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Who's in Your Face?

I'm a big fan The Biggest Loser reality TV show.

It's shocking that the US has the world's most overweight population- almost 60 million people. Poor diet, too much stress, lack of vacations, sleep deficits - lots of reasons for this predicament.

But that's not what I want to talk about today.

It is good to be inspired to lose a bit of weight, but here is the thing I find most interesting about the Biggest Loser - it is a great example of an effective change process.

Do you know what is the biggest factor accounting for the lack of success in making health and wellness changes? Take a guess.


The lack of following the recommendations given by your health care provider is the biggest reason for not achieving the health and wellness goals you want.

In one study, those who were compliant with a placebo protocol achieved better results than those taking the same placebo but who weren't compliant with the protocol. Maybe compliance itself a valuable tool in and of itself for getting the results you are after.

Could it be that the biggest reason for the sad predicament of being the most overweight population is that we don't have effective change processes that support compliance.

If you look at the Biggest Loser change process, you see several key things:

Contestants are isolated from their families, friends, etc. - Yes, they lose their regular support networks but they are also taken out of habitual patterns and relationships. And habitual patterns and relationships actually support keeping you were you are - not intentionally but structurally. As Jillian (one of the trainers) observed - removing people from their families and friends helps to remove people from their enablers.

At the Biggest Loser Camp, contestants only do things that are related to their primary goal of losing weight. They don't go to work. No cleaning house. No friend's night out. There are no other distractions - it is all about losing weight. Talk about focus.

Contestants learn new strategies about how to take care of themselves in ways that are directly related to achieving their weight loss goal. They change how they eat, their physical activity, how they rest, how they push through obstacles. They learn to be different, do things differently, and they do different things.

The process has a beginning and an end. It doesn't just drift on endlessly.

There is a huge payoff at the end and big prizes along the way. It is not just one big grueling process. Rewards work.

They have to face the harsh truth about what is happening for them. Big pictures of their fat selves surround them. They dress in outfits that reveal their gross shapes. Doctors tell them straight out what health risks they face if they stay fat. After highlighting for the contestants how fat they actually are and the risks involved, everyone and everything turns the attention to where the constants what to be.

And then there are the trainers - everyone has their favorite trainer but all the trainers share one common characteristic - they are in your face telling you what to do, when to do it, how much to do.

The trainers are not at all interested in excuses about why you cannot do it. And the trainers are not that interested in how you think it might be done better. You do what they tell you to do and that is what it is all about.

It is evident that the trainers care about the people they work with and they develop some strong bonds with the contestants. But the trainers aren't afraid to push their people to do what is needed to get the results. The most successful contestants are those who surrender to the process and enthusiastically partner with their trainer doing what their trainer is telling them to do.

Take home lessons:

If you want to get different results, you cannot be the same, doing the same things the same way.

Love your family and friends but realize that all aspects your current life are supporting you where you are. In order to get somewhere different just about everything in your current life will need to be transformed in some way.

Focus, focus, and focus - everything you do should in some way support the new results you want.

Build a grounded structure to your change process by setting realistic target dates and going for them.

Build in rewards along the way.

Give up being delusional. Tell yourself the truth about where you are and what is happening for you. Then place your sights on where you want to be.

Find an appropriate someone (health practitioner, coach, consultant, therapist, friend) who is congruent with your way of working, who you trust to know their stuff, who you relate well with, who supports your values and beliefsHealth Fitness Articles, and partner with them - then do what they tell you to do. Be compliant and follow through.

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