I’ve written for MyFitnessPal for four months so far. It has been an amazing experience for me because of you guys! I’ve had conversations with many of you through Facebook, Instagram and email. While reading through the comments section on Facebook, I can tell there is a real sense of community that you have with one another. The reason I’m writing: Ninety-nine percent of the questions I’ve been asked are about how to lose weight. What follows are the five things you need to lose weight successfully. Just a heads-up: I’m going to take this in a direction you didn’t see coming—we are going to go deeper. Are you ready? Here we go!
Let’s be honest, getting out of our comfort zones is not an easy task. Making life changes takes courage and mental fortitude. Our courage has become frail; family, work, disappointments and our own worst enemy—ourselves—can beat us down.
Do you want to know how to get your courage back? Small victories, baby! So many people say, “This is [the day, the month, or the year] that I’m going to make the change,” and they swing for a home run, trying to reclaim their health. They set incredibly high goals, only to come up short.
Stop! Let’s simplify this process. Start by setting small goals that are obtainable. Set goals that can be reached in 10–15 days. Here’s a perfect example of how this simple process works. I had a client who drank 3–4 sodas a day. I told him that he needed to cut out one soda every 10 days. He knew that he was capable of what I asked him to do. Guess what? In less than one month, he totally kicked the habit. Victories make your courage grow.
This is a tough one. Being happy with who you are might be the most important thing you can do for yourself. This matters, and you have to work on it consistently. Again, take the small-step approach. Start by being grateful for things you are happy with.
My best tip for being happy with yourself: Do not compare yourself to others. When you go to this space, you immediately feel bad about yourself. Just be you and know that you are amazing! In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
- Wise Choices
You can feel the consequences of both positive and negative choices. I want you to do an audit of your life. Make a list with two columns, positives and negatives. Audit your entire life: what you eat, what you are reading, social media sites that you look at, activities, attitudes, friends, how you spend your time, etc. This is a black-and-white issue. Anything that falls into the negative category, I strongly suggest you cut that out of your life. If you have a negative attitude, you need to work on improving it.
Choices are something that you are in control of, so start being aware of what you are doing and eating, and who you are hanging out with. Simply put, if it doesn’t align with who you are, what your beliefs are or what’s important to you, let it go. You will be amazed at the freedom and relief that comes after letting go of all the negativity.
What time is it? It’s time to do the work! Set both small and big (but achievable) goals. Put a plan into place that will help you meet your goals, and then attack. But you need to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Your approach should have you chipping away at things day after day and week after week. You need to commit your time, energy and effort into what you are going after. Working hard consistently is the secret to reaching your goals.
Results are the by-product of executing the first four tips. Results keep you moving forward because you are seeing and feeling the changes. Watch your enthusiasm and excitement grow with every little change you see. Results are the reward of your hard work and discipline. Celebrate every single victory along the way, whether they are big or small. Remember the old saying “It’s the journey not the destination.” The lessons you learn along the way, the courage you show, and the confidence that comes from being content with yourself are far greater accomplishments than the final result.
Let me share a secret with you: I’ve lived these exact steps. I struggled in school; I’m dyslexic, a horrible speller, and I couldn’t sit still to save my life. Sports were everything to me, and since I wasn’t able to become a world-champion athlete, I had to go through this same process for my career. So I’m here to tell you that accomplishing your goals using this method can be done. It won’t be easy, but it’s so worth it. Be courageous, be happy, make the right choices, create action and celebrate the results. You’ve got this!