As we start into a new year one of the things that is, well what should I say, expected? is the plethora of weight loss ads and diets that abound. No wonder. With the holiday season behind us many are making choices to commit to some type of program or system to get rid of unwanted pounds and get their bodies into shape.
Many of the things I see, really, often gets an eye roll from me. Mainly because there are so many smoke and mirrors that aren’t really designed to be long term or sustainable for individuals using it.
However, there is one thing that will always stop me.
I love stories from real people, who were really fat ( yes I used that word) and who worked their butt’s off the old fashioned way to get rid of it and have maintained that loss.
One of the things I enjoy reading is in People magazine. They do stories each year about individuals who’ve lost a lot of weight ( think well over 100+ pounds)
No surgeries, no gimmicks, no potions or detox/cleanses or whatever.
Just old fashioned hard work and discipline.
I caught this years winners on a morning talk show today and listened as they shared their personal tips on what helped them be successful.
There were no special tricks or anything that surprised me. It was all sane, practical and livable skills that led to them losing all that weight. ( one had lost over 280lbs !! )
I’ve preached much of this before but thought I’d bring it again as succinct as possible. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy fit lifestyle just takes some time, discipline, and a commitment to making it happen.
Here’s the low down:
All interviewed cited that to be successful they had to make the intentional choice to want to be healthy. No one can make you decide to lose weight or get fit but you. No one can do it for you. Making this decision is the first and biggest to get you on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
* You make a personal commitment then implement steps to do it.
Exercise. They all had found an activity that they liked that got them moving. As one lady said… “I knew I was lazy. I knew that being lazy was keeping me from feeling better”. She wanted to have energy to chase after her young children and play with them. It requires some effort on our parts to “not be lazy”.
* Find something you think you can enjoy and make a commitment to doing it most days of the week.
Eating. Needless to say their food choices had to change and the amount of foods they consumed had to change. They learned to make healthier swaps and eat less. One lady admitted to needing “structure” and had found success with a weight loss system.
* Modify your food by making better choices and reducing how much you eat. If you need “structure” there are several good programs that could help you.
Small goals. I’ve preached this before and often. Setting small goals helps not only mentally but also gives you that sense of satisfaction of accomplishing something on your goal list. These individuals made small goals for themselves that gave them confidence to keep on going.
* Set small, attainable goals for yourself. Write them down. Make them visible so you can see them. Assess goals as you make progress.
Hard work. Losing weight isn’t always easy. They all admitted to investing hard work to get where they were that day standing on the stage and in People magazine.
*Accept that the weight you put on won’t come off over night and it will take work to get back to where you want to be.
Must change mind set. I think this is so important to anyone’s success. If you don’t change how you think about food, how you interact with it, own the fact you need to lose weight, learn to view health and fitness as a good thing and be willing to leave your old behaviors, habits, and patterns behind, you will not be successful. There has to be a willingness to let go of old mind patterns and develop new ones for long term success.
*Be purposeful in changing your thinking about living a healthy lifestyle.
Use Social Media. Again, all of them cited using social media to help on their journey by sharing what they were doing, what their goals were, progress pics etc. I started using social media a few years ago sharing my running and training. It has evolved quite a bit from those days. I quickly learned that when you share, you will get asked about what you’re doing and it gives you another level of accountability. Not only that, I learned what I did encouraged others to want to get active and try new things.
*If you don’t use social media to share your fitness journey you may consider it. You can share as little or as much as you want. You’ll be surprised at how you may encourage others and if some don’t like fitness posts, no worries, they can just keep on scrolling 😉
These are all practical steps that can lead to a permanent lifestyle change. These things are doable for success. With a little determination, commitment, and a willingness to change and let go of old behaviors you will be on your way to being healthier, stronger and more energetic for your new year.
Do you have a successful weight loss story?