- February. 9 2019
Mainstream diet programs and quick fix supplement manufacturers fill the airwaves with all kinds of hype about how to achieve the body of your dreams with hardly any effort on your part. All you have to do is take their pill or follow their extremely low calorie program and you will have a body like you’ve never had before, in no time flat.
I may burst a few bubbles by saying this, but there is a big piece of the puzzle missing here, which is why so many people end up on the never-ending rollercoaster of yo-yo dieting. To achieve lifelong sustainable fat loss, you’ve got to do more than sign-up for 8 weeks of a meal replacement plan or pop a pill, and in fact, I will go out on a limb here and say that if you rely on a pill or other external factor alone, you are setting yourself up to continue on this vicious cycle. Why? Because you never learn the process, and therefore, won’t know how to turn the process into a sustainable long-term lifestyle. You never travel the road so your arsenal of internal tools is empty, and you are left helpless without the pill, program, or other external factor.
The secret to lifelong fat loss isn’t really a secret, my friends. It’s just hard, and no one wants hard, we all want easy. But what is easy that has ever been worthwhile? The secret to sustainable fat loss is something that we all inherently know, but choose to ignore, for a more flashy, quick, seemingly easy method. I challenge you though, to count up the number of people you know that have achieved a life of health and wellness in addition to lifelong fat loss, who relied on an external factor (i.e. pill, shake plan, lap band, etc) alone. I bet you have trouble thinking of even one person.
So you want to lose the fat forever? Gather round and pay attention, because if it is really that important to you, you will be willing to do what it takes. The secret to lifelong fat loss is the unique combination of the following criteria.
1. Decide what you want.
2. Decide what you are willing to give up or do to get it.
3. Get busy!
Yes calorie intake and expenditure is important. Workouts are very important. But before both of these, we must first commit to the process and then take the necessary action if we want to achieve the fat loss results. The process really is that plain and simple. The problem is, people don’t fall off the wagon because of the process, they fall off the wagon and give up on their fat loss goals because of many other reasons.
You will never be able to maintain the fat loss results, if you don’t love and have gratitude for the body you see right now when you look in the mirror. It sounds so very cliché – “love the body you have right now, while you go after the body that you want” but this very point was a HUGE factor in why I have the body of my dreams today. I never used to really understand this. I always thought, why would I want to change my body if I loved the one I had right now?? It took me a long time to realize how blessed I am, and to be grateful for the healthy, vibrant, beautiful body that I had when I started my fat loss journey, in parallel with pursuing my goals. When that clicked, the fat loss fell into place almost on its own. I was no longer running away from all the things that I didn’t like about my body, and instead moving toward how I can continue to expand on the awesomeness I already have.
Our mindset is the foundation of health and wellness and our attention equals love. The question to ask yourself is this:
Are my thoughts consistently making me feel powerful and strong, OR are they making me feel defeated and sad?
The answer to this question weighs heavily into your success. If you are focused on lack, frustration, and despair, then that is what you are going to get more of. If you spend your time thinking about happiness, abundance, and fulfillment, then that is what you will bring into your life. Don’t spend your precious time worrying about or thinking about the things that make you feel bad. Spend your time and attention on the things that bring you joy and good feelings.
It is so important to make sure that you are acting out of inspiration rather than out of desperation. Force negates, meaning, if you try to hurry and force the fat loss through extreme measures, you are going to sabotage yourself in the end.
Focus on why you are doing this. Focus on the excitement and anticipation that is attached to the feeling you will feel when you achieve your goal. If you can stay in this happy place instead of in a place of fear and frustration, you are far more likely to achieve your goals and maintain them for the long-term.
How much do I really want this?
As I mentioned above, if you want it bad enough, you will be willing to do what it takes to continue on when the going gets tough. You’ll be willing to eat that salad when you feel like you can’t stand to look at another leaf of baby spinach. You will be willing to throw your legs out of bed and get to the gym when the alarm goes off at 5:30 AM. If you want it enough, nothing will stand in your way. You become an unstoppable machine.
It is this determination and drive that carries over, beyond this fat loss phase. This commitment is an agreement with yourself, that even after you lose the fat, you will continue to live a life of health and wellness. Where whole foods and physical activity will always and forever be a high value for you, because this goal and maintaining the results for a lifetime is that important to you.
We must hold ourselves accountable, rather than relying on something outside of ourselves (a trainer, coach, program, etc) to do this for us. Write your fat loss goal down on paper. Hold yourself accountable – set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). Write your goal date on the calendar and then set up short-term goals between now and then at regular intervals (daily, weekly, etc) to make sure you stay on track.
Take responsibility for your results, because to do otherwise would be giving up your power.
So you blew the diet one night out with friends or you missed two workouts this week. So what! Move past it. What did you learn? I encourage you to understand that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. There is always a lesson if we pay attention, some tool or learning that we can take away from every experience. So rather than beating yourself up for being a human being and making a mistake, realize that this is just an opportunity to grow, and now you are prepared to make a better decision the next time.
It is true, patience is a virtue and in this fast paced world, we want results yesterday. In order for fat loss to be sustainable, we’ve got to give it the time it takes. Achieving your goal isn’t going to happen overnight, because the fat didn’t appear overnight. Practice patience, and in the mean time, make sure to celebrate your victories, big or small, according to the short-term SMART goals mentioned above. Realize that you are on your way, and be grateful for the uncomfortable moments that will pop up, because these are “anti-intentions,” the things that tell us that we are on the right track. If you are really hungry one particular day, that is a reason to celebrate, because this is only happening because you are on your way to your goal!
So you see, these lessons/tools cannot be bought for any price. They can only be learned by traveling the road. If we try to jump from A to Z, we don’t go through the process and we don’t learn what it takes to live the lifestyle necessary to maintain the fat loss. This is what so many people don’t understand. A quick fix “Band-Aid” isn’t going to keep your results long-term. If you want fat loss for life, you’ve got to walk the warrior’s path, and no pill, lap band, or quick fix remedy is going to be able to give you this knowledge. The only way to learn is to experience the process for oneself, incorporating these points in parallel with your nutrition and exercise plan, for knowledge necessitates understanding that does not come otherwise.
If we place the responsibility for our weight loss solely on something outside of ourselves, then we are susceptible to fall into a cycle of lifelong ups and downs because ultimately, we are passing the responsibility of health and wellness on to someone or something else. Although in the short-term this path can be challenging, it is far better for our long-term health and vitality to take this power for ourselves.