The Clinical Psychologist Who Shed 70+ Pounds
As we continue our series, we will take a look at another extraordinary individual who lost over 70 pounds!
This weight loss story can really provide us with some great advice on how we can take charge of our health! Here are the three main questions we covered:
1. How did your mindset change?
2. What about your exercise routine?
3. How did your nutrition change?
Weight Loss Success
Dr. Ben G. Adams’ Awesome Transformation
- Name: Dr. Ben G. Adams
- Occupation: Clinical Psychologist and Author
- Height: 5’10
- Weight Before: 238lbs
- Weight After: 165lbs
- Weight Change: 73lbs
- Quick advice:
1. I was only able to succeed with my fitness goals once I got to a place of loving my body exactly as it was, even when I was obese. I know it’s not easy to do that, but I did find a way of doing that.
2. One thing that helped is, I drew some sketches of myself while overweight, while looking in the mirror. It helped me to just look at myself as a mere accretion of elements. It helped me to detach from our usual weary pattern of judging bodies as beautiful vs. ugly. I am able to see the beauty in absolutely anybody. At the same time, I am always impressed by an athletic physique. I think one reason for this is that an athletic physique signifies discipline and the hard work required to get a body like that.
Our second incredible transformation comes from Ben G. Adams a clinical psychologist who shed over 70 pounds on his way to becoming a published health author!
He did this by battling his own love of eating which took considerable time and the help of the Body-for-LIFE program by Bill Phillips.
Ben briefly explained how he did this, “I have found success in shedding excess weight and keeping it off by focusing simply on creating self-mastery, by making sure that I follow through with my daily food plan. I always make sure I set a plan that I will be able to adhere to, and I refine it gradually, over time.”
How did you make the mindset change that allowed you to do this?
What I did that helped me to succeed is, I eased myself into it. For example, in the Body-for-LIFE program, you get to have one day each week when you can eat whatever you want.
Sticking with the diet was the hardest part for me, and after failing so many times, I finally decided that I would give myself TWO of the “eat whatever you want” days each week. Once I did that, the whole program was easy as pie (so to speak).
I made it through the whole 12 weeks, and felt great that I had made it through, albeit with training wheels. Then, my next step was to do another 12 weeks, during which I took two HALF “eat whatever you want” days each week.
For me this meant that I gave myself two eight-hour windows of time each week to eat whatever I want. And I made it through 12 weeks in that way. And than I finally conquered the full challenge, and made it through a full 12 weeks, with only one free day per week.
And that felt amazing. [Editor’s note: like Ben did you need to understand yourself and know what will work for you.]
My approach is obviously very different from the “go hard or go home” philosophy that a lot of people have about fitness.
It is inspired by B.F. Skinner’s use of successive approximations in the shaping of behavior.
What were the exercise changes you made?
I worked out with weights three times per week, and did three cardio workouts each week. The weight lifting workouts alternate between upper body workout days and lower body workout days.
In the upper body workout you work out your shoulders, lats, chest, triceps, and biceps (that’s the order I do them in–still to this day). In the lower body workout you work out your quads, hams, calves, and then abs (same order for me to this day).
I am a HUGE fan of the cardio workout as Bill Phillips describes it. Basically you only work out for 20 minutes, but during those 20 minutes you raise and lower the intensity in a very structured way, and then near the end you just go for it and kill it.
It’s a technique that is highly effective in removing all stress from my mind and body, and when I step off the machine and walk home I feel I am walking on clouds.
How did you go about getting your nutrition under control?
I ate six small meals per day, each with protein and carbs, and ate vegetables with at least two of those meals. I have experimented with all different kinds of recipes over the years, and the one that has stuck is a soup that I call Self Love Soup Base. It’s a soup base, so you can add meat or a tofu sausage (but it’s also great just by itself).
Here’s the recipe:
- 1/4 cup brown jasmine rice
- 1 full can black beans (do not drain)
- 6 Tbsp salsa (with no added sugars or sweeteners)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 slice of the sharpest, low-fat cheddar cheese you can find
Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the rice, then cover the pot while the rice cooks. It will be ready in a few minutes, so check it often. When the rice is cooked (i.e., when most of the water has dissolved), pour in the full can of black beans with all the water in the can (you need the water for the soup). Add the salsa and olive oil, then cover the pot again and let it simmer until you see bubbles rising up all around the edges. Then stir and pour into a big bowl. Now for the best part: Break the slice of cheese into a few pieces and place the pieces on top of the hot soup . . . where they will nicely melt.
Other foods I love to eat include raw almonds, raw cashews, steel-cut oatmeal (with peanut butter and berries), and all kinds of fruits and vegetables. And I love to drink water.
What are you doing these days?
Besides being a notable clinical psychologist Ben also became an author, “I wrote The Creative Process Diet as a way of making sense of the psychological and spiritual experiences I have had as a function of the dieting process, and as a way of making those experiences more easily available to anyone who wishes to access them.”
The best part about Ben’s weight loss transformation is that he knew what his body could and couldn’t do and adjusted the program accordingly.
That is what it takes to gently ease yourself into weight loss. No weight loss program is one size fits all so you need to adjust yours to meet your time constraints, habits, career, and family life!
But always remember that weight loss can be done and you WILL be the next success story!