What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
Lessons for successful weight management
I had the pleasure of reading Marshall Goldsmith’s book titled “What got you here won’t get you there” on a recent airplane flight, and was surprised how many of the suggestions in this book are timely and relevant for the individual wanting to lose weight.
With the holidays upon us, countless people will make it their New Year Resolution: to lose 20 pounds, 30 pounds, 50 pounds, 100 pounds… They will go on a severe diet and start going to the gym 5 days per week. In a month or two, they will lose 10 or 20 pounds – or more – only to immediately start regaining. By the end of the year, those same individuals will be heavier than before the latest weight loss effort.
It’s not that the plan is not well-intentioned. It’s not that the individuals aren’t devoting 100% effort and willpower. It’s that the individuals are using the same strategies that failed to yield sustained weight loss in previous years.
The book starts off with a section titled “The trouble with success: how our previous success often prevents us from achieving more success.” If a severe diet and gym plan worked in the past, it’s bound to work now, right? If we define success as losing weight (vs. improving health) and measure success in pounds lost (vs. health gained), we will again define success in the number of pounds lost, regardless of the method used.
Later in the book, Goldsmith writes about “The twenty-first habit: Goal obsession.” He writes “Goal obsession is the force at play when we get so wrapped up in achieving our goal that we do it at the expense of a larger mission.”
One example: “… So we pursue those goals relentlessly… In obsessing about making money, we might be neglecting the loved ones for whom we are presumably securing that money; in obsessing about our weight with extreme diets we might actually end up doing more harm than good to our bodies…”
What is YOUR goal? To repeat the weight loss efforts of past years – those plans that were successful in the short-term, but didn’t lead to long-term weight control – or to try something different this year? Successful weight management will not happen with short-term diets or short-term exercise plans no matter how well-intentioned.
Instead of repeating history, how about something different this year? How about committing to improving 1 habit? Commit to getting the TV out of the bedroom so you can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Commit to wearing a fitness tracker to decrease sitting. Commit to NOT skipping meals, even if that means a fixed calorie meal replacement. Or, commit to regular visits with your dietitian at CNC to help YOU stay on track and explore these productive, healthy strategies. Commit to not only losing weight but to improving your health and happiness this year.
After all, “What got you here won’t get you there.”
From the whole staff at CNC, we wish you a happy – and HEALTHY – New Year!