In session this week, a client said to me “I’ll be in a calorie deficit my whole life” which is the not-so-secret – secret to weight loss as we all know.
It got me thinking, we’re so obsessed with how we look and no matter what the body positivity movement has to say on the matter, health is health. So whether you’re looking to find the secret to weight loss or just trying to live longer, here are some tips to get there and some insight into why it’s not happening for you.
We all know that if we burn more calories than we consume, the simple maths states that weight loss will follow. However, we also know that strength is a great asset, as is a strong immune system and great mental wellbeing. These can all be found in the journey to optimum health.
Over the last 30 years, I’ve been obsessed with my weight. Everything stems from it and everything is affected by it. Not the best way to live your life however, many of us do this too. We feel judged when we’re not being judged, we feel sad and we self-sabotage. We’re so hard on ourselves and lack compassion but can be kind to others feeling the same as us.
The secret to weight loss and optimum health is to create space.
Every client that I’ve been working with for the past 6-9 months is now in a place of control. They have faced their fears, they have worked through their past traumas. They are now in the place of getting shit done and it’s an exciting time.
To this end, each one of them is now focussing on their health. They want to continue to live their best lives for as long as possible. With this new-found strength, resilience and determination to create their best lives, health is a paramount feature in their story.
And I’m happy to report that each one of them is succeeding – probably for the first time ever. There are lots of reasons as to why they are but here are the top 3.
When you create space for you health, you are aligning yourself with your highest visions. If you see yourself as a healthy, determined person, you need to take the actions in your life that reflect this.
It’s easy to wallow in self pity and our brains love it as it’s negative thinking. However, you know as well as I do, that negative thoughts don’t get you anywhere but sad-ville. So can we change this?
If you’re searching for the secret to weight loss, I ask you to consider creating space for this goal. It’s probably the hardest goal to achieve in our lives because it takes discipline, consistency and determination.
Add to this your job, your home life, your personal stressors, outside stressors and you can start to see why it can be hard to focus.
By giving yourself some compassion and clearing out what doesn’t serve you, it becomes easier to take control of your health and achieve these goals.
Using my client examples above, I’m going to delve deeper into what these elements of creating space can do for you:
If your mind is full to the brim with stressful thoughts, you don’t have enough space in your mind for what it takes to have better health. Our thoughts determine the actions we take in life so if your thoughts are predominately stressful, then your actions will mirror this.
You won’t want to do the exercise because it feels too hard. You’ll spiral more quickly because negative thoughts are dominating your mind. So if you know there’s ‘stuff’ you need to sort out, you must tackle that first if you want to succeed at your health goals.
When you embark on a health journey, usually the first place you start will be related to data. Things like “I want to lose 2 stones, I want to be a size 12, I want to run a 1 minute mile, I want a six-pack” etc. Nothing wrong with having these as measures towards your success but these will not motivate you.
To create a goal that will stick, you have to know why you want it in the first place. It’s ok to want to look good, just for the sake of looking good but is this a strong enough reason for you? Will that reason inspire you to work-out everyday or choose the salad every single time?
This is where you need to be honest with yourself and know why you want better health. Once you have this, you have your compass and then those examples I’ve listed above, will become the OUTCOME of your health goal.
If you decide you want to lose weight, instead of saying that your goal is to lose weight, say instead that “I want to be healthy and this means exercising everyday for the rest of my life and enjoying the food I eat. This will give me the freedom to wear what I want, feel good everyday and give me the strength to handle my life well.”
If you do the two points underlined, consistently, the outcome will be weight loss, 6 pack abs, running a 1 minute mile etc. Because you’ve created space in your life to dedicate to your health every single day.
The moment we make data the goal, is the moment we fail before we’ve even started.
This is my favourite factor when it comes to health goals – or any goal. The benefit MUST outweigh the effort. The reason you’re doing it must excite you as this will be your motivator. You can also rejig your goal as you progress. So if you started with a goal to be more physical every day, once this is in the bag and you’re seeing results, you might want to up the ante. You can then refine your goal to include a data-led measure such as defined biceps, swimming 10 lengths in 10 minutes etc.
At this stage, you’ve created more confidence in yourself because you achieved your initial goal of physical activity each day. You are therefore more likely to achieve success with your new data goal because the evidence exists in the present of your effort.
No matter what goal you’re working towards, you must create space in your life to be able to commit to it. We often discount the importance of clearing through the mental clutter and are too blasé about stress. However, stress will hinder your progress every single time.
Tackle your stressors head on first by being compassionate towards yourself and you’ll get into the mindset of kindness when you’re ready to face your health goals. This will always lead you to success because you know how to handle your self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours better.
Remember the secret to weight loss is to create space.
Puja McClymont is a certified Life and Business Coach.
Puja helps empower high performers who are struggling with stress and anxiety to take back control of their career, health and relationships; guiding you towards achieving your goals by expanding your mindset to help you create the fulfilling life that you deserve.
Using a combination of therapies including NLP, CBT and Positive Psychology, Ayurvedic and Yogic principles of balance, wellbeing and spiritual enhancement.