The 7 Elements of Easy Weight Loss

Can weight loss ever be easy? Many people I work with have said just that. But there are reasons that they are able to describe their success as easy. What sets them apart from those that have been unable to succeed?

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1) Focus on behavior and personal change, not weight.
 Our body and weight is a result of our everyday habits, the way we think and act, today and for the rest of our lives. Changing habits and attitudes is the way to lose weight permanently, not getting hung up on pounds and the scale.

2) Mastering behaviors, not willpower.
 Many people think that the way we act and feel is a matter of choice and that personal change is a matter of will power. The reality is that most of us are not aware of why we feel and act the way we do and we don’t know how to change.

The way we are is a product of conditioning and programming, most of it unconscious. Changing that is not just a matter of willing yourself to feel and act differently. You need to be reprogrammed, and that will take practice and effort using known techniques and principles. Weight loss and good health needs to become automatic. That’s the province of behaviorism.

3) Be willing to work hard to make things easy.
 When I and my clients say that permanent weight loss has become easy, we are not saying that we did not have to work at it. We are saying that it has become automatic. It’s like learning to ride a bike or drive a car or play a musical instrument. At first, it may feel awkward, uncomfortable and unnatural. But after a while, some difficulty and practice, it becomes the most automatic and natural thing in the world. Now, it feels natural and satisfying to do the things that keep us at our ideal weight.

4) Responsibility
 Because we’ve tried and failed and lost faith in ourselves so many times in the past, it often occurs to us that if we could get someone else to make it happen, then we might be successful. So we hire a personal trainer or a coach. Or we ask a friend or family member to take on the responsibility. It may even seem to work for a while. But it doesn’t last. We cancel or change our mind and stop doing what’s necessary to succeed.

The reality is that you must accept the job of being responsible for your success. No one else has as much to gain or lose. You are the only one, and if you don’t take the job, no one else will. There is only one person in the world who has so much at stake, so much to gain, so many reasons to create your success.

You are in the driver’s seat of your life, and you need to own that job. No one else can take the wheel for you. But to succeed, we need to learn how.

5) Gaining the knowledge and skill sets to get where you want to be.
 Are we born knowing how to drive, how to master will, how to be healthy and successful? No. Not on your life.

But we are born with potential, the ability to learn and the ability to acquire knowledge, skills, beliefs and behaviors. Regardless of our age, we still have the potential we were born with. We still have the equipment needed to learn, that can rid us of bad information and behaviors and replace them with healthier ones.

We’ll need to learn technique for behavioral change, how to create healthy habits and belief systems. Just “making up your mind” without the tools is not enough.

6) Faith in the potential and power within you.
 All living breathing things, including you, have a power in them that generates their life. You did not make this. It made you. It predates you and has a wisdom beyond our comprehension.

Sometimes, we lose sight of this and doubt our potential. This is crucial, because the part of us that runs our programs and runs our life will act out what we believe is possible rather than what it is really capable of. So, if we believe we do not have this power and potential within us, it’s like we are turning it off. If we do that, the wisdom, genius and miraculous is being told to stop working.

If you are alive and breathing it is still there. Have the faith that it is always there. We may have let ourselves down in the past, lost faith in our own little self, but it is essential to believe that the power that generates the miracles of life is still there, at work, coursing through your every cell. It is ready to respond when you are ready to call on it and put it to work. That Faith is not only rational, but absolutely needed for that power to be active in your life.

7) Desire
 The word desire is derived from a root word that means star, a source of energy. Our sun, a star aflame, is an example of energy that fuels our lives, that makes all earthly things possible.

Don’t be afraid to kindle a burning desire for your success. It will give you energy. You need that energy to accomplish what we want here. If the dream of being at a weight you’d love stirs you, dream it. If the thought of doing what you’d like to do at your desired weight, wearing what you’d like to wear, feeling how you want to feel excites you, stoke it.

Successful weight loss was an elusive goal for many of us for many years, but it certainly is possible, and for many of us, it’s become easy. It most certainly is worth everything you can muster to put these elements in place. Think of what your life would be like if you could solve this problem.

William Anderson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in weight loss, eating disorders and addictions. He was an obese heavy smoker and workaholic until his early thirties, and burned out, but survived and changed direction. He changed in many ways, among them, losing 140 pounds permanently. Health, in a holistic way, is now his mission. He is the author of The Anderson Method of Permanent Weight Loss.

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on May 7, 2015.