Recently, I Tweeted something about being happy that my jeans were fitting more loosely and that I would be sharing my “Weight loss secrets” in an article.
Let me warn you ahead of time. There is nothing for you to buy, nothing for you to subscribe to and, yes, there are no real secrets to weight loss or pretty much anything else you want to accomplish.
Shedding that excess weight, whether it’s a few pounds or even a huge amount, starts, like everything else, within you.
“As within, so without” is as true for weight loss as it is for the condition of your finances or your relationships.
Within your own mind is where you begin.
Start seeing yourself differently
When I was struggling to shed that last ten pounds, after having, over time, lost twenty-five, the main reason I wasn’t succeeding was that I kept looking at the fact that I had not lost the weight.
Only when I stopped doing that and stopped obsessing about it, did I begin to make progress.
Self-help authority, Maxwell Maltz said, “Our self-image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become.”
Begin by seeing yourself as a healthy, lean person
Invest some time each day visualizing yourself the way you want to look. You may even get a photo of yourself looking the way you’d like or, as motivational master, Zig Ziglar did, paste a photo of your face on the body you’d like to have. When he did that with an ad for underwear, he commented that “they don’t put fat boys Carbofix in underwear ads.”
Of course, as with anything you want, you don’t stop there.
Remember the Bible quote, “Faith without works is dead” You need to take a proactive position.
What worked for me was making simple changes.
I began by paying attention to what I was choosing to eat.
Since we attract more of what we put our attention on, focusing on making better and healthier food choices led me to doing more of the same.
I took control of my food instead of the other way around. I stopped eating things out of habit.
I vividly remember one day standing in front of an ice cream freezer in my local organic food store, Kimberton Whole Foods, where by the way, you can buy my book, “52 Ways to a Happier Life.”
My “typical” habit was to pick out a pint of ice cream and toss it into my shopping cart. On this particular occasion, since I was paying attention to my choices, instead of blindly tossing in the ice cream I stopped and asked myself what I really wanted.
In this case, what I wanted was a specific flavor, Mocha Java. Since they didn’t have it at the time, I chose to take control of the situation and opted not to buy any ice cream. For me, this was a huge change – going from buying ice cream just because it was there to choosing only to buy what I really wanted.
This simple act has resulted in my cutting ice cream down from once or twice a week to once every two or three weeks. The net result is the loss of a few pounds, easily and effortlessly.
An added benefit is the sense of empowerment from taking charge of my decisions instead of blindly responding to habits. Feeling good about this simple action has enabled me to start focusing even more on healthy choices.
Start noticing even the slightest progress
Weight Watchers members acknowledge and celebrate even a quarter of a pound loss. They’ve realized, over time, that reinforcing positive behavior contributes to success.
Again, since like attracts like, paying attention to the “evidence” of your success will attract more of it.
One of the reasons I was stuck trying to drop that last ten pounds was that I kept noticing how hard it was to do it. Only when I stopped doing that and just relaxed into a “knowing” that I was reaching my ideal weight did I begin to succeed.