You see, there’s a scene in just about every ninja movie ever made where someone tries to sneak up on the good guy. He (or she) acts totally cool, then the attacker all of a sudden catches a flurry of moves that would put a ginsu knife demonstration to shame. Seconds later, the bad guy is dead and the good ninja goes back to painting/reading/knitting. Weight Loss is kinda like that, I think.
When someone seeks out advice because they actually want that healthy change and they are seeking wisdom, then the anti-change ninja within them is momentarily sleepy. He doesn’t realize the call is coming from within the house… but often time he does soon enough, then it’s a battle royale for who rules the house. And if someone doesn’t want to be told they need help, or if they aren’t ready for any kind of change no matter what their voicebox might be saying, any kind of advice for this person requires you to pull out your best ‘crouching tiger, hidden dragon’ style..
You see, the second you talk to someone that doesn’t WANT to change, they typically go into ‘habit lockdown defcon 4’ and mentally take down your ideas with a series of spinning high kicks faster than you can say ‘roadhouse’. All the while holding a smile on their nodding faces. Just like the ninja warrior they are. So I’m not gonna play that game anymore. I’m going to go ninja on them from now on. Without even telling them. Because if I’m actually going to make real change on this planet, I’ve gotta get all montage-y and leather up for battle. Because I’ve realized how real weight loss is achieved. Whether it’s conscious or subconscious, here’s how it gonna happen:
Real weight loss is made with stealth.
As a health and wellness professional, in the past when I’ve announced to someone “I’m here to help you lose weight”, I might as well have been saying “I’m here to burn your favorite childhood toys on the stake while I make you watch a la ‘clockwork orange’ style”. The emotional response is visceral, and the ‘change-prevention rationales’ that fly up would put the US Missile defense systems to shame.
But tell someone there’s a fun event that their friends are doing, there’s music, a chance to see someone or something that they love, and they’re there. Happens every week at Red Rocks Music Concerts here in Colorado (where incidentally I was lucky enough to share the stage last week for the Fitness On The Rocks event – which was mindblowing, but more on that in another post). But Red Rocks has people climb more stairs than they would care to think about every week. How? The good seats are down the bottom, the beer is up the top. Pretty simple, right? If you’re at a concert, you probably want alcohol of some sort (kinda like people think of popcorn and a movie with the same connection). They’re willing to climb the near-vertical ascent as long as the promise of chilled hops serve as their reward.
Are you the next warrior-spartan-crusader-rabbi-superhero?
Alternatively, there are a large variety of ‘adventure/obstacle races’ which are really glorified obstacle courses that any military boot camp would scoff heartily at, but to Mrs Johnson, they are a rite of passage from which they will never see themselves the same way again. If they can do that, well then, maybe their mother was wrong and they DID amount to something after all.
My weight loss strategies bring all the boys to the yard, and they’re like, it’s better than yours.
When I teach my fitness classes at our Bonza Bodies studio here in downtown Denver, I try to keep it fun keep the exercises varied and always do a different workout that gets the body sweating while the mind is thinking. If you’ve been to one of my classes, you know that deciphering my mumbled Australian accent is just one of those mental challenges.
Point is this. I figure if you can make it fun, wrap it in a different packaging other than ‘this is gonna hurt’, give it some camaraderie and something the office co-workers will want to ask questions about and you’ve got a small scale movement. How do you get a community to mobilize around that movement? Well, I’m still working on that part. But I feel like I’m on the right track. Maybe if I fabricated a zombie invasion of some kind…
.Yours in health,