Weight Loss Tricks & Self-Help Tools

The Seattle Seahawks are headed to the Super Bowl. While I appreciate that my home team has had an extraordinary season, and while I appreciate the skill, hard work and dedication of the players, and while I’ll dutifully don my 2013 NFC Conference Champions t-shirt on “Blue Friday” and wear it to the game day festivities, I can’t honestly say I’m a member of the “12th Man.”

During the course of my life, I’ve learned that – as a matter of self-preservation – I’m better off hanging out a bit left of center, off the bandwagon, outside of the traditional norm. And in doing so, I’m privy to some very interesting perspectives and insights regarding the dynamics that drive certain systems. I can see what those who live within such systems may not.

One such perspective is the difference between a “tool” and a “trick” – especially as it relates to the subjects of personal growth, self-help and weight-loss. Based on countless hours of listening to conversations regarding these topics, I’ve come up with my preferred definitions of “tool” and “trick.” A “tool” is a device – an action, a process, a technique, etc. – to help you build something. A “trick” is a device – an action, a process, a technique, etc. – to help you deceive something or someone.

The personal growth and self-help world is really into tools. Every personal growth and self-help author out there has his or her own preferred tools for personal transformation. Examples of these tools would include techniques to improve communication – make eye contact, paraphrase key points and repeat them back to the person who said them, ask clarifying questions, etc. Another example would include tools used for anger management and conflict resolution – stop and count to ten, breathe, use “I” statements, etc. Another example would be tools to improve self-confidence – stand tall, celebrate successes, give compliments to others, etc. In all of these examples, the intention of the tool is to help you build and deepen something. And what is generally being built or deepened is a relationship – a relationship with another person, a relationship with self, a relationship with spirit, a relationship with life.

What I find fascinating is that so many people who are so well versed and practiced in the tools personal growth end up relying on “tricks” when trying to transform their bodies. These tricks range from drinking a full glass of water anytime you feel hungry to visualizing yourself wearing that itty-bitty swimming suit on an exotic beach. And whether they are physically, mentally or emotionally based, the intention of these tricks is to override your body’s authentic impulses. “Tricks” erode your relationship with your body.

A more effective and powerful approach to physical transformation is to use the same tools that you find effective for personal transformation. Rather than “trick” your body to deny its impulses, work to improve your communication with it and to deepen your relationship with it. Use your tools of anger management and conflict resolution to express and release your emotions rather than taking them out on your body. Use tools for improving self-confidence to improve your body-confidence. Look for the good in yourself and in your body. Focus on what you can appreciate.

When you approach physical transformation from the same perspective as personal transformation, you’ll find that you already have the skills and tools you need to achieve your goals. And then, because your results come from authentic and congruent actions based on a deepening of your relationship with your body and its wisdom, your results are sustainable.