My weight loss journey has taught me many life lessons in the last 7 months. I have learned about resiliency and relentlessness. I have learned about sacrifice and perseverance. I have learned to give myself grace while holding myself accountable. I am 28 pounds down and still losing. I am redefining my mental image of myself and reimagining my fitness goals and possibilities. I am reenergized, reinvigorated, and highly motivated.
However, the most surprising lesson I have learned is profound enough to stop me in my tracks every day to marvel and consider its implications.
Here it is. I’m going to spell it out in all caps so you can feel the “weight of it” (pun intended).
WEIGHT LOSS IS SIMPLE
Let that soak in for just a moment.
Every day, I am bombarded with ads for fad diets, fancy weight loss plans, magic pills, workout regimens and supplements. The “easy solution” is offered by doctors, nutritionists, celebrities, home-grown athletes and fitness junkies. From the moment I turn on my phone and computer in the morning I am inundated with product ideas. The checkout line at the grocery store is the worst offender with endless magazine covers lined up with competing weight loss story headlines and images promoting the latest person to lose 20, 50, 100+ pounds. I fall prey to these sexy headlines all the time.
Here is the other surprising thing I’m going to tell you – most of these diet plans work. Most of them have merit. Most of them will really help you to lose weight.
Paleo, Whole 30, Keto, WW (Weight Watchers), juicing – you name it. They all work.
So, if they work, why do people still struggle? And if they work, is it necessary to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in a weight loss system, to ensure you meet your goal?
Maybe. That’s up to you.
Ok – I’m sure you’re thinking, this is confusing. This isn’t making any sense. She’s telling me everything works. But I’m still not losing weight. And if everything works, what do I choose? She just said weight loss is simple, but this seems complicated and I’m left with more questions than answers.
The breakdown in the simplicity of weight loss is our expectations.
WEIGHT LOSS IS SIMPLE.
SIMPLE DOES NOT MEAN EASY.
Oftentimes, the simplest things are the most difficult to maintain. As humans, it seems we thrive on complexity and process. We overthink, over analyze and over work, in pursuit of our goals. We indulge in excess and crave more, more, more. Our collective appetites for food, material possessions, social media, headline drama, seem to grow exponentially.
Simple is mundane, monotonous, BORING. Simple isn’t sexy. It isn’t thrilling. It just is.
It takes mental toughness and self-discipline to thrive on simple.
Weight loss means – burning more calories than you consume, over time. Simple.
There are three parts to that equation.
If you want to lose weight, you need to consume less and burn more. Simple.
Whether you do this through juicing, eating a cave man diet, eating only whole foods, cutting out sugar, running more miles, doing more cardio, working out in the gym – those choices are up to you. That is why all those plans work, and you can choose whichever one works best for you and whichever one best fits your lifestyle.
The variable that is unknown, that depends on every unique body, that no doctor, trainer, or weight loss system can “promise” or define for you – is time.
Some people respond quickly and drop weight fast. Some people take longer to get results. What takes one person a week, could take another person a month. We get into dangerous thinking when we compare our results to someone else. Our bodies are all gloriously, beautifully, unique. We can all achieve our goals – albeit, at different rates.
I know with absolute certainty – if you pick a program, stick to it, remain consistent and disciplined, overcome temptation, and give it time – you will succeed.
If we can push through our instant gratification culture and expectations, celebrate our small goals and steady progress, be resilient through the plateaus, and relentless in pursuit of our goals, in time, we will accomplish the objectives.
That’s why simple is so darn hard.
Simple allows space for over thinking and over complicating.
We get impatient. We want faster results. We think if we don’t see the impact of our sacrifice quickly, we must be doing something wrong. So, we adjust, we change, we try something new. But switching things up over and over again only sabotages our goals.
We have to be focused, not let the noise distract from our mission, and get through the ups and downs.
Yes, simple is not easy. Sometimes it sucks.
But simple works.
You got this.