When someone finds out that I’ve lost nearly 60 pounds (58 as of this morning), the first question they usually ask is, “How did you do it?” The answer is pretty intense – longer than most people are really interested in knowing. They are usually hoping I’ll just give a quick answer, but I’m sorry to tell you that it’s not just one thing. If you aren’t prepared to accept that losing weight But that is all for another blog post. For now, I want to discuss the two most important – essential – skills that I had to strengthen in order to help me to lose weight.
There are three skills that you absolutely – without question – MUST HAVE when losing weight. If you don’t have them, learn them. You don’t have to pay money or take a course to learn these skills. You can do it on your own – trust me. It just takes a little bit of practice.
Those skills are: honesty, self-discipline and patience. Are you surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. These are the basic characteristics of a person who genuinely wants to achieve a weight loss goal, versus someone who just wishes they were thin. If you are just dreaming about being thin but don’t want to put the effort into it, sorry to say but you can just continue dreaming. Tough love, I know – but this is the truth. And that is a great segue into the first skill…
Skill #1: Honesty
You have to stop lying to yourself. Just stop.
Stop saying, “I’ll start tomorrow.” (You said that yesterday, and last month and last year. There have been 2,000 tomorrows since the first time you said that.)
Stop saying, “I don’t have time.” (Ok, you clearly had time to watch that 2-hour episode of “The Biggest Loser” while eating a grilled cheese sandwich, cheese puffs and soda. You also had time to burn on Facebook and checking your email 10 bazillion times today.)
Stop saying, “I don’t know why I’m fat – I really don’t eat that much.” (Yeah, that’s what I used to tell myself too. I guess I conveniently forgot that I once ate 40 candy bars within a matter of days, or that I regularly ate full-fat cream cheese with a spoon, or that I would eat 1st dinner in my car on the way home from school and 2nd dinner with my family.)
Also, be honest when putting forth effort to lose weight. I used to cheat on my Weight Watchers points and then wonder why I didn’t lose weight at my following weigh in. “But I didn’t do that bad,” I would complain – yet I would still pay the weekly $13 fee (or whatever it was at the time) and then repeat the same mistakes again the following week. This is obviously completely ridiculous now that I hear myself telling this story, but that is exactly what happened. I victimized myself in front of my family, my friends and myself – convincing everyone around me (including myself) that I was just meant to be fat, that I couldn’t lose weight (which I now realize was an excuse for me to not try).
So, yes. Please stop lying to yourself and take an objective look at your habits and your life, and you will probably realize that you are not just a victim of bad genes or external circumstances.
I’d rather work hard, and get to my goal than to have everyone feel sorry for me and stay fat. And that brings me to my next point: gettin’ it done.
Skill #2: Self-Discipline
This is a really really simple concept, but for some reason it’s so dang hard to do.
Being self-disciplined means denying yourself of the guilty pleasures and bad habits that made you fat. It means watching EVERYONE else in the room eat birthday cake and being totally okay with it. It means going to bed some nights with a little pinch of hunger because you have already consumed enough for the day. It also means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone when learning new skills (or improving on old ones) like working out, cooking, and cleaning (Yep – in my experience, cleanliness is 100% related to losing weight – but this is a topic for another blog post).
Recognize that YOU are the one who is in control. Nobody puts food in your mouth. Nobody can force you to exercise. Nobody can tell you that you have to lose weight (no matter how much they may love you, encourage you, and want you t0).
Stop blaming others for your weight problem. Stop blaming your mother for making delicious food. Stop blaming your husband for eating pizza around you. Stop blaming the calendar for Halloween. Stop blaming Jack-in-the-Box for being in your direct line of vision. Accept that you will always have temptation for as long as you live – just learn how to stand your ground and stick with your commitment to yourself no matter what the external circumstances may be.
Be disciplined enough to follow through with your commitments to yourself. Most people start a diet Monday and are eating french fries and orange soda by Tuesday or sooner. The intention of losing weight is not enough to get results – you actually have to put in enough work and time to see a real change.
Skill #3: Patience
Losing weight takes time. It can take a very long time, a painfully long time. Just accept this fact now, because if you don’t… sorry to tell you: it will take even longer!
Think of “time” as being a key ingredient in the recipe of losing weight (hehe, kinda like thyme?). You can’t get around it, there is no substitute. Stop calculating exactly how many weeks it will take you to get to your goal if you lose exactly 3 lbs a week (which is too high of a goal, by the way). You will have slip ups – you will not be perfect all the time. But if you are patient, you will be more likely to forgive the small mistakes because you are more level-headed and recognize that the whole process takes time and that one small slip-up is not worth throwing in the towel for.
Please, be realistic. You’re not going to eat perfectly for 7 days, step on the scale and then lose 10 pounds. Even if that has happened to you before, it’s not typical and you shouldn’t expect those results regularly. You might even go a week or two without seeing a change in the scale. Are you going to give up? Not if you have set yourself up with the proper expectation that losing weight takes time. It’s like making wine – you can’t rush the process.
Results are not instant and you should not expect them to be. Educate yourself – know and trust that the science behind weight loss (burn more calories than you take in) is true and that you are NOT the exception to the rule, and that you will lose weight if you are honest with yourself, have self-discipline and patience.
Comments Greatly Appreciated
This is my first blog post, so I’m pretty new at this. Comments, suggestions, and yes, even criticisms (how else can I improve?) are greatly appreciated. I am all about self-growth – this is what weight loss and LIFE is all about to me. I want to improve and I can’t do that unless I put myself out there, so this blog is one of the ways I am doing that.
I am also sincerely hoping that others will benefit from my past struggles. I have had to figure out how to lose weight on my own – and I want to share that with others who are also struggling. I plan on going into more detail in upcoming blog posts about exactly what I have done that has helped me lose nearly 60 pounds, and what I am doing to lose the remaining 40 pounds – so please stay-tuned.
Bookmark this page, like it, share it, pin it – social it up, people.
Oh and feel free to check out this video about my transformation so far:
Thanks for your feedback!