- When you focus on details you always feel like you’ve made a mistake
- After 10 years of struggling I simplified my weight-loss approach
- Habits make success last
Are you weighing yourself, counting calories or measuring your food?
Or working with a personal trainer?
Maybe you’re going gluten-free or high protein and low carb. Or playing with the idea of paleo or probiotic. Perhaps you’re at the point of leaving it all to someone else and getting your diet food delivered …
The other day I saw an advert on the side of a truck. It was a dog standing on a scale. I guess they’re selling diet dog food?
This image reminded me of a huge turning point in my weight-loss journey.
My turning point: I lost weight when I simplified my weight-loss approach.
Before I simplified my weight-loss approach
Over the decade I struggled, I weighed myself all the time.
If the numbers went down I was happy. If the numbers slid up, I felt ashamed.
When I wasn’t obsessing about my most recently-registered weight, I was staring at the back of a package of processed food, trying to work out the serving size. Then I kept track of the calories.
I was fixated on numbers.
After I simplified my weight-loss approach
For the last 18 years I’ve only stepped on a scale at a doctor’s office. Counting calories, measuring food and checking serving sizes are NOT part of my life anymore. Numbers don’t influence my food choices or change the way I feel.
What do I do instead? What I’d recommend to anyone who wants a healthy relationship with food.
I simplified my weight-loss approach.
Signing up for a fancy food plan
Joining a gym
Or making resolutions …
I built healthy habits.
For the last 18 years I’ve been a healthy weight. And food and eating are a non-issue.
Why I simplified my weight-loss approach
Life is so busy. Anything you can simplify has a better chance of survival.
Habits make choices easy.
Think about when you walk or drive to work or school. There are probably lots of routes you could take. But you likely go the same way each day. Why? It’s a habit.
Habits allow you to go through the motions. Then you can think about other things (that are more interesting).
When I built healthy eating and exercise habits, not only did I lose weight naturally, but it was the first time in a long time that I could pay attention to everything else. It was the first time I had the head space to focus on my real goals.
Rather than umm-ing and ahhing and worrying and wondering about what I should or shouldn’t put on my plate, I know that eating roughly balanced meals made of mainly whole foods gives my body all the nutrients it needs.
Then 3 amazing things happen:
1. I feel full so I can concentrate on life between meals.
2. My metabolism keeps ticking at a healthy rate—rather than going into survival mode. (When your body is in survival mode it’s easier to gain weight.)
3. I naturally reached and have naturally maintained a healthy weight.
Life is full of surprises. Simplifying my approach to eating has made it easier to eat at a friend’s house, on the run, at a hospital cafeteria or wherever I am–without getting caught up in numbers.
Stop getting lost in the details!
For 10 years I said: I’ll restart my diet tomorrow.
Now I know, if you want things to be different you have to do something different!
Focusing on rough estimates allows you to make quick choices, feel good and carry on with the day.
I lost weight for good when I simplified my weight-loss approach.
Life got better when I simplified my weight-loss approach
Weighing myself, counting calories and measuring food made weight loss complicated. Focusing on numbers is a short-term approach to weight loss and distracts you from building habits.
When you focus on losing weight, rather than building healthy habits, you’re bound to do what 95% of dieters end up doing: gaining all the weight back and more.
I NEED TO DIET!
I WANT TO BUILD HEALTHY HABITS.
Get rid of your scale!
Don’t put the cart before the horse. Instead of focusing on the weight you want to be, focus on the journey you need to get and stay there.
Focus on Non Scale Victories!
The above photo is my version of The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch. My ending would be: “…She threw out her scale and lived happily ever after.”
No weigh scales were harmed during the making of this post.
We found this scale on a dog walk and donated it to the Salvation Army.
I love the Salvation Army.
Build healthy eating and exercise habits. A healthy weight will follow and you’ll be free to focus on your real goals.
Whenever I tried to make dramatic change it never worked. For instance, stepping on a scale could be a very ingrained habit. Having a strategy for change helps you turn unhealthy habits into healthy habits. Sign up (below) to receive one of the best strategies I learned.
It’s time for a “change of heart.” Stop counting “1, 2, 3, 4 …” calories and “put the horse before the cart!” How? By building healthy habits.
Sharing what I learned makes those 10 years worth it
When I simplified my weight-loss approach it was a game changer. Is there anything – in any area of your life – you’ve had to unlearn?