What I’m about to tell you breaks the number one rule of marketing.
In case you haven’t heard it, the number one rule of marketing is this:
Don’t tell people what they need to hear. Tell them what they want to hear.
In all the marketing courses of study I’ve taken over the years, this has been underscored and repeated, again and again.
And I resist it, each and every time.
It’s probably lost me a boatload of cash along the way.
But it’s allowed me to emerge with integrity intact.
And that is central to my point. Not that what a headline promises won’t be delivered. That’s not the issue here, for headlines CAN be delivered.
But apparently the good marketer is not supposed to distract you with the process you’ll undergo to get there – to that end result promised in the headline.
The advice to marketers is: keep your reader focused on the result that has captured their attention.
Apparently appealing to the thinking person – the person with head and heart, along with the body and the emotional being hooked by the headline – is a marketing weakness.
For example, when promoting a weight loss program, the weight loss result – lose this much weight, in this much time – is that upon which to focus.
In the subtext, you can talk about how you’ll learn strategies for dealing with this or that challenge, learn this or that rule – apparently so that you can overcome temptations at any turn, and ‘stick’ to your ‘diet’. But keep hammering the end result – the weight loss.
It’s that ‘diet’ time of year
With spring already sprung, and being as we are on the cusp of summer, the internet offerings about super-weight – loss plans is exploding.
We see what we want to see – the promise of the end result, just like the marketing coaches said.
And I don’t blame anyone for grabbing the hook. We can be desperate for getting some control over our weight, our health, our food, our appetites.
But I won’t stand by silently and watch the omnipresent illusion.
We forget so easily what happened last time we walked into food jail for a few weeks – or months – without a lifeline to fall back on once the thrill was gone.
And since I’ve promised to be honest with you, this spring, once again, I’ve got to speak up.
And here’s where I break that marketing rule – because honesty presses me to remind you about the all-important process necessary for success.
Successful and sustainable weight loss is a 3 – legged affair
If you’ve been with me on this journey for any amount of time, the three pillars approach is not news to you.
Yes – you can follow the best diet plan in the world.
You can yank any last vestiges of sugar and salt from your diet. You can strictly forbid foods with more than a smidgen of fat content to cross your lips.
But in my mind, it sells you short not to inform you – from the very beginning – that the very thing you may be searching for – the above mentioned weight loss – will not truly, authentically be yours until you realize that an integration of mental mastery and physicality – along with the very important dietary component – is what you absolutely need to achieve sustainable weight loss and a healthy happy relationship with food, eating and your body.
If that’s what you want.
And to be honest, that is the only kind of weight loss I am really interested in helping you achieve.
The power of this success trinity trumps any dietary ‘transgressions’ you may – and are likely – to encounter along the way.
Sure, I can outline a diet for you that will take ten pounds off in a month.
And maybe you are one of those people who can keep a strict diet going out of steely determination, with strict controls on what foods you allow in your presence.
Some days and weeks will undoubtedly be easy. Yet if you are living in fear of certain foods, certain venues, the scale, certain people, certain situations – and so on and so on – what have you really achieved but the loss of a few pounds and the expense of any kind of peace and presence in your life?
Answer the following question:
How would you describe what you want your life to look like in 5 years – and 10 years down the road – in relation to your weight AND your day-to-day life when it comes to food, eating, and your body?
Don’t leave anything out. It’s not just your size, it’s everything else around it in your life — YOU.
Then, answer these questions:
Are you afraid of certain foods?
Are you afraid to be in certain situations around food?
Are you certain that once you lose the weight, your other problems will vanish?
Are you obsessed with food, eating, what you can and can’t have – and preoccupied with pounding down enough of the ‘good’ stuff? Is this what you want? Because if this is your frame of mind now, it will continue to be so – unless you start practicing something different.
There was a time – decades of time, in fact – when I would have answered ‘yes’ to each of these questions.
Once I understood how absolutely vital building strength of mind and clarity of vision is to the process of long term success, everything changed.
It’s the reason I always ask clients during our first interview if they are willing to look at all three pillars as part of their weight loss, health building, and plant-based transition quest.
Dream Big – and Take ACTION even bigger
Think back to every other health improvement or weight loss plan you signed on for. List them if you need to.
It’s astonishing how the attempts add up. And disheartening to see all the times we forgot what happened last time.
But this time, you can do something different.
This time, go for the gusto.
The giant carrot.
This time, you can support yourself with all three legs: the food, the physical activity, and the frame of mind.
1) Start with a whole food plant based plate. This is the portal to true eating freedom because of all the goods it delivers for hunger satisfaction and weight management as well as health and vitality. If you need a refresher course on plant-based basics, see the Plant-Based Diet Brochure you can download here.
2) Cultivate – beginning TODAY – a practice that connects you with your higher aspirations. That means a meditative or centering practice that connects your heart with your head. That strengthens you to move through the fickle nature of ‘getting motivated’ to ‘get healthy’ This is essential for offsetting black-and-white thinking, a proven diet saboteur, and ; will allow you to have your cake and eat it too. Imagine! If you don’t already have a centering practice to which you can tap into, use this simple guide: 5 minute anti-anxiety paint and willpower workout: how to meditate in 5 simple steps.
3) Get yourself moving every day – to restore brain power and vision velocity. For a starter guide on what you need for healthy fitness, this will help you get going: The 4 pillars of the ideal workout schedule: What the research says
Strengthen each of the three legs – the three pillars – daily.
And when it seems one is strong enough and you don’t need to concern yourself with it any more, see through it and get back to the important business of building a life more joyfully successful that you ever dared dream before.
It doesn’t take luck or talent to be successful at achieving your big dream. You just have to decide – and back yourself up with the pillars.
If the 3 pillars idea resonates with you, I’d love to hear your thoughts – please share them in replies below.
P.S. I broke another HUGE rule of marketing with this article in my headline. You’re supposed to stick to one simple point. I think I put five in the title of this one. Oh well! Dream big!
Omigosh this is such perfect timing for me. I need to lose some weight and you’re right, with summer almost here I want to grab at the biggest promise I can find. I love that you ask the questions – or I guess that you ask ME to ask the question – what happened last time?
I feel enormously relieved reading your article, and have hope for something finally being different. Bless you for putting up this article today – and THANK you for ‘breaking the rules’ –
It always makes my day when an article goes up and someone comments “perfect timing!” So THANK you – and I wish you all the best of success in your endeavors. Be confident that you DO have the tools for success – you simply need to put them into play.
To answer your question, yes the 3 pillars resonate with me. And I know that not paying attention to all three is what has given me problems in the past.
It seems I get started and then things start going well, so I stop paying attention to some of the details – like getting exercise, or doing a practice (I love how you call it that). I guess I shouldn’t wonder why things start falling apart!
Thank you for the reminders. And for speaking up, and putting it so simply.
Kath, absolutely. It just takes practice. Keep up the good work. And thanks so much for posting!
As a long-ago McDougall plan star, I know too well how the “honeymoon” phase is always just a phase.
Why would you ever go back, when the change is so rewarding? Why indeed. Could it be there was a bigger reason for the bad habits?
Losing weight does not solve the problem of you working too much, or too little, or hating your job, or feeling unappreciated or lonely, or just plain wanting more from life. And if your coping strategies made you fat before, they can do it again.
Thank you so much for coming in and stopping to share.
These are the words I need right now. I have been struggling because I concentrate on ONE area at a time. You are right! We need balance and focus in ALL areas to achieve wellness.
For me, wellness is my goal. Yes, I want to lose weight. Yes, I want to walk farther. Yes, I want peace of mind, body and spirit. Wellness, is all of these combined working in harmony, not separately.
What an absolutely lovely response and I’m thrilled to see this connects with you.
Find your weak spot and short it up. Celebrate your strengths, they are important and not to be overlooked. And enjoy the journey!
hugs right back,
This is what I love about you – your integrity and honesty! Keep putting yourself out there and helping people! You are a true gift & inspiration to those of us who struggle with food! Thanks for being you. 🙂
Your short message has absolutely made my day. I must admit to a little big of figurative nail-biting (I never do it literally, I have my own creative ways of working off nervous energy :-)) about posting this – because it runs a bit upstream to the flood of weight loss plans exploding this spring – even the plant-based healthy ones. Anything that doesn’t embrace the whole person, no mmatter how stellar the program, is fine for the food leg but I don’t want people to lose sight of the whole picture – if indeed that is what they want to embrace. No pressure, some people won’t be interested – but for those who are, it’s a life transformer.
You going to be at Summerfest in PA this summer?
Thank you so much!
So, so helpful, Lani. I’m continually impressed and inspired by your balanced and practical approach to this journey. Thanks so much for all you do to help others gain health, especially a more balanced, fully encompassing approach that doesn’t neglect the mind and spirit.
Hi Joyous! I just came across your message and it has absolutely made my day. Thank you for such rich supportive thoughts, and for taking the time to write them here for me. I appreciate more than you know!