People will tell you that weight loss is simple, they will tell you things like “watch what you eat and exercise regularly” or “it’s simple, kilo-joules in vs. energy expended”!
I can guarantee you that anyone that says anything like this has probably never actually had a weight problem themselves.
Weight loss (and I’m talking about the sustainable variety, not the fad diet variety….don’t get me started on that!) is all about winning the battle in your mind, rather than the battle in the gym or the kitchen.
Let me say straight up that my heaviest weight personally has been 58kg when I was in my early 20’s. This was an uncomfortable weight for me at only 5ft tall (today I sit between 50-52kg) but since then in my professional life I have helped literally 1000’s of people lose weight over the years and every single one of them that lost weight AND kept it off has won the battle in their head first and foremost.
For me losing weight isn’t just about looking good or fitting into that dress… it’s about knowing that I am in a healthy weight range, feeling good about myself and being there for my family. Your reasons might be different but if you want to lose weight and keep it off, then successfully winning the mind game is the key.
Here are the three things that I believe you need to accept and get your head around before starting your successful weight loss journey.
1) Having realistic expectations of success.
There is so much free information on the internet today that everyone has become a weight loss expert. It drives me crazy seeing all the ‘quick fix’ weight loss products on the market telling us how we can lose 5kg in a week or some other ridiculous statement. The reality for most people is that the reason you have put on weight is because you have eaten too much of the wrong types of food over a sustained period of time and secondly probably not exercising consistently.
Now having put this out there, I want to follow it up by saying that if it’s taken you a long time to put weight on, you are not going to lose it in a matter of weeks, it’s going to take time and a lot of effort both in practical ways like exercising and getting your food ready every day but also in the mind to change the long standing habits that contributed to where you are today.
My general rule is, if you are eating the right foods and maintaining a sensible exercise plan, you can realistically expect to lose 0.5-1.0Kg a week. So if you have 10kg to lose, you need to understand and accept that is going to take you between 10-20 weeks to achieve your goals.
The question is are you ready for that type of commitment? The easier option is to opt for a shortcut plan (think shakes or pills) which may help you lose weight faster, but in 99% of cases I have seen people put that weight back on and then some.
Only when you accept that your weight loss is a process that takes time and requires a long term commitment from you, will you truly be heading for success.
2) Understanding that there is no-one else responsible for your weight
This is a huge one and it can be a tricky area and weight gain can be directly linked to a series of emotional issues and problems, most of which I am not qualified to talk about but I can assure you that those that are successful losing weight long terms are the people that take real responsibility for the process. Of course this is easier said than done but if you’ve ever found yourself saying one of the following things, then you probably need to think about whether you are really ready to commit to a long term weight loss solution:
“I don’t have time to exercise”
“Preparing the food is too much work”
“I am not a morning person”
“I’ve tried everything and nothing works”
“I’ve got a slow metabolism”
“I’m too old”
“I’ve just got big bones”
These are just a few examples but what I am getting at is that once you accept that you and only you are responsible for your weight loss then you are truly ready to start your journey.
3) Being prepared to change your ‘normal life’
Whatever is normal for you in your day to day life probably needs to be changed if you are going to succeed with your weight loss and this can be difficult, especially if these are things and habits that have been part of your life for a while.
Are you prepared to give up the glass or two (or more) of wine for a while?
Are you ready to start buying new types of food and cooking them regularly?
Are you ready to break up with chocolate?
Are you ready to go to social functions and consciously be aware of what you eat and drink?
Are you ready to change your schedule and create time for exercise regularly every week?
As I mentioned in 1) your weight loss journey is going to take time so you are going to have to be ready to ‘sacrifice’ some of the things that have become ‘normal’ and ‘comfortable’ in your life to achieve your goals. Over time you will be able to re-introduce some of these things on a regular basis but chances are that your life once you have lost weight will look a lot different than it does today (and in every single case I have seen, people much prefer their new healthier lifestyle).
So these are the three things that I believe stand between you and a successful weight loss journey.
Are you ready to get started?
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