November 14, 2016

Why You Should Celebrate Control, Not Weight Loss

When you’re trying to make a change to your health and your body, you probably measure your success in weight, or inches, or how your clothes fit.

Does this sound like you?

Well, I’m here today to tell you that if you can start measuring your success by the amount of control you have over your habits and behaviours, you are likely to see greater results!

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with using the scale or calipers or the tape measure as well— it’s helpful to have data that allows you to understand that the things you’re doing are working.

But, if you’re only measuring your success by the numbers, you’re going to miss the measurement of the biggest contributor to your health or lack thereof and that is: your amount of control.

When you start measuring your health and your positive body outcomes in terms of the amount of control you’re gaining rather than just weight and inches lost, the fitting of your clothes, and how you look in the mirror, you’re going to see more success long term.

Here’s why.

The reason people don’t usually succeed with long term weight loss is that they have difficulty adhering to positive habits and behaviors (making the necessary fundamental changes to their daily actions and outcomes) that lead to a greater adherence to diet and exercise.

If you’re always obsessing over pounds and the inches, then you’re not taking the time to address the true problem which is your lack of self-control, your lack of decision-making ability, and the frequency with which you make poor decisions. So, you’re not actually working to fix the underlying issues, or habits and behaviours, that have prevented you from succeeding in having the health and body you want.

And what happens next? You fall off the wagon of good health decision making. You can’t sustain your diet and weight loss regimen because you haven’t addressed the root issues or habits that keep you unhealthy—so you fall back into them.

You’ve got to work on gaining control! While this may sound daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Just start small.

Here’s something
simple you can begin to do right away to help you gain control (and measure it). Over the next week:

  1. Recognize Your Poor Decisions. Each time you make a poor health decision that goes against your health values, recognize it
  2. Document Your Poor Decisions. Each time you make a poor health decision, write it down. You can do this retroactively after you’ve made some poor decisions throughout the day, but it’s better if you do it in real time.
  3. Look at Your Results. Over the course of the week, you’ll see how many times you’ve made choices that go against the values you’re trying to create in your health. You’ll have a measure of your negative habits and behaviours that keep you unhealthy. These are your root issues that you need to work on over time.
  4. Place Your Focus on Changing Your Bad Habits and Behaviours. Then the idea is, in the next week or in the next month, just try and bring that average down where you’re increasing your control and you’re decreasing your poor decisions.

So, if you start to measure your success by being in better control—making good decisions more often and bad decisions less often—you are going to have better long term success and weight loss will follow naturally. However, if you distract yourself from your root issues by obsessing over your weight and your measurements, you’ll never gain superior control. You’ve got to go all the way to the source of your issues and put your focus there, because the weight is just a symptom of a bigger problem!


The people who succeed in health and fitness long term, are the people who understand that success should be measured in control, not in weight and inches. Focusing on pounds and inches just distracts you from working on your actual issues, and doesn’t get you where you want to be long term. To reach your health and weight loss goals long term, start measuring your success by the amount of control you have over your day-to-day habits and behaviours.

Try out the simple strategy we talked about above to begin to place your focus where it should be: on gaining self-control and changing your habits and behaviours for the better. If you do this, the weight and the inches and all those other database changes that you want to see happen will not only be more likely to occur, they’ll be more likely to stay with you for the rest of your life.

So, give it a try, and let us know what happens.

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