As we near the end of the first month in 2017, I find myself curious what the number one resolution was this year. And I think we both know what that answer is: Lose Weight (according to a survey by StatisticBrain.com). This comes as no surprise for most of us who have more years than not, made that very resolution. And for awhile, we got on the bandwagon, dished out money for a gym membership, or signed up for any number of weight loss programs ranging from a few dollars a month to hundreds of dollars for what we hoped would be the answer. The real bummer is that most of us have seen that diets by and large don’t end up working and the magical thinking that hooks us in and gets us to fork over that cash quickly fades into a reality that it’s not the magic bullet. In fact, often times we end up feeling worse (and poorer) than before making the commitment.
The myriad of times I did this are too many to name, until ultimately, I completely abandoned the thought of ever really putting a dent in my life long struggle with weight. It wasn’t until I really began to feel older than my years, fed up with dishing out cash for a new plan or supplement or exercise program, that I decided to hit it from another angle. So what was stopping me? That question was the one that got me googling. Was it emotional eating? Was it my thyroid? What exactly did I need to do? I don’t think I would have ever begun this journey without it getting really bad. I needed to come to a place where, out of sheer desperation and frustration, I was finally willing to end my stubbornness and become a bit of a radical with a new approach. So what WAS stopping me!?
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. In other words, it was the definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. And in that recognition came the cold hard truth which was, whatever I tried next, it had to be radically different. It was about rejecting the “everything in moderation” approach that doctors and weight loss gurus discussed. It was being willing to take a big leap into eliminating the trigger foods and really carving out hardcore rules. It was being willing to be patient with myself, going through the darkness of giving things up with a deeper understanding of why and surrendering to a new way. In order to do that, I had to challenge old beliefs when it came to food and weight.
Now, with 80 pounds gone, we can all agree it’s worked. New beliefs replacing the old. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras was the first to believe the earth was round, and later Magellan proved it. Imagine if the belief system hadn’t changed. The journey wouldn’t have happened. Maybe it’s a stretch to compare earth’s shape to my shape, but it worked for me. And the same goes for poking holes in other self-limiting beliefs. Want to answer the question for yourself? Here are a few of mine to get you started…
- If I eat 3 full meals a day, I will gain even more weight. This one went by the wayside within the first few days of working my plan. Previously, I was rarely eating breakfast or lunch, all the way to 100 pounds overweight. I lost 7 pounds in the first week. Debunked for good.
- Going public with my journey will only lead to embarrassment. I am a very private person. If you would have told me over a year ago I’d be writing a blog and putting myself out there in this way, I would have thought you were crazy. The idea came out of my need to make this bigger than all of my excuses and considerations. It created the accountability I needed in order to keep going when my resolve weakened. I had to keep going. It was no longer my dirty little secret.
- Support groups are for losers. I not only went public with the journey, I admitted I couldn’t do it alone. As one who hated joining groups or sharing my deepest issues beyond my most intimate friends and spouse, this was big. Creating the online secret support group known by fellow BadAsses as the A-Team has been the key to staying on track. By supporting others, I get back tenfold. I couldn’t have imagined how many awesome souls out there would embrace this with me. We have literally lost hundreds of pounds. And it takes my breath away.
- Giving up flour and sugar will be torture, and it won’t be sustainable. This was one of the tougher ones to kick. The good news is once I went hardcore, with no exceptions for one week, I was unhooked from the addiction (and make no mistake, it is an addiction, withdrawal symptoms and all). Once it was out of my system, the fog lifted. I was able to go another week, then another.
- I’m too busy to be so focused on preparing whole foods and weighing and measuring. Kicking this old belief out the door is probably the one I’m the most proud of and frankly surprises me even more than kicking sugar. Like taking a shower, the time it takes to prep in advance or to make my breakfast and lunch in the morning takes much less energy and emotional angst than not doing it. The amount of psychic energy saved is priceless. I’ve been able to do it while I’m on location working, while on vacation, and it’s persisted even when my work days are crazy. Why? Because I take the time no matter what. And miraculously, there’s always enough time.
There are several other debunked beliefs, like believing I’d never see size 10 from the cliff of size 20 (I hadn’t seen that since high school) or put my Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease into remission. Or the big one, that I will actually get to my goal, which is now 20 pounds away. I’m still getting used to the fact that I’m 80% of the way there. There are still little remnants of the old voices in my head that say I won’t get all the way to goal. But they’re much quieter now. When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I have to stop and take it in. There is still work to do. But I can finally embrace the belief that this time IS different. Seeing IS believing. Finally, I’ve found the answer to what was stopping me. It was quite simply, old, worn out beliefs. Shedding the old beliefs and replacing them with new ones finally allowed me to shed the weight. I may not be sailing around the earth, but I am proving I can embrace my own journey and it will lead me to new horizons. And you my friend are no different. It’s possible. And if you don’t believe that, be willing to challenge those beliefs. Finally, believe it or not, there are lots of us rooting for you. Trust that if you seek the support and strength, it is already waiting for you. Believe!