I know that since the last article you have been itching to start losing weight. I am sure some of you have started losing weight by cutting out anything and everything that has sugar and /or flour. Even if all you have done is drink water as your only beverage you would have lost weight.
However, as I said before, this column is not about weight loss; instead, it is about a permanent change to a healthy or healthier lifestyle. So let us unbundle some things.
What is a lifestyle? Below is a definition I got off the internet that I thinks says it all.
A lifestyle is a way of living of individuals and families (households), which they manifest in coping with their physical, psychological, social and economic environments on a day-to-day basis.
It is expressed in both work and leisure behavior patterns and (on an individual basis) in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income.
Lifestyle also reflects people’s self image. The way they see themselves and believe others see them. Lifestyle is a composite of motivations, needs, and wants and is influenced by factors such as culture, family, reference groups, and social class.
This is what I am going to be encouraging you to change to a healthy or healthier one.
From the title of this article you can see that I am bringing in Personal Mastery into this process of changing your lifestyle.
Personal Mastery is centrally to do with ‘self-awareness’ – how much we know about ourselves and the impact our behavior has on ourselves and others. Personal Mastery also helps us to be willing to have our own beliefs and values challenged and to ensure our change interactions and behaviors are authentic and principled.
Personal mastery is about approaching life from a different perspective and it is a journey towards continuous improvement guided by key principles like vision, personal purpose, creative tension, commitment to truth and understanding the subconscious mind.
To cut a long story short, it is carrying out a current state assessment of your lifestyle and committing intelligently to follow prescribed ways of changing it. So here are some questions for you.
Are you on any medication right now whether prescribed or self medication? Can the reason you are taking the medication be managed by making changes to your diet and including an exercise regimen?
How often do you get angry and shout in a day? How often do you feel stressed in a day and how do you react to the stress? How much sleep are you getting at night?
Do you smoke, drink or use any recreational drugs?
How often do you eat including snacks a day? How often do you eat food not cooked in your home a day? How much water or other non-alcoholic beverage do you drink a day? Why do you eat, is it because of hunger, boredom, depression etc.
How often do you exercise a week? Do you go to the gym or you work out at home?
You may be wondering why this is important. Why don’t I just start the diet? If you are not self-aware you may not understand why you have certain habits and what the root cause of such a habit is. Without this knowledge and commitment to changing some of our fundamental beliefs, sustainable weight loss will become elusive.
I must let you know that weight loss in itself is not very difficult. The difficulty is in keeping it off forever. The above questions will help you in the long run; achieve sustained weight loss and good health.
I promised that I would burst some myths. One of the main reasons personal mastery is important in weight loss is this first myth to be busted.
Myth 1: Eating less will make you weigh less
Eating less will not make you weigh less. Indeed eating less just slows down your metabolism. Your body has a mechanism that when it is deprived of food it goes into starvation mode and holds on to every calorie you then eat.
To lose weight you must actually eat; even though it is eating the right things at the right time with the right frame of mind.
This is why those who fast a lot and those who are constantly on diets quickly regain weight they lost during the fast or diet and sometimes even more at the end of the fast/diet.
Without full self-awareness you will be back to square one.
To conclude please think of the way you live your life, conduct a S.W.O.T analysis to identify what has led you to be over weight and/or unhealthy.
Then picture the life that you want and we will chart how to get there over the next few months.