I have been overweight for most of my life. I always used to joke that when Jesus was handing out metabolisms, he gave me a skip, because I can remember being bullied for being fat from as young as 9 years old. I tried a million fad diets, programmes and ideas with very little success, and I found myself at age 38, looking in the mirror and not liking what I saw. I weighed in at 137 kg’s or 302 pounds and I knew that if things kept going this way I would not be seeing my 50’s. Fast forward 1 year and 9 months, and a lot has changed. Recently I put up a social post about my 42kg weight loss and it garnered an overwhelming response. Some people were so encouraging and others felt the need to reach out and ask: “How did you do it?” So, over the next few weeks I will be writing a few posts about some of the principles and tips that helped me lose weight. I am not there yet, I still have a ways to go (at least 12kg) to get to what I consider a healthier weight, but so far, so good. Without further ado, here are 6 principles that helped me lose weight (and can help you too!)
1. It’s a SPIRITUAL Thing
At the risk of sounding super spiritual, I have to come to realise that many of the things I have tried to do in my own strength in life have been rather unsuccessful. Either because I lacked the internal will to do said thing, or because I had put the focus in the wrong place. I could choose to focus on my weight, or lack of willpower, or even on my goal, but ultimately, if I can focus on God, working in and through me to accomplish what I have my heart set on, then God can not only give me the drive and energy I need when I lack it, but more than that He can speak truth over me when I fail. The enemy is great at accusing us and causing us to lose heart when we have a slip up, so if I can keep my focus on God in the midst of that slip up, He can speak the truth into the situation: “All is not lost, you are still on track, you and I have this, and tomorrow is a new day!”
2. Find your WHY
Zig Ziglar was once quoted as having said: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” If you do not know WHY you want to lose weight, then you will probably never reach your goal. Any goal you choose has to have both a destination and a motivation. Simon Sinek has built a rather lucrative speaking career helping people to find their why because he knows how crucial this is for anyone to be able to effectively hit a goal or make progress with it. He is quoted as saying: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.” And any worthwhile goal will take some hard work. Knowing why I want to do it will make all of the difference on the hard days when I don’t feel like going on. A few years ago I watched a series by Andy Stanley entitled “Taking Responsibility for Your Life” and the one thought that has always stuck with me is this one: “When I don’t take responsibility for an area in my life, like my health for example, what I am actually saying is that someone else must take responsibility for the area I am unwilling to take responsibility for, either now, or in the future.” This is my why. When I neglect my health and looking after my body, I am saying that my wife and my future kids will have to take care of me when my health fails. So for me, the love I have for my family (even for the kids I don’t have yet), and the thought that I want to maximise the time I have with them, spur me on when things get hard. So if you want to decrease the stress in your weight loss journey, find the why that will turn stress into passion.
3. Prepare to FAIL
Jon Acuff in his book, Finish says that “the day after perfect is what separates finishers from starters.” You see we all are mentally prepared for the win, we can envision it, but often what catches us off guard and what we are not prepared for is the day after perfect. If we cannot be perfect, and perfectly maintain our eating plan or exercise routine, then we give up the minute something goes wrong. I am at a birthday party and eat some cake, or I miss two gym sessions due to work deadlines, and suddenly I have failed. But what would it look like for me to reframe failure and decide from the start what true failure is defined as? And what would it look like to decide BEFORE I ever slip up, that I WILL not get it all perfectly right, and what my response will be when I do. For me, it was deciding beforehand that missing a day would not constitute failure. That every new day is an opportunity to continue towards my goal. And that I would be dead to the voices inside me that were all too happy to accuse me. Eating one wrong meal won’t derail me. Missing a couple of gym sessions won’t derail me. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but the one thing it does have to be, is advancing. Every step forward, however small, is a step towards my goal. And the day after perfect, is the perfect opportunity to take a step…
So what are your next steps for this week?
- Ask God to help you get to where you want to go and hear His perspective about your goal.
- Find your why. Figure out what it is that can turn the stress you have for your goal into a passion which can drive you forward, and
- Get ready to fail, and decide beforehand what your attitude will be when you do, and that you will keep advancing, no matter what happens…
Those were the first three principles that helped me in my weight loss journey and are still helping me as I go. They are true for any goal you choose to tackle and I hope they are helpful. If anything stood out or you found anything helpful, please drop a comment below and share this post with your friends and family. See you next week when I tackle the next three principles that are helping me advance towards my goals.
Awesome Tai! Love the “preparing for failure” so much truth here!
Thanks so much Megs, Jon Acuff’s book called Finish is amazing as far as that is concerned!
This is really good stuff. I’m challenged when I introspect and read this and are encouraged when realize that my missteps aren’t the end, it’s still possible
Hey bud, thanks for the encouragement! Definitely. Every day is a new opportunity to start over… That is the beauty of Grace!
Honestly….the best thing I have read this month! Blatant harsh truth! Can’t wait to read the next one!thank you for sharing your journey!
Thanks so much J! Glad you liked it. Will keep sharing!
Wow, enjoying the way you think about things. And its super practical and applicable. Thanks for sharing your life and truth.
Thanks Nilene! So encouraging, and loving this so much!
This is applicable to so many areas of life! I love how you have condensed this into a quick read. Also, sometimes we just need a reminder of some concepts that we have started slacking on. Thanks!
Thanks V! Appreciate you and your feedback! I have to keep reminding myself of these things all the time…