by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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I will preface this by saying that my wife watches this show, and I end up watching it by default. But, I am guilty of paying attention to it on occasion. The show is focused on the patients of Dr. Nowzaradan, a Texas based Doctor who specializes in obesity and treatment of not only the condition, but the peripheral things that go with it.
The basic premise of each show is the same; when someone reaches a certain weight and they have no other options to try to save themselves, they go to see Dr. Now (as they call him). He is an interesting character, because he is soft spoken but certainly a no-nonsense guy, and does not give in to the myriad of excuses that his patients give. His directives are very straight forward, and should be simple to follow. However, there are two factors that make his advice difficult to adhere to:
1. Each patient is expected to change their lifestyle and eating habits, and follow a strict diet. For some, this is the first time in a really long time, or maybe a lifetime, that they are asked to do so. They will not be approved for weight loss surgery without proving they can change the underlying habits that got them to this point.
2. Many are told to do additional things to assist their progress, such as physical workouts or therapy sessions to get to the root of the psychological reasons they are in the physical state they are in.
In what seems to be most cases, people cannot follow the seemingly simple process he lays out for them. This is the interesting part for me, someone who cannot muster the will to help themselves. I really struggle trying to wrap my head around this. These people are literally on the verge of death, they have no social life, live in constant pain, etc., and yet cannot direct their intent to help themselves. They did not get into this position overnight, and they cannot reverse the problem overnight either. Most are looking for the easy way out; they want the surgery to undue years of bad habits and a terrible mindset. Dr. Now doesn’t give in on this, as he knows that if you don’t fix the MINDSET they will end up right back where they are now. He wants them to prove to him ( but actually to themselves) that they can do it.
This is true about EVERYTHING in life, and that was my main takeaway:
It is your mindset that dictates the quality of your life.
There is no getting around it, what you think about the most is what you become. If you see yourself as a successful person, you can become that. If you do not, you can’t. It is that simple. The good news is, that despite the fact that none of this kind of thing is ever taught is school, it is in fact a habit that can be learned. It starts with little, daily habits that you form, and you expand from there. A lot of books have been written on this topic, so I will leave it to the true experts on this to guide you down that path if needed. But the thing is, you can learn to change that voice in your head, the thoughts that you allow to occupy space in your head. The voice in your head is based on past experience, and in some cases, that is destroying your future.
The cautionary part of this show is that hardly any of these people find success. It is really rare that someone who literally weighs 600 pounds or more ever comes back from that far off track fully recover, go through the weight loss and surgical procedures to get back to a “normal” life. As much as they all crave to be normal, to be able to go out for a walk, to not be stared out when they do, to do all the things that most of us truly take for granted, and yet they have allowed themselves to slide so far down hill that they can’t make the climb back. Despite all the incentives they have, including not spending all of the money they do on eating 10,000 calories a day, they can’t change their habits. They have a deeply embedded mindset that keeps them stuck in their current habits. And those habits will literally kill them.
If you are struggling with anything, maybe a step back and a shift in perspective is needed. Have others done what you are trying to do? Then most likely you can too. Of course there are exceptions…I’ve love to be the quarterback of an NFL team, but I am not tall enough to see over the offensive lineman who are there to block for me and my hands are too small to hold a football in the middle. I have to slide my hand farther back on the ball, and throwing a spiral like this is very difficult. So instead of an obvious upriver swim, I chose to play a different sport that the attributes I had were at least not a detriment, and in some cases actually an asset. I was at least smart enough ( and realistic enough) to understand this.
But again, it starts with the mindset. You have to find a way to believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish the task(s) at hand. It doesn’t matter what the goal: a new job, finishing school, making the basketball team, it starts in the six inches between your ears. That precious real estate cannot be filled up with negative thoughts and self talk, it has to be spun towards the positive. And you need to have a clear picture in your head of the goal or outcome you are shooting for. The more clear the picture, the better chance you have of hitting that target. You can’t hit a target you can’t see. The more you exercise this muscle, the stronger and better it gets.
Regardless of the changes you are trying to make, or the goals you are trying to accomplish, there are a few things that you have to put in place to help you achieve it:
1. Have a clear picture of the future you in your head.
2, Map out a game plan on how to get there.
3. Get help from as many resources as you can along the way.
4. Understand that failures, back slides, wrong turns etc., will be part of the journey.
5. Keep going, no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT
And one more thought…inspiration can come from anywhere. Occasionally someone on this show does make it back to a healthy weight and lifestyle, and it is truly inspiring to see them overcome so much to improve themselves and their lives. Don’t sell it short, as this monumental achievement is likely on par with making it to the big leagues of a major sport or starting a business and having a successful exit. It is literally the same level of difficulty in my book. Respect.
I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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