The Psychology of Significant Fat Loss

Posted: May 28, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Articles

At Twoguns Training Systems we specialize in total body fat loss transformations and have multiple clients in the 30-100 total pounds lost ranges and a completely new life that comes along with that. A recent topic of discussion at has been about how losing a large amount of weight/fat effects a person, not so much physically as that is obvious but how it effects a person mentally – this doesn’t get talked about essentially anywhere.

As someone who himself has lost about 100 pounds at one point, I can definitely relate to that. I touched on it in the #1 Best Selling book I co-authored, “Get With the Program” (which you can purchase from me if you so desire) but it is worth talking about a little more.

Losing a large amount of weight for the most part isn’t rocket science. We like to overthink it but the reality is the hard part is finding and having the desire and motivation to do the things we know we should be doing. We know processed crap isn’t as good as unprocessed, we know we should choose broccoli over ice cream, we know we should strength train and ditch the treadmill but for various reasons we choose not to. That is another blog but the point is, to physically lose the weight can be done with the proper guidance and accountability.

But it is what happens after that people do not anticipate or expect. The hardest part is coming to accept that the person in the mirror now is not the same person that was there 30-100 pounds ago but we often still see that person “in the mirror” or in our head.

I was talking to success story, April Blum the other day about just this.

April B+A 1

April has lost over 50 pounds and 6 dress sizes since starting with Twoguns Training Systems. You can see her full story in her guest blog, HERE. She was saying how once she started losing, she was hooked and had a passion for success to drop the fat. She noted she was off medications she was on prior, she was more confident, less self-conscious, had exponentially more energy and for the first time in a long time was happy with the way she looked…

But she felt two things she didn’t expect.

One was that she had lost that fire and motivation that she had which helped her initially make her major change.

I told her that that is COMPLETELY normal to experience, but it is also where a lot of people fall off. They get complacent with where they are at, lose the motivation that got them there and then slowly and incrementally reintroduce habits they shouldn’t and all of the sudden find themselves traveling back to square one. Not a place we want to be. While the motivation isn’t going to be as fired up as it was to initially lose it, you still have to keep up with the lifestyle that got you there and find motivation in the fact that now your goal is to maintain where you are at and that takes effort too.

Im sorry it isn’t a work for 6 months to a year and you are off the hook and back to your old ways. Infomercials and people who don’t know what they are talking about will try to convince you that, but it isn’t the case and the key is to find motivation in being able to maintain where you are at, which is still a battle in itself. Once you’ve reached where you want to be, you can loosen up a TINY bit and work to maintain and be able to “live your life” a little better but the reality is that a healthy and productive lifestyle will never include excessive alcohol, sugar, processed crap etc.

Also worth noting, we never care what the number on the scale says because it isn’t important. The mirror, your clothes and your bodyfat percentage are the important factors to consider. There may be a time where your weight doesn’t need to go down any further but your bodyfat percentage could so that matters also. In that picture below, I was small but still had a higher bodyfat percentage than I should because I didn’t lose the weight the ideal way, I ended up gaining weight, not getting all that much bigger and looking a whole lot better. Composition matters too and is another battle. Staying where we are and maybe even gaining a little bit but getting leaner bodyfat percentage wise.

The next part was “When do I know Im where I should be?”

This is a harder one because the person themselves never see it. They always see themselves as that person who is significantly overweight and the body image issues never go away. I still to this day experience lack of confidence issues stemming from when I was an insecure fat kid no one paid any mind to. It certainly isn’t the case now, but almost 8 years later, I still find myself going back to that.

When I was at my thinnest, looking back now, I can say I didn’t look good. At all. But I thought I was still fat even though I was unhealthily thin…

Dan and Kyle

In that picture, I still didn’t think I was where I wanted to be yet and that picture definitely tells me that I was past the point I needed to be at. I couldn’t see it though.

So when do you know?

You’ll know when you start feeling confident again, when you start feeling better and everything is that much brighter in the world. Your former overweight self will still creep into your mind every now and then but the majority of the time your new confidence self will be there and make note of when it IS there not just when it isn’t. You’ll be fitting into clothes you haven’t fit into in forever and start doing things you never would have imagined doing all those many pounds ago. The key I think is to acknowledge when the “new you” is present and feeling great and not overemphasize when “insecure former you” is trying to come out. The person your mind wants to see in the mirror isn’t there anymore and will be less and less if you always acknowledge the times when you feel great, positive and accomplished.

Also worth mentioning is situations where you may be getting too thin. When people start to tell you you are looking too thin, make a note of it. A lot of people will be jealous it isn’t them who made the major change and will talk shit and be negative toward your success but there are also some people who come from a genuine place. So make note of who said it and how often it happens. If it starts happening more and more from people who genuinely care about you, re-evaluate. And if you have placed you care in the hands of an experienced fitness professional, trust their word. And if that fitness professional is one of the people telling you to keep losing when you think you are content, find a new one asap.

The mental aspect of significant fat loss is just as challenging, if not more than actually losing the fat and making that transformation. Stay motivated to continue on your journey even though it may be a “same but different” one than you set out on, but that different one wasn’t an option before so be proud of the accomplishment and proud of the new you as you stay confident and motivated to keep getting better.

If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to shoot me a message or reply on the facebook thread for this post. Hope it helped some.

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Comments
  1. Kathleen says:

    I’m glad you address the WHOLE person, including the psyche. It makes me hopeful that this time, when I lose the weight, it will be different and that I will keep it off, once and for all!

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