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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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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