My approach to weight loss is about giving people the tools to create their own success. I want you to design your own model for lasting weight loss and feel comfortable using that model for life. And it’s a pretty foolproof system – so much of losing weight and keeping it off is about finding strategies that fit your individual circumstances and preferences. You’re actually the only person who can devise your own weight loss approach – all anyone else can do is offer advice and support. Just as no one else can lose the weight for you, no one else can tell you how to do it – because they don’t have your body clock, your taste buds, your genetic heritage and any of the other things that make you who you are.

Exterior vs Interior Success

Many popular weight loss programs emphasise interior, rather than exterior, success – the end result you’re encouraged to want is more about looking good (killer abs, a bikini body, toned thighs) than feeling strong and healthy. But one common factor in weight loss approaches that really work is the emphasis on interior, rather than exterior, success. And this is particularly relevant for anyone out there who’s been on their weight loss journey for a while and is starting to feel a little demotivated. Even if things are going really well – you’ve lost weight, you can see and feel how much fitter you’ve become, you’ve got more energy than ever – perhaps you’re not feeling the same sense of joy and satisfaction you once did, or perhaps you don’t feel like you’ve succeeded in the way that you wanted to. How can you get your positivity back?

What’s Your Idea of Weight Loss Success?

Think about what’s guiding your approach to healthy living – is it more exterior, or more interior? What I mean by that is whether you’re influenced more by someone else’s idea of what weight loss success looks like rather than what it actually means for you as an individual. Maybe you haven’t sat down and really worked that out yet – if you haven’t, that’s OK, but it can be really motivating to find the time to do so.

All of us, on some level or another, are influenced by other people’s ideas of weight loss success. It’s impossible to avoid, because as our obesity rates continue to climb (our obesity rates in Australia have more than doubled in the last 20 years, and one quarter of Australian teenagers are now overweight or obese), so does our obsession with losing weight. Everywhere we look – in magazines, online, in TV shows and on the big screen – we’re given an unrealistic, airbrushed template of what we’re all ‘supposed’ to look like. Bikini bodies, flat bellies, abs so firm you they’d double as a punching bag – for many of us, this is what we aspire to when we set out to lose weight. Obviously, it’s unrealistic, and probably most of us know this on some level. But it doesn’t stop us from imagining those model-like images and wishing they could be us. So when we do lose weight but we still don’t look in the mirror and see a fitness god or goddess staring back at us, we wonder what we’re doing wrong and start to lose our motivation.

How to Reset Your Mindset

If you’re doing losing weight at a steady, sustainable rate, making gradual fitness gains and slowly making your lifestyle healthier, you’ve got nothing to feel bad about. You’re succeeding – you’re nailing it. So instead of changing what you do, you maybe need to change how you think. You need to reframe the ‘why’ behind your weight loss journey. You need to forget about those external influences, or at least stop placing so much emphasis on them, and bring it back to you and your life and your body.

Why did you set out to lose weight in the first place? What benefits has it brought you? How does it make you feel, physically and psychologically, to be fitter and leaner? And what are the things that you genuinely enjoy about being healthy and living a healthy life? Asking yourself these questions and reminding yourself of all the positive benefits your healthy living journey has brought you (and continues to bring you) can help you reshape your mindset. Whatever it is that you most enjoy about healthy living, do more of it – get yourself back into that motivated, positive state of mind, and remind yourself of everything you’ve achieved on your journey thus far. Stock up your motivational toolkit with reasons why you want to keep going and keep pursuing your healthy living aims – you haven’t come this far for nothing.

So remember: internal, not external, is what counts when it comes to weight loss. Even though the changes you’re seeing are often physical, don’t underestimate the psychological effects and benefits of weight loss and healthy living. Keep at it – remember why you’re doing this, and why it’s so worthwhile. You can only go from strength to strength.

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