Cant see plants growing

If you’re like me – and millions of other people out there in the process of trying to lose weight and adopt more healthy living practices – the following phrase might grab your attention:

“Think Yourself Thin: Mindfulness can help you fight obesity, other bad habits”

This was the front page headline of the Life section in this morning’s newspaper. I figured I should read it.

Making the decision to even attempt to lose weight is the first step, and that is a mindful activity, right?

The entire decision-making process around this life-changing event should incorporate a bit of “why am I doing this?” and “why do I need to do this?” and “what is the root cause for why I am doing this, and am I willing to slay that beast?” – again, all mindful questions that really dig down to the core.

The article’s author (and sources) likely assumed the reader would realize that “mindfulness”, in and of itself, is not a cure-all, but instead one tool or approach that may aid someone tackling a difficult issue – in this case, weight loss. At least I sure hope so.

A text box was strategically positioned touting these “proven tips for success”:

  • deep breathing
  • don’t judge yourself
  • use smaller plates so the appearance of smaller portions look more substantial
  • don’t eat at your desk or in your car.

Okey-dokey, then. What’s the saying about not being able to make a purse out of a pig’s ear? Yeah, that. Those four tips are nice, but they aren’t going to get it done for me, boys and girls.

I’m not sure why this article ticked me off so much. 

But it did.

The best I can figure is that losing weight is hard.

I know. I’ve tried – and then stopped for one reason or another – many, many times before starting again this past Oct.

Just the process itself for trying to lose weight is intimidating as Hell.

And it requires a whole lot more than being mindful.

At this point in the game – five months in, and only five months in to what will need to be a lifetime change if I want to appreciate the results – I’ve become a lot more critical of “advice” and “tips”. Especially from experts who have never had weight management issues or lost a major amount of weight. I’m sorry, but even though losing 10 pounds may be a big deal and should be applauded because it is an accomplishment…I’m not going to consider that person an expert.

Am I an expert? Hell, no.

BUT I have lost 50 pounds (so far) in less than five months.

It just means I have experience and can relate.

And adopted healthier eating habits. And initiated a personal exercise program. And battled cravings. And caved a few times. And gotten back up on my feet the following day without beating myself up – too much.

I’ve taken the initiative to make it happen. One day at a time. One step at a time.

“People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky; they’re doing something differently than everyone else.” – Tony Robbins

This right there is the “secret”, if there is such thing as a “secret to losing weight”.

Losing weight is hard work. Very. Hard. Work. 

It takes a lot of things. Commitment. Initiative. Growth. Drive. Compassion. Willpower. Forgiveness. Faith. Willingness. Curiosity. Acceptance. Strength. Patience. Perseverance.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races, one after another.” – Walter Elliott

The take-home message is simple.

There is no one easy way to accomplish a major goal, especially weight loss. No quick fix. Not one thing alone will do it for you. It takes time and effort. What works for one person may not work for another. And that’s OK. Do it anyway and do it for yourself. 

Be inspired. You’re worth it.