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How to be a Weight Loss Success Story

How to be a Weight Loss Success Story

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?

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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.

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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.

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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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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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