Cosmetic surgeries are very popular nowadays. Social media has done a good job of brainwashing people into getting surgery for weight loss.
However, people who have not identified the real problem regain the weight.
For example, I have interviewed at least five people who have done liposuction. After a couple of years, their weight is back. The negative side of this is that they have to risk their health yet still gain weight back on certain areas (arms, back, butt, thighs and neck) and end up with a disproportionate body.
Many people go into this surgery without really thinking about the real problem.
They think their body is the problem, and they don’t look into their life habits.
They are not focusing on reality. They are focusing on what they want. The reality is that they are overweight because of their habits. What they want is that their body stays attractive with surgery.
First lesson: Focus on reality and not on what you want to be reality.
I am amazed by human psychology. We are naturally egocentric unless we are conscious about what we desire for the rest of humanity.
I have many clients who have seen great weight loss results, and they started to tone their body. People who are jealous about their achievement criticize our members in many ways with phrases like, “You are looking like a man,” “You are losing too much weight,” “You are not the same,” “Can you be normal and stop changing your food?”
These members come to me and tell me that they don’t want to continue losing weight and lifting weights because of the verbal attacks of others. I take my time to explain to them that this is normal. There will be attacks from others, even loved ones, who feel left behind when we are moving forward. So instead of you paying attention to the attacks, focus on your goal. You will never reach your goal if you try to look good in front of everyone else.
Second lesson: Worry about your goal and stop thinking about what others have to say about you.
I am not perfect by any means. I have my struggles and internal fights. I know I am stronger in some areas than other areas of my life. Nevertheless, most of the time, I take a moment to think about the consequences of the action I am taking. For example, I have two cars, one is old and ready to be replaced and the second one still has a long way to go. I am used to having a second for emergencies. Since I am getting rid of my old car, I want to buy a new car for me which is a little expensive. I can afford it, but I would miss out on my investment goal (the car is more a desire than a goal, and the investment is a goal). So I need to stop and think and hold my emotions, not buy the car and invest my money.
I do the same thing I do when eating or exercising, reading or doing some tedious projects at work. If I don’t exercise, I don’t have to go into uncomfortable pain. If I eat anything, I don’t have to worry about cooking or eating things I don’t like, enjoying the delicious taste of junk food. And if I don’t do my tedious work, I don’t have to be bored at work, and I can do something fun. But what would happen in the long term? What is the benefit of me doing all these instead of avoiding them?
Third and fourth lessons: Third, know your goal and your desires. They are not the same. Four, discover the short-term and long-term consequences of the decisions you are making every day.
If you exercise like a habit and push to your limits, you probably know that pain is inevitable. I have many members who need to understand pain. I usually take my time to explain the reasons why they are experiencing knee, back, hip and shoulder pain, but it seems difficult for them to understand these types of pain. I do understand that. We are a generation who have been taught that pain is bad.
I never ignore our members’ pain, but I have enough experience to know the type of pain they are experiencing, and I know when it is not chronic. I don’t ignore them, but I don’t spoil them. I only see good results from those members who learned how to deal with pain.
Also, I know that a divorce, loss of a loved one, a catastrophic event, loss of a job and emotional disasters are painful, but all we can do is dwell on them for a couple of days, learn and continue moving forward with pain until it stops.
If we get paralyzed by pain each time we experience it and don’t move forward, we will be wasting time, and we are never going to reach our goal.
Fifth lesson: Learn how to deal with pain, and don’t let it stop you from moving forward.
When it comes to being on time, I am not the best one, but I can tell you that I am almost always on time to my meetings. However, when I am late, I feel embarrassed, and I apologize for being late. I have members who love to be on time. But just like me, they are not perfect. They are also late to some of their training sessions.
On the other hand, I have those members who are late most of the time. When I ask them why they are late, they blame everything except their discipline: the traffic, the snow, the lights, their significant other, the state patrol in front of them, parking, you name it. The real reason they are late to their training and meetings is because they don’t take responsibility for being late in the first place. If they blame anything other than themselves, there is nothing they can do, because it’s not under their control, according to their way of thinking.
I remember when I dislocated my knee in Mexico. In Mexico we play this game called burro entamalado when we are young. It is fun to play.
There are two teams of more than five people. The losing team makes a serpent with all members bent over using the legs of the front person to support their heads. The winning team jumps on top of the losing team with two goals in mind, 1) to make its link weak and make them fall and 2) to get all its members on top of the losing team.
I was on the losing team one time when we decided to play as adults, and two guys jumped on top of my back. The guy on top of me was hugging me very strongly, and the guy on top of him was hugging him very strongly. Back then I already exercised, so I had a strong core. Therefore, when both friends were falling to the side, instead of me falling with them, I made an effort to twist my core not to fall. That was a terrible mistake.
Imagine a table with four legs, one leg tilting in. If you put enough weight on top of the table, the leg tilting in will slide inwards and the table will fall. That was exactly what happened to my leg, but the knee dislocated, causing it to completely sprain from the bone of my anterior and posterior cruciate and my medial collateral ligaments.
The surgery was very expensive. Who is to blame? Even though the doctor said that my friends should be paying for my surgery, it was an accident. If I had been in my friends’ positions, I would have contributed with whatever I could for the surgery.
However, it is my responsibility to take care of my health and knee, nobody else. I was the one who decided to play. They did not force me to do it. If someone hits your car and drives away, even though it is someone else’s fault, it becomes your responsibility to fix your car. This is not about being fair or just. This is about becoming responsible for what happens to us.
Sixth lesson: If you want to achieve your goal, take responsibility for everything that happens to you even though it is not your fault; that way you can have control over the situation.
These lessons have helped me to achieve many of my goals. If your goal is to lose weight, I recommend you put these lessons into practice. Remember that is not how much weight you can lose, it is about changing your life so you don’t regain the weight back.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the books “Lose Weight Permanently” and “Finding Genuine Happiness.” His column appears on the third Wednesday of the month.