Why doesn't losing weight make me happy?

Why Doesn’t Losing Weight Make Me Happy? [Podcast Episode #101]

I'll admit it. 

My interest in fitness and exercise was mostly born out of vanity reasons. I wanted to look better, to bulk up, and to feel more confident about my body.

So, I joined the gym and started lifting weights religiously. I never missed a workout.

My diet changed too. No more junk. I focused on all the "right" stuff... Lots of veggies, tons of protein, gallons of water.

And boy, did my body ever change! It didn't take that long before I had the physique I always wanted. But, was I any happier?

Not really.​

Too often we tie happiness to our physical appearance. "If I could just ____ then I'd be happy with the way I look and life would be so much better."

Would it really? Would losing weight actually make you that much happier?​

Episode Resources:

Why Doesn't Losing Weight Make Me Happy? [Full Text]

Dave: Hey, thanks so much for joining me in this episode of the Make Your Body Work podcast. As you know, this show is all about helping you live a healthier and happier life.

Here we are, episode 101. So, it was really exciting. We rolled over that hundredth episode just recently, and now we're working towards the next 100. Thanks, as always, for joining me here.

Today, we've got a really great topic. We're talking about happiness, and we're talking about how happiness is equatable, or not equatable, or not led from losing weight, how much happiness we actually get when you lose that weight that you've been looking to lose, and this all stems from a question that Mandy wrote in.

Mandy said, "I've been dieting my whole life with some success here and there. One thing I find though is that when I lose weight, rarely am I happy. Years ago, I lost weight for my wedding and I was happy that day, but it's not that kind of happiness that makes people want to keep working. The happiness seems less powerful than my desire to go back to my normal life. Do you have clients who experience true happiness when they reach their goals? I'd love to experience that happiness, so that I know the result is worth the effort."

Mandy, thanks so much for writing in. I love how you gave that example of your wedding, because especially when I used to be a face-to-face personal trainer, I worked a lot with brides-to-be, and there's such expectation that on their wedding day they're going to look so beautiful. They're going to be at a weight that they feel so comfortable.

All eyes are going to be on them, and this is going to be like the pinnacle of happiness. Sometimes it is. Sometimes that day is great. But quite often, I'd say, in fact, more often than not, they experience, Mandy, just like you did, soon after that moment, it is a fleeting moment. Soon after that moment, the happiness deteriorates, and those women, just like you said, realize that, wow, that happiness wasn't all they expected it to be, and, in fact, they're, quote, unquote, normal life is more desirable.

What do we do? What do we do about that? If losing weight or getting in shape isn't the magic ticket, it isn't going to instantly catapult us into perfect happiness, what do we do? Is it worth pursuing at all, and if it is worth pursuing, how do we do it so that we're not miserable all the time?

I definitely have some opinions I'd like to share, but I have a guest who his own personal transformation is based on a story just like Mandy described, this idea of pursuing happiness, not finding it in a typical way that people go about losing weight, and finding a way that did work, and I'm excited to introduce to you, Byron Morrison, because I know that many of you who are listening are going to be able to relate to his story, and are going to learn a lot from the tactics and the strategies that he shares. So, let's meet Byron.

Meet Byron Morrison

Dave: Hey, Byron. Thanks so much for joining us on the show today.

Byron: Hey, thanks for having me on.

Dave: I'm excited to talk about this whole conversation about health, and weight loss, and happiness with you. It's cool, because before we started recording, you were telling me that this has actually been thematic of some other work you've been doing.

You talked about how you just did a Facebook Live chat on happiness, and I guess before we dive into that topic, I was wondering if you could tell us why are you interested in health? Why are you interested in weight loss? Why are you interested in happiness? How did you get to this spot you're at right now?

Byron: Well, to be honest, a few years ago I was a bit of a mess. I was close to 50 pounds heavier, always depressed, and to the point that I didn't want to leave the house. I had no self-confidence. I didn't know how to eat healthy or how to exercise, and I was so much just locking myself away, and then my dad got cancer, and in an instant, my whole world was pretty much turned upside down.

During the treatment, he had most of his bowel surgically removed, and he spent 25 days in ICU, mostly was on life support and breathing through a tracheostomy, and that was the wakeup call that I needed, because I realized that if I don't do something about this now, then that was going to be me.

So, I set out on my own journey to lose the weight and keep it off, and as I was doing that, I realized there's so much more to that, and life's short and we should be making the most of the time that we have, and finding ways to change our behaviors and improve the way that we live, so that we're happier as well.

It's not just about the weight loss. It's about making sure we fuel our body with what it needs, and that's when I stumbled a lot, because I bordered towards these diets or these crazy workouts, and convinced that that's what you had to do to do it.

That's when I kept not getting results, and I kept blaming myself and being pushed further into a rut. That's why I realized I've got to find a different way, and that's why I learned everything I could about health, nutrition, losing weight.

Now I'm on a mission to help as many people as possible, who are going through the same journey that I went through. Show them that actually they can be healthy and happy without giving up all their favorite foods, or spending every day in the gym.

That's pretty much my mission at the moment.

Are You Stuck in an Endless Cycle Of Trying Different Diets?

Dave: Can you tell us a little bit about what was it like for you then? You said you this aha moment when your dad's going through cancer, and you said that you started getting into the diets, and the extreme workouts, and all that. What were those first steps? What did it look like for you?

Byron: It was so overwhelming. I remember I tried all these things. One of the worst diets I tried was something that my mom and my gran used to do, this drink that you do for 48 hours of just milk with some raw egg, olive oil, and orange juice, and you don't eat any food.

I was just convinced that starving yourself and restricting foods, that's how you do it. It was just this endless cycle of trying all these ridiculous measures, and, yeah, I'd lose a little bit of weight, but I wouldn't check my habits and behaviors, and then I'd put it straight back on.

I convinced myself it was my metabolism, maybe my body just couldn't do it, and just going round and round in circles. It's the definition of insanity, is trying the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.

I found that's the trap that people have fallen into, because we're told that if you want to lose weight, you can't eat chocolate. You can't eat cake, and you're going to be miserable, and I found that the only way to actually change that is to let people become free of that, show them that it's all about balance, not restricting anything. That's when it really started changing for me.

A healthy diet is about balance, not restriction

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Dave: You mentioned the definition of insanity there, and I agree with you on one side of it. It is insane to keep doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

But, on the flip side of it, there's so much marketing that goes behind health, and fitness, and weight loss, that quite often we, as consumers, are told, "Well, this program or this diet is actually new," and it's framed in such a way that it gives this little glimmer of hope that it's something different, and that the program or the diet is what's changed, but, like you said, usually it's just a rendition of something that we've already tried before. Would you agree?

Byron: A 100%. It's just all of this clever marketing, trying to word something in a different way, and it's all pretty much the same thing. It's like tell people to go low carb. They'll lose a load of water. They'll think it's a miracle cure. People will buy into it. It's just a recycled version of that.

What I always say to people, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it is." We simply can't expect to undo 10, 20, 30 years of damage overnight, and if someone's telling you that within a week, you're going to lose all this weight. You're going to feel amazing, it's just not going to happen.

Dave: Even if you're drinking milk, and orange juice, and egg yolks, or whatever it was.

Byron: Oh, I still can't believe I did that, and, yeah, I've had people come to me who have done even worse. Looking back, at the time, I was like, "Ah, well, this is what you have to do. This is what everyone else is doing. This must be the way." Now, I think it's absolutely ridiculous. But, at the time, I believed it. That's why I did it.

I tried it more than once as well, which shows just how oblivious we are to actually making changes, because I had no clue. I didn't know how to put together a balanced diet or what I should be doing, and I'm finding more and more that people just don't have the knowledge and tools to actually make better choices.

The start of any new diet requires that you first acquire basic knowledge of how to put together a balanced meal

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Dave: Isn't that funny? That is actually the definition of insanity. You tried that drink concoction, and it didn't work for you, and you went back and tried the same drink concoction.

Byron: In hindsight, it's ridiculous. But, at the time, it seemed like a great idea.

Dave: I can relate, not so much from weight loss. But when I was young, my origin story is that I was really skinny, and it was the opposite. I was trying to originally bulk up when I was a teenager, and I remember watching one of the old Rocky movies, and he was drinking eggs, like raw eggs out of a glass, and I remember thinking, "Wow, Sylvester Stallone, he's got such a great physique," and so I remember trying that, and it is tough.

Anyone out there who has tried to drink raw eggs. I don't recommend it. It was pretty bad, but same thing. I thought, "He did it in the movie. That's what I must have to do."

Byron: It's easy to buy into though. You just see it. It's marketed in such a clever way. You're like, "They wouldn't be allowed to say this if it wasn't correct."

Maybe You're the Problem?

Dave: But they can. But they can. You used such an interesting word. When you were talking about your initial steps, and you were saying that you were trying some of these extreme measures, and then it might work for a very short period of time, and then you'd fall back and see those results go away, and you said you blamed yourself. You used that word blame, which is a really strong word. Why did you blame yourself?

Byron: For me, it was one of those things, I thought, "Well, dieting is how we must lose weight. If this isn't working, there must be something wrong with my body. Maybe it's my metabolism.

Maybe there's something wrong with me that I'm just not meant to achieve it," because I thought, "Ah, I've tried this diet. I've tried that diet. I've tried this workout. I've spent two hours a day in the gym, and I'm still not getting results. Maybe I'm the problem."

It's one of those things where you just look for a reason to justify why you're in the situation you're in, rather than actually thinking, "What's going on here," and that was when it really started to change for me, when I realized that actually it's not me. It's the approaches that I'm taking.

Once I turned it on its head completely, that's when it actually starting coming together.

Dave: That's powerful. Even if we stop this show right here, that message that you just said, for all the listeners out there listening, I know, because I hear from the listeners, I hear from you guys that same idea of blame. What's wrong with me? Why isn't this working.

But the matter of the fact is that if people were to voice their stories, Bryon, like you are right now very honestly, all of us have been in that situation, where we think that we've found the solution. We try it. It doesn't work for us, and we think it must be our fault.

Byron: A 100%, and the reality is what works for the first few pounds or kilos isn't going to work for the rest, and people think by just going low sugar, by reducing calories and moving a bit more, it's going to help them lose all the weight, and when I had over 50 pounds to lose, that was the rut I fell into, because I thought, "Ah, I lost a bit of weight.

This was working. Why isn't it working anymore," and that's why it's so important we factor in everything else, from our relationships with food, to how much stress we're under, if we're sleeping enough, getting enough recovery, and the whole picture of what our health is all about.

We get so caught up in just eating less and moving more that we don't focus on are we actually happy? Are we enjoying the journey, and instead we're hating every minute, and letting the number on the scale dictate how we feel.

I've found with people, once we can actually turn that around and get them to focus on a day at a time and actually enjoy the process, that's when the weight loss becomes easy, because it's just a side effect of positive life changes, rather than being this huge thing that we obsess over.

Dave: You've used the phrase a couple times about turn this around or turn it on its head, and the traditional model for weight loss goes something like this, do some sort of extreme measure that, like you said, is torturous. We hate it. But once those measures, we've done them long enough or done them hard enough, we'll lose the weight, and then we'll be happy.

Byron: Which doesn't happen.

Self-Doubt: How to Deal With It

Dave: And it doesn't, and that goes back to ... So, Mandy's question, she says, "This happiness, I experienced it for maybe a brief moment, but it's not enough." This isn't her words. I'm sort of paraphrasing, but she says, "It's not enough, that result or the reward I get from losing the weight. It's not enough to keep myself going through all this misery of keeping the weight off." What did you think when you read her question, did that resonate with you?

Byron: It reminded me a lot about my own journey, and, also, with a lot of people I come across. We've got this idea in our mind that our weight is the biggest problem. We think, "Ah, I'm overweight. That's why I can't go to family, work and friend events, because I'm ashamed of how I look and the person I see in the mirror."

We build up this barrier in our mind that the weight is the biggest problem, and people convince themselves that once they lose the weight, then everything is going to magically get better, and often it's just a barrier in place to hide the behind the fact that something's happened in their life that's made them make a decision about who they are.

Self-doubt is an obstacle that you put in your own path. YOU control your thoughts. You can defeat doubt!

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They've got a voice in the back of their head telling them that they're not good enough, and they've got all this self-doubt, and by throwing the weight in front of it, that's kind of just an excuse to hide away from these other realities that we don't want to face.

I'll give you a perfect example of this using myself. I remember a few years ago, I was always the guy who was too ashamed to take his shirt off on the beach, and I remember saying that and I was watching all these guys with six packs surrounded by girls, and they were all laughing and having fun.

I remember telling myself that, "The reason you're unhappy is because you don't have a six pack. You don't look like them, and if you had lost the weight and you looked like that, then everything would be amazing." I went away. I was spending two hours a day in the gym, restricted all my favorite foods, and made myself miserable, but I was determined to get a six pack, so that's a life I could have.

Then when I finally got there, my abs looked great, and I was just like, "I'm still not happy. I still have no self-confidence. I'm still depressed. I still don't know who I am," and that was when I looked at the realization that I had all these other things holding me back in life, and because I hadn't addressed them and I just fixated on the weight loss, I just spiraled out of control, and that's why I find a lot of people, you see it on The Biggest Loser or these weight loss groups...

They'll lose the weight, but because they haven't tackled their beliefs, their relationships with food, and who they are as a person, as soon as they reach their goals, they just think, "Oh, this isn't enough. It's not what I thought I wanted," and then just go back to who they were.

It's Time to Address the Real Problem

Dave: What do you think it is then? Because you're right. So many people think if I could change my body and look like ... You talked about something with a six pack, or look like woman on the cover of the magazine, or look like my friend who is so fit. If I looked like that, then I'd be happy. So, if that's not true, what's the truth?

Byron: Honestly, it's completely different for everyone, because we've all got our own demons. We've all got things that we've gone through in life. It can be anything from unhappiness in a relationship, unhappiness in a career, maybe someone when they were younger, they had a really rough time.

They were bullied, didn't fit in, and they always felt like they weren't good enough, and they carried that through with them into their later life. It might be something that they have a personal tragedy that makes them feel a certain way, that they want to hide behind it. It really varies.

That's why it all comes down to recognizing what's actually caused you to feel that way, because once you do that, then you can start finding ways to let go of that belief, and that's when you finally break free of it.

But we seem to have this habit of we just push it down inside, and until we address the problem, a lot of it we don't even realize is still affecting us, because something could have happened when you were 10, 11 years old that you're still clinging onto now, that's making you eat a certain way, that's putting you off exercising, putting you off going out there, trying new things, meeting new people, and it's actually focusing on your mindset, because where we're the cause of our own unhappiness.

Instead, we just expect it to magically get better, and it doesn't until we face up to this.

Dave: I completely agree with you. We were talking a little bit about marketing, and I don't mean to demonize the entire marketing industry or the fitness industry, but it's easy to send out the message to people that you will be happier if you lose 20 pounds or if you have a flat stomach, or you look a certain way, because the vast majority of our population is overweight, and so that's a very big and accepted message to sell from a marketing perspective.

But you made the very wise distinction that everyone's real path to happiness is going to be slightly unique, because we all have a different history. We all have a different story. That's a tougher thing for businesses or marketers to latch onto and to sell, because it is all unique.

So, I guess my question back to you is if these products or services aren't being sold to us on a unique basis, how do we discover it? What are the steps that we do go through, because it's easy to go out and buy a weight loss program, but it's way harder to find a program that helps us discover what's the cause of our unhappiness or dissatisfaction?

Forget the Weight. Start Deeper.

Byron: Well, without hyping up my own products, because I don't really want to do that. That's what I did. I felt like I needed to do something different. I needed to do something that wasn't a one size fits all quick fix, and instead, gave people the solid foundation to look at their mindset, why they feel and think the way that they do, and really strip it right back, and actually get to the core of why they actually behave and respond, and have all these beliefs and that like, because there are ways that you can do it.

But it does come down to actually getting to grips with who you are as a person, what beliefs you have about life, and looking at your mold of the world, because we've all got these limiting beliefs that hold us back.

Once you're coached and taught in a way to overcome them, that's when you can progress. I found that a lot of people, the easiest thing and easiest way to get started is to instead of focusing on weight loss, instead look at what else is missing in your life, where you're not fulfilled, and just start with the basics.

Rather than trying to obsess of how much weight you have to lose, think, "What do I need to do to fuel my body with what it needs," and eating enough nutrients, getting enough fresh air, managing stress, and looking at everything else, because that's going to help start getting the mindset shift to give you a new confidence to start actually building on it further.

So, rather than overhauling all at once, saying, "I'm never going to eat cake again." Instead, just think, instead of what you have to take out of your life, what you need to put into it, and that's what I do.

Again, I've used the phrase and you've said it a few times, turning it on its head, but I found that's the only way that worked with me and the people I've worked with.

Dave: What was it for you personally? When you had this realization that just focusing on the weight loss wasn't going to be a successful tactic or strategy for you, what was that thing that you first focused on?

Byron: It was my own personal happiness. I had to work out that now that I'd lost the weight, what was still missing? Why did I still feel like I wasn't good enough, that I had to hold myself back, that I couldn't go out there, I couldn't try these things, and then I was finding ways to start pushing my comfort zones and see what I could actually do…

Because we all have our little safety bubble that we like living in, where we feel comfortable and safe, and a lot of people think pushing themselves, they have to go do something crazy, but any step you take outside your comfort zone, that becomes your new comfort zone. So, it's just every day, every week, trying to push yourself a little bit further, and that's how you continue to grow.

Any step you take outside your comfort zone becomes your new comfort zone

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It may not seem like much, and it may, at times, not even feel like you're doing anything at all, but when you continue actually striving, just small baby steps, in six months time, you will look back and you will realize, "Wow. This is how far I've come," and it won't have been overwhelming, daunting, or scary at all.

I think that's how we start to change, rather than just throwing ourselves into the deep end, and thinking, "Okay. From Monday, I'm going to this diet. I'm spending five days a week in the gym, and changing all that," and by Wednesday, giving it up. It's instead just actually focus on enjoying and taking it just, like I said, a step at a time.

Dave: And do you mind, can you give us some examples of specific steps, these baby steps that you did take that contributed, not only to your weight loss, but allowed you to do it in a way that still was happy?

What Are Your "Few Simple Steps" Going to Be?

Byron: Yeah, sure. What I'll do, I think a perfect example is a lady that I've been working with recently, because I think she's a great example of this. She came to me really, really unhappy. She tried all these diets, all these trends, and she was just like, "I just can't do it. Food is controlling my life."

What we did for her, and this is my favorite strategy to work with cravings, mindset, or any of that, and start improving relationships with food, was say to her that rather than actually giving into temptation and saying food has to be off limits, say to yourself instead, you have to have a glass of water and wait 15 minutes before you give into cravings, and that's really, really simple, and by doing that, you can break the trigger of acting on impulse.

It's really easy to confuse feelings of thirst with hunger, and then by actually doing that, you can assess later were you actually on impulse? Was it under stress? Were you unhappy, angry? Did you actually want it? And by doing that and taking the time, at the end of the 15 minutes, maybe you do still want it and then you can have whatever it is guilt-free.

Or maybe you think, "Actually I don't want it today. I'll have it another time." That just gives people the confidence boost that they can start making better decisions without doing anything crazy.

I recommend that's a great one that people do from day one, and then start focusing on adding more vegetables into their diet, finding ways to walk more on a daily basis, and just drink more water.

With her, those were the four things that we did, and that's all she did for the first three weeks, just focus on those as basic habits, and then build on it from there, because it was all showing her that actually you can change without doing anything crazy, and once you've started seeing results from it, then every week, just take a smaller step and focus on becoming more active, improving one meal at a time, finding ways to change her environment in the way she ate meals.

Now, three months later, she's a completely different person. Whereas before, changing everything on day one didn't work.

Dave: Yeah. I can totally see that. I just want to recap. Instead of overhauling her life, and you used the example of saying, "I'm never going to eat cake again. I'm never going to succumb to a food craving again." Instead of trying to do it that way, which, as we all know, leads to being miserable, and probably giving up at some point, probably feeling like a failure, like it's our fault.

Instead of doing that, we implement a baby step, and you gave a great example. I have a craving. Instead of eating that food right away, drink a glass of water. Wait 15 minutes. If I still really want that food, then it's okay. I'll allow myself to have that food guilt-free.

A baby step like that seems so simple. It's not going to make us unhappy. It will lead to results over time. So, my question for you is, why doesn't everyone do that?

What Health "Shortcuts" Can You Take Advantage Of? 

Byron: Because people just don't know any better. I think it's as simple as that. We're sold on this idea with all these fancy marketing and diets that it has to be done a certain way, and we're not told any differently that actually you can lose weight and have a life free from restriction, where food doesn't control who you are, and I'm the perfect example of that. I said to you at the start, I was drinking milk with olive oil and eggs.

I didn't know any better, and I think part of the problem is we just don't have enough focus on teaching people basic life skills, like how to put together a balanced diet, because I'm not sure how bad things are in Canada, but in the UK, there's very little educational maps.

For me, it should be a basic life skill like knowing how to read and write, because it's something you have to do every day three times a day for the rest of your life, and we just need a more informed population.

Dave: Yeah. I think definitely, in many cases, it comes down to lack of education, for sure. I think another problem is that all of us, I think I can say this, all of us are impatient, and whatever it is, whether it's weight loss, or career, or learning some sort of new skill, when we want something, we want something.

We don't want to wait for it, and the promises that we often see in these different fitness programs, remove or claim to remove that need for patience. Whereas the strategy that you talk about, again, I'll use that great example you gave, is drink that glass of water. Wait 15 minutes, and then make the decision, a more mindful decision, "Do I actually want to eat this food or not."

Going that route, if that was the only change that someone made, yes, that's a baby step, and they're going to see results, but they're not going to drop 10 pounds in a week. You're not going to drop 10 pounds in two weeks even. At least it's unlikely, and so that becomes a less sexy sell.

Byron: Absolutely. Our society has evolved in such a way that everything's based around convenience, to the point that Starbucks have drive throughs. You can get your lunch delivered to your desk at work. Even Amazon's got same day delivery now.

So, we expect everything to happen as and when we want it, and, unfortunately, the one area where there are no shortcuts is our health. But we've been so brainwashed to think that everything else can be streamlined, that we expect it to happen, when it's just not going to happen, and there's no way around it.

Once you can show people that actually this isn't going to happen overnight, and even trying to do it is going to do more harm than good, because I always say to people, "If this takes you three, six, 12 months to reach your goal, but you actually stay there, then that's amazing."

Whereas, instead, people will spend 10, 20, 30 years going around in circles, trying a quick fix, and still not reaching it, and when you look at it in that kind of day and night, it becomes easier to accept that maybe it's worth spending a bit more time and making sure you actually keep the result that you want.

Dave: I love that you just said that. I was going to ask you, if you could rewind back to before you had lost that 50 pounds, if you had continued down the idea of like extreme dieting and extreme exercising, where do you think you'd be today?

It All Goes Back to Your Mindset

Byron: I'd definitely still be overweight. I'd probably have worse injuries from the gym from spending two hours a day in there, and I'd probably have put on more weight, because every time I gave up and got disheartened, I'd just go back to binge eating and comfort eating, and, yeah, that was one of the biggest problems for me.

I was always a binge eater and eat for comfort, and that's why it was so essential to change my relationships with food and not have that outlook of, "Oh, I need something to satisfy that need."

That's why it's so important that it all goes back to the mindset, and how happiness and how we feel about ourselves, because once you recognize that, you actually acknowledge the trigger points.

To achieve a goal you must first define the goal. What are you working towards?

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That's when you can start to change them, and that's why the water thing is such an awesome strategy to use, because you might recognize that actually maybe you get stressed at work after a meeting, and you want to head to the vending machine, and by having that 15-minute gap, you get to the point where you don't want it anymore.

Or maybe you've got kids and you're rushing after them, and your response is to sit down and have a cup of tea with a load of cookies, or something else like that, and that's how you break the trend, and that's when you start moving forward.

Dave: Yeah. I completely agree. To be honest with you, I believe you. Two years ago, you started this journey or two or three years ago to lose 50 pounds, and if you had stuck with that traditional all-in mindset, probably you'd be in a very similar or even worse position now two or three years later. Whereas, that bit by bit approach, even if it takes two years or three years ...

So, for all the listeners out there, if you started today with Byron's examples and start this bit-by-bit, baby steps approach, say it takes two years from now, but those results actually stay off this time. Isn't that worth it? To me, I just get so excited hearing your message.

Optimizing Your Health for Improved Happiness

Byron: That, as well as when you focus on the little changes, you can actually shift the rest of your focus to actually enjoying life and the journey, and not just obsessing over the fact that you're sad in the office, and the cake's staring at you and you can't have it, and just making yourself miserable, because that's what people tend to do.

They're miserable every single day, feeling unfulfilled, and once you change that and actually be like, "This is going to take me 12, 24 months, so I might as well enjoy it. I might as well enjoy life," because that's what I'm all about.

While we should be doing everything, we can to optimize our health, we, also, need to make sure that we enjoy the time that we have, because that's why it's all down to balance and not going from one extreme to the other, and just going to excess, and then panicking thinking, "I've done all this damage, and now I need to starve myself to undo it," and backwards and forwards, and just then 20 years pass and things are even worse than before.

Which the fact we have an obesity and chronic disease epidemic just shows that's a cycle that people are stuck in.

Dave: Yeah, totally. As you're speaking there, I was thinking back to a podcast I did probably about a year and a half ago with a girl named Jo Dominguez, and she is a figure competitor, and she was talking about preparing for a show, and you take a look at pictures of her, and she's this beautiful woman with a, quote, unquote, perfect body, but her message was, "During competition prep, I hate my life," and it's completely unsustainable, and anyone who thinks that dieting and exercising this way is the key to happiness, you are looking in the wrong place.

I think it's important even for me, and for you, and for the listeners, to understand that some of these people that we see in the media, who look like physically they have it all together, even they, like that's not their day-to-day life. Someone that you see on the cover of magazines does not look like that 365 days of the year.

It's just not even physiologically possible, but psychology possible to be in a state of so much pressure and a state of avoidance all the time. Byron, I really like your message. You said you enjoy life. That's what you want to do is actually be happy.

Byron: Completely. I keep seeing all these people competing for shows and stuff, and if you actually talk to them, when they're doing comp prep, they're miserable, and any single person who has been on a diet for an extended period of time, can tell you how much it sucks. It sucks having the low energy.

It sucks having to eat less food, and when you're going to that extreme to look like that, it's just not sustainable, and if you look at loads of them, they'll look amazingly lean, and then a couple weeks later after the show, they'll be fat, because their relationships with food are so out of control that they go from one extreme to other, and just start binge eating.

Yeah. If you Google and [inaudible 00:31:38], it's just night and day differences. These people have put on a tremendous amount of weight very quickly, because they've been restricting foods. They've been starting themselves, and they pretty much just snap.

Make Your Body Work Takeaway

Dave: Yeah. Exactly. And then it just turns into this huge binge. So, an encouragement. For everyone who is listening, if you've been going to the gym for a while now, even if it's months or even years, and if you've been trying to slowly improve your eating habits, and, again, it's been weeks or months, and you don't feel like you've had this huge revelation.

Your body hasn't completely changed, don't stop. These baby steps, they do add up, and, at some point, whether it be weeks, or months, or even a year or two from now, you will look back and say, "Wow, I'm glad I stuck with this."

Byron, we like to finish this show with what's called a Make Your Body Work takeaway, and I know we covered a lot talking about lifestyle change, about being happy, about mindset. What would you say is the one thing that we talked about today that is just so crucial for everyone who is listening who wants to lose weight, like Mandy talked about, but not be completely miserable, what should they consider doing today?

Byron: The one thing I urge every single person to do is to stop trying to be perfect. We go into diets and all these other things with this mindset that you have to be perfect. You have to get everything right.

But the reality is no one's perfect, and as soon as you put that much pressure on yourself, you're setting yourself up to fail from the start. It's just not going to happen. That's why people will go into a diet, they'll do really well for a few days, and then the slightest slip up, they think, "Oh, I failed. It hasn't worked. It's not going to happen."

By just actually thinking, "My goal is going to be consistency, not perfection," and every single day, just try and do the best that you can, take the stress and pressure off, and start focusing on enjoying how much better you feel, your energy level, your sleep, your mood, and all the other things you're gaining, rather than on what you're giving up, and that's when you're going to start actually being happier and enjoying every day that you are and your journey.

Connect With Byron

Dave: Yeah. Even just taking a minute to be thankful for the progress that you've made. Be thankful for the body you've got. Be thankful for the steps you're taking, the success you see. It's just so powerful.

Byron, if anyone listening wants to connect with you or wants to learn more about your message, learn more about how you've done what you've done, and what you do with your clients, how do they do this? Where do they connect with you?

Byron: The easiest place to go is ReconstructABetterYou.com, and basically a few years ago, when I went through my own journey, and I realized I needed to think completely different, I set out to write my book, Become A Better You, so I could pass on everything that I learned on losing weight, changing behaviors, managing stress, becoming more active, and breaking it down into step-by-step and easy to follow process that the reader can tailor around themselves.

Then I decided that I needed to do something different. I needed to take it a step up from that, so a while ago I launched the Reconstruct A Better You program, which takes everything I do with my one-to-one clients, from my book, and in my own journey, and breaks it down step-by-step and easy to follow thing, where people can actually make lasting changes to all areas of their life.

Tailor their own journey from improving the way they eat, to the way they feel about themselves, and to making sure they no longer feel lost, invisible to the world, and actually become the person that deep down they've always wanted to be, and in there, we've got an awesome community of people, where we do weekly challenges.

We do check ins, keep people accountable and consistent to their actions, and make sure every step of the way, we do break it down. We focus on small steps that people do at their own pace, and make sure they get lasting changes to the person they want to be.

Yeah. People can find my book, Become A Better You, on Amazon, or go to ReconstructABetterYou.com, and that's got everything about me, my program, and everything else.

Dave: Awesome. For the listeners, I'm going to put a bunch of links in the show notes for this episode, so that you can check out Bryon's website, his book, everything that he's doing. If you go to MakeYourBodyWork.com/101, so 101, that will take you to this episode, the show notes, and, like I said, all those links will be there.

Byron, thanks for so many things, for sharing your personal story, and just for speaking truth. I wholeheartedly, as someone who has been in this industry for 17 years now, I wholeheartedly believe everything that you just said about baby steps, and about not being miserable. So, thank you so much for speaking the truth.

Byron: No. I appreciate you having me on. It's one of the nice things. Like I said, I want to show people that there's another way, and that they don't have to make the same mistakes that I did. So, if this inspires one person to go out there and try something new and change their life, then, hopefully, together we've done something great today.

Dave: Byron, thanks again for joining us today and for sharing a little bit about your personal story, and sharing some, again, really great truths, the fact that happiness doesn't come from losing weight.

Happiness doesn't come from having a flat stomach, or six pack abs, or whatever that goal that seems like it might be our key to happiness. It just isn't. There is something deeper within us.

There is a reason why we're feeling dissatisfied, and being a little bit more conscious about who you are as a person, what has contributed to where we're at today? Are we lacking a relationship? Are we lacking some sort of purpose? Are we lacking some other aspect of our health? What is it, aside from the weight, that's really contributing to our dissatisfaction?

And then, I just thought you were so wise in saying that it's those baby steps to reconstruct how we're going to approach healthy living and weight loss, and to do it in a way that doesn't make us miserable. That's how we're actually going to stick with it, and that's how we're going to achieve not only that weight loss, but that true happiness that can be sustainable for the long term.

So, thank you so much for that messaging. Thanks to everyone who tuned in today and checked out Byron and myself, chatted about this idea of happiness and weight loss, and if you have a question, if there's been something that you've experienced in your life that you're just not sure what to do or how to deal with it, or you just have a question about health and fitness in general, write to me.

I'd love to hear from you, dave@makeyourbodywork.com, and who knows, maybe your question will become the topic for the next episode of the Make Your Body Work podcast.

That's it for today. I can't wait to see you here again next week.

Thanks for joining me today!

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