It’s New Year’s, it’s 2023 and perhaps you’re one of the people that decided not to let everything that is happening in the world or your personal problems stop you from achieving big things in 2023.
Maybe you are a few pounds heavier than you want to be, maybe you’re not exercising as consistent as you’d like, maybe you know you don’t take your sleep and stress management as seriously as you should.
And if you are like so many people, you made resolutions for 2023 to change this and become healthier and happier.
Unfortunately, according to some research, 25% of people give up their New Year resolutions in the first week and nearly 100% of people give up by the end of the month. Does that sound familiar?
Well, it’s time to forget crash diets and rash New Year’s resolutions! Make healthy lifestyle changes you can stick with, based on science.
Listen to this 2-part series to find out how you can finally make your resolutions stick!
In this first episode, Ted will talk about self-control and what to do about it, the average weight loss for people on diets, success rates of behavior change on vices, will share the ultimate guide to lasting behavior change, the 6 steps to change your behavior for good, the 6 stages of Change Model and so much more.
Listen now to discover the 6-step process to burn fat, transform your body and live your best live in 2023 by doing less!
- Self-Control and what to do about it
- Is smoking worse than being obese?
- Weight-Loss Outcomes and recent research
- The average weight loss for people on diets
- Is obesity an addiction?
- Success rates of behavior change on vices
- The ultimate guide to lasting behavior change
- 6 steps to change your behavior for good
- Understanding Change
- The 6 Stages of Change Model
- Change: The importance of the process
- The recap of this episode
- And much more…
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Podcast Transcription: The 6-Step Process To Burn Fat, Transform Your Body And Live Your Best Life In 2023 By Doing Less with Ted Ryce: Part 1
Ted Ryce: The whole shift should probably be less about fatness because we’re obsessed with fatness, I have to go on a diet, I have to lose these pounds.” And more about fitness, nobody says, “Oh my gosh, I can’t walk up 10 flights upstairs without dialling 911 because I’m pretty sure I’m having a heart attack. 7
We’ll talk more about that later but the big mindset for me has been more like, “Hey, how fit can I get?” And I try to shift that, in fact, that’s probably one of the biggest mindset shifts you can make.
What’s up, my friend? And welcome back to another episode of the Legendary Life podcast. I’m Ted Ryce, I’ll be your host for this show and I’m a coach to executives, entrepreneurs, and other high-performing professionals.
And what we do here at the Legendary Life podcast is we break down science-based information on how to lose fat, prevent disease, and live a longer, healthier, legendary life, if you will.
So, if that sounds like something you’re interested in, you’re in the right place. And if you want to make sure that all my episodes get to you as soon as they go live, make sure that you subscribe to wherever you listen to podcasts.
So, let’s jump into it. It’s New Year’s, and perhaps you’re one of the people–especially if you listen to this show– that you’ve decided not to let the pandemic, the politics, or your personal BS stopping you from achieving big things in 2023.
Because, hey, you’re a few pounds heavier than you want to be, you’re not exercising as consistent as you’d like, and you know that you’d be a better parent, better business owner if you took your sleep and stress management more seriously.
And if you’re like so many people, you made resolutions, you said, “Listen, I have to change. I’m going to make it happen.” And I want to ask you, how’s it going? Well, according to some of the research I was reading just recently, 25% of people give up in the first week and nearly 100% of people give up by the end of the month, and I want to ask you, does that sound familiar?
And you may have read or heard some other statistics about New Year’s resolutions and who keeps them, who doesn’t. In fact, I’ve mentioned different statistics. I don’t want you to obsess about the numbers here because the point is this, most people who sent out to change their behaviour, especially at the beginning of the year, they fail miserably or at least that’s what I’ve heard from working with hundreds of clients.
And we’re in an interesting time in terms of our national psyche regarding willpower and behaviour. I asked a few months ago on Facebook, “Is it a choice to be obese?” And pretty much everybody said “Yes.” Well, actually, not everybody, there was a small percentage of people who talked about genetics and other things, but the vast majority of people said, “Yes, it is totally a choice.”
Now, if you hear that, you probably, or you may say, “Well, it’s all the thin people who don’t get it and they’re just blaming us and they’re basically saying that we’re not good people.” But it wasn’t, a lot of people were either formerly overweight or obese, or they were currently trying to change it, and they wanted to believe.
After upon further questioning, I learned that they wanted to believe, “Hey, listen, I need to believe that I have the power to change this, I need to believe it’s a choice, I need to believe this because if I don’t, I’m just going to give up.”
But I want to talk about this notion of independence and self-determination, because as Americans in particular, we heavily buy into rational analyses and cost-benefit analyses of behaviour, right? And I’ve talked a lot about that and I, I’m not saying it’s a bad way to approach things, but we need to have a more nuanced approach.
We’re always asking “What are the pros and cons?” We’ll say something like, “It’s only logical to exercise regularly, eat well, limit alcohol use and maintain a healthy weight.” However, if it’s so logical and so obvious, why do we struggle so much? And that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. This is going to be the first part in many parts.
We’re going to do a two-part episode this time but we’re going to do a lot of episodes on this idea because we found that despite generous amounts of self-criticism, shaming, scaring, grossing out, bullying and bribing, our conscious minds have a very difficult time controlling our unconscious impulses.
And you may kind of be thinking, “Well, wow, Ted, you’re kind of where are you going with this? Are you telling me I’m not in control? Is it really, am I a slave to my genetics or my neurobiology, my unconscious impulses?”
And the answer is “Yes, but also no,” because I want you to keep in mind something, we’re in this epidemic of obesity right now, this health issue with metabolic syndrome, obesity, and it’s kind of new, right? There’s probably always been obese people, but more—well, in the past several decades, it’s just skyrocketed to become an epidemic. So, something I want you to keep in mind is that there was an epidemic that we had a few more decades back with smoking.
And so, I want you to keep in mind that the large majority of people who used to smoke are now non-smokers. You may be wondering, “Well, what’s smoking and obesity have to do with one another?” And it’s a good question if you’re asking that, and the more clever of you are probably realizing, yeah, well, it’s unhealthy behaviours and it’s unhealthy behaviours that they have more than just genes, it has more to do with genes choices, education, social factors, environmental factors. So, let’s continue this comparison.
Smoking rates have dropped dramatically over the past 50 years, and yes, obesity is on the rise but keep in mind if we did it with smoking, which by the way, if you look at longevity, if you’re interested in longevity or if you’re interested in the top health behaviour that you can perform that will keep you out of the doctor’s office and into your life–so we’re talking about not smoking, right?
And there’s a little bit of controversy about whether exercise, whether, okay, well, if you’re a smoker and you work out, that is more important to exercise or it doesn’t matter if you work out, you’re going to– if you’re smoking, you’re basically, you know, it’s a dissonance.
And by the way, just to be clear here, a fun fact, if you will, we probably, at least I do, I associate smoking with lung cancer, right? And that’s what on cigarette packs, that’s what you see.
However, most people that die from that smoke, die from heart attacks, die from cardiovascular disease. So, let’s get back to this idea. There was a time when we thought smoking was cool, it was fine, doctors smoked and things started to change.
And smoking rates, a as a consequence in smoking rates in the United States is what we’re talking about here, because I lived in Asia for a couple years, let me tell you smoking rates are quite high there. This is one of the reasons that places like Thailand and Bali have such a lower lifespan but in the United States in particular, smoking rates have dropped dramatically over the past 50 years.
So, again, yes, comparing it to obesity, it’s on the rise, but more people than ever are aware about nutrition and exercise, even if they believe in unproven ideas like there’s something magical about carbs making you fat irrespective of the total calories. +And my point here is this, a groundswell is building that I believe will help us turn the tide of the epidemic of obesity.
Now, in today’s episode, we’re going to dive into how to make behaviour changes that stick. We’re going to look into some of the statistics on behaviour change and what we can learn from them. Then I’m going to talk to you about the leading model of change, like what is change and do we understand the components of change?
And this is stuff that I didn’t just learn from a book– although I did learn it in that way, actually from a course, not a book– but this is what I do with my clients, and I’m also going to talk to you how I apply this stuff to my clients to give you some case studies if you will.
And then we’re going to talk about some of the core concepts of how to change these six necessary components to successful change, and we’ll talk about how to apply them in your life.
And today we’re going to be talking mostly about the theoretical concepts, just because I want you to have an understanding here. And if you’re not willing to go through this understanding, if you want the quick tips, you’re listening to the wrong show, okay? Go find your YouTube videos, the three ways lose fat fast, it doesn’t happen that way, all right?
If there was something really quick and easy that I could do for you, I would, but if that’s where you’re at, you’re listening to the wrong show, go away until you fail miserably and beat yourself up and get tired of all the detoxes juice fast, diarrhoea tea and whatever else you’re doing.
And ready to make some serious change because it’s not about the biology, it’s about “How do we get ourselves to change as people?” So, that’s what we’re going to get into.
And although you may have interpreted that as a hefty dose of tough love, and it was, I want to tell you as we go through this episode, I want you to listen with an open mind. And I want you to listen with compassion—I definitely have compassion, I try to throw in some humour and also a little bit of ball-busting just to keep you on your toes and to keep you focused.
And so, if you get triggered by something, either for something I say, maybe you feel called out, check in with yourself on why you feel that way, or if you hear something that you are sceptical of, check in with yourself on why you feel that way. So, let’s jump into it.
One thing I want to say before we do is that I believe that no one sets out with the goal of being overweight or obese or being totally sedentary or having some type of addiction, gambling, alcohol but life happens.
The good news is there may be something that we can do about it. In fact, there’s definitely something that we can do about it. So, let’s talk about weight loss outcomes in some of the studies and some of the phenomenon we’ve observed. So, if you’re listening to this show, you probably try to lose weight or at least stop yourself from gaining weight.
And you may have experienced what’s called the Yo-Yo pattern, where you’ll roll up your sleeves and work hard and drop the weight, and “I have to change this,” and you’ll find some diet and or intermittent fasting, and “I go one day a week without eating anything,” right? Some of the people that I know on Facebook.
And as a result, the weight comes down. In fact, I got a friend of mine who lost 50 lbs and then put back on 20 in 90 days by following a very strict vegan diet, and then he went off it for the holidays. But the point is this, you’ll roll up your sleeves, work hard to drop the weight, but as soon as you let your guard down, that weight comes back.
And many of us have watched celebrities like Oprah Winfrey struggle with losing the weight, gaining it back, losing the weight, gaining it back, seems to be the norm, even with people who are the most successful of us.
And unfortunately, with all the time, money, effort we put into diets, gym memberships, online workouts, listening to podcasts like this, nothing seems to work that well. The studies show that the average weight loss for people who go on diets is about 5 to 10 lbs, and most people just end up gaining it right back.
And very interesting, there is an exception, can you guess what it is? “Weight loss surgery.” But it’s currently reserved for the most extreme cases and you have to even ask yourself, why do I need to go underneath the knife for something that I know is directly related– not correlation– but it’s directly related with my behaviour? With how many calories I eat and how many calories I burn.
And we’ll get into this later, but the whole shift should probably be less about fatness because we’re obsessed with fatness, “I have to go on a diet, I have to lose these pounds.” And more about fitness, nobody says, “Oh my gosh, I can’t walk up 10 flights of stairs without dialling 911 because I’m pretty sure I’m having a heart attack.” We’ll talk more about that later but the big mindset for me has been more like, “Hey, how fit can I get?” And I try to shift that.
In fact, that’s probably one of the biggest mindset shifts you can make or perspective shifts, if you don’t want to use the word mindset perspective shifts, more about fitness, less about fatness.
So, scientists and others have compared the types of behaviours that lead to obesity, to addiction, and I had Stephan Guyenet on here who is a PhD in neuroscience who studies obesity, and when I first heard about him, “I’m like, why is a neurobiologist studying obesity? That doesn’t make any sense to me.”
At the time, I’m like, “How does that go together?” But after talking to him and reading his book, it makes all the sense in the world, this is really– even the American Medical Association, also the Canadian Medical Association, they classify obesity as a brain disorder.
So, it makes sense then that people have compared the type of behaviours that lead to obesity, to addiction like for cigarette smoking or alcoholism, it belongs in that category. And we don’t have a lot of studies on successful weight loss, right? We’ve got a lot of studies on how most people are unsuccessful, but we do have some interesting studies on smoking, and we know it takes about four to five times for someone to successfully quit smoking.
And so, we’re going to talk about this because again, there’s a lot of similarities here that may not be apparent when you’re first like, “Well, smoking and obesity, they’re so different. You know, one’s like putting this thing in your mouth and lighting it up and inhaling, and actually, smokers tend to be leaner, right?”
But we’re not looking at the smoking, the lungs, we’re not looking at the fat on the body, we’re looking at the behaviours. How do we change behaviours? How do we stop compulsive eating? How do we stop compulsive smoking?
And again, from the research that we have on cigarette smoking, we know that it takes about four to five times for someone to quit successfully, so what does that mean? First time they do, it doesn’t work. Second time they do it, still it doesn’t work. Third time they do, it didn’t work again. Fourth time, maybe fifth time, if they can bring themselves to get past all the mental obstacles, “Oh my God, I’m a failure. I’ll never quit.”
I mean, can you imagine what– I’m not a cigarette smoker, although I smoked cigarettes when I was in high school, I’d never got addicted to it. I was addicted to smoking weed but it was a very different situation, although, habit-wise, it was very similar.
So, of on a little tangent there, let’s reign it back in. So, here’s what we know for people who try to quit smoking cold turkey, their success rate is about 7%, right? So, people were like, “I’m going to quit smoking, it’s time to give this up, I’m going to stop for good,” 7%. So, 93% of people just don’t make it.
And for those who use the patch gum medication, their success rate is about 30%. So, it definitely increases their success, but it still takes them about four to five times before they kick the habit for good.
How about alcohol? We know that if you’re a risky drinker, right? We’re not talking full-blown alcohol addiction here, but a risky drinker, a brief intervention by your primary doctor can help you reduce risky drinking by as much as 50 to 60%. And again, this is for people who aren’t full-blown alcohol dependence, this is people who are drinking a bit too much or in ways that are unsafe.
So, how about full-blown alcohol dependence? What are the success rates for detox programs and 12-step programs? And only about 25% will enter treatment and only about a third of that group will get better, so you do the math there, a very small.
And on top of that, if it takes four to five times for smoking because that’s what I was able to find the most literature on, that’s why I’m going to keep coming back to that instead of the alcohol or other things or obesity for that matter. They relapse.
In other words, these behaviours wax and away over time. So, coming back to the theme of this talk today, it’s like, “How can we make these changes? How can we make even better changes that last even longer?”
And the six key ingredients that we’re going to go into next episode, but I will touch on them here. So, here’s what we know, before I talk about these six key ingredients, let’s talk about, “How did we get these six key ingredients?” Did I make it up? Did I read?
Did I Google key ingredients to change your behaviour on Google and read a couple of short BS articles and then put this together? No, there’s actually an NIH study. There are some studies out there, long-term studies on people who have been successful with changing their– for well with losing weight and keeping it off.
And there is a long-term study done by the NIH, I can’t remember all the details, but they took, I mean, they measured the behaviour, they took blood tests, they looked into genetics, they really tried to figure out, “Okay, is it the genes? Is it like, what can we do? Is it they got more of a hormone? Or what is going on here with these people who successfully lose weight and keep it off?”
And what they were able to figure out is it comes down to six things and it has nothing to do with your genes or epigenetics or your hormone levels or anything like that. Are you ready?
Number one, realistic expectations and appropriate goals. Why? Because if you say to yourself, “Well, I’m going to lose a 100 lbs in 90 days” and one weekend you’ve lost only 10 lbs, you’re going to be like, “There’s no way this is going to happen,” right? “I’ve worked so hard this week, I mean, this month, and I only lost 10 lbs. I mean, I’m going to just give up”
And one thing with my clients that come into the program, I ask them like, “Hey, what are your expectations?” And I help them set some goals because if the expectations are off, which they usually are, people think they do terribly, it’s crazy.
I spent a lot of my time with clients who are getting great results, coaching them on why the results that they’re getting are great because they feel like they’re failing. They know someone else who lost more weight or they’ve got some story but is the perspective that is off.
Now, there may be some genetic components to personality there, but we don’t need to get into that. Setting realistic expectations and appropriate goals is key.
Two is having internal motivation. And we’ll talk more about what this is in the components of motivation in the second episode but I will say this, few of the things that we work on with our clients when they first join is we ask them to do a heaven in the hell.
It’s like, how is this affecting your life? What are you here for? What are you trying to change? And why is it important to you? How is it affecting your life? How will it affect your life in a year from now? How about five years from now? Who else is it affecting in your life? And then let’s say you fix it. How will it affect you? How will it affect you in one years, five years, 10 years, one years? One year, five years, 10 years, who else will it affect? How will your life be different?
Number three is core skills. People don’t realize it, but there’s a ton of skills that you need to develop. It’s just like a relationship. If you come from a family and your parents were violent with each other– and I don’t mean to laugh when I say that– but throwing books at each other’s heads when they had a disagreement, you are going to be missing out on some core skills when you get into your relationship and you’re going to have to develop them.
And so, the same thing if you come from a family where they were drinking too much, they were eating too much, they didn’t move a lot, you didn’t learn some key/core skills that are going to help you, you’re going to have to develop them.
Four, you need an achievable action plan. Far too many people, what they do is try to–“I’m just going to stop eating carbs.” And they do it but they are miserable in the process. In fact, one of the ways I market what I do is I teach you how to lose fat, how to achieve your goals just as and better than most other programs while not giving up your favourite foods. We could even put that into core skills as well.
But achievable action plan, you need something that you can follow. Have you ever gotten, like there’s a 75 hard? The 75 hard, if you don’t know what it is, some entrepreneur came up with it in his defence, it’s not really a weight loss program, it’s a mental toughness program, but people lose weight on it. Well, what is a 75 hard? You work out two times a day, a day for 45 minutes each, and you follow a strict diet for 75 days.
Now, if that sounds like fun, go knock yourself out. I know people who’ve done it, for me, it’s, it’s hard work, not smart work but I’m sure you learn a lot in the process. However, eventually, you’re going to have to shift and have something that is more sustainable. So, not only is it achievable, but it needs to be sustainable.
So, what I do is sustainable and what I teach is sustainable. So, I teach people, I don’t say, “Hey, you must eat dessert,” but I say, “Hey, if you’re going to eat ice cream, here’s how you eat it, here’s how you plan before, here’s how you– like, here are the things that you need to know about how to live a normal life.
So that when your eight-year-old daughter is turning nine and she wants daddy or mommy, in other words, you to sit down and eat some ice cream cake with her, you’re not going to screw her mind up and screw your relationship up with her by saying, “Sorry, daddy’s on a diet. Daddy loves you but dad’s so messed up in the head that he can’t have a slice of ice cream cake because he’s following some religious nut guru who says, ‘You can’t eat sugar ever,’” right? So, that’s not sustainable. So, it needs to be achievable/sustainable.
Number five is support from social circle. So, listen, let me ask you something. So, let’s say you eat a little bit too much, drink a little bit too much. You try to be active, but let’s be honest, the spirit hire around your waist is a sign that you’re really not crushing it there.
How do your friends look? Are they all super fit and you’re the one person who’s out of shape? Probably not the case. We find our tribe and the tribe has similar behaviours. A lot of the entrepreneurs that I work with, they hang out with other entrepreneurs. We all find our tribe, we all have similar behaviours in the tribe.
Now, this brings us to the question like, “Well, what am I going to do? Am I going to leave my family because my family is part of the tribe there and they don’t have the most healthiest habits? No, well, you can change your social circle or your– right? But you can also ask for support, and we’ll talk more about that in the second episode, the follow-up, the sequel to this episode. But I just want to briefly touch on it so then we can go deeper on the second episode.
The sixth one is support from your environment, right? We need support from our environment. In other words, if you’re trying to lose weight, but you have a jar of M&M’s on the kitchen counter that you just can’t stop yourself or cookies or whatever, and every time you walk by and just grab a little handful, you know? And you have to set yourself up for success.
One of the things I do personally here is, I stay in places, I’m lazy too. People think, “Oh, Ted, you must have this dedication, this determination that you do things no matter what.” Well sort of, but you know, I just make it easy for myself. I don’t play the game that so many people play. They’re like, I have to do this monumental, it’s so hard to get to the gym, but I just have to do it.
Now I make it easy, I’m in a place right now, I’m in Brasilia, Brazil, I made sure that I stayed in a place with a gym I worked out this morning. All I had to do was walk downstairs, I did take the stairs and go to the gym. It was super easy, I didn’t have to get an Uber or drive, get in my car, do anything like that.
I’m not renting a car so I’d have to take an Uber over and then wait for equipment. No, I went down, I worked out here. I travel with workout equipment as well, so I can do all my rehab exercises and the other things that are available to me with the equipment that I have in case I stay at a place and there is no gym and to be honest, sometimes I’m so lazy, I don’t even want to go to the gym downstairs.
And you can even rationalize and say, “Well, I’m going to expose myself, potentially expose myself to the coronavirus,” so I make it super easy for myself. Support from your environment.
So, those are the six things, I’ll briefly restate them and then we’re going to move on and talk about what changes and what are the steps to change because a lot of people get this wrong.
So, those six ingredients are realistic expectations and appropriate goals, having internal motivation, core skills, and achievable action plan that is also sustainable, support from your social circle, and support from your environment, all right? Those are the six ingredients. So, let’s talk about change.
Most people, if they try to lose weight and they don’t, if they’re not successful, they feel like a failure, right? I’m a failure, I failed. But here’s the thing, change isn’t an event. It’s a process. What does that mean? Well, it means that there’s no such thing as failure, right? You’re learning something, you’re becoming so indifferent. You’re learning skills, you’re approaching things different.
And there’s something called the trans theoretical model of change, where also called less wordy or less nerdy sounding, the stages of change model. And there’s six different stages and we’ll go through them all, all right?
And so, this comes out of research by the way. This isn’t something I made up or got from Tony Robbins, or this comes from research. And I really love basing, although it’s not the most entertaining usually, some of the best information comes from academics. It’s just they’re usually great at figuring things out, but not great at communicating it in a cool snazzy way that gets your attention, right? And that’s where I come in, that’s why we say what we do here is we break down science-based information.
So, this is from the Stages of Change model. So, there’s six stages, there’s pre-contemplation, there’s contemplation, there’s preparation, there’s action, there’s maintenance, and then there’s relapse. So, let’s dive into each of those.
Pre-Contemplation. Pre-contemplation means you are not even thinking about it. You’re saying stuff like, “Ah, being overweight, it’s genetic. I mean, it’s just the way we are. If you look at my family, they’re all overweight, I’m overweight.“Or maybe because you failed in the past and fuelled demoralized.”
“I’ve tried so many times to lose weight. I’ve tried everything.” “Really? Have you tried everything?” “Yes, everything.” “Well, name a 100 things that you’ve tried.” “Oh, wow, I haven’t tried a hundred things.” Anyway, people who say stuff like that, they’re stuck, and people in this stage, they tend to avoid reading, talking, or thinking about their unhealthy behaviour, but they’re just not there, right? You want to change? You have to move past that pre-contemplation stage, you need the sense that.
A behaviour that you have is blocking you from more important goals, such as being healthy enough to travel or enjoy your children or to enjoy your grandchildren.
And then we get to the contemplation stage, and these are people who are thinking about it. So, at this stage, you’re aware that there’s a problem. It’s like, “Hmm, sitting on my butt for eight hours a day after already sitting on my butt for eight hours a day at work and eating and putting on weight probably isn’t a good thing for me.”
And so, you still haven’t made the commitment to take action, and there may be some ambivalence there. You may say, “Oh gosh, you know, I should really lose weight, but, oh, I don’t know where to even begin with it. I already tried to do it in the past and I wasn’t successful.
But then again, I really should lose weight, right?” Or if it’s smoking, it’s like “If I stop smoking, I know I’ll lose that cough, but I’m afraid it’s going to make me gain weight, you know? Because as soon as I stop smoking, I start eating a lot.” So, in this situation, it’s you’re a little bit stuck, you’ve got some ambivalence and you’re not quite ready to make the change, but you’re thinking about it.
Now, let’s get into the preparation stage. At this stage, you know that change is a must. You believe you can do it, and you’re making plans to do it soon. You may have even taken some initial steps. Perhaps you started listening to this podcast, maybe you joined a gym or bought a Peloton as more likely these days, right? Bought a Peloton or maybe you started playing around with my fitness pal, bought a couple of books. You know, at this stage you are preparing to change, but maybe you don’t quite– yet you’re not in action yet.
So, action at this stage, you’re making it happen, okay? You began to face the challenges of life without the old behaviour. So, if it was, I don’t know, Brownie Tuesdays, you’re not doing Brownie Tuesdays anymore, or Pizza Fridays, right? Where you eat the whole pizza, because you can eat a slice or two, but if you have five, that’s going to be a problem.
So, you’re facing the challenges of life without that old behaviour. And this is when you try to find alternatives, things that you can do instead of what you used to do. For example, if you know that stress eating is a thing for you, you try to change, “Oh, I’m feeling stressed, I want to reach for the food, so what I’ll do instead is I’ll go exercise, I’ll do some yoga or something, or I’ll go hop on the Peloton. So, at this stage, it’s important to be clear about your motivation because it gets very tough to stand the action phase.
And you know, it’s important to get support, it’s important, you know, there’s a ton of things that are important in this action phase to keep it going. Now, check this out. Those things probably don’t– you probably haven’t learned anything super new yet. But here’s one thing I want to talk to you about. This is something that I learned and it was an aha moment for me.
After the pre-contemplation stage, after the contemplation stage, after you’ve prepared, after you’ve been taking action, now we’re in the fifth stage, which is maintenance.
Now, here’s what I learned about this, what they figured out, and this is something I’m going to actually change my coaching program to be longer as a result. What researchers have found is that the maintenance stage happens after you’ve been practising the behaviour for six months. That’s when they consider you’re in maintenance. Not in two weeks, not in four weeks, not in six weeks, not in eight weeks, not in 90 days, six months. That’s the new standard, that should be the standard.
Now, I used to do a 90-day thing, I’m in the process of changing it, and what I want to do is I want to do six months. Why? Because I want people to change and change for good. I can get people to lose weight in 90 days, but to have them do it and three months later to still be in the game?
Now, that’s a worthy goal I feel. And I’m not successful with my 90-day program as successful as I want to be. People all get results and listen, I’m not saying anything bad about my program, my program’s awesome. What I am saying is that you can’t cheat the time.
You can’t cheat the time. In fact, the only reason I sold 90-day increments is because that’s what I felt was sellable, and that’s what people would buy but I’m going to challenge myself and challenge the people who want to work with me to commit for six months. And if that really turns you off, well now you’ve got your work really cut out for you.
So, let’s talk about the maintenance stage here. This is when you practice the new behaviour for six months, and your focus shifts to integrating the changes into your life and avoiding the relapse. And you know, that may require other changes like avoiding situations or triggers with the old habit, right? Like if you tend to overeat when you drink, for example, you need to be more careful about hanging out with your friends who are like, “Come on, just have another drink.”
So, it can be tough, especially if it means steering clear of certain activities of friends, right? So, the six stages is this, and this is another thing hopefully that maintenance at six months gives you a whole new standard to shoot for.
So, many of us were like, “Yeah, well I lost weight, it took me, you know, two months.” Uh-huh, talk to that person in a few more months and see where they’re at. Anyone can lose weight. We lose weight all the time.
People are unsuccessful at maintaining weight loss, so set a new standard there, that’s what I learned. I’m going to set a new standard for my coaching six months.
Now, let’s get into the sixth stage of change is relapse. So, here’s something that I’ve had to coach so many clients about. Relapse is part of the process. Falling off the wagon is normal, I’ve fall off the wagon all the time.
The difference between those people who are successful and those people who aren’t, I believe has a lot to do with how they look at the relapse. So, what successful people do– now, I’ve been successful, I’ve changed my eye drop weight, and I’ve kept it off.
And the thing I’ve done is that I look at relapses normal. I was in– I don’t want to say the best shape of my life, but I looked the best I’ve ever looked ever– when I was in the middle of the pandemic, in the middle of the quarantine actually. And when I ended up having to go home May 30th, I was in Columbia, got into awesome shape.
A lot of my business did extremely well in 2020 and my dad got sick and he was in the emergency room and I had to take a humanitarian flight home out of Medellín, Colombia to go to his rescue. And that started the process of a relapse for me.
Start, it brought up a lot of shit for me, brought up a lot of challenges. And one of the ways that I dealt with it is I ate my emotions because a lot of the coping strategy, I was thrown for a loop. I was in a whole new environment in Vero Beach, very different in Columbia, changed everything for me. It wasn’t healthy in more ways than one and I was in America, it’s easier to eat healthier outside of America, I’ve found and in general.
So, I gained weight and a lot of my clients, even during the 90 days that they would sign up with me, they would relapse as well, so it’s part of relapsing. So, so many of us, if we fall off the wagon, we say “I’m a loser, I fell off the wagon.” That is what unsuccessful changers do. If you want to be successful, say, “Ah, I’m off the wagon, this is a normal part of the process. What knocked me off?
And what can I do so that next time around I will not get knocked off.” If you can make that shift, which is extremely hard because as soon as you fuck up, and I’m saying that, but it’s really that I’m trying to capture the emotional intensity of my clients who feel that way. They’re like, “Ah, I fucked up, fuck!” Right?
That’s how they feel and it’s like, “No, you fell off the wagon. What knocked you off? Get some emotional distance. Stop being a perfectionist. Get some emotional distance. What knocked you off? Time to move past that, because that’s part of the problem.”
Try to sell that to someone. “Hey, would you like a 90-day intermittent fasting, keto, paleo meal plan?” Sell them by the thousands. “Hey, would you like to dive deep into why every time that you fall off the wagon, you further self-sabotage yourself? And would you like to look into how you could avoid that next time so that you could have even better chances of long-term success?” Try selling that one. That’s what I sell, extremely difficult, and I’ve to not say it in that way.
So, it’s a tough thing because when you relapse for a lot of people, it brings up a lot of negative emotions, and in that moment, not when you’re listening right now to this and you’re fine, and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, okay, yeah, next time I fall off the wagon, I’m just going to maintain emotional control and I’m going to maintain objectivity and ask why it happened and how I can improve my chances next time.” Nuh, it doesn’t happen like that.
You feel the negative emotions and you’re like, “Mmm, I’m going to go eat. Mmm, I hate myself. God, I’m such a loser,” or whatever the self-talk is the negative self-talk that comes from the negative feelings, but it’s in those moments that the change really happens.
If you want to change, if you want to level up, it’s in that relapse in how you talk to your– how you deal with the negative emotions that come up, how you talk with yourself, and then most importantly, of course, the actions that come after.
So, why is this helpful? Why are we talking about this change? Why are we diving into these stages that change? We really need to talk about this stuff. Yes, because it helps you to see that it’s a process, that it’s delineated, that it has steps and that it’s predictable.
And success is predictable because most of us, we take a past-fail mentality. “Did you lose weight?” “Yeah, but I gained it all back. I failed,” right? Because most people do lose weight when they try to lose weight, although it’s usually 5 to 10 lbs but it’s a pass-fail mentality.
And what you need to do is you need to shift to understanding that it’s a process. And when you could do that and handle the things that come up, it’s going to change the game for you, it’s going to change your success. So, change is a process, it has steps.
And one other thing that I’ll say about this is sometimes you don’t go in and out of the steps in a linear way. Sometimes, you jump, you’re in and out. It’s not like, “Well, I passed through pre-contemplation, then contemplation, then preparation, then action, then maintenance, then relapse, and then I repeated the cycle again. Maybe you hit that relapse and then you come back into action. You know, I just need to get back on, what I’m doing is good, I just need to keep doing it and just get back on track and keep doing it.”
Others, “Hey, I tried to follow the plant-based paleo, keto, intermittent fasting diet program, and I failed, I fell off really hard. Maybe you need to go back to the preparation stage and figure out. Okay, well I need a better plan here because the paleo, keto, plant-based, intermittent fasting thing, it’s just not something I can do, right? I need a better plan.” So, we can come in and out, do you see how that’s the thing? I hope so. Well listen, we’re going to wrap things up here, but just to recap what we talked about. We talked about how most people aren’t successful at losing weight. They lose 5 to 10 lbs, but most people end up gaining all the weight back. Now even programs like mine, I get people lose 20 to 30 lbs in 90 days.
But I’ve had clients who have gone back and forth, right? And we’re looking at “Well, how can we improve this?” And one of the reasons that I’m learning this stuff is so that I can improve my coaching, right? And the thing is, there are ways of improving change, and this is where it’s all at too. So, we looked at how most people are unsuccessful, most people lose 5 to 10 lbs, anyone can do that, and most people gain it back. And we also looked at how it’s tough to deal with these unconscious impulses.
We also looked at people who are successful at quitting cigarette smoking, which is what we’re using as an example of trying to change compulsive behaviour. It takes four to five times for them to do it. And that’s cigarette smoking, I want you to think about that. How much of a pariah are you? A social pariah are you if you smoke cigarettes.
But in other words, like, “Oh, can you not smoke around me? Like, I’m breathing that in, it’s messing up my lungs, just go away. Just go find your smoker tribe and all hang out together and all die from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease,” right? But what about being overweight? I mean, we complain about, “Oh, these unrealistic beauty standards in the media.” And it’s like, “Yeah, but it’s all in the media,” right?
The bigger influence on your behaviour is the people who are around you and two-thirds of the population are overweight and or obese and that is going by BMI if we look at body fat percentage, it’s even worse, probably over for around 80% or even 90%.
So, it’s very supported by the people we’re around, right? In other words, the people whom most of us are surrounded by have these behaviours that lead to having being overweight or obese.
And there are six ingredients to changing your behaviour. Setting realistic expectations and appropriate goals, having internal motivation, developing core skills, having an achievable and sustainable action plan, support from your social circle, and support from your environment.
And stage has been I’m sorry, stage change has been delineated, it’s been separated into stages and there’s six stages: Pre-Contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and relapse.
And the big thing here is that it takes six months for you to reach maintenance. And that is a great goal to set for yourself, a great standard to have, and understanding that relapse happens, it’s part of the process. And your goal when that happens is to figure out what knocked you off track and so that next time you’ll do better.
So, that’s what we’ve covered today. Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for part two coming up next Monday where we’re going to talk about the six ingredients to change, we’re going to dive deep and I’m going to share some success stories from the people I’ve worked with. I’m going to share– and some failures by the way– as well talk to you about, you know, do a little storytelling, sharing with you, the people who change, the people who don’t, what threw them off. What can you learn from all of this, right? So, that’s what we’re going to go on.
I’ll go into an episode two and I’ve got a lot more of this coming. I’m just starting to take it from learning about it to putting it into action. Well, actually not putting it into action, I’ve been learning about this stuff for a while, I’m putting it into action, but I’m learning about it and trying to share it with you so that you can get better results because while most people are talking about, I don’t know, the three things that are slowing down your metabolism or whatever, they’re trying to talk to you about the biology of fat loss but it really comes down to behaviour, it really comes down to behaviour.
I can’t tell you travelling around the world has made that even more obvious. It’s just this is where the gold is, nobody wants to talk about it because the big money is in talking about, “Hey there are three things that slow down your metabolism and endocrine. Are you drinking your water out of plastic?”
Yeah, that’s not where the money is. I mean, that’s where the money is talking about that stuff, but that’s not where the gold is for you. So, that’s what I’m doing in this series and I hope that that’s what you’ve got. You started to understand change a bit more, what the obstacles are and how to approach change in your own life.
Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for part two, got a lot more coming for you. Love you! Speak to you on the Real Talk Friday but stay tuned for that second part episode next Monday where we’ll go into the six ingredients of making changes that last.
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