Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don't Be Chicken Little; Don't Focus Only On Weight

There's a chicken little in every one of us.

Money and finance guru, Robert Kiyosaki, wrote about how most people are "chicken littles" and how their panic and fear keep them from obtaining wealth. In the same way, chicken littles in fitness have trouble attaining their desired fitness levels. In investment as taught by Kiyosaki, the chicken littles would sell their stocks out of panic and fear when the market is gloomy (when the stock prices are low). These same people would do a lot of buying when the market is up and the mood is positive, and the stock prices are high. They therefore lose money (in buying high and selling low) because their chicken-little emotions play a bigger role in their decision-making than their rational understanding.

In fitness, the chicken littles sabotage their chances of getting a slim figure, because of fear and panic due to subscribing to the common belief of focusing only on weight. They would get off a good program out of unwarranted disappointment, fear, and panic just because they haven't lost weight during the first month of the program but may even have initially gained good weight from increasing lean muscle mass and bone density while losing the lighter fat weight. (When you lose fat but replace them with increasing lean muscle mass and increasing bone density, you may weigh more overall but you are actually making progress. You could tell by your waist size and body fat % measurements and calculation). The chicken littles panic despite an apparent decrease in their waist size. Because they are only focused on weight, they are the majority that always struggle with weight (in the long-term) and never make sustainable progress in their fitness levels.

Many of the chicken littles have a tendency of buying into fad diets and harmful programs that provide them with quick initial weight loss, despite losing the wrong type of weight (such as muscle, water, and bone weight). Eventually, they gain back all the weight and probably more (as their short-term programs have decreased their metabolic rate.) In female cases, they lose bone density. Regardless of these subtle but detrimental effects of fad programs, they are emotionally gratified by the short term weight loss just like how the chicken-little investors felt good about buying high in a bubbled up market.

Although I've mentioned this in a past blog, I want to remind my readers and clients - you shouldn't focus only on weight. That wrong paradigm will throw you off-track. You should focus first on increasing your RMR (such as by increasing lean muscles), secondly your waist size, then your body fat percentage, and lastly your overall weight. It's like what Sharon Stone told a talk show host when asked how she kept her phenomenal figure. She responded, "I never weigh myself but I gauge where I am from the waist-band of my jeans." Sharon Stone got it right. However, I would probably use a waist measure tape to quantify the waist size (and calculate the waist-to-hip ratio).

However, I must say that you do need to track your weight in the long term, but it should be your last focus and I emphasize long term. It's similar to the long-term investment strategies. You will mess yourself up if you are a long-term investor but you let the day-to-day fluctuation of your stocks get to you. Although most long-term investors understand this, most people get it wrong when it comes to fitness. It is so topsy-turvy that they focus first on weight (or only on weight) when they should focus first on waist (and fat percentage). For more about this, go to http://spirfit.blogspot.com/2008/09/do-you-really-want-to-lose-weight.html

Chicken littles are not just a certain group of people. There's a chicken little in every one of us. However, if you are consciously aware of the chicken-little part of you, you can eliminate it or keep it in check. This is crucial for success in personal finance, at your job, in other parts of life, and it's definitely true for fitness.

Copyright: © 2009, 2010. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org

Shu Chan 陳樹中

1 comment:

Stephanie Faris said...

I lost all my weight on Weight Watchers and, still to this day, the best way for me to lose weight is to write everything down in a diary. I make them myself these days, basing them on what I used when I was successfully in the program. One sheet of legal paper folded up and I have a free food journal for the week! Plus, it helps that I LOVE to walk. I have no problem keeping up that part of my fitness goals...it's the time I look forward to most during the day.