Fat loss and enhanced health are not easy undertakings. There is a mess of environmental and psycho-social factors plus a myriad of individual circumstances to contend with.
1. You are not your scale weight/dress size/health status:
Self-love and self-acceptance are at the forefront of your journey. You may be in a place where you have been beaten yourself up over your indulgences, your weight or your fitness level. Work very diligently in shifting your narrative towards self-acceptance. Please note that his DOES NOT mean accepting your situation. In fact you SHOULD be dissatisfied with your situation – but only because you DESERVE better for yourself.
2. Look Inwardly and Honestly
With the above in mind, take honest stock of your situation. It’s time to put up that full length mirror! Meaningful change can only take place once you’ve admitted to yourself that you aren’t doing what you can to keep yourself healthy. Be honest with yourself, but also be gentle and forgiving.
3. You Deserve to be Health (and you are meant to be)
I encourage being appropriately selfish when it comes to your health. Regardless of your situation, your busy life or your responsibility for dependants – carving time out for YOU is essential. You will be of much better service to those around you when you take care of yourself.
4. Align your actions with your values
Long term success is not possible if being healthy is not part of your life’s mission and values system. Instead of setting goals, focus on aligning your actions with values. What is your “why”? be prepared to dig deep for the answer.
5. Kick yourself in the comfort zone (without beating the crap out of it)
Exercise and eating healthfully is challenging. No meaningful change comes without stretching beyond your perceived capabilities. That said, crushing yourself in the name of better habits will eventually backfire.
6. You are the sum total of your habits – start there
Habits account for an incredible amount of our day to day rhythm. Look to build new habits that beget your outcome goals. Adopting small daily habits consistently will yield appreciable long term results.
7. Your enemy will always be resistance
According to author Steven Pressfiled, resistance comes in many forms; Procrastination, insecurity, timidity, ego and fear are all forms of resistance. Resistance is an invisible force that will stop at nothing to destroy your progress. Bite resistance in the butt.
8. Momentum Trumps motivation – always
Start before you are ready. Don’t think – act! Showing up is 90% of the battle. Showing up to exercise, showing up to prepare healthy meals, showing up when it comes to self-reflection.
9. You WILL mess up. Get over it quickly (but learn from it)
Your journey will be a bumpy one. Guaranteed. Your long term success hinges on your ability to take lapses in stride. Forgive yourself, get back on your path RIGHT AWAY and learn from it. What precipitated your slip? How can you navigate this next time?
10. Find YOUR best Diet
The best diet is the one that keeps you in a deficit whilst not making your miserable. Eat mostly a variety of nutrient-dense foods you don’t dislike; plenty of greens and other veggies, enough protein and water. The rest is details… there exists neither superfoods nor evil foods.
11. Change your relationship with Food
Do your very best to look at food in a relaxed, neutral and augmenting way. No diet can flourish under a shaky foundation of a dysfunctional mindset around eating.While you’re at it, re-frame exercise; see it as a reward, a form of play – something that will invigorate you.
12. Re-define “Motivation”
Motivation is not delivered from a stage nor will it come from motivational posters and memes. The key is to hone in on the intrinsic aspects of motivation; eating healtfully and exercising for the sake of it – for how it makes you feel. You may never LOVE exercise, or broccoli. That’s ok too! The goal is to internalize the experience and know that it is bringing you closer to who you are meant to be.
Bonus Principle: Stop Chasing Happiness
Happiness is not a destination – nor will being leaner make you happy. Happiness is a journey – one of growth, learning and helping. Do things you enjoy, do things for others and spend time with people and pursuits that feed your soul. Embrace adversity, vulnerability and be your authentic self. This will set you on a course towards fulfilment.
Bonus Tip: Happiness