Forgetting About Past Performance



‘Tis Football season right now so time for yet another football analogy.  Here goes: Cornerbacks and safeties in football are responsible for breaking up pass plays.  There is nothing more deflating for one of those players than to allow the other team to complete a long pass resulting in a touchdown.  If a cornerback has a poor game, i.e. allowing a bunch of pass completions, a very frequent quote from the player or his supportive teammates is:  “You gotta have a short memory and move forward…don’t dwell on the poor play(s).”  Obviously, this line implies that the successful players will learn from their mistakes, move forward to the next game and use that knowledge to ensure a much better performance.

Now, off the gridiron and on to the weight control field:  Over the 40 years I have been practicing as a physician (why is the word “practice” used…you would think by now after all of these years I do not need any “practice” time and can simply do the job!) I have not seen anyone that has never tried to lose/control weight before they come to us.  EVERYONE has tried, and failed, to control weight multiple times in the past.  This is incredibly frustrating and frequently people will dwell on these past “failures”, developing a mindset that success will never be achieved.

Similar to the football cornerback that must shake off his poor performance in a previous game so as to focus 1000 on the next game, we all must not allow past performance “failures” to detract from our focus and determination to shed that weight.  Learning from past performance “failures” is the key:  why did previous attempts not result in success…and then take the necessary corrective actions to ensure success is achieved.

Past “performance” in any realm of life cannot be ignored as a predictive indicator for the future.  However, this is by no means always the case and when this is applied to weight control, the future can hold a much different and positive outcome than the past.