I discuss the concept of mini habits for weight loss, as outlined in the book “Mini Habits for Weight Loss” by Stephen Guise. The idea is to create small, easy-to-accomplish habits that can be built upon over time to create lasting change. The focus is on changing one’s identity to become the type of person who loses weight, rather than solely focusing on the number on the scale. The episode encourages listeners to figure out what kind of person they want to be and to start taking small steps toward that goal.
[Music] Hello everyone, welcome to the podcast.
This is Jill.
Have you ever wondered how you can form mini habits.
That’s what we’ll talk about today.
[Music] Step one, write this phrase on a small piece of paper.
I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.
BJ Fogg, Tiny Habits.
Today we’re going to continue the conversation from the book, “Many Habits for Weight Loss, Stop Dieting, Form New Habits, Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering” by Stephen Geis.
As I mentioned in the last podcast, this book is the book that I would love to write if I was ever going to write a weight loss book, but I don’t have to now because he wrote it already.
I think his ideas are just great.
He mentions that the problem with most of our diets, we talked about this the last time, that willpower is something that sometimes we have a lot of and sometimes we don’t.
You can’t force yourself to have willpower all the time.
Some days you have it.
And there are certain things he says that will deplete it.
Like doing other things that cause you to deplete willpower.
Maybe you’re doing great on your budget.
Maybe you’re doing great on cleaning your house and now you’re feeling less motivated to do your exercise and your weight loss items.
Depleting that willpower can make it easier for us to fall into other types of bad habits.
“Oh man, I cleaned my whole house today.
I chopped all the wood in my backyard.
I stacked everything up and I mowed the lawn.
I’m going to go out and get some hamburgers and french fries.
” See how that goes.
And he says that a way to get away from that is this mini habits system.
He says in the end, “A mini-habit is a stupid small behavior you do every day, and I say stupid small, because they are absolutely ridiculous and generally take one minute or less to accomplish.
” He gives some examples of it.
This book, again, is a great weight loss book, but it’s also a habit for anything.
Whether you’re going to learn how to play piano, whether you’re going to eat more vegetables, going to clean your house, whatever it is.
BJ Fogg talks about it like you’re going to floss one tooth if flossing is your end goal.
I started my cleaning habit in my house just because I don’t really enjoy doing it.
By every day when I’m making lunch, I clean basically one two by four area in my kitchen.
And by the time I’m done with the week, my whole kitchen is clean.
Or even this is something like one squat, one plank, one pushup, all very simple.
And something that is so ridiculous that of course you have to do it.
One pushup, of course I can do one pushup.
And so instead of getting our habits then to be what he says, usually now it becomes always because it’s so stupidly small.
And if we always do something and get away from usually doing something, then that means that you’re going to have that lasting effect.
And if you find yourself not doing it, maybe that’s too complicated or you haven’t picked something stupidly small enough.
And then he says that once you’ve done that one stupidly small habit, you’re always welcome to do more.
It’s not required.
My habit when I got into losing weight and when I lost the weight the first time was I just had to put on gym clothes and drive to the gym.
It was a little bit longer than a minute.
He’d probably say just put on your gym clothes.
But I sold myself.
I didn’t have to work out at the gym.
I just had to put the clothes on and drive there.
I lived very close to it.
I don’t think of any time, maybe once, where I actually left the gym without exercising.
But maybe that was too big.
talking about doing one push-up or doing one thing, eating one more sprig of broccoli, whatever it is.
And in the end, what we do is whatever it is we’re planning on doing, in this case weight loss, the best way to get there is by making something simpler, smaller, and if we make the path harder, then we’re just not going to do it.
We’re not going to go after those things.
And so that’s why the mini habit is so great.
Says some things like exercise, if you’re gonna exercise with moderate intensity for 30 minutes, it’s nothing that we can change the intensity of it.
It’s moderate exercise, our heart rate has to get up to a certain place.
And so our perceived effort on that is always gonna be equal.
So then how can we make it even smaller.
How can we change that, what he calls perceived difficulty of a task and make it tinier.
And the answer to that is reducing the amount of time, reducing the difficulty.
Whatever the threshold is, we can make it.
And I’ve been working on the treadmill.
I just put the shoes on, walk for a minute, easy peasy.
Do I feel like walking more once I get on there.
Sometimes, but sometimes I don’t.
But that’s that mini habit that’s gonna help you carry through.
He says it’s not gonna be something about what we look like or what the scale says, although I find that very motivating, but only when they’re going my way.
They matter for measuring progress.
Again, when we talk about that, what we measure we can manage, but they’re not the primary thing we’re going after.
Again, we’re gonna build a system.
And he says, quote, “To succeed with weight loss, you must change into the type of person who weighs less.
If you do that, results will follow.
” So again, we’re building a system on it.
You can weigh yourself if you want.
I have a set of clothes that are just outside of my reach of what I can wear.
I have them sitting out.
And every week or so, I try them on to see if it’s getting better.
Those are all things you can do, but that in the end is not the goal.
Your goal is not weight loss.
Your goal is not healthy.
Your goal is to be the kind of person who loses weight.
Your goal is to be the kind of person who exercises every day.
These are your goals.
You’re trying to become a person who does the thing you want to do.
If you’re trying to become a writer, you’re the kind of person who writes.
That’s all it is.
You’re changing your identity into someone who does these things.
I think a lot of times, particularly me, until I lost all the weight, I thought, “I can’t lose weight.
“I’m not gonna be a thin person.
“I’ve never been a thin person.
” I remember when I was 10 years old that I figured out I was really overweight.
I felt overweight probably even before that eight, seven years old.
I mean, isn’t that amazing.
So I never thought of myself as someone who could be thin and maybe that was my problem all along because I was never thinking of myself as a person who could be thin as a person who could lose weight.
I never got there.
It seemed impossible to me all the time.
Now that I’m older and my metabolism isn’t what it was when I was 20 years old, I’m realizing it’s harder than ever.
But now I have more mental maturity than I did.
And so I believe that I can succeed where I didn’t in the past.
And if we become a person to see ourselves as the kind of person who loses weight, it helps me a little bit to have a role model.
I know my trainer, Heather, she lives a healthy lifestyle.
She is constantly pushing herself to have a healthy lifestyle.
And if she were to gain weight or get out of shape, not only would she have a harder time having the business that she has, but she would have a hard time doing the things that she loves to do.
So she is a great example of someone who maintains health.
She can be a real role model for me, and I can see that she lives in a system that allows her to do that.
But even if we go through this process where we think of ourselves as the kind of person who can lose weight, weight.
I am a person who loses weight.
It’s going to be things for preferences of eating better, of exercising, or at least not fighting the exercise so often, and increasing the power you have in your own life.
I noticed that when I lost weight the first time, I gained mastery over my budget because suddenly I learned who’s in control of this life.
I have control and once I lost weight I suddenly saw myself as a person who can control things.
It was life changing for me and so that’s what you’re going to see is that when your behaviors change you will change who you are and you will become the person who loses weight.
The person who has a good budget.
The person who gets done the things they want to have done.
I say it a dozen times on this podcast but me 15 years ago I couldn’t have done this podcast.
I would have done it a couple of to do the technological achievement and then I would have just stopped.
I would have pod faded.
Now I’m the kind of person who actually follows through on things and gets those things done even if someday I don’t feel like it.
Maybe I just want to take a nap.
But I like doing this and now I have the perseverance that allows me to keep doing it.
And that’s the kind of thing you get when you change your behavior, you change your systems, you become the kind of person who follows through.
You become the kind of person who loses weight.
And in the end, the problem with all of the things that are good in life is that they’re marathons and they’re not sprints.
The things we want in life take time.
They take effort.
They take perseverance over the long term.
And that means we’re not going to do perfectly every day.
That means we’re not going to do perfectly every week.
But for the most part, day in and day out, We’re going to do the thing that we want to do because we’re the kind of person who loses weight.
” And he says that if you’re the kind of person who thinks that you need results before you can get motivated, he says the opposite is actually true.
You will do the things when you change your systems, not when you actually lose the weight and think that you’re doing great.
I lost the weight and I screwed up because I had a bad two years, but it happened.
Instead, you have to be that person who lives that consistency of lifestyle that makes you a healthy person.
I’m a healthy person.
I’m the kind of person who loses weight.
I’m also the kind of person who balances my budget.
You can kind of see how that goes.
Consistency, that’s when you’re going to start gaining success.
I don’t want you looking for it because that’s where everyone goes wrong.
changing your behavior into the kind of person who exercises.
You’re changing your habits into the kind of person who does this every day.
And when we get that we’ll start having results.
I don’t know if you ever had a child but sometimes they’ll do something amazing for the first time.
Maybe they’re walking for the first time or they’re talking for the first time and you don’t want to freak them out.
So you don’t want to just stare at them like, “Oh my gosh the baby’s talking right because now the baby will just look at you and wonder what the heck happened instead you’re like no it’s a lot like oh yeah look over there the baby’s talking that’s kind of what we’re doing with our own system when we’re changing our habits and we’re changing our behavior and we’re starting to gain consistency we’re gonna look a side eye at that scale go yeah look at that like my lost about five pounds but we’re not making it the focus we’re making that as a side result of us changing our systems.
And he says quote “With many habits you’ll be designing your own battle plan.
” So he’s not going to give us what we’re supposed to do.
He’s going to give us a strategy so that we can change what it is we need to change.
Some people are great at exercise.
Right now I’m doing pretty good about exercise.
I go and see a trainer three times a week.
That has been the keystone of success for me.
I wish I could do it on my own all the time, but it has really changed my life.
And I do it with a friend because that helps bring down the cost.
I know that cost can be a real downside sometimes for doing some of the things we need to do.
But if you can get a friend, get some other people involved, it can really bring it together.
But you’ll have to decide what plan works for you.
Maybe you’re great at eating great but terrible at exercising.
Or maybe you exercise every day but you’re really terrible about how you eat.
The problem is is that it’s impossible to out-exercise your fork.
So I’m just eating too much and it’s usually nickel and diming myself with this little bit here, this little bit there, and I know I measured how big this stack of potatoes should be but oh I’m a little bit more hungry today and so I put a little bit more on.
These mini habits for me are going to be built around me nickel and diming myself out of losing weight.
But for you, it could be entirely different.
You might have different issues.
I think I saw once that one of the biggest struggles people have with weight loss is the social eating.
I know that’s a big thing for me too.
I get caught up when I’m out with friends on how many French fries I had.
And eventually I beg the waitress to take it away.
In the past, when I was losing weight, I actually asked for half sizes.
I paid for the full size half the time because they wouldn’t give me a half order, but I would only ask them to bring a half order out to my plate.
Or I would instantaneously put half of everything on a different plate and ask the wait staff to box it up for me so I couldn’t eat it.
I saw one thing where this woman couldn’t stop eating French fries and she just poured the whole bottle of salt on her French fries.
You’re going to have to decide exactly where your problems are, where you’re gonna have to put your effort, and where your biggest behavior changes are gonna have to come.
It’s not gonna be the same for you as it is for me.
But he says the important thing is that you do not have to be controlled.
Nobody does anything in life when you give up control.
When you force yourself into a thing, when you have a grandmother like I had telling me to stop eating this and stop eating that, and why are you dressed like this and why.
It never works.
We never keep it off.
We never change our lives when we’re being controlled.
We all have to make our own choices.
And he says the biggest thing too, is that you can’t be rushed into it.
Our expectations of weight loss are hard because again, we gained weight, you know, maybe a pound, a two pounds every week.
We’re not going to have this diet where in 30 days we’re going to be in our bathing suit and the magazines, they don’t help.
and websites will tell you, “Oh, look great in your swimsuit in 30 days.
” It’s not going to work.
We have to change our expectations that this is going to be a slow process.
And when you do, you won’t feel bad or crushed by your goals.
Remember, we’re going to be changing our behavior.
So we’re the kind of person who loses weight, and we’re going to be doing this long term.
If we just say, “I’m going to stop drinking,” or “I’m going to stop eating french fries,” or I’m going to stop doing whatever it is that you’re having to do, you’re going to feel awful about it.
So instead, we have to come up with a strategy.
Now we covered a lot of the book, talking about habits, talking about how we can get them to work for us.
And next week, we’ll talk about how we can make these habits work for us in the best possible way.
So my challenge to you is figure out what kind of person do you want to be.
Do you want to be the kind of person who loses weight.
Do you want to be the kind of person who makes healthy choices.
Come up with that statement.
And for the next week, try to wake up every morning and say, “I am the kind of person who.
” See if it works.
See if it starts empowering you.
Continue it if it’s working out well for you.
Hi everyone, thanks so much for listening to the podcast.
I appreciate it.
Please remember that you can contact me if you have any ideas for podcasts you’d like to hear, if you have any questions, or if you have anything that you would like me to answer for you.
And remember, you can become the person you want to be by taking small steps.