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Weight Loss or Nutrition?

Weight Loss or Nutrition?

Just off a fascinating conference call with a cognitive behavioral therapist on, in a nutshell, how to achieve certain goals related to health. The deeper we got into the discussion, the more and more clear the underlying topic became:

Can perspective change outcome?

How do you look at a challenge? Where are you standing, what direction are you taking, what angle, what perspective? Does it matter? It’s all towards the same end, the same goal, the same solution, right? It doesn’t matter how you get there, right? It does matter.

The conversation was so animated and full of energy and excitement, you’d think we were talking about the Oscars or the Super Bowl. I know, maybe it’s dorky, but I get SO thrilled about this stuff. Why? Because it’s powerful. It’s the ability to change your life in small ways that lead to bigger lifestyle changes. What could possibly be more exciting than lifestyle change that you have control of?

Imagine these two scenarios.

1.) I Want to Lose Weight

Great! Maybe you don’t care how you do it. You’ll do some crazy diet (or even a not-so-crazy diet) and you’ll lose those pounds. You’ve achieved the goal, the outcome you desired. If you can keep the weight off, good for you. Good luck with that. This is how most people go about achieving a goal. From A to B, but it doesn’t really matter how you get there.

2.) I Want to Improve my Nutrition

Choosing this direction is choosing to change the factor that will effect the outcome. Choosing to strive for only losing weight as the goal is focusing on only the outcome, not the process. Maybe one of your goals is to lose weight. Fantastic. But by focusing on nutrition, you’re focusing on, to put it in traveler’s terms, the journey and not the destination. A traveler enjoys getting there, a tourist just wants to get there. The traveler even enjoys returning home because they’re, again, traveling. For the tourist, the destination was reached, the trip is over.

“But,” you exclaim, “the outcome is the same! They both lose weight.” Yes. But no. Again with the traveler and the tourist: they both got to Point B, but the tourist is done, his goal achieved. For the traveler, Point B is one of many points and he’ll get to C and D and so on. The journey is his mission, his passion, his outcome. He is achieving his outcome by doing it.

Nutrition or weight loss? No. Weight loss through nutrition.

  • Possible: lose weight
  • Impossible: eat less healthy and lose weight (without amputation … )
  • Repossible: eat healthier and lose weight (as a “side effect”)


  1. Christopher Mathews (@CHRISHMATHEWS)

    I really enjoyed this read. And I think that the mindset extends to everything. For instance, today I am trying to quit smoking. I simply want to be a non-smoker, but I need to find some enjoyment in the process. The things that I am slowly getting back (sense of smell, ability to run longer distances, etc.). Again this breaks down into a much larger goal, to be healthy.

    This is a goal that has no point B. There is no measurement to mark point B. So I’m learning about the dangers of certain aspects of my life and slowly replacing them with things that make me feel better. I’m learning to cook healthier, more rewarding meals. I’m learning how to exercise. I’m also learning how to train the mind to react in a state of fear and withdrawal.

    • Bradley

      Thanks, Christopher. Wow, that’s taking it to a whole new level. Imagine the hard-core smoker and someone telling them “there’s going to be some enjoyment in the process” of stopping. They’d probably punch you in the face (I used to be a smoker, too, but it was when I lived in France and there you had to smoke by law).

      Man, you touch on some huge topics: sense of smell? You could write a new post for every smell you rediscover … the good ones and the bad!

      A goal without a goal (Point B). Those are going to be tougher to measure. Great points you make about creating those points so that you know you’re progressing.

      Thanks so much for the insightful post! And keep us posted with the smoking progress.



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