Updated: May 14
I believe the key to achieving permanent fat loss (and anything else) is to change our lifestyle and identity permanently. Our current results are a reflection of our current default identity.
Changing our default identity will reflect in our lifestyle, which will become the results we get.
After years of thinking I knew what was "right" about fitness and health because I was a boxer and personal trainer for over a decade. I realized the fact that I wasn't getting the desired results in my health and fitness, so I must have been missing something.
Deciding to become an apprentice again in the area of health and well-being was a fun idea for me. This new attitude brought with it an open mind, curiosity, a desire to learn, and a desire to complete an apprenticeship and eventually become a master of my health.
Our unconscious default
Human behavior is complex and influenced by various factors, with a significant portion estimated to be unconscious. Science says that about 95% of our behaviors are unconscious.
Such unconscious behavior includes habitual actions like brushing teeth, tying shoelaces, eating, and driving, where the movements become automatic and require little conscious effort. Other unconscious behaviors are things like how we respond to other people's facial expressions and tones of voice, how we feel when given criticism, how we communicate, listen, and so on.
Changing the default
No one ever became great at tennis until their default identity and lifestyle was one who consistently practices and plays tennis. A novice tennis player decides that she wants to become a tennis player. He takes on the mindset of a novice or apprentice and then begins learning all she can about tennis. She proceeds slowly but surely, enjoying the journey, the practice, the ups and the downs.
Eventually, the consistent practice of tennis is so integrated into her life that she no longer thinks about it. It's who she is. It's no longer a thing she does. It's how she lives now.
The personal identity has shifted into "I am a tennis player," and the tennis player's default lifestyle is now one who plays and practices tennis as a lifestyle.
This identity will often stick with a person long after they give away their career in tennis.
To master one's health is to make it their default identity and lifestyle.
The novice tennis player decides to take on the mindset of a novice or apprentice and begins learning all she can and practicing consistently. This is how a person transforms their life in the area of health and well-being too.
This is why I think the traditional “diet” doesn’t work. Because it presupposes that you are doing something different than your default lifestyle. Willpower always runs out, and when it does, the person will “fall off the diet” and go back to their default.
The people who lose fat for good have changed their default. They are focused on long-term lifestyle changes.
I used to dabble in the area of health and well-being. I often wanted the quick fix, resulting in exactly the opposite - years of no results and unhappiness in my body and health.
Once I accepted that the “magic bullet” I was looking for was a genuine change in lifestyle, I set long-term goals and began to slowly become a true master of my health and well-being.
I used to be constantly trying a new, different diet in an unsustainable way, feeling guilty when I couldn't sustain it and eventually reverting back to my default. Now I am slowly but consistently integrating new, healthy habits into my lifestyle, and it's working.
I now have the goal of running a marathon on my 100th birthday. Only 67 years of preparation to go!