Mindset for Successful Weight Loss in 12 Steps
Once upon a time... I was a junkie, a junk food fan :) Vegetables were only a decoration on my plate. My meals were consisting of meat, bread, buns, croissants, pizzas, pasta, I loved chocolate too but that was never my weak point. My weak point was junk food, Mc Donald's, meat, pastry, bakeries. Living in Croatia, you are tempted all the time to just stop by in one of the bakeries that are literally on every corner and grab something quickly, something delicious, and of course not really healthy.
I was never slim, nor overweight. I was lucky though. Very lucky! I am 183cm tall, so the weight was nicely distributed, and I could never really see the consequences of my unhealthy habits. I often said that I was lucky because the amount and the quality of food I eat was not affecting me as much. Sports were never on my agenda, despite the fact that both my father and sister were professional athletes, Olympians, living a healthy life. I was obviously a black sheep in the family :)
Then in 2012, I came to Qatar and in 6 months, I gained 8kg(!). The funny thing about it was that I wasn't even aware of it. I remember trying out the clothes in Zara and wondering how come they made clothes smaller than in Europe, because I could not fit into size M or L. I was living in this denial until my brother sent me a Zara dress from Spain and I could just fit into it half-way. This was a wake up call.
I then took a holiday and went off for my first detox. My experience from my weight loss Journey you can read here because it really is a Journey. On every journey we have our ups and downs, we take two steps forward, one step back, sometimes we take three steps forward and then four back. It is a journey, we should not forget that! It happens to everyone, including me. We are humans, therefore it can be challenging to discipline ourselves or to give up so easily on things we always enjoyed so much.
Here is what I learned from my weight loss Journey, what are the key elements that lead you to success:
- Vision board. Put your dreams on a vision board! Hang the vision board on a visible place, where it will remind you constantly of what you wish to achieve and realize HOW it makes you feel. When you feel as if you have drifted away from your dreams, look at your vision board, take a deep breath and press pause, imagine yourself as if you have already achieved your goal, FEEL as if you have already achieved it. That is how you make your dream your reality! Now that we set a good foundation for this challenging Journey, we can:
- Embark on a Journey. The path will open up. Do you think I knew where I was heading in the beginning? I just knew I had enough. I thought about the consequences if I was to stay on the old path. I figured out that if I gained 8kg in 6 months, in 12 months it would have been 16kg, in two years - times 2 (32kg) - I was never good in maths, but this was something I figured out pretty easily :) I started searching for the answer, and as I embarked, one thing led to the other. Sometimes, you don't even have to analyze, research, just trust in the higher power and the fact that you are led, and let it be, let it go. Believe that you are led to the best thing for you in that moment. Even if it doesn't seem to be the best at the time, don't judge. Just accept it. After a certain amount of time, with a distance, when you look back, surely you will realize and understand WHY this was good for you at that moment! So just, relax, set your mind for the Journey and embark. Bon voyage!
- Be open. Once you are on your Journey, things will appear, teachers will show up, methods, information, courses, places, temptations, you name it. Be open to receive them all, to consider them. Listen to your heart, it will surely give you a sign whether it is right for you or not. Look for the chills, for the heartbeat, for enthusiasm, for the spark that certain things light in you once they come your way. Those are the crucial signs Universe is sending you, signs that you are on the right path, no matter how silly they may seem, no matter how crazy your mind is telling you it is. Be open, listen to your heart! And don't forget to follow it :)
- Listen to your heart and dare to follow it! As Caroline Myss says: "The soul always knows how to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind."
- Be realistic! This is one of the most important elements on your Journey to weight loss. If you want to do it in a sustainable way, if you want long-term results and not a yo-yo effect, then please, be realistic! You did not gain weight over the night and you surely cannot loose weight over the night. Your old habits did not bring you to weight gain for no reason, which only means, you need to be ready to change! Give up your old habits and open yourself up for a change! Only a change can bring a change: a change of your lifestyle, your eating habits, your mindset. Be ready to say bye bye to an old you and embrace and welcome the new you! A new happier and healthier you! So, please have in mind that it will take time, but if you commit, results are guaranteed. Remember that the only and the most important commitment in life is the commitment to yourself. Honor it!
- Knowledge. When you want to loose weight, obviously, if you are not into a quick-fix, but a sustainable life change, it is always good to learn, read and educate yourself. About everything. It is not only our food that makes us gain weight, it is our whole lifestyle. Under lifestyle, I mean everything: your social life, friends, family, your free time, hobbies, your career, your cooking, your physical activity, your spirituality, your relationships, your love life, your financial situation, etc. You get the point, right? So, when deciding to loose weight, you should not only look at the food you are eating but also at the life you are living. Read, inform yourself, educate yourself. Try out all the opportunities, approaches, methods, courses, therapies that are available to you. You won't know immediately which one suits you best, but be sure that each and every one of them has a positive impact on your life, whether you are aware of it or not."Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." (Mandela)
- Support. On your Journey, it is of great importance to have a good support of the environment. It is a big change you are facing, and it won't be always as easy. So, the support, understanding and love from your environment is more than welcome. If you are not getting it from your family or friends, it they think it is funny, they are not taking you seriously, there are so many groups you can join. Facebook and instagram are full of support groups, figures who can guide you, support you, not only can they support you in an educational way but you can also feel empowered and inspired to hear and to experience that you are not alone, that others too are struggling with same issues as you are, so you can learn from their experiences. This is very motivational and inspirational, it gives you a boost on your path and helps you move forward.
- Self-Love & Appreciation. Love yourself for each and every step you are taking on this Journey. It is not easy, but it sure is worth it. Love yourself for the decision. Love yourself for the effort. Love yourself for determination. Love yourself even for those steps you are taking backwards. That's all perfectly fine! Love yourself. Don't judge yourself, don't criticize yourself for nothing, don't compare yourself to anyone. You are unique and respect it. Appreciate your uniqueness. You are beautiful just the way you are, even if you do have a few kilos extra. This Journey is challenging, so remember one thing:Never focus on how far you still need to go, but look back and see how much you have achieved until now!
- Focus on the NOW. Focus on how you feel. Let this be your compass. Forget about the number on the scale. That is just a number and it doesn't have to mean that when you reach a desired weight, you will feel as good and as healthy. So focus on the NOW moment, and how you feel on your Journey. Because:
To be happy, to be healthy, to lose weight, it is not a destination, it is a life-long journey! Enjoy every step of it, listen to your body and surely you will achieve what your heart desires, even if it is losing weight!