100 pounds heavier today than when he started on his first diet. Needless to say he is skeptical of ANY diet. He is right to be.
WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS ARE A PRESCRIPTION FOR FAILURE.
Nearly every person loses weight on them. And nearly everyone of those exit the program and gain it all back, plus some. So, I was shocked to learn my ScaleDown customers expected to fail before they even started. Why should they not expect to fail here also?
But, with ScaleDown, weight loss magic happened. People didn’t lose weight rapidly, although some did. But they did lose weight steadily. Significant weight. 40 pounds. 65 pounds, 100 pounds and more. Plus, they had also learned the dietary and lifestyle tools to keep the weight off permanently. Every participant could see that the approach taught in the weekly ScaleDown lessons was something they could keep doing for the rest of their lives. And that is what frightened them.
Successful Weight Losers Quit?
It was something of a surprise to me to see how our most successful weight-losers reacted to their new-found weight loss success. Many quit. Quit. Disappeared. Didn’t try to lose even more weight, although they clearly needed to.
Successful losers…QUIT? Why? How could that be?
I remember one of the first ScaleDown groups I worked with at a hospital. They had each lost over 40 pounds. They attended our weekly classes at the hospital because their doctors required them to lose weight to treat serious clinical health conditions. Imagine my huge surprise when several of the best “losers” quit before the end of the 12-week education course.
I called them up, wanting to know why we weren’t seeing them any more — they had lost over 40 pounds, but didn’t they want to lose even more? Each had very different stories to tell. But, taken together, each were saying in their own private way that ScaleDown was changing their lives in ways they never imagined. Transformed.
These women (and men) were slimming down. They were dropping their meds (under care of their physicians) thus saving a lot of money. THEY HAD A NEW AND HAPPIER OUTLOOK ON LIFE. More importantly, they could see themselves dropping even more weight — and it made them afraid. SCARED.
It was affecting their relationships. Their partners were getting suspicious. Were they in love with someone else — having an affair? Were they out to find someone new? Men were looking at them differently, which didn’t sit well with their partners.
Plus, they could see an entire new world of personal possibilities opening to them — worlds they had given up hope for, or had never imagined. When you weigh 280 pounds, and you suddenly realize you can actually get back to 140 pounds, your future can look very different. Transformed. Surprisingly, not all of it is a happy prospect.
I use the word “transformation” here because it’s an apt phrase. People’s lives truly are transformed. Yet, most undergo vast internal conflicts when faced with the reality they could soon be half their present weight.
Dealing with Transformations
This book is about learning how to deal with the barriers to the transformation of successful weight loss. After working with countless men and women to help them lose weight, and talking to literally a couple thousand or more, I realized that the time to deal with the personal challenges caused by losing a lot of pounds is BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE WEIGHT LOSS PROCESS. Or soon thereafter.
I learned from my discussions with these frightened “successful losers” that unless they could work through, meditate upon, visualize, and talk openly in a non-judgmental way about what their life will be like after huge weight loss, they will falter. They will stumble in their weight loss efforts. And eventually give up.
My Personal Transformation
I also had to learn and understand those challenges myself. I underwent my own transformation when I lost 60 pounds over about a year. I had to redo my entire wardrobe from scratch, so I used it as an opportunity to go an entirely different sartorial direction. Got a new hairstyle. Changed my shoes. Got new glasses.
When people first saw me after my transformation, they couldn’t believe it was me. And I can tell you it changed nearly every aspect of my life. Yet, the emotional journey to get there — well it took a while for the inner me to catch up with the new outer me.
One day I was walking past glass store windows at the mall. I saw a person reflected in the glass and thought… like I had always thought for so many years… geez, I’d like to look like that. The shock was that I was looking at my own reflection. I WAS now the shape of the person I had aspired to be. Wow!
Changing your body changes your identity
Your body can change, but it takes a while for your mental model of yourself to catch up. When strangers see you, and you can tell they are not judging you for your size, and in fact like what they see in you… well, it can change how you think about yourself. And the new respect, admiration and attractiveness you feel can be invigorating. I had never been accused of being sexy before I lost weight, but you know what, for the first time in my life I felt sexy. What a total transformation!
The people I knew, that I saw regularly, people that loved me, people that I loved, also took a while to catch up to seeing my new shape, and the new transformative energy I now carried with me. When they saw other people looking at the new me, and responding positively to me, they really perked up and began to see me differently, too.
For a man, it is a different reaction process than for women. Men can all of a sudden look great and act great because of it, and everyone will say, “Way to go man, loving what I see.” Nearly everyone is openly supportive.
If is different for a woman, as I learned from the women who had quit my weight loss program. Their significant others thought they (a) either were having an affair, or (b) wanted to find a secret lover. Whew, I NEVER KNEW WOMEN COULD HAVE SUCH A DIFFERENT REALITY FACING THEM WHEN THEY LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT. It’s unfair, but true.
Worse, it wasn’t just the men in their lives that were threatened. Many of their best friends were also overweight and the friends were now the “fat one of the bunch.” Their overweight friends were uncomfortable with the positive attention the newly thin one was getting.
Their overweight friends also feared they could never drop 8 dress sizes. It brought out an unexpectedly strong streak of jealousy or resentment that was as hard for them to hide, as it was a surprise. It began to hurt their relationships, as subconscious, unwilled sabotage and non-support crept in between them.
It’s tough being a woman who has lost a lot of weight.
Their partners are threatened, and their best friends abandon them at the very time they need more support, not less. No wonder my best weigh-losers quit. Who knew it could be so emotionally debilitating? Certainly not me. I was clueless, then.
I had to learn how to help others through the transformation process. Along the way I had to unlearn a lot of “schooled” thinking from all the so-called experts out there. I had to learn it from the mouths and carefully expressed hearts of my dear customers.
Re-write Your Own Story
What I learned was that the road to permanent weight loss needs to start with a step-by-step process to uncover the reasons we all give ourselves to not succeed. If you want to lose a lot of weight and keep it off, you need to listen to yourself closely. You need to “feel your own story,” to find the way to re-write it.
Most importantly, I learned that if you really want to succeed at weight loss you need to start that internal work early, before you begin or get very far into a reputable, effective weight loss program.
If the weight loss program you are using really works you are going to come face-to-face with the contradictions of “transforming” your life — how it affects others, and how it affects yourself. Once you are there, once the pounds begin to be shed, it is exceptionally difficult to overcome the barriers, the emotional and weight loss motivation conflicts, that quickly and inevitably come up. It happens too fast, and comes too late to know how to handle the emotional reactions you will be having. YOU NEED TO RE-WRITE YOUR STORY EARLY, and write a whole bunch of alternative endings to find the one you really want. And you need to do that before you get too far into the process of losing significant pounds.
You have to start early. You have to work on it daily, in the beginning. You have to see it from inside your own life as it unfolds naturally, not under the pressure of daily contradictions. And you also need to see it from how others experience the same sense of pain — even foreboding, that the possibility of your transformation projects into their life.
What is the RIGHT way to do it?
I learned that there are neither right nor wrong answers to this internal work. Nor is there a predictable sequence to the issues you will face (the people who tell you otherwise — that they have the right “plan” for you — are more interested in selling you something than really helping you).
YOU ARE UNIQUE. No one has trodden your path. No one has faced your challenges. No one knows all the contradictory personalities in your life. So, YOU NEED TO DEFINE YOUR OWN FUTURE ON YOUR OWN TERMS. And you need to START IT NOW, as near the beginning of starting an effective weight control program as you possibly can.
Having said that, neither are you alone. There is an entire world of people out there ready to assist you, if you just reach out and ask for their assistance. (I will be providing you some tools to do just that.)
Your also NEED TO KNOW TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. You can find answers about calories on Google…but you need a SAFE GUIDE to finding the answers that are buried in your heart. The answers to these are the ONLY ONES that can really affect the course of your weight loss efforts long term. (In future chapters, I outline some specific ways to go about developing your own weight loss support group — your personal transformation support team.)
The key point now is to get started. Imagine alternative futures for yourself at the weight you really want to be. And to get started, knowing your heart is your weight loss plan.
Accepting and following your true heart path, you will not falter in your weight loss goals. You will succeed. And you will find a joyous way to live out the remainder of your life.
© 2014 Boyd Jentzsch. All rights reserved.
HEART PLAN — WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS Begins in Your Heart
By Boyd Jentzsch
Boyd, a recovering Attorney, turned to weight loss research 20 years ago when he lost his mother to the lifelong effects of obesity. He has spent the ensuing years searching the science, and formulating a comprehensive metabolic map of the body — the only complete map of its kind. The map reveals the causes and effects of obesity and related chronic lifestyle diseases. It shows the only proven pathways to preventing and losing excess weight. From that unique foundation, he and his team created a weight loss education program that has helped tens of thousands to lose weight and keep it off. Plus, they created innovative and fun fitness and nutrition education programs for elementary school children, proven to reduce the early bio-markers for childhood obesity. HEART PLAN is a collection of his observations over the years of the emotional impact and motivational challenges nearly everyone faces when trying to keep lost weight off permanently.
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