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Overweight? 5 reasons it’s your fault

Motivational speaker Steve Siebold gets tough with overweight and obese Americans in his new book, "Die Fat or Get Tough." The book gives blunt tips for how people can think like a fit person to finally lose weight and get healthy.
/ Source: TODAY books

Motivational speaker Steve Siebold, who is recognized for his talks on mental strength, gets tough with overweight and obese Americans in his new book, "Die Fat or Get Tough." The book gives blunt tips for how people can think like a fit person to finally lose weight and get healthy. The following is an excerpt.

Difference 1Fat people eat for pleasure
Fit people eat for health

The average person fortunate enough to live in a modern society with an abundance of food and the luxury of eating anytime, views eating primarily as a pleasurable activity. Fit people see eating primarily as a means to increase health, energy and vitality. Food is viewed as a means to an end, rather than an end itself. While fat people are buying into advertising and connecting food with happiness, people who are thin and healthy ignore commercial propaganda and choose to educate themselves on the healthiest foods available.

As a result of this vast difference in thinking and behavior, fat people eat for pleasure and create a never ending cycle of emotional addiction that accompanies an ever-expanding waistline. They experience nightmares about heart attacks, diabetes, and an overall loss of energy and stamina.

Fit people choose to discipline themselves before they put anything in their mouth, and are able to enjoy what they eat without the guilt or fear of slowly destroying their own health. They know they will be healthier after a meal than they were before. Fat people expend more mental energy worrying about the aftereffects of poor food choices than fit people do in planning their diets.

The thoughts that preoccupy the out of shape and obese segment of society are powered primarily by fear. These people are fat, but not stupid. They know they're slowly eating themselves to death, yet feel powerless to change. Meanwhile, fit people are eating merrily and celebrating a life of discipline, self-mastery, and abundant health. And the foundation of their success is eating for health instead of pleasure. This one small distinction in thinking can make the difference between world-class health and an early grave.

Difference 2Fat people believe diets don't work
Fit people believe people don't work

Americans have been programmed to believe diets don't work because of the inability of the average person to stick to them, and their unwillingness to take responsibility for their own failure. Make no mistake: many diets work very well.

Die Fat or Get Tough

Because an individual lacks the mental toughness to stick to a diet doesn't make the diet any less effective. Fat people have a difficult time accepting responsibility for their own behavior, so they blame their diet. That's no different than a college graduate begging for money on the street and then blaming the school for his failure to succeed.

This delusional thinking is a hallmark of the middle-class mindset. World class thinkers know the real problem lies in the thoughts, beliefs and philosophies of the individual. They know diets work, but people often don't. Exacerbating the delusion of the masses are the weight loss companies telling people getting fat isn't their fault. Of course, this makes fat people feel comfortable with their failures, and comfort is the most important thing to the middle-class consciousness.

So in addition to unhealthy foods, they begin ingesting pre-packaged meals and magical pills that promise to turn them into the next supermodel. To add insult to injury, these diet companies have the audacity to brainwash the masses into believing losing and maintaining their weight will be easy and effortless. Fortunately for these companies and unfortunately for their customers, fat people want to believe this so badly, that they lie to themselves.

Human history is filled with examples of the masses willingly deceiving themselves into believing things that aren't true for the sake of psychological comfort. They lack the mental and emotional toughness to cope with objective reality. All this self-deception eventually leaves the person frustrated, unhappy and fatter than ever. At the same time this preventable tragedy is occurring, fit people are taking advantage of brilliant diets and getting superior results.

Difference 3Fat people are waiting to be rescued from obesity
Fit people know no one is coming to the rescue

The middle-class mindset is famous for waiting for the hero on the white horse to rescue him from his problems. Whether it's their parents, the government, their spouse or the company they work for, many people have a deep rooted belief that it's someone else's responsibility to make them healthy, wealthy and happy. So when they get fat, not only do they blame the food companies and restaurants, they also expect something or someone to show up and save them from themselves.

The great ones know if they get fat the only person who can save them is the man in the mirror. The mantra of the world world-class thinker has always been the same: I am responsible. This is the cornerstone of their success in everything they do. If they need coaching, mentoring or support, they will ask for it without hesitation. The difference is no matter how much help they receive, they believe their success or failure is up to them. They refuse to blame anyone else for their shortcomings. If they lose focus and gain weight, you can bet it won't be long before they're back at their ideal weight, stronger than ever.

Of course this is the general philosophy of world-class thinkers, so they are able to apply it in all areas of their lives. If you've ever wondered why some people seem to have it all, stop wondering and start dissecting their beliefs and philosophies on life and living. That's where their success begins.

Difference 4
Fat people believe diets are fads
Fit people believe diets are strategies

The average person has been programmed to believe diets are short term fads designed for quick weight loss. World-class thinkers know a diet is a strategy designed to assist them in controlling their weight while enhancing their health, energy, and vitality. Fit people know their food intake must be systematically controlled and monitored for optimal results, and that it's an ongoing process that lasts a lifetime.

The idea of randomly eating anything that's placed in front of them is a recipe for failure, frustration, and obesity. Like the rich man who monitors his money, fit people keep a close calculation of what they put into their mouth. In finance we call it a budget. In health, we call it a diet.

Unfortunately, society has given diets a bad name by claiming they don't work. It's hard to deny the monetization of sickness. In essence, there's more money in helping people regain their health after they've systematically destroyed it than there is teaching them healthy prevention habits.

I'm not blaming the health care profiteers for capitalizing on the predictability of human behavior. Their responsibility is to their shareholders, not us. That's capitalism. What I'm saying is it's our job to recognize the inherent conflict of interest involved in the health care industry that most people count on to save them.

Difference 5Fat people eat emotionally
Fit people eat strategically

One of the primary reasons middle-class thinking leads to obesity is emotional eating. When fat people feel bad, they eat. When they're happy, they eat. For the average person, eating is a way to enhance pleasure and ease pain. Food is used as a drug to alter unpleasant moods, and this behavior is a habit some people carry with them from childhood to old age. What makes this habit worse is, the good feelings food produces are short lived, which means you have to keep eating to continue experiencing pleasure. This is one of the reasons people stuff themselves at mealtimes.

Fit people avoid emotional eating, choosing to eat only when hungry. They use logic instead of emotion to dictate and control their food intake, and are acutely aware of the tendency to use food as a drug. It's not that they're not tempted to eat emotionally; it's that they put logical thinking ahead of emotional thinking.

The secret to their success is awareness, planning, and critical thinking. They've learned to control their emotions by recognizing habitual triggers that lead to unhealthy choices. Middle-class thinking says eat whenever you get hungry or when it feels good. World-class thinking says eat when you get hungry; and eat strategically for maximum energy, vitality and strength.

Fat people are controlled by their emotions. Fit people exercise emotional control in everything they do.

Excerpted from "Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People," by Steve Siebold. Copyright © Reeves Laverdure.