Last week, many of you came into the pharmacy and shared your weight loss journey with me. I couldn’t believe how many of you are on the same journey. It was truly a humbling experience to listen to your experiences and be able to help you on this journey of yours.
Last week I talked about the formula for weight loss success. This week I want to put the focus back on our mindsets and dive a little deeper to understand the things that could sabotage your weight loss goals.
Most people, when they go on a diet and see some results, usually feel great about the weight they’ve lost and eventually slack off. From working with many of my patients over the years in achieving their health goals, I came to realise the important reason why they eventually stop achieving their goals is that they do not deploy self-awareness. They do not know themselves enough to know what works for them.
Some people are process-driven, while some people are driven by the outcome. Everyone is different, and certainly, when it comes to achieving their health goals, there is no right or wrong answer or a perfect meal plan or exercise plan. If a dietician gave you a meal plan where the majority of your meals consisted of a selection of foods which you despise, would you expect yourself to follow the plan through? Everyone is so different in this world even with the kind of food that we like eating. So, don’t try to duplicate or follow someone else’s program, it is so important to find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
An analogy I always use is to imagine yourself working in a job that you hate, all you do daily is looking forward to “lunchtime,” “home time,” “Friday night” and “the weekends.” However, when you love what you do, you tend to feel the opposite because the worst day of the week is quite frankly Fridays as you will have to wait for two days before the best day of the week (Monday) arrives. That is the reason why only a small number of people can achieve their ultimate health goals.
Now some of you might ask me, Chris, how is it even possible to enjoy or love my weight loss process because I’m constantly hungry and eating the things that I don’t normally enjoy?
Well, that is a fantastic question. I never say that losing weight is easy. There is no free lunch in this world. To make some gains, you must put in the hard work. It ultimately comes down to how much you want it.
I think most people in society these days have got their priorities wrong. They focus on the things that don’t matter but ignore the things that matter the most. Being short-sighted is what’s causing our downfall. We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in a short period and underestimate what we can achieve in the long run. Because of this short slightness, most people cannot see their weight loss journey through to the end. Yes, it sounds brutal, but it is the truth. Sometimes there is simply no way to make the process more pleasant. That is the reason why I always, always stress the importance of finding you “Why”! Your “Why” and your ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel are the two seasonings that you need to make your weight loss journey more palatable.
When you have a tough day and things didn’t go your way when your weight plateaued, when the temptation of opening a packet of chips is so great, when it is so hard not to have a piece of the chocolate, what pushes you to keep moving forward? Is it looking good in my clothes? That’s not deep enough. You need to find the root of your “why.” Why are you trying to lose weight? Why fitting into the clothes that you love so important to you? What do you want to achieve great health? There is a deeper level of purpose that is driving you. And when you find it, you discover the driving force that will never allow you to get off track.
Listen, do you think I don’t have tough days during my diet and training? I absolutely do! We all do. But at the end of the day, my “why” guides and pushes me through difficult times. When I have a tough day or even think of quitting my diet, I remember my “whys” and know there is no way I could possibly give up. I know I’m always going to be in control of my life.
A bad habit I notice many people do when they are on a weight loss journey is focusing too much on making short and fast gains. Unless you are going to die soon, then you should play long term. The ultimate reason why 99% of people fail their weight loss goal is not the hard work they fail to put in but is their lack of patience.
The reason many of us lack patience and want to win right now, want to shed all the weight so fast is you want to show other people you won. It feels like you are doing it for other people and not for yourself. We’re worried too much about other people’s judgment. This is why credit cards screw up everyone. People are not willing to save up for something they want but rather want to spend the money they don’t even have in the first place to show people they’re winning versus actually winning.
My friend, we are in a deeply complicated place where we’ve always worried about impressing others. It only escalates the problem these days because we live complete public lives thanks to social media. Everybody’s going out dinner on the weekend for the Facebook or Instagram photo and not for the actual dinner. People are subconsciously doing this. How many of us are thinking about your holiday vacation predicated on the photos you take versus the vacation itself? We live in a world where people yearn for affirmation or complements, which makes them vulnerable to failure.
When you adapt on the weight loss journey, you are in no doubt bound to expect setbacks and hitting the wall sooner or later. Maybe your physiologically not in the right place that enables you to fight through, or your diet or training has reached a plateau. Most people would deal with these by jumping to another avenue searching for a quick fix or a short cut rather than follow through because they think they fear failure. But let me tell you, what you really fear is not failure but the judgment by others. If you were able to screen out what other people think of you and focus solely on your health goals, then I can guarantee you that you will live a life that builds on yourself rather than other people’s expectations. And that is the life each, and every one of us should strive to live by.
Guys, the bottom line is that – losing weight is merely a by-product of changing your mindset. If looking good is your priority for losing those kgs, then I strongly urge you to strip that mentality away and replace it with a deeper reason for doing what you are doing. Only by finding your ultimate “Why” and deploying self-awareness and surrounding yourself with people in the same wavelength as you, can you truly succeed in the journey of losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle that you truly deserve.
Again, I’m a strong believer in the right attitude and mindset. If any of you are on or thinking of entering the journey to a healthier life, please do not hesitate to talk to me as I’m always happy to share some of my thoughts and views with you if you need a little nudge or motivation for you to make your first step.
To your health and dreams,