Doing Real Core Work (Four Core Beliefs of The Obese)

When I was fat, I mean really fat, the people in my life tried to do things to motivate me to lose weight and be healthier. My family and close friends were all concerned that I had gone from 170 pounds to well over 300 in less than a decade. They would be as supportive as they could but nothing seemed to motivate me.

There is a saying I read once. “I thought I was a worm. You told me I was special. Then I thought I was a special worm.” It’s what we believe about ourselves that holds us back from getting to that place we want to be. This is true in every aspect of our lives. If I believe that at some level I do not deserve the things I want the most then most likely I will never obtain them.

Losing body fat and getting in shape is just as much mental as it is physical. This means that we have to challenge come core beliefs about ourselves. And challenging core beliefs is about the most difficult thing anyone can do. It involves going deep into ourselves and sifting through all the garbage that has built up over the years. And it mean being brutally honest.

There are four core beliefs that keep people stuck. These beliefs permeate every aspect of a persons and can cause them to act out in ways that are self destructive such as overeating, over drinking, or any of a thousand of different ways.

The core beliefs are:

1. I am basically a bad, unworthy person.

2. No one would love me if they know who I really am.

3. My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on other people.

4. Things (food, alcohol, bad relationships, etc) are my most important needs.


Most people you talk with would tell you that they are a good person. But does that mean that deep down they really believe this? A lot of the times they probably do. But if a person is stuck in some form of self destructive behavior or lifestyle then something is going on with them at the core level.

Here’s the kicker. You can not self talk your way out of this by telling yourself you are not a bad, unworthy person. You literally have to kick yourself in the butt and do the things that you don’t want to do. I knew I was fat and lazy and I had to be hard on myself or I would never change from being fat and lazy.

When I was fat and decided that I no longer wanted to be fat, I had to tell myself thousands of times to stop being a wimp by giving into cravings and desires. Or when I was sore from the workout the day before. I had to make myself get to the gym and work out despite being sore. There were times I called myself all kinds of things to motivate myself to get to the next workout.

Giving myself affirmations never worked. Affirmations rarely work for those of us who want to make a drastic change on our lives. Change in our perceptions, beliefs and attitudes involve getting mad at ourselves when we start to drift from the goals we set up for our self.


This belief is one that hits hard. I believe that there are a lot of people that are obese because at some level they feel undeserving of love. They also have a fear of rejection. What better way to not have someone reject you than to reject yourself first.

Again, no amount of affirmations is going to change this core belief. Instead this one involves doing the things that are necessary to meet you goal everyday. I see so many people who want to make a change in their lives, but then drop by the wayside to never reach their goal.

You have to stay on your own ass to constantly make progress. Here too you will probably need to get angry with yourself. Bottom line is this, it really doesn’t matter if anyone else cares for you if you do not care about yourself. And if you do not care about yourself, most likely no one else will either.


I’m not talking about “I need a hamburger”. We all have needs that have to be met in order for us to be healthy, well balanced individuals. One of the most important needs for each of us is the need of affiliation.

When I started strength training, I developed a whole new support system. This support system didn’t get on me about being fat and out of shape. They knew what I wanted and were there to help. Most even seemed excited and enthusiastic to answer questions and show me what I needed to do.

I also found out that some of my old “friends” really didn’t want me to change. They liked and were comfortable with the way things had been. Plenty of times we would go out to a restaurant and they would give me shit about eating clean or just having a salad. In order for me to allow people to help me get my needs met I had to figure out what people truly had my best interest.


This one is probably the hardest core belief for most people to overcome. Today’s society is rampant with the belief that in order to be happy you have to have lots of “stuff”. As we can see from the current financial situation the world is in, having stuff or things is not going to make us happy.

When I started changing my body composition and finding a new way to eat and live I discovered something. I found out that the action I was taking to make me feel better physically was also doing something to the way I felt mentally and emotionally. I was being changed from the outside in. This was actually doing real core training. So to speak.

At some point we all have to question our values and beliefs. If we go through life holding onto beliefs that no longer work we are domed to failure. I believe that whenever we make the decision to change up our training routine or try a different nutrition approach we are on some level questioning what really works for us.

Now, go and get your daily therapy session with your bar bells and dumbbells.

The four core beliefs are from the book “Out Of The Shadows” by Dr Patrick Carnes.


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