Remember about a thousand years ago when i said I would review some old diet books for you? Yeah. I’m finally going to do that.
Dr. Phil’s book is based on 7 “keys” to permanent weight loss. Rather than making another Giant Post of Doom, I’m going to do a post on each one. I will say, over all, that the book has a lot of good summary material in it, and a Cosmo-esque test at the beginning of every section to evaluate how far along you are, but it doesn’t go very deep. Then again, Dr. Phil’s whole schtick is that “It’s easy, pull your head out of your butt and cut with the denial” gig, which is both refreshing (in a culture that tends to excuse everything) and vaguely shallow.
Anyway, on to the specifics. Without further ado…
The first is RIGHT THINKING.
In some ways, this is another tour around the “you have to believe it to achieve it” bit, which I believe and have already talked a lot about on here. Or at least I feel like I have. Dr. Phil lists some very specific “faulty thinking” that could be at the root of a weight problem:
- externalizing or internalizing the locus of control too much (“I can’t lose weight no matter what I do” versus feeling if you mess up any little thing it is all over, versus “chance” locus of control – no matter what I do, I am doomed to be fat.)
- labeling yourself as fat, ugly, whatever
- frustration thinking
- fortunetelling (I’ll never… because…)
- all or nothing thinking (must be perfect or give up totally)
- catastrophizing (if I don’t loose this weight, TERRIBLE THINGS!… – this kind of thinking can paralyze you)
- pipe dreaming (entertaining dreams that are really unrealistic, which can lead to self sabotage because deep inside you know you are not ever going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swim suit issue)
- gut level reasoning (I feel fat, so I must LOOK fat)
- self downing (a lot like labeling, I think)
- poor me thinking (ditto)
I’m a categorizor by nature, so I want to go in and group those together – these are all about self talk, etc. but I will resist, since this is a review, not a rewrite. Dr. Phil wants you to confront your thoughts about yourself and your weight loss with the following rubric:
- is it true?
- does it serve my best interests?
- does it protect my health?
- does it help me reach my goals?
My version of this “Key” is that your self talk is what drives your actions (and inactions) and ultimately that the two together control your physical health. If I am telling myself it is too hard, I will excuse myself from doing “it” (whether that’s eating my one meal a day and keeping it clean, or whether that’s working out).
I do think this is fundamental – Key 1 – stuff. If you are telling yourself you are destined to be fat/are naturally lazy/this is too hard, you will NEVER get there.
Or as Margene says, believing it is possible is half the battle. She should know, she lost 140 lbs – half of herself – on Medifast. I just read through her entire blog for motivation, and one thing I noticed was, she DECIDED to do it and did not ENTERTAIN cheating. She observed this herself late into the process, when she had started enjoying some treats now and then – if you just go on and MAKE the decision, then you have peace about what to do/not do. That’s what my “2012 is the year of Just Doing It” is all about. No questions, no decisions, no tweaks. I’d like to say no whinging, but yeah. Still working on that. 🙂
Tomorrow: the second key!