7 questions to ask if you’re struggling with your weight

Q1. What would weight loss make more possible?

It might be body satisfaction, better health or more happiness. It is different for everyone, so list whatever it would truly make possible for you.

Q2. What would achieving these things make more possible?

It might be more confidence, more energy, or even being a better parent. Again, list whatever it would make possible for you.

Q3. What would achieving these things make more possible?

And keep on asking this same question until it no longer makes sense, you can’t answer it after considered thought, or you start repeating what you’ve already said. The purpose here is to thoroughly explore the energy that is sitting behind your weight loss goal.

Q4. Now, of all the things you’ve written (body satisfaction, more energy, being a better parent, etc, etc.) which is the deal-breaker or deal-breakers?

Which one or ones pull on your heart, and make you feel that you cannot live without? Be selective here. Which is truly most important to you?

Q5. For this chosen item or items, brainstorm: how else could you achieve this, if weight loss wasn’t an option?

What are all the other ways you can improve your body satisfaction, get more energy or be a better parent, for example, if you couldn’t lose weight?

Q6. Out of all of these new strategies, which one jumps out at you?

What new strategy excites you and really helps you to achieve what you selected?

Q7. What action steps are required to achieve this newly chosen strategy?

Be specific here, and put a timeline in place stating when you will complete it.

Then start.

When you have the willingness to turn your struggles upside down, you’ll likely discover a greater sense of purpose, motivation and hope. 

As all of a sudden, you see more clearly what it is that you are actually struggling with.

[PS. i) Yes, you can still have a weight loss goal, if it is helpful, as part of this new bigger picture. ii) You can also try asking these 7 questions for just about any other goal you’ve been struggling with. Their usefulness certainly exceed weight loss.]

Doing what you love (again and again)

One year ago, I published my first ever blog post. As I wrote then, this blog is a deep passion of mine.

Today, I’ve published over 15 000 words, or about half a non-fiction book.

I’ll be honest. It’s been hard.

Hard to start writing when there is so much else that could be done. Hard to persist with writing when I debate what to write about. And hard to come back to writing when I feel what I’ve written could have been done better.

What’s kept me going is an intense energy and feeling inside of me. An energy that comes from doing what I’m passionate about, and a feeling that it would be even harder to give up doing what I love.

It’s important to understand willpower isn’t something that is ever out of your reach.

Instead, it’s something that grows inside of you when you find the courage, and make the commitment, to do what truly excites you.

The most important ingredient of success

Is likely believing you can be successful.

Belief is the breeding ground for confidence, effort and persistence. And it is these qualities that predict success much better than your natural ability can.

When you believe that you are capable, you are (much) more likely to:

  • Set more difficult goals,
  • Engage in the behaviours necessary to achieve these,
  • Put in more and better-directed effort, and most importantly,
  • Persevere through the obstacles and challenges that come.

And belief not only predicts goal achievement. It also predicts physical and mental health, as it:

  • Helps to promote optimal well-being,
  • Is crucial for successful change in virtually any healthy behaviour, and
  • Directly improves your body’s physiological response to stress, including strengthening of the immune system.

The best news is that just like your health or fitness, belief is something you can actively develop.

Here’s how:

  1. Think about your strengths and reminisce on previous times you have achieved something important to you.
  2. Find and talk to people who have achieved what you want to, from a similar position to where you find yourself now.
  3. Spend some time imagining yourself actually achieving your goals.
  4. Surround yourself with people that believe in you, and question the people who don’t.
  5. Practice relaxation and deep breathing during times of failure, and be conscious not to explain your failure with a lack of ability alone, and
  6. Remind and affirm to yourself what we know to be true: that you are more than capable.

Develop an unquestionable belief in your ideas, goals and capacity for achievement, and you’ll not only be healthier.

You’ll also find yourself with very few limits to what you can actually accomplish.

Why your dreams shouldn’t wait for tomorrow

Because you are worthy of them today.

The most essential thing to understand is that there are no prerequisites to your worthiness.

Right now, you are worthy of love, of belonging and of having what your heart desires.

Right now, you are worthy of sharing your gifts, ideas and talents with the world, and you are worthy of being all of you, without the fear of judgement, ridicule or hurt from others.

Those feelings of doubt and fear that hold us back very rarely have anything to do with our actual capabilities, and very often have everything to do with the voice inside of our head. The very voice that looks down on us and says, “Are you sure you’re enough?”

Yes, you’re imperfect. Yes, you’ve made mistakes. Yes, you’ve got plenty of room still to grow.

But you are worthy. Not just tomorrow, but in this very moment, just the way that you are.

We’re ready when you are.

One of the easiest ways to get you to exercise more

Is to stop saying “I will” and start asking “will I?”

“I will” implies requirement. You end up doing it only because you should do.

“Will I?” implies choice. You end up doing it only because you want to.

Research shows that simply asking ourselves “Will I go the gym?” is significantly more motivating than saying to ourselves “I will go to the gym”.

“Will I go to the gym?” engages the part of us that is motivated to go from within.

“I will go to gym” shuts the door on that very part from coming through.

If you want to change long-term, step 1 is to find the part inside of you that wants it.

Step 2, however, is all about giving it a choice to keep on coming back.

The true you and the false you: which one are you?

The true you describes the version of yourself that you truly want to be.

It is driven by our hopes, our dreams, our values and our strengths, and brings excitement, energy and purpose into our lives.

The false you is someone else’s version of what your true you should be. It is an edited version that listened and conformed to both the social pressures and our desire to please.

One of the most important questions we can ever ask ourselves is this: which one are we?

Are we being the person that we really want to be, and chasing for the things that we really want to accomplish? Or are we compromising our deeper dreams and values for the ‘right’ or easy path?

Of course, being the true you involves fear, hard work and risk.

And of course, you have a choice.

But the magic about becoming the true you is that the energy, passion and excitement that arises propels you forward. You live with a sense of drive and deep self-satisfaction that remains, regardless of any successes or failures you may have.

And the problem with the alternative?

Is that eventually the day will come where you look back and regret all the time, energy and effort spent in the pursuit of dreams and expectations you were never really excited about.

How to find more motivation

We are motivated simply when we:
1. perceive something as important, and
2. have the confidence in ourselves that we can actually achieve it.

If you’re struggling with the motivation to move more or eat better, ask yourself: why does this matter to me? If I do this, how will my life be different in 3 months time?

Find something that is important to you. Something that truly excites and inspires. Once you’ve got it and it feels right, write it down and tell your world.

Next, honestly ask yourself: on a scale of 1 to 10, how confident am I that I can actually do this?

If confidence is lacking, how can you change that? How can you change the starting line so that you truly believe you’re capable of achieving it?

Sometimes success is not about finishing. It’s about starting. And you’ll be surprised what you’re capable of once you find yourself there.

Doing what you love

One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt in life is to be the person that you want to be, and to have the belief that you are worthy, deserving and capable of being exactly that.

Today, I’m excited to announce that after much thought, reflection and self-doubt, I’m following my highest excitement and moving in a new career direction. Instead of waiting around indefinitely for an employer to tell me that I’m capable of more, I realised that what I was actually waiting for was for me to hear those exact same words from myself.

As part of my new career direction, I’ll be blogging consistently about cultivating a life of health and happiness. This is something I’m passionate about creating for not only others, but also myself, and is what I’ve spent the last ten years of my life studying and reading about.

Please feel free to subscribe to my blog and share it with your friends and family. I hope that it will help you on your journey and potentially make you think about your own life in a new and different light.

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