I have been getting a lot of compliments recently about my weight loss. In fact, Tracey (our retail manager) mentioned that everyone at the medical centre was discussing how much weight I’ve lost to-date. I don’t usually end up being the topic of discussion amongst others, however, in saying so, I did enjoy being under the spotlight recently, even it was for just a brief moment 🙂
Anyway, what I’ve learned over the past 2 years is that there could be some truth behind the saying “married life can go straight to your hips.” I certainly experienced it first-hand since getting married to the love of my life. To make things worse, she is a fantastic cook and an amazing baker. Those combinations are deemed to be deadly for someone who enjoys food a lot and explains why my marriage weight gain was an inevitable truth. Three reasons triggered my weight loss journey:
1) I have ripped my work pants several times the past year
2) Many of my mates are gaining a significant amount of weight since their marriage, and I don’t want to end up like them
3) I’ve noticed there is a disturbing trend of long-term conditions such as hypertension and diabetes happening in people of my age (30s).
As a result, I started on my weight loss journey approximately 2 months ago.
Over the years as a pharmacist, I’ve helped many of my patients achieve their weight loss or health goals, not by giving them a magic pill but rather helping them to change their mindset. I believe the first step in achieving anything in life regardless of health or personal success is to have the right mindset. By default, everyone tends to sabotage themselves by doubting their ability to achieve great things. The first thing I always ask my patients to do is to stop doubting and start believing in themselves. With the proper mindset, you are already halfway into achieving your goals.
Please understand that mindset is controllable in the same way all of our opinions are controllable. The key is to surround yourself with more people that have optimism or who are on similar vision-based goals as you and cut people with negativity. It is very simple.
The next step is usually a tricky one because most people would just set a goal like
“I want to lose 10kg.”
“I want to fit my skinny jeans.”
“I want to get 6 pack abs.”
There is no problem setting goals like these, but I can guarantee you that they won’t get you very far because they are not important enough to get you to where you want to be and stay there.
To set a goal that you can stay committed to, you must create a vision for your health.
I found that many of my patients know that they need to lose 10kg, but they never ask themselves the important question of why they want to do it. Always dig a little deeper and find out your ULTIMATE why – that’s my best advice to you all. What does losing that extra weight means to you? What will you be able to do that you could not do today? Is it you can finally try on new clothes that you would not have considered because of your weight? Will you finally have the confidence to ask the girl you like out on a date? Is it that you can finally have an amazing time with your kids playing soccer without feeling the struggle to keep up with your kids? Or maybe you want to live a healthier life so that you can be there for your grandkids?
By attaching a “Why” to your goal, you automatically transform your ordinary goal of simply getting rid of things to creating something – (a new life and a new you). Isn’t that already making you want to start the journey immediately?
However, when people start digging deeper in search for the “WHY,” they tend to realise that the goals they establish initially were purely created for others and not for themselves. I think many people are too tied up into other people’s opinions. It is remarkably scary how many of us are dictated by somebody else’s opinion, and much of our action is to show “somebody” else that you’ve achieved it or made it. If you find out that what motivates you to lose weight is based on other people, then I strongly urge you to stop fuelling into their opinions and start caring about your own. Because quite frankly, you can never satisfy other people!
Many people I know always set themselves a New Year resolution for their health. However, a majority of them fail every single year to live up to what they envision their health to be. Failure to take action because of your fear of the unknown or fear of trading comfort over hard work will always triumph if you never really understood your REAL reason for the change. If you have difficulty finding your real reason, always remember to ask yourself a question: What will your life be like if you never committed to the change. Would you like to live the old you and seeing your health deteriorating?
I understand that sometimes the healthier version of you may seem so far away, and at the time you may stumble on multiple hurdles, which makes you feel that what you envisioned for yourself seem un-attainable. However, it’s not until you start to realise why you are on this journey and why it matters to you that you can finally replace your fear and frustration by hope. I can 100% guarantee you that if you can do that then everything will fall into place.
One common observation that I’ve noticed when people enter their weight loss journey is that they somehow over time manage to gain all the weight back. Partly this phenomenon is due to not setting the right goals (as I’ve mentioned above) in the first place. But also, important because they have adopted a short-term diet plan that is not sustainable for them and then slacks off.
I always tell my patients to think of weight loss as the tension on a stretched rubber band. One end represents your current weight, and the other end represents where you want to be with your weight. The tension caused by stretching the rubber band signifies your journey and obstacles to get there. When people enter a weight journey, there usually lots of tension on the rubber band. When you’ve seen some results and losing some weight, the tension will drop because you feel great about the weight you’ve lost and you slack off. That’s just human nature. We all do it. Eventually, over time the tension on the rubber band slowly reduce and the weight returns with a vengeance. That is ultimately the reason why smokers who quit smoking for 3 months, and felt great about their accomplishment and think they deserve a puff for their effort and bang in a matter of seconds, all their nicotine receptors in their brain started firing again and guess what, they are back to their old self in no time.
We cannot change our basic human instinct of constantly feeling sorry for ourselves when we try to accomplish great things in life. Everyone is in a constant struggle between staying in the comfort zone or exposing our vulnerability in search of greatness. When we achieve some form of progress, our inner voice would always appear to tell us to take a break and cash in the rewards. The more we listen to our inner voice, the more likely that we will sabotage our plan and eventually come to a stage where we undo all the great things we’ve done for our health. From my many years of experience in helping my patients achieve their health goals, I believe the only way to break that cycle of falling back to our habits is by creating a big enough reason (as talked about above) for you not to fall back to your old self. This reason must be precise and specific for it to work. Once you’ve imprinted this reason in your mind, your brain is now rewired and hence can reboot your mind every time your inner voice appears to skew you off track.
So next time, when you decided to do something about your health, whether it is to lose weight, quit smoking or lower your cholesterol levels, make sure you have the right mindset and find your big “WHY.”
2019 is about to end, and 2020 is right at our doorstep. It’s that time of the year to review your health again. But the only difference this time around is that you now have a much better understanding of how your mind works and you are now equipped with the necessary tools to rewire your brain and correct your mindset to set yourself up to a good start on your New Year resolution.
As always, I’m always available if you want to have a chat with me about your health goals. I am more than happy to shed some light and point you to the path of success.
To your goals and dreams,