“Don’t get upset with people or situations. Both are powerless without your reaction.”
One of the shows I like to watch is the biggest loser, especially the Aussie version.
It’s a false reality, a manipulated reality, if you will, but there is a lot of truth in the show because of you are able to see the journey’s that some human beings are taking, and you can see these journeys unfolding over the run of the show.
I like watching TBL because of the transformations that these people go through during their time on the show, not just the weight loss, although that can be very impressive, but because of the mental switches that they are able to flip in their brains over the course of the show.
You can witness these people first opening up to the idea that what they are doing to themselves has been slowly killing them. Then they see that there are alternatives. Then they see that they can take this alternative path. They struggle, they fight against it, then they realize that they are winning, they are capable of doing this, they begin enjoying what they are doing, and the changes become a part of their lives.
Of course, we are dealing with a false reality, like I said earlier.
The biggest loser is a show that places people in a position that not many of us are ever going to be in. Once the show is over, the contestants go back to their own lives and some of them go back to their old lives in a big way, gaining some or all of their weight back.
Unfortunately, I think that’s an inevitability in some respects.
The environment that these contestants are thrown into at the beginning of the show is perfect for weight loss.
You have to honestly ask yourself which parts of your old life are not compatible with the new life you want to lead.
They have some top trainers to teach and push them. While on the show, they don’t have to deal with the realities of life and living. They don’t have jobs to go to or families to look after, and for those months that they get to stay on the ranch, they live, eat, and breath exercise and nutrition. They also get so much vital feedback about their progress.
The reason I’m talking about the Biggest Loser show in a video about people getting upset when you tell people you’re not drinking alcohol any more was because I read an article about how some of the contestants had split up with their partners, their husbands and wives, after they had gone home, once the finale was all over and things got back to reality. And it got me thinking about why that was?
If you think about it, we choose our friends, our dates, girlfriends and boyfriends, husbands and wives based around many factors, but mainly around our common interests. We meet people who are basically doing the things we like to do. We’re attracted to other people who share our likes and dislikes, generally speaking.
Once people hook up with each other, whether that’s as boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, whatever, our lives become even more intertwined. We not only share the same general interests, now we start sharing the same experiences, eating the same food, drinking the same types of wine, sitting next to each other as we watch the same movie, going on the same holidays or vacations. Our lives become united within each others experience.
What happens when you decide to make some changes in your life? Let’s say you start to like something else or you develop interests in another area outside of the norm?
If these new interests are only small, you can easily incorporate them into your life. You and your partner make small adjustments in your partnership to accommodate the new interest, and it generally becomes absorbed into the greater picture.
But what happens when those changes are radical? What happens when the changes you want to make are going to affect many different areas of your life? Take for instance losing massive weight or quitting drinking?
“Do something every day that is loving toward your body and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the sensations of your body.” Golda Poretsky
Let’s say that our biggest loser contestant returns home, we’ll call her Jane.
She hasn’t won the show, so she’s not packing a large wad of money for being on the show. But she has lost loads of weight, 45.7% of her body weight to be exact. In fact, she looks like a completely different person.
She has lost 8 dress sizes and her old clothes look enormous. Now, her partner hasn’t laid eyes on her since she left home to join the show and when he sees her for the first time he is gob-smacked,. When someone loses weight at home, the changes are very gradual, even if they lose large numbers on the scale every week. Jane’s 45.7% body weight loss is astonishing. As she steps through that front door, and her husband sees her for the first time, his mouth drops open and he bursts into tears. He can’t believe what he’s seeing. He tells her that she hasn’t looked this good, this healthy, since their wedding day.
Although the weight loss is important, it’s not the end of it.
To reach that kind of weight loss in such a short space of time, Jane has not only had to change her diet and levels of exercise, but she’s had this massive alteration in her mindset. As I said earlier, this is the part that I love about the show. It proves that even the most resistant people are capable of overcoming huge hurdles in their lives and changing the mindsets that they thought were impossible to change. And doing all this in a matter of weeks.
conflict is often about different expectations
Gone are the trips to Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Taco Bell.
Gone are the days of couch surfing through TV channels for long hours every evening with her hubby and kids.
Gone are all the snacking and dipping and deep-fat frying and buttering, and all that kind of stuff.
This person who has returned from the ranch is an improved version of the person who left all those weeks ago.
Jane has different motivations and different expectations about her life now, and she can’t wait to share it with the family, with her overweight husband.
The new transformed version of Jane meets her old family, her old life, and there’s an inevitable conflict.
The family have been continuing with the old lifestyle all this time. They are not going to understand all the changes that have taken place. They can see the obvious changes, Jane is physically half the person she was.
But they have no idea about the huge mental mindset shift that she’s gone through and how those mindshifts are going to affect everything.
That is the conflict.
It’s one of expectations.
when it comes to your health and well-being, you have to think of yourself first. Nobody else will!
So what happens to Jane now?
How does she and her family deal with this conflict?
There are many ways though which there might be a resolution.
The conflict might resolve itself in Jane slowly returning to her old life, regaining all the weight she had lost on the ranch, and coming full circle back to her old mindset.
The conflict might resolve itself in Jane’s family getting fully engaged in this new lifestyle, learning this new way of thinking and accepting that these changes are good and that they want to make these changes in their lives as well.
Or, as happens many cases, the conflict might be too big to resolve, the new and the old hit a brick wall with no compromise.
Now think about this in terms of you quitting alcohol.
The alcohol is the first step to your personal change, so you want to get rid of that.
But it’s not the final step.
Quitting using alcohol is primarily about removing that behavior from your life, stopping drinking the stuff. In order to stop being a user, you have to change your lifestyle.
As with Jane’s life, much of your previous life depended on a mindset that just doesn’t benefit the life you want to lead.
To move forward and transform into that new improved version of yourself, you’ve got to lay open your day-to-day living and uncover which elements are holding you back.
You have to honestly ask yourself which parts of your old life are not compatible with the new life you want to lead. Like Jane’s decision not to go to fast food restaurants any more because they don’t serve the type of food that she eats, we have to make some very similar decisions.
If you don’t look after yourself, how can you look after someone else?
You have to decide which parts of your life are not going to co-exist. Which parts of your lives are going to be throwing constant temptations into your face? Which parts of your life are going to be reversing all the progress you’re making in altering your thinking. Then you need to sever the connections to those old parts of your life.
These vital transformations may involve tough emotional decisions on your part. You’re going to have to decide which comes first, you and your future, or maintaining the old lifestyle. You will never move forward if you don’t make these decisions.
Why does your drinking bother other people?
These hard decisions you have to make, the ones I was talking about earlier, the toughest of those to make on a personal level involve other people. They are going to affect your relationships with family and friends. These important changes and the emotional decisions that are attached to them, are going to affect the people around you. The closer these people are to you, the more your relationship with them will be affected.
So, depending on how much you value this relationships, or how much these other people value their relationship with you, some tough calls have got to be made.
But let’s get one thing clear, when it comes to your health and well-being, you have to think of yourself first. Nobody else will!
Some people are going to get fully behind these changes you are making for yourself. And hopefully you are surrounded by this type of supportive person.
Some of these people may even take the leap with you, finding inspiration in what you’re accomplishing. They will see that they can enhance their own lives for the better by following in your example.
Other people in your life will only see what you are doing as a threat. They might accept what you say on face value. Most people are good people, they want to see you doing well…. Most people.
“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” Socrates
Everyone is going to see your choices and decisions from a personal perspective, from their point of view. They’ll start asking themselves questions like: how are your choices and decisions going to affect them and their lives?
A lot of this is on a subconscious level.
If your have friends or members of your family who don’t want to change, but your decisions are forcing a change onto them, the end result is going to be conflict.
This conflict is driven by fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of change.
Fear of involuntary limitations on their lives.
Fear of what others might say.
Fear of loss.
Fear about their self-worth.
Fear can lead to irrationality, anger, and more conflict.
You can’t please everyone, so don’t try. To limit this conflict as much as possible, concentrate your efforts in taking the time to properly explain yourself to the people you care about.
Give them a lot of advanced warning about the changes you are about to make.
Let them know about your expectations, why making these changes is important to you, what you hope to achieve for yourself and for them.
Also tell them that you don’t expect them to change, that’s not part of your plan… even though you might hope for that in the long-run.
At the end of the day, it’s inevitable that some people are going to be upset by what you’re doing, but that’s their problem. As you know, your health and well-being come first.
If you don’t look after yourself, how can you look after someone else?
Above all, be patient with these people. They don’t have the benefit that you have had in being able to think this through. They can’t see it from your perspective, only their own. So you have to give them the time to integrate your choices into their lives. That’s what families do all the time. It’s what good friendships do all the time.
Be fearless when it comes to life and careless when it comes to what other people say about you.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!