I lost a hundred pounds a few years ago, and this is a mantra that I developed during that time, and I just wanted to pass it on to people, especially those who are just starting their journey now. I’ve never articulated these thoughts to anyone, so forgive me if it’s not presented like a great motivational speech, but hopefully you will pick up the idea I’m trying to share and it will speak to you and encourage you.
It’s very natural to imagine that weight loss is a race with one finish line. Let’s use this as an example, feel free to plug in your own numbers here: you start out at 300 pounds, you want to be 180. You think to yourself how long it’s going to take to get to your goal… it could be years of diet and exercise… how are you going to be able to maintain this grind? You’re going to crash at some point. You are not used to this lifestyle and health foods and all that just don’t taste good to you, and there’s no way you are going to be able to hold on to your 180 pound vision for 2 straight years and never give up in that time.
Here’s what you do so that you can begin to completely destroy that mindset.
Lose 10 pounds. Just 10. Make it your ultimate goal. Don’t imagine 180, don’t dream about 180, dream and imagine yourself getting on the scale and it says 290. Remember 290 when you feel like crashing and binging on sweets late at night, remember how CLOSE you are to 290, it’s completely reachable and by not having those sweets that night, you are going to be there in a matter of days.
Now here’s the best part: you will seriously celebrate 290 if you can really get into this. A pitfall that a lot of people have is that they aren’t celebrating their progress enough. They get on the scale and it says 290, but it’s not 180. They aren’t happy. They did all of that work and all they lost was 10 pounds.
NO! You did all of that work and you LOST 10 POUNDS!!! THAT IS AMAZING. How long did it take you? Maybe a 2.5 weeks? You’re now even stronger and you’re getting better at that elliptical.. maybe you can try another 5 minutes on it each run now! Hey, you lost 10 pounds. Clearly you’ve become good at pushing yourself and being successful with it, give those extra 5 mins a try.
Next up: 280.
How can you do 290-280 better than you did 300-290? What improvements can you make? Maybe none, maybe you kicked ass and now you just do it again. GET EXCITED THOUGH!!! You are making progress, your body is getting in shape and you don’t get so out of breath and tired immediately… you can push yourself harder, burn more calories per day, and it’s going to get easier and easier from here.
Now let’s take this philosophy a step further. This is a concept you may have heard before.
Make EVERY DAY a race, and EVERY NIGHT a finish line.
It does not matter what weight you’re at, or how far away that number is from your goal. It doesn’t matter. Try to forget that goal number you set, don’t imagine it anymore. Your new goal begins when you wake up!! the gun goes off and the crowd goes wild for you, AND YOU’RE OFF! Your only goal is to make it to the end of the day without having junk food. Don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t worry about yesterday, the race is today, the race is right now only.
The past is no longer right now, you can’t do anything about it, and the future doesn’t even exist until it’s the present. You are free from worrying about either of them. All you have to worry about is happily looking the other way when you pass by a big buffet of chinese food or a pizza parlor. Don’t tell yourself “Oh my god that smells so good, am I seriously never going to have that again?” Of course you are, but this is not that time. You are in a race, and you’re not going to right now. Eventually you’ve thought that out for long enough that you aren’t even near the junk food anymore and your brain becomes distracted by something else.
When you are just about to cross that finish line, at the end of the day as you’re going to bed, you aren’t going to want to ruin all of your progress and lose the race at the very end.
Every single time you lay your head on that pillow and you’ve been successful, celebrate the hell out of it. You just won that race. The next morning the gun will go off again, and it all begins again. You only have to get through ~16 hours until you win the race again. Just 16 hours, you got this.
So there is my philosophy that really helped me to get to my goal. Celebrate the milestones you set for yourself like you are celebrating the ultimate goal. Completely forget the ultimate goal and only focus on getting to that next milestone. It’s doable. It’s not even that difficult mentally, you just change your focus. If you are here in this section, you probably have a real, genuine want to do this. That is the only tool you need to win your race every day.
And P.S. every time you cross a finish line, you gain the tools and knowledge and confidence in yourself to make the next finish line even easier. The physical work might become more difficult, but the mental work becomes easier and easier as you go, and by the time you cross the final finish line you set for yourself, you will have everything you need to never ever look back.
Thanks for reading. Now set your first milestone and forget all of the other ones!
TL;DR Instead of focusing on the ultimate goal you set for yourself, use all of your focus on smaller goals and milestones. For example, make your ultimate goal to lose 10 pounds, and every day you wake up and go asleep on a successful diet/exercise schedule, you have succeeded and you deserve to celebrate that for yourself and pat yourself on the back. The days will go by, and turn into weeks, then months, and before you know it you are closer to that ultimate goal than you’d ever thought you’d be.
I used to be morbidly obese … I’ve had random people come up to me and insult me to my face. I’ve had kids running away from me, screaming “She’s ugly!” I’ve had fast food thrown out the window of passing cars at me while I was out walking. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
I’ve lost up to 90% of the weight I need to lose to be considered “media pretty.” I’m within the healthy range for the “ideal healthy weight” according the government and the medical industry. I don’t get treated like this anymore, even though I have been and will always be me. Somewhere along the lines, I went from ugly to “not ugly” or, I guess, beautiful just because I lost weight. Society has taught me that if you’re fat, you’re automatically ugly; therefore, you’re undeserving. How did I get to be “deserving” even though I haven’t changed who I am… I only changed how much I weigh./u/calicofox
I’m stuck in a rutt at the moment.
One of the more unhelpful surrounding elements in my life is an orbiting constellation of people and family, often well-wishers, who have ‘helpful’ comments and (open) judgments. This was epitomised in a daily mail article I read last week - the fat girls of today are unashamed of their size, how dare they, they should just get some exercise and stop subjecting onlookers to their skin… though I grant this comes from a paper which such ‘news’ as Shock!! making fun of fat people doesn’t help them lose weight, and may actually not help them at all >_>. This same article also contains such helpful and constructive comments as:
“Look you are fat because you refuse to take responsibility for YOUR OWN body. No-one forces you to eat the amount you do. You are probably bored or suffering from low self esteem anyway. Food is no comfort, sort out your worries and what is at the root of your unhappiness. You can not run away from yourself.. But then again some people like being fat because it means they don’t have to try. If that is the case stop beating yourself up and get on with life… after all its your choice!”
In one paragraph this blames the fat person for the problem, suggesting and dismissing the closest shot he made to the problem (You are probably … suffering from low self esteem anyway.) He even ends by saying we’f probably like to look like this!!
Ignoring a legitimate reason for weight
But really it’s those who think a bit of exercise and good eating is the solution and don’t understand anything else - those who see a fat person and assume they must be lazy - as opposed to a viable alternative which is that they have recognised and are dealing with the problem, even if it’s not immediately apparent right now!
I thought of an apt analogy which I figured I’d share because I’m sort of building up defences against an expected onslaught next week and need to ground myself.
There is a man with a spotless house. He maintains it every day. He looks at the messy persons house and shake his head, and helpfully offers “look, it takes just half an hour of cleaning every day to keep it like this. You just need to get good habits." He offers to help, unwittingly condescending, and picks up bits of rubbish and puts them into a bin bag, nodding enthusiastically. Then he smiles and walks home to get cleaning.
The woman knows this, though, she had a clean house too once.
But things crept in round the edges, stress and worry and pressure. Little by little bits of rubbish started piling up, and for one reason or another her focus was always on whatever painful thing held it, not the rooms around her. Depressed about work or money or family, she vowed to clean up tomorrow, always tomorrow.
Until one day she looked around and saw for the first time the surroundings she was living in. “Gosh" she cries "this is awful, how do I fix this!" She remembers his advice, and vows to spend half an hour every day cleaning. But it’s hard going in the beginning. She can barely move through the piles of mess around her - so half an hour barely makes a dent. Other people passing buy look into the windows and see the mess, and she sees their looks and feels ashamed. Almost ashamed enough to give up cleaning altogether… what’s the point.
But eventually surfaces begin to emerge. That half an hour is enough to keep those clean, and the extra time goes on the mess on the floors.
The people who look in the windows still look and tut - but she just shrugs - they know they have momentum and it will be clean soon.
Finally she has a clean house too, and half an hour to keep it clean feels so easy now… when the room is already half clean already.
He looks round and never knows how messy the room was just months before.
But she knows.
It’s exactly 41 days (6 weeks) to my cousins wedding.
I am 214lbs.
I am restarting keto - but I’m doing it differently (to avoid the pitfalls of my numerous failed attempts in recent months).
I am trying to adopt mindfulness - so along with trying to drink 4 litres of water a day, and the general mantra of keep calm and keto on, I will repeat this simple phrase to avoid temptation:
This is just an urge, and urges always pass.
So with little ado I shall begin!