You've probably heard the saying, "the operational definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result".
That's something I see quite often in people who have difficultly either losing weight or keeping it off.
Inevitably, these people have a lot of very strong opinions about what they need to do to lose weight. It's as if their case is completely unique and no one else has had the same weight loss struggles -- or been able to overcome them.
Given the fact that many of these people have never been successful with weight management it is surprising to how locked into their beliefs they can be.
Usually there is a lot of talking about the problem, but very little action. And too often they are closed off to any advice -- even from a health professional!
Case and point...I was working out at my gym the other day and someone I know approached and started asking me a lot of questions about weight loss and exercise.
Now at the risk of sounding obnoxious, I usually try to avoid having conversations with people while I'm working out for a few reasons. For one thing I consider that my "off duty" time, so I take my trainer hat off and try not to look at the million issues I see all around me that I would feel compelled to "correct" if I were wearing my trainer hat.
Another reason I don't chat much (and keep my iPhone headphones in my ears) is that I (like most people I know) am often pressed for time, so I'm usually focused on getting as much done as possible.
And last but not least...honestly, I don't like people giving me unsolicited opinions or feedback while I'm exercising -- so I try not to do that to other people.
But I really like this woman, so stopped what I was doing and I answered all of her questions. And wouldn't you know, she had answers for everything she was asking me. Answers that were in direct contradiction with my answers. None of them were based on science. In fact some of them were in direct contradiction to exercise science. But it didn't matter. She knew as she told me, "what works for her".
It's kind of hard to argue with that line of logic. But it does beg the question...if her system works so well, why is she still struggling with the same significant weight problem year after year? Why wouldn't someone in her situation entertain the suggestions of someone who has been successful in this area? Especially when she's asking -- as if she wants to hear the answers?
"Success leaves clues" (as my buddy, Tony Robbins is fond of saying). If someone else has done something and been successful at it...if you find out what they did and you do it too it should work for you, as well.
Or you can keep on doing as you've always done and see how that works out for you. Good luck with that ;-).Geralyn Coopersmith, MA, CSCS is the National Director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, an educator, exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer and author of Fit and Female: The Complete Fitness & Nutrition Game Plan for Your Unique Body Type.
Geralyn has been featured many TV shows, including: The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show and Fox and Friends. She has been quoted in:The New York Times, Shape, Self, Fitness, People, Us, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Oprah.com, Yahoo.com and more.