I suppose we all agree that in order to lose weight we need to eat less and exercise. That seems pretty simple, so why is it so difficult to lose weight? For me, I find there are five keys to losing weight, the five D’s:
- Desire-first I have to really want to lose weight
- Don’t doubt (believe you can do it)
- Dream about it, visualize it
- Discipline-I have to be willing to eat less and exercise
- Determined-I have to be persistent and keep dieting even though I occasionally give in to temptation and eat too much.
Desire and Don’t Doubt
It all starts with desire. If you have burning desire to achieve a goal, you probably will achieve it if you believe you can. We have all heard people say “I just can’t lose weight, I’ve tried many times and failed.” Doubt is one of our worst enemies for achieving any goal, something that I write about often in my posts.
Interestingly enough, the secrets for losing weight are pretty much the same as the secret to building wealth. I have read a number of books about how to be successful in relationships, career, health, wealth and life in general. The amazing thing is that they all give the same advice about how to achieve goals. I expected the wealth book to give me tips on which stocks to buy, which real estate to purchase, but most of well-respected books about building wealth give advice about setting goals, desire, belief, visualization, discipline and determination to succeed.
If a person really wants to lose weigh more than they want to eat too much, they will soon begin to eat less. If they want a slender body more than they want the pleasure of overeating, they are on the road to success.
If a person has strong desire they will be willing to work hard to achieve their goal. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that when he was lifting weights to accomplish his goal of winning Mr. Universe so that he could become an actor, that if he missed a workout he felt so badly about it that he actually felt sick. The emotional discomfort of not achieving his daily goal was so strong that the next day he wouldn’t even consider staying away from the gym. That is not to say that we should feel guilty and criticize ourselves when we miss our goal. In fact, that deflates our motivation and starts us in a downward spiral. But if we want something very badly, we just won’t be satisfied if we are not on track to achieve whatever it is we want.
The key to losing weight is to desire the benefits of weight loss, be disciplined enough to exercise more and eat less and determined enough to stick with it for a long time.
Many experts say that instead of dieting, it is best to modify eating habits. In other words, make a permanent change to the way you eat.
Visualizing yourself slender helps a lot. In his book “Arnold, The Education of a Bodybuilder” Schwarzenegger said that one of the keys to building muscle is visualizing your muscles growing larger. I read his book in the late 1970’s and thought it seemed silly and unbelievable. But now I find that many sports psychologists say it is true. In fact, back in the days of the Soviet Union, visualization techniques for Olympic athletes in East Germany were state secrets because their psychology was so advanced and successful. In those days East Germany won more medals per capita than any other country. US athletes use visualization techniques while preparing for the Olympics. Visualizing yourself at a certain weight will help a lot.
Also, I look at pictures of myself when I only weighed 250 pounds, like in the “about me” photo to remind myself that I can do it. Pictures of your slender self are powerful for bringing about change, this is widely accepted as true by success coaches, it is not just my idea. For more information, search “vision boards” on the internet.
I find affirmations are great for building discipline and bringing about change. If you have never used affirmations, you might think the idea sounds silly at first, but I promise you they really do work. Some of mine are:
I weigh 250 pounds (I weigh more than that now, but will reach that weight later)
I don’t like to eat too much.
I enjoy healthy food.
I enjoy the benefits of my slender body.
I say these out loud as often as I need them. In addition, I say “I am happy, healthy, wealthy, wise and good looking.” (Doesn’t have to be true yet, haha)
By determined, I mean keep with it, don’t give up no matter what.
Eating healthy food and plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water help you lose weight. I find if I don’t get proper nutrition, my body starts to crave food that might be high in calories because I need the nutrition in that food, but it is best to get it in low calorie alternatives instead of junk food. Some fad diets say don’t eat grains, this is bad advice. For decades the experts tell us we need plenty of grains for good nutrition. The problem is that it is easy to eat too many grains and that leads to weight gain.
I find that if I want something bad enough and really believe I can do it, everything else falls into place to achieve the goals and dreams in my life.
So to lose weight, stay motivated! Read motivational books, blogs (including mine), magazine articles. Listen to motivational material as you drive. All it takes is desire (motivation) and everything else falls into place.