More often than not, we already know how to achieve whatever goal we have in mind–be it starting a business, travelling to a dream destination, getting promoted or achieving your ideal weight. Deep inside, we actually know what to do, the sacrifice it entails and the hard work that comes with it. It’s just that the thought of having to go through all that sacrifice and work is always overwhelming so we end up discouraged.
I have been overweight since birth and have been gaining pound after pound until I reached level 3 obesity. For my 24th birthday, I decided that the best possible gift I could give myself is a healthier me and so I began my weight loss journey. My goal when I started was to lose 170 lbs and now, 9 months later, I already lost 110 lbs. Still a work in progress for the remaining 60 lbs; the goal is difficult but certainly not impossible. With all the things in life that I cannot do and can’t control I know that this–losing weight and getting fit– is something I can do and I can control and so I thought to myself, “I shall do this.”
To anyone who wants to start losing weight or who is also a work in progress, here are some things I learned that might be helpful when you need to give yourself that pep talk when faced with a slice of decadent chocolate cake or when laziness to workout takes over willpower. These tips are not your usual “diet-and-exercise-or-find-a-sport-that-you-enjoy” kind of list because you already know all that technical stuff. You know that the only way to lose weight the natural way is to diet and to exercise. You also know that an extra cup of rice won’t help you and you also know that merely following fitspirations on Instagram is not as effective as actually getting your bum off the couch and lacing up your rubber shoes. Below are things that have mentally helped me achieve my goal because truthfully, losing weight (or achieving any goal for that matter) is in equal parts mental as much as it is physical.
- It’s the little things you’re faithful to that makes the difference
Anybody can work out for an hour but controlling your food intake for the remaining 23 hours is really a mental battle. This is where the little things make all the difference. That 1 bar of chocolate and that 1 forkful of spaghetti and that 1 slice of pizza all feel like a small thing that probably won’t spike up your sugar level but that will probably throw away the hard work you put in for the day. So yes, the little things make a difference because these little things when accumulated might become a habit and it spells the difference between success and failure.
- Have a solid reason for your goal
Trust me, you have to hold on to that because there will be days where the universe seems to contrive against you, where you lose focus and want to give up but if you have a solid reason for your goal, you can overcome any temptation. They always say never give up what you want the most for what you want now, and I swear I have to repeat this to myself over a thousand times on days that I want to give up. So when your officemate or friend offer you French fries, just weigh how much you want it versus how much you want to live healthier.
- Stand by your decisions
Workouts are difficult and when I run long distance, it comes to a point where quitting is such a temptation but I know that I cannot live with myself if I decide to quit and not finish a race. I know that the guilt of quitting would hurt more than the cramps I’m feeling on my leg or the laziness that seems to overflow on a certain day. Repeat to yourself that when quitting or cheating seems to be rationalized, there’s a good chance you might regret it when the physical pain is no longer there. But of course, listen to your body and know the difference between real pain (when your body is actually not feeling right) and laziness. Deep down, you will know when you are truly in pain or when you are just justifying indolence.
Our goals are always very personal no matter how small or grand they may seem. That said, I would say that the penultimate piece of advice that I can give is that if you truly, deeply, really want to achieve something, go all heart or none at all. Only you would know how much effort, blood, sweat and tears you have poured to achieve your goal. You can’t turn back time; so if you’re doing something, do it with all your heart and savor that moment. As Roald Dahl used to say, lukewarm is no good.