Maybe you’ve been struggling with your weight for a long time. Maybe it’s a more recent problem where as you age, you are discovering you can’t eat whatever you want like you could many years ago. Whatever your weight loss challenges, know this: successfully losing weight and keeping it off comes down to making a few important shifts in your life.
How do I know? A few years ago, I weighed more than 300 pounds. Today, I’m happy to say I now weigh 175 pounds and I’m in the best shape of my life. The old me scoffed at a few minutes on a treadmill, and now I’ve completed two full marathons and just signed up for my third. Mentally, physically and emotionally, my view of life has exceeded what I ever thought was possible.
Here’s the changes I made to successfully lose weight. I’m sure they can help you, too.
How bad do you want it?
Many people say they can’t successfully lose weight. Unless there is an underlying medical cause for this, losing weight comes down to how bad you want it. If you truly want to lose the weight, you will. When I was 300 pounds I would say I want to lose weight but then never could. That’s because I didn’t truly mean it. When I meant it for good and I was really ready, then I started dropping pounds.
Don’t overwhelm yourself
One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was 300 pounds was trying to do too much too soon. I quickly became flustered and overwhelmed. What worked better was trying to slowly incorporate change into my routine. I started slowly incorporating more fruits and veggies. I started slowly engaging in more physical activity. Instead of looking at the big picture focusing on the more than 100 pounds I needed to lose, I broke it down into small 10-pound increments. This made the process much more manageable.
Develop your willpower
Most people struggle to successfully lose weight because they’re not ready to standup to the challenges that come along the way. This is where your mental fortitude and willpower come into play. Temptations, cravings and emotional eating are just a few of the obstacles you’re going to have to standup to. This is where you’re going to need every ounce of willpower to stay on track.
Find what works best for you
There is so much advice out there and so many different diet and weight loss programs. It’s not a “one-size fits all” equation. Your weight loss journey is going to be different than mine or anyone else’s. Find what works best for you and stick to your own plan. I worked closely with my nutritionist and trainer who helped developed a program for my specific body and goals.
Write it down
One of the biggest things that helped me lose weight was writing about it. It was one thing to say “I’m going to consume better foods” or “I’m going to hit the gym.” But, when I put pen to paper, the words were staring back at me and really sunk it. I encourage you to write a list of adjectives that describe how you want to look and feel. I also wrote down every food and beverage I consumed to look for patterns. I noticed certain times when cravings would kick in, so I would replace the snacks with water.
Celebrate every win
Losing so much weight was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Rewarding myself (not with food) and recognizing each victory along the way is important for goal setting and momentum building. Each pound you lose represents your mental fortitude. So, congratulate yourself for every victory, without ever getting complacent.
Get around others with the same goals
The best way to accomplish anything in life is to get around like-minded individuals. It’s no different when it comes to losing weight. Get around other people who are in the same boat and support one another, share your frustrations with each other, push each other through the hard times and celebrate the victories together. It’s a lot easier when you have someone doing it with you.
Don’t fool yourself
Alignment is the key to progressive health and unless all the dominos are in line, the expected results will never come. I went to the gym three days a week during the year that led to my peak of being 305 pounds. But, due to food choices, alcohol-abuse and lack of strategy, I stayed busy while heading in the wrong direction. When attempting to design a healthy life, every part of each day must be examined and all actions that go against the intentions must be monitored closely. Without handling the details, we will never get to see the best of the big picture.
Losing weight is no easy feat, but it is doable. Not only will you look and feel good, every part of your life is going to improve. Don’t just say you want to lose weight, instead, make a game plan and review it daily. Be ready for the physical and mental challenges you’re going to face. All growth comes with moments of discomfort but reaping the benefits of your commitment will make it all worth it.
Kinja Dixon went from more than 300 pounds to 175 pounds. He re-created his life picture and now helps others along their journeys. He is author of “Re-Creationism: The Art of Shaping Reality.” http://re-creationism.com/and http://www.kinjadixon.com/
Feature photo: Ivan Torres / Unsplash