Weight Loss Envy: Why You Should Keep Trying to “Diet” Even if You’ve Failed 20x Before
I recently had a conversation with a guy in his mid 50’s who read my book, but told me that he was completely fed up with the way things were going.
I tried suggesting a few strategies (based on experience & client work) that I knew would help him, based on what he was doing already.
But he was so resistant to hearing ANY feedback or advice – trying to do anything differently – that he just shut down, and shut me down.
“No thanks, I’m done trying,” he said.
We’ve all gotten to that point, usually many times, when it’s a lot easier to just quit rather than repeat the pain of failure once again.
But here are a few very good reasons why you should keep going (and stop looking at those other freaking success stories you see on the internet).
#1 – You Don’t Have a Damn Clue What Went Into Another Person’s Success Story
You know when you watch a success story, whether it’s online, or it’s in person, and you see people talking about their 60 day or 180 day transformation, and then feel extremely envious?
And then when you try out the exact thing that worked for them it doesn’t work for you – like at all?
This is one of those harsh truths about losing weight (and really achieving anything in life): what worked for someone else, might not work for you.
And most of the time, it definitely doesn’t work in the same timeline that it did for them.
And it really sucks when you thought it’d work – you really did – and you gave it 100%.
You see the person looking good, wearing clothes they couldn’t before, on vacations showing off, buying entirely new wardrobes, showing off on their Facebook pages and more.
So it makes you wonder:
“WTF am I doing wrong?”
In reality, you don’t have a damn clue what went into that person’s success.
You don’t know:
- How hard they worked
- Their genetics
- How much support from friends and family they had
- How much time they had
- How much extra money they had to buy “gear,” supplies, healthier foods, etc.
You can find two people pursuing the same weight loss plan, and getting ridicuously different results.
- One can be a 45 year old guy who comes home at five from work, and then has his wife help his kids, cook, etc. so he virtually has the entire evening to exercise, or do whatever he has to do.Since there’s a lot of balance in his life and it’s easier, he can afford to do that without getting overextended and stressed.
- Then you give the same plan to a 45 year old single mom with three kids, who has two jobs, who doesn’t have the luxury of a solid hour of time, who instead has to take a slower track because she literally can’t squeeze in a 60 minute workout, or can’t afford the organic groceries.
Don’t forget rule #1: You don’t have a damn clue behind the backstory.
There’s always a story behind the story, especially when someone sees results quickly.
#2 – You Have No Idea What The Person Looks Like Even Six Months From Now
You can see Oprah crazy thin like this in 1988:
… And can think, “Damn! Wow she looks good. Let’s do what she did.”
Then you find out that she was on a liquid diet for 3-4 months, literally not eating any solid food. You’ll also learn that not even a week later after stopping the diet, the tiny jeans she was wearing couldn’t fit anymore.
But here’s Oprah more recently:
And Oprah has been through this cycle a dozen times in the intervening years (20+ years), as an article in the Chicago tribune talks about.
The point here is not to pick on Oprah or anyone else, but to show that a public personality (or a normal human being) can look great for a specific role in a TV show, a movie, or something else, then totally regain it within the year.
It’s easy to get on a fad diet, lose 30 pounds, then gain it back within six months.
Legions of people do this every beach season and every new year.
We all know someone who got really fit and looked amazing in a short period of time, and then you see them the exact same time next year and think…
The reality (and the real barometer of success) is whether anyone can stick with the results they’ve gotten – and I know, in the short run you could care less, you just want the results.
But when it comes to weight loss envy, it’s the same as money envy, success envy, or happiness envy.
Think you’re perfectly happy now?
Great, log onto social media, hate your life, and then quickly get reminded about how imperfect it is. That’s just the reality of our times.
#3 – You Genuinely Have No Idea How It’ll Go This Time
It’s easy for anyone to quit and just think, “why bother even trying again? I always end up at the same place.”
But we often don’t realize that this time, it might actually be different:
So How Do You Know This Time Really Won’t Be Different?
The truth is, no matter how much we lie to ourselves and think, “It’s gonna be the exact same… back to square one,” it really could be different.
#4 – It’s Still Important To You, You Just Won’t Admit It
I hear people say things like, “screw it, I give up. This is a worthless waste of my time.”
In other words, we’re frustrated. That’s OK, but the truth is that we often lie to ourselves to feel better. This IS important.
We DO want to feel better.
We DO want to look better and fit into old clothes again.
Don’t let the emotion try to overwhelm the fact that this is still an important goal to you.
It’s easy to make a split second, emotional decision: “Screw this.”
Go ahead, give in, and vent, but once you’re done, remind yourself why you started in the first place: this is important.
#5 – Is it Better to Try Again Or Continue Being Unhappy?
We’ve all gotten to the point with some goal in life, where we’ve struggled so many times to get there, that when we start again we think, “Alright, here we go again… do you really want to do this, AGAIN?”
And then it can be really tempting to think, “I’m just going to eat whatever I want, and just pay the price. This is awful.”
So here’s the question: Do you go ahead and do whatever you want, even though it leads you down the path to destruction and further unhappiness?
Or do you try – yet again – and potentially reach the goal, or potentially fail?
To me it helps to think of this as just two things: Risk reaching my goal versus failing, or guarantee failing and being unhappy.
In other words, if I have to avoid “the stuff that tastes good” 50% of the time, fine, that’s a sacrifice 50% of the time.
But what’s the payoff? A potentially huge one. Feeling incredible, looking damn good in the mirror, and most of all – just feeling really good about yourself in general. That’s the point. There’s a huge loss in not trying – guaranteed failure, 100% of the time.
But there’s also a huge payoff in trying – yet again – even if you fail.
A 10%, or 30% or 50% or 75% chance of success – and if you ask me, those odds are good enough.
Just Keep Swimming & Your Tiny Habit For Today
In the internet era, it’s easy to hate your life: just log on social media.
Find someone who achieved the results you want in 1/4 the time, with a lot less effort, and had a lot more fun doing it.
What’s wrong with me?
What are they doing that I’m not?
Is it even worth trying… again?
At the end of the day though, we only have to ask ourselves one question: is this still important to me?
If so, just keep swimming – close down Facebook, tie up those tennis shoes, and get started.
Have you read my book yet?
Read more about this in my book Master The Day. You’ll learn the nine daily success habits I learned interviewing people that lost 100+ pounds and kept it off in a healthy way – by changing their habits. Plus, you’ll get a free $100 video course if you show me your receipt.
Images: Some images used with permission from Freedigitalphotos.net
Thanks for this article. I am a lifelong dieter. Something always derails me. I once hit my goal and stayed there for one whole day! Then, i was so excited i ate everything in sight and gained it all back again. But…..i never quit. I keep on looking for that next inspiration. I must be very stubborn!
That’s alright Gabriele – it’s not easy at all! The natural variations are totally normal, it’s just a matter of us mentally accepting that this is the case.
when u re stressed out, having health issues and lots on your mind this weight loss never ending battle can be exhausting if u re not playn’ smart.you re allways an inspiration! Logical, and very very practical, going to the root cause.
You’re totally right Aida! It’s very hard to stay on track, and for everyone the battle is a little (or a lot) different. Just keep going 🙂
Thank you for the advice. You are so right, it is extremely hard to look at Facebook and see these small people who stay that way with so little effort & then look at myself….. I work my tail off, eat right & have gone on a completely wheat free lifestyle change less a few splurge meals but the weight never seems to come off. I try to go home and work out with my wife every night whether it be Zumba or a kettle bell workout but I am hoping the reason the scale doesn’t move is because the fat is being replaced by heavier muscle. I will update you with my status as I go!
Definitely keep me posted on your progress chris! And feel free to email me anytime if you need help or have questions.
Truth is weather we lose the weight the right way or the fast way we have to make sure we don’t fall in the trap of our old habits when we reach our goal. Or as you call it the wedding day syndrome. Thats what happened to me after losing 45 lb the right way. Kept thinking, hey i lost my weight nice and slow, if i eat this poutine ill be fine. And before you know it you start getting that Jackie Chang look Meme! 🙂 Took me a full year to get the courrage to start again hoping to learn from my mistakes.
Haha, but now you’ve learned a really important lesson right Mona? It was a painful one, but one that’ll help you for the rest of your life.
I purchased your book master the day and the order no. is
D01-5771496-3577938. Can I get your vedio course.
Hi Anita, can you please send me an email? I can send you the order details privately.