Have you ever wanted to lose weight?
I have my whole life. In fact, I have started over so many times on my journey of weight loss and to become healthier. So what makes this journey different? Well, aren’t all of these trials, just part of one story? Here is the start of my story, along with 5 tips that motivate me.
I remember at the age of 13, watching a show at my friends house. I believe it was the Maury Povich show and the title was probably something like, “I am over 300 pounds and I don’t know who my baby daddy is!” Well, all I can remember is that my friends dad made a comment, “I can’t believe these women over 300 pounds. That is just gross.” And guess what? I was sitting there as a 13 year old and I was over 300 pounds. I was crushed.
Here I am, 25 years later, and I am still over 300 pounds. In fact, in the last 25 years, I only remember a time of about 6 months where I was actually under 300. But, I have been trying to lose weight my entire life. I have tried everything, Richard Simmons, Jenny Craig, Weightwatchers, pills off the internet, other countless weight loss programs, workout DVDs, etc. And although I would find some success with them, I never felt like I reached my goal.
You see, starting out with needing to lose that much weight is so defeating. We all want that quick reward, and when you have that much weight to lose, it isn’t quick. It is at least a two year journey, which already feels deflating. So how do you do it? How do you get started and stick with it? Well, I wish I had the magic answer. But I do have the 5 tips that helped me.
5 Tips to Get Started in the Right Mindset
- Just get started – “I am going to start on Monday.” “I will start tomorrow.” These are my mantra before I get started. I have to have that last meal or two before I actually start. And I just stuff my face and enjoy every last morsel. What actually ends up happening is that I gain a few pounds which inflates that starting number. Don’t do what I did! Instead, realize that you have already started. It is time now! Make your changes starting from the moment you decide. This will keep you from procrastinating or letting fear take over so that you never start to begin with.
- Simplify– You do not need the perfect plan to get started. Your pantry does not need to be stocked immediately with everything you could possibly need. In fact, sometimes I don’t even get started because I am focused so much on making sure I have everything ready. What? There is no ready. Just jump in and do. But start with small, uncomplicated steps. I was at a fancy gym for years and started many complicated weight loss plans. This time, my plan is simplicity. Track what I eat, and get my butt moving. I walk. That is my whole work out plan to get started. Once I start tracking my food, I simply make small simple changes that over time will have a benefit. Goals for week 1: Walk more than yesterday. Drink more water than yesterday. Eat less sugar than yesterday. Eat more vegetables than yesterday.
- Accountability – This is one area where I struggle the most. I don’t want to tell ANYONE when I am trying to lose weight. Because then when I fail, I don’t have to be embarrassed. But, I discovered I need accountability and I bet you do to. So where can I get it? Well, I have joined Weight Watchers and just the accountability of weighing in every week is worth it. Its hard to face those receptionists when I have gone up, so it helps keep me on track. I have also found support online. But this time, I have also told more people about my goals and what I am trying to accomplish. And surprisingly, they are more supportive than I ever imagined. Find your people!
- Find Small Wins – We all want that instant gratification. I have seen people lose 100 pounds in 6 months, so why can’t I? My goal should take me about 2 years or more. And to be honest, I just keep thinking, what if I would have continued on 2 years ago? Would I be in a much better spot than when I got defeated by how long it was taking? That is why it is important to find the small wins along the way. Find multiple ways to measure those small wins. If I want to lose weight, I should take pictures, get measurements, start tracking my food intake. Then in 3 months, when the scale is not moving, I can look and say, “Wow, look how different I look in these pictures. I can see a difference.” Or “I may have only lost 5 pounds this month, but I also lost 3 inches.” Sometimes those wins have to be, “I didn’t eat a snack tonight.” Or “I was able to resist that cake at the office today.” These wins mean something. We all need to celebrate and keep our momentum even with the small wins.
- Realize there never is an end – Wow. There is no end to being healthy. I will always have to work at it. If I stop being intentional, I will slide into old habits very quickly. So instead of racing to the end of the journey that doesn’t have a finish line, I should instead optimize my life along the way. There is no such thing as a successful diet. Instead, it is a change in lifestyle. My life needs to be different than it is now, because honestly, I am hurting my body every day.
Mindset is a key factor to any Weight Loss program and making sure you are bringing all 5 of these concepts together will start you on a better path to success. I have learned so many other things especially about keeping my mind in the game, that I am excited to share all of that with you.