Is it possible for you to lose the weight? Let me start with a short answer: Yes it is possible for you to lose the weight. You just need a winning mindset, the right eating plan for you, and an exercise routine you can stick with.
Now that I’ve told you what I suspect you already know, let me approach your question from a different angle. I’m going use a principle from one of my favorite business books – Good to Great by Jim Collins. I’m going to help you acknowledge the brutal facts and yet still see the possibilities and propel yourself towards your goal.
Brutal Fact #1: Weight Loss Can Be Confusing
The basic principle you need to know when trying to lose weight is that you need to get your body to a negative energy balance – eat fewer calories than your body burns. That’s really where the clarity ends – as there are different theories and methods on how to do this. First there are the diets – low fat vs. low carb, Atkins vs. Zone, Mediterranean vs. Paleo, Nigerian food vs. no Nigerian food, eat clean vs. If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). Then there’s the exercise side – low intensity vs high intensity, P90X vs Insanity, Yoga vs Pilates, walking vs jogging, or exercising at home vs joining a gym.
And we haven’t even started talking about the habits that you need to change or those you can keep. Does your head hurt yet? I know mine does.
The varying opinions on the best way to lose weight can leave even the most resolute person confused. But there’s possibility in this confusion.
Possibility: The fact that all of these options are even up for debate is because they’ve worked for some people and this means that they’re effective on some level. So rather than seeing them as conflicting options, why not see them as a sea of choice that allows you to experiment and find what works for you? Jim Collins offers a technique that you can use to determine what experiments will make sense for you and it’s essentially a call to “lead with questions, not answers.” This means asking yourself:
- Why do I want to lose weight? and why is now the time to do it?
- What diets and exercise programs have I heard about that seem interesting to me?
- Why do these diets and exercise programs interest me?
- Based on the information I’ve read about these programs, what makes them effective?
- Based on the information I’ve read about these programs, what aspects of them do people not like?
- Based on my answers above, which one will be the right one for me to start with based on my lifestyle?
These questions start with your motivation and interest and can be used to explore what will fit those interests and of course your lifestyle.
Brutal Fact #2: You Need All the Help You Can Get
You can choose to go through the process of experimentation on your own or you can choose to get professional help. Either way you’re going to need help. The type of help you choose to go for depends on the type of person you are. If you’re self-directed, you can choose to go with Googling the information that you need as you need it. If you choose this route, you’ll need to be discerning about the information you choose to incorporate into your plan. If you would rather have someone else do the work for you, there are a good selection of coaches out there that can help you by providing you with the information, the tools, and the plan to help you lose the weight.
Possibility: Either way you choose to go, you’ll need to be discerning about what you let in. This means you need to know yourself and be severely honest about what you want from an information source, a coach, or a program. Using another one of Jim Collins’ techniques will also serve you well. He calls to “Engage in a dialogue and debate…” This is particularly relevant if you chose to hire a coach as engaging in open conversation with him or her will help you co-create the best solution for your goals and your lifestyle. It will also help your coach know how to motivate you and also know how to guide you to your goal.
Brutal Fact #3: You Need the Support of Your People
While weight loss can feel like an isolating experience, it’s only that way because we let it. We don’t gain weight in isolation and can’t expect to lose it in isolation. Even as you try to drop the weight, you’ll still have to go to work, cook for your family, and spend time taking care of yourself and your family. All these activities are done in collaboration with other people and these people can influence whether you succeed or not.
For example, you’ll need time to workout and if you have kids to care for, you’ll need your spouse’s support to take care of them while you handle your business. Here’s another example, you’ll need to change how you eat, and while overhauling the diet of your entire family isn’t practical, you’ll need their support to minimize the amount of junk food that makes is the into your kitchen.
Possibility: This is a chance for you to build your leaning muscles. You know, the one you use when you ask for help. Be specific when asking and also frame your request in a way that shows that you understand that they’re doing you a favor.
Brutal Fact #4: You Need to Believe in Yourself
This is non-negotiable. When you believe in yourself, you’ll show up 100%. Eating healthy will be less about deprivation and more about nourishment and, reducing your portions to trim your waistline will become second nature. Showing up for your workouts might actually come to be a source of fun because you’ll start to see improvements in how you execute your movements and how you look.
Possibility: Believing in yourself isn’t exclusive to weight loss. Your belief, that you can achieve what you set out to do can extend to other parts of your life. For example believing you can get the promotion you want will increase the chance that you’ll apply yourself to take to steps to get you there.
Over to You
Write out what you think to be the brutal facts that you have to confront in your journey to the body you want. Then write out the possibility that exists within. I know it may be hard to see what’s possible after confronting facts that might hint that you wouldn’t succeed, but you’re just preparing yourself for the journey ahead. Acknowledging what’s possible is like professing faith that you’ll achieve your goal despite the challenges you’ll face now or in the future.