Losing Weight Is Like Playing Poker

August 15, 2007 · 4 comments

There are 2 kinds of poker players* - those who focus on the results of their actions and those who focus on the decisions taken to get them there, regardless of the result.  This quote from World Champion Greg Raymer, from an interview by Wil Wheaton, says it well:

I guess I’d have to say Greg Raymer. He was the first person to say to me, “This is a game of decisions. If you’re results oriented you’ll be miserable. If you can concentrate on your decisions, you’ll feel good about your play no matter what.”

A poker player focusing on results will berate themselves (or more likely their opponent) when they lose a big pot with AA to a player who overplayed A5.  They will question how they played the hand and second guess themselves.  A decision focused player understands that even a perfectly played AA against a poorly played A5 still has about a 1 in 10 chance of losing, and if they happen to lose they are OK because they know they made the best decision they could, and luck was not on their side.

In the battle of the bulge, as in poker, focusing on results can be a losing proposition.  Results are important, of course, and one measurement of your success in losing weight, but weight loss alone should not be the focus.  Take pride in good decisions you make on your journey, like if you normally eat two of something bad and you change your habit to start only eating one.  Or if you eat perfect all week and exercise to plan and you still don’t lose any weight.  

 Focus on the good decisions you made because in the end those good decisions will tip the scale in your favor.

(* this reminds me of my favorite joke - “There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don’t”)


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The Pound Slayer August 15, 2007 at 11:43 am

What a great analogy!

And as for binary geeks, I’m looking forward to the day when my weight in binary is only 8 digits instead of 9!

dietgirl August 15, 2007 at 12:00 pm

I’m a big fan of analogies and this was a goodun… you are wise grasshopper ;)

kathyj333 August 18, 2007 at 8:16 am

You’re right. Losing weight is about the decisions we make to get us to our goal. Life is all about choices. Every person has choices to make everyday. Taking the time to make the right choice is one of the best decisions you can make.

kaxxina February 12, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Another great post! I’ll try to remember this as I set up my blog! Focus on the decisions, not the results… very good.

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