According to researchers at the University of Surrey, people who fail to lose weight while taking anti-obesity drugs do so because they fail to alter their beliefs about their own ability to lose weight. This is in line with Henry Ford’s famous quote, ‘Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right‘.
What we believe influences our thinking and hence our behaviour. So it should be no surprise that if we do not think we can lose weight then we’ll probably remain overweight. However, if we do believe we can lose weight then we are more likely to act in a way that supports that belief. We’ll eat more sensibly and we’ll exercise more. In essence, we’ll do the things that we know are effective in the battle against excess weight.
But, how do we change the ideas we have about ourselves?
Of course, we need evidence; we need to accomplish things that maybe we didn’t think we could do. Starting out as someone who cannot run, and then within a few weeks being able to run for 3 miles is a life-changing achievement and will completely alter our thinking around our own capabilities.
This is just another reason why running (and most other sports), are effective in keeping fit and healthy, and consequently eliminating the need to fight the flab. Becoming a runner changes our perceptions about ourselves. It changes what we believe we can and can’t do; and this is very powerful. Focusing on something positive, like starting to run, is a much more effective way to lose weight than constantly thinking that we’ll never be able to lose weight effectively and permanently.
Starting to run is a journey full of progress and attainment. As the weeks pass, your fitness will improve, you’ll be able to run further, and run faster. And for those looking to lose some weight, it all happens in the background, it’s one of the benefits. Thoughts of losing weight are no longer the central issue, they no longer fuel misery and feelings of failure, and no longer support the view that we cannot lose weight.
As the research confirms: we must change our thinking before we can begin to change our shape.