I am constantly trying to look at the struggle people face, when attempting to lose weight, and find a way to make things much easier. If your reading this, I will assume you have tried a few different diets, a few different exercise routines, maybe a few personal trainers, or all of the other random thing’s people think to do when they are attempting to lose that unwanted weight and to look and feel better about themselves. Well, today I’m here to tell you to STOP. If the diets and exercise routines haven’t worked yet, and you have actually put forth some effort, they probably aren’t going to.
You may be thinking, Who the fuck does this guy think he is? Well, give me a minute to explain. Although the mechanics of losing weight are very simple: eat healthy, burn more calories than you consume, exercise consistently…the mental aspect of the weight loss process isn’t easy. And that is where most people tend to get stuck. So this post will be about taking the focus off what you need to lose, and instead, developing a mind set for what you need to gain.
My belief is that the body follows the mind. First you think, and then you do. So if you know that you need to eat healthier foods and exercise regularly to increase your output of calories to lose weight, then why is it so damn hard to do? It’s not. You just think it is. When we look at losing 20, 50, or 100 pounds, it seems to be overwhelming. We may feel lost, hopeless, or even defeated by what we have let our bodies become. We get this short burst of motivation to make some changes: maybe we hit up the gym a couple times, or make a trip to the grocery store to grab some chicken, rice and vegetables-because that is what we have been led to believe we should eat-and then almost as soon as we have started, we fall off. The food rots in the fridge, and we end up paying for a gym membership that goes unused. That spark of hope and ambition dies, and it is back to eating what’s convenient, what tastes good, and binge watching Netflix. This is the story of EVERYONE I have ever spoke to about losing weight. But what if we changed that story? What if we decided to write a new ending where we smash our weight loss goals, and we continue living a healthy vibrant life without ever having to go back to that feeling of hopelessness and defeat?
Most people’s thought process, when it comes to dieting, has a very negative undertone-focusing on what they can’t do (eat garbage food) or what they have to do (go exercise). In doing so, you’re setting yourself up for failure from the very start. Negativity doesn’t provide inspiration, it doesn’t feed motivation, and it kills goals and dreams. A more positive energy from the start will yield much better results. What if we quit focusing on losing weight altogether? Most people already associate weight loss with a negative experience. What if instead we turned our focus on a much less daunting task?
You know what is less intimidating than a six month diet and exercise plan? A 30 day diet and exercise plan. That is probably why a lot of weight loss and diet plans are in 30 day increments. The thing is, most people have trouble sticking to something for that long. But, what if we let all that shit go…the 30 day plan…the 6 month plan…and looked at what we can do today? Seems to be much more accomplishable doesn’t it? Surely you can get through one day of eating heathy food and 30 minutes at the gym.
By turning our focus to just the day at hand, we are able to make actual progress because the present moment is where all the magic happens. “Overnight successes” are actually built on years of daily habits, and lean fit bodies are developed in the moment, by the choices we make, one day at a time. So let’s say for instance right now you’re ready to lose some weight. Well, walk to the kitchen and take a look at what you have available to eat. Do you have enough healthy food to get you through tomorrow? If not, today, in this moment, you can make the choice to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things. BAM! One healthy choice down. If you already have healthy food (that’s still edible) you are one step ahead. Now take a minute to think about when you will have time to eat tomorrow and plan accordingly. Pack a few things together, and make sure it is with you, so that you don’t have to go without or make poor food choices. I’m not talking brown rice and chicken breast here either. Just be mindful of the calories in what you’re eating and where they are coming from.
We all have some understanding of what is good for us and what isn’t, and if you are unsure of something, just Google it. Google is a wonderful thing. Now we just have to make it to the gym, or the treadmill, or the sidewalk in the neighborhood and get some exercise in. Starting off, exercise could be walking around the block a few times. It’s something, and we are only focused on the day at hand. And just like that, we made it through a day eating healthier and exercising. We are that much closer to our goals.
It sounds cliché, but that’s actually how weight loss happens. Everyone starts somewhere, so the only question is…will today be your day to start? All we have is the present moment. Everything else is irrelevant. Losing weight isn’t about dieting and exercising at all; it is about making better choices for ourselves daily. Choices that will affect our minds, bodies, and spirits. After spending a full day eating food you know isn’t terrible for your body, and getting in a bit of exercise in, you won’t be able to tell me that you don’t feel good about yourself, accomplished, driven, disciplined, prepared, and responsible. The choices we make on a DAILY basis IMMENSELY affect our self-esteem. Since a healthy body is what we are after, and healthy bodies are developed with our DAILY choices, which will in turn increase our self-esteem, you can see how this chain of events unfolds. Every positive choice we make based on our values increases our self-esteem just a bit. The more positive choices we make, the higher our self-esteem rises. Positive choices build momentum, and that positive momentum makes it harder to make poor choices. The emotional consequences we face become much more painful when we are going against our values after being on the rise.
Understanding that an “overnight success” does not happen overnight is crucial to the weight loss process. In order for us to get to where we want to be, in regard to our bodies, we have to develop the daily habits that will allow for the changes to take place. THE DAILY HABITS. So let’s take the spotlight off of “trying to lose weight,” and turn it onto today, this very moment, and making some choices we will be happy with tomorrow.