Make Weight Mastery your creed by embracing these life changing principles.
Be pragmatically ambitious
We all know that we should set ourselves goals in order to achieve an objective, but too often the goals in themselves are ultimately the cause of failure. There is an art to setting goals, and luckily there is a framework that can support you in making them fool proof.
Many of you will have come across this framework at work, but may never have thought to apply it to other areas of your life. It is called SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. These words act as an infallible method for sense checking your goals.
Here is an example a Weight Master might use (and was, in fact, my SMART goal in January 2015):
I will lose 25 pounds in 3 months from today by following an at home workout plan, consisting of 30 minutes a day 6 days a week, and by following a healthy, sustainable diet plan, increasing my intake of starchy vegetables and protein whilst reducing my intake of sugar and alcohol. In order to ensure I follow my workout plan, I will set my alarm 30 minutes early and complete my training in the morning. In order to ensure I follow my diet plan, I will do a weekly shop on a Sunday and prepare all of my lunches for the week in advance. To measure my weight loss, I will weight myself every Tuesday morning with the aim of losing 2 pounds per week.
I achieved my goal, and because my plan was SMART it was sustainable. This is now my normal way of life.
Sweat most days
Make fitness part of your daily normality. Do at least one activity most days (5-7 days a week) that raises your heart rate and works up a sweat. Don’t make fitness a special event – make it as routine as showering, making a coffee and brushing your teeth.
Ban sugar from your life
I know, I know. We all love a chocolate bar, or a sugar in our coffee. But we cannot get away from the fact that sugar brings nothing positive to our lives unless we have a specific medical need. It suppresses all of our health and weight mastery goals, it interferes with our energy and mood and it messes with our immune system. Not to mention the fact that it is addictive. There is no way around this one – ditch the sugar, for good.
Meditate on your strengths and your weaknesses. Make a list. Morning person? Then ensure you schedule an AM workout. Sucker for chocolate? Remove it from your home. Lean on your strengths and reduce the impact of your weaknesses by being making deliberate and intelligent choices.
Find your deep seated why
Why do you want to lose weight?
Is it to fit into your wedding dress? To look good for your holiday?
These are goals. Not SMART goals, but goals none the less. Goals are incredibly useful for making incremental wins, but without a deeper, unshakeable ‘why’ the results are likely to be temporary.
So it’s time to think a little bit deeper if you want to make a change for life. Why do you REALLY want to lose weight? To be happier, more effective? To take control of your life?
When you find your ‘why’ you become invincible to temptation and undesirable circumstances that would have previously overthrown your mission.
Only then will you find reasons to stick to your healthy habits compelling enough to sidestep any passing desire.
We borrow this one from the wisdom of the Scouts! Have the right foods available in your home and at work so you don’t fall into bad eating habits. Schedule time in your diary for working out and ensure nothing gets in the way. Understand the best thing to order from a restaurant menu before you arrive. Practice how you will politely decline when someone offers you a piece of cake. Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail. But prepare to succeed and guess what…
You are what you repeatedly do
It’s not about doing one thing 100% better, but about doing 100 things 1% better - Sir Clive Woodward
Develop small habits that add up to monumental change. You may have heard of the principle of marginal gains. I was lucky enough to see Sir Clive Woodward speak about the impact of marginal gains in the run up to and eventual success of England Rugby’s 2003 World Cup campaign. He spoke of the small things in the detail of everything the team did in its preparation and playing that could be improved to set them apart from their rivals. We can use the same tactics for ourselves – setting our current selves apart from our old selves. Making better decisions than we did before, day by day, minute by minute.
Get confident in the kitchen
We can only truly know what we are putting in our bodies if we cook our meals from scratch, or at the very least understand all of the ingredients contained in a dish. Cooking can be a daunting task for some, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of practice, anyone can master the art of preparing simple, healthy meals. Click here for some simple recipes you can try today!
Do it for you
Long term success in change is impossible unless you are making that change for yourself. Making a change because someone else tells you to, or because you think people will like you better, is not good enough. Make a change because you have decided that it will enhance your life and your happiness.
Break the commandments consciously
There are times when we all deviate from our plans in life. Imperfection is part of being human. But we can choose how we deal with these events when they happen.
Often a lapse leads us to an emotionally distressed response. If we eat a square of chocolate, it is tempting to think ‘oh screw it, I’ve fallen off the wagon now, I may as well eat the whole bar’. Rather than a small lapse, we have inadvertently fallen into the trap of a total deviation from our plan. Tomorrow comes with guilt and shame, and maybe we eat a second bar to console ourselves. Before we know it, a small lapse has turned into a total relapse.
It’s easy to forget the power of choice when we are overcome with negative emotions. But choice is a tool that we carry with us everywhere we go – the choice of how we respond to a situation. If we break the rules, we are CHOOSING to break the rules whether we realise it or not. The trick is to be conscious of our choice – to know that we are actively saying ‘yes’ to something which sits outside of our goal. When we actively say ‘yes’, we are giving ourselves permission to deviate – this takes the power away from the voice in our head that says ‘shame on you’. We have weighed up the situation, and decided on balance that the consequences of our actions are satisfactorily negligible to our cause – that a small lapse will not harm us – and we move on with our life and our mission.
How will you make the commandments part of your everyday life? Let us know in the comments below!