A lot of people approach losing weight as either a competition or as a way to prove to themselves and others that they are worthy. Small wonder, listen to popular songs and you hear that men fall in love with women because of their sexy bodies. Movies generally depict “beautiful people” as the winners in love and finances. We want others to approve of us; we want to live up to some standard of beauty; so we decide that we have to lose weight for perhaps superficial reasons, like looking good in a swim suit. Unfortunately when we focus on reasons outside ourselves for losing weight our results are short-lived at best. For true, permanent, weight loss success we must look inside ourselves for both approval and the reason(s) why we want to drop weight in the first place.
If your goal then is to get off the weight loss roller coaster and truly lose weight permanently, it takes a shift in mindset. Instead of thinking about what others say, about what weight or size they think you should be, about what you have to look like to be popular, you must begin to think about what YOU want and how you feel.
Look, we all know that eating right and exercising are part of being healthy. That should be no surprise to anyone. What not everyone realizes is that “eating right” and “exercising” do not look exactly the same for every person! There is a lot of flexibility in these terms-which is good news because it allows us to create our own health system…one that is tailor made for us with our likes and dislikes, our goals and ambitions in mind!
How do you create this system? First take some time and really think about what your health and fitness goals are. If you think in terms of “health” rather than “weight loss” then you will guide your mind and body in the right direction and you will lose weight as a by-product of your actions!
Start with some simple questions that are an either/or answer. For example, “Do I want to run races or do I want to walk around the City?” Which one feels better for you? Go with that one. Then ask yourself another question. If you answered, “Walk around the City”, to the first question then it might be you’d rather walk then run…so your next question might be, “Do I want to walk around the City or walk in the mountains?” Continue with these types of questions until you find something that really hits deep in your heart…then you know what-at least for now-your immediate health and fitness goal is.
It might be that you want to be able to walk in the sand at the beach, hike in the mountains, or run and play soccer with your kids. Perhaps your goal is to swim the English Channel or across the local pool, or ride your bike to work or across the country. It doesn’t matter how big or small your goal is. What matters is that it is YOUR goal. Do not let anyone tell you that your goal is too big or small…and don’t be afraid to let the goal grow and evolve as you do! Today your goal may be to walk around the block and tomorrow it might be to have the energy and balance to roller blade for an hour!
By placing the focus on something that YOU want you will dramatically increase your chance at weight loss success. Whenever you begin to wonder why you are eating better and taking care of your body you can refer back to your goal. When that health and fitness goal is achieved or no longer inspires you, then you can find a new goal.
As humans we come in a glorious variety of shapes, sizes, abilities and desires. We can achieve our health and fitness goals and weight loss success best when we focus on what inspires us rather than trying to live up to someone else’s ideas about what is best for us.