Maybe You Can’t Lose Weight, But You CAN Change What You Weigh!

This is for everybody who’s ever tried to lose weight, one or more times, and failed. This is for everybody who’s lost weight only to gain it back (or more.) This is for everybody who believes he or she can’t lose weight.

You’re right! You can’t lose weight. There is no use even trying to lose weight again, because you can’t lose weight.

Even though you can’t lose weight, you can change what you weigh. You can change what you weight to less than your current weight. Changing what you weigh isn’t the same as dieting and it’s not the same. This isn’t a matter of semantics – changing words but the meaning stays the same.

Changing what you weigh is not the same as losing weight!

Changing what you weigh is not the same as losing weight!

Changing what you weigh is different than losing weight because it starts in your head, not in what and how much you eat.

The changes will, of course, cause changes in your eating, but there’s a distinct difference in how your weight is influenced to change.

There are 10 Rules to Change What You Weigh!
Rule 1: Behaviors are complex!

Strategy: Break down the behavior.

The Behavior is you’re tightly managing how much you eat during the day but in the evening, in front of the TV you eat twice as many calories in salty, greasy snack foods as you ate all through the day.

You have more control during the day so switch your daytime snack of an apple to a serving of chips. At night, when watching TV snack on fruit.

Rule 2: Change is frightening.

Change isn’t frightening to just you. When you change you can frighten the people around you. The fear of the unknown, which is part of change, can make you resist your own efforts to change and it can cause people around you to exert pressure to stop your change.

Strategy: Be realistic. Unrealistic goals increase the fear of the unknown. Fear increases the risk of failure. Old “losing weight mentality” makes you focus on how many pounds you need to lose, or a specific number as a goal. Changing what you weigh puts the focus on making small, sustainable changes in your behaviors and habits. Those changes will change how much you weigh, but what’s important is the behavioral changes being a good fit with your life. That in turn makes your weight change also a good fit with your life. You will experience less resisting force from others when you are realistic because their fear of your change will be minimal.

Rule 3: Change must be positive.

“As B.F. Skinner’s early research demonstrates, reinforcement-not punishment-is necessary for permanent change. Reinforcement can be intrinsic, extrinsic or extraneous. According to Carol Sansone, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Utah, one type of reinforcement must be present for self-change, two would be better than one, and three would be best.” – The 10 Rules of Change Change isn’t easy, but it is possible: an expert offers 10 rules to change. By Stan Goldberg, published on September 1, 2002 – last reviewed on December 4, 2012

Three Strategies: Enjoy the act; admire the outcome; reward yourself. 

Enjoy the act. Intrinsic reinforcement happens when the act is reinforcing. You enjoy eating food that tastes good and is good for you. That is different than “eating healthy or eating clean” which often disregards the intrinsic pleasure one gets from his food choices and instead is driven by having no harmful ingredients*.

Admire the outcome. Extrinsic reinforcement is the simple act of liking the results of eating good tasting food that’s good for you. That could include liking how eating this way makes you feel including stronger, more energy, less heartburn, clothes are fitting more comfortably and noticing that it’s leading to a positive (reduced) effect on your body weight.

Reward Yourself. Every time you change what you weigh by 5 pounds or reduce your waist circumference by an inch, give yourself a little gift or perhaps put some money away towards a big gift to give to yourself. There are many ways to reward yourself and the important thing is that you find something that’s a meaningful and pleasurable reward for you.

There are still 7 more rules for change, but in the interest of keeping this blog to a manageable and readable length, I’m stopping now. Look for Part Two of “How to Change What You Weigh” tomorrow!

* Many of the harmful ingredients we’re told to avoid have never been proven by science to be harmful. Junk science, unproven theories, and hidden agendas lie beneath the “dangerous to your health” claims. Somebody is either making money by making us believe certain foods or food substances are harmful to our health or they are trying to prevent somebody (or company) from making money by insisting safe foods are not safe.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.