When I met Sam (not her name) 2 years ago, she told me, “Matt, I want to walk into a REGULAR store for REGULAR sized women and buy an article of clothing.”
Often people will say their goal is to lose weight, get off medication, or to look better. But there is always something DEEPER down that they really want to accomplish.
For Sam, it was fitting into clothes from a regular store.
As you can see from the graph, it was nearly a year before she started to see progress with her weight. In fact, she even GAINED weight.
And this, my friends, is where most people give up.
We live in a culture of immediacy. We can get the next Netflix show in 30 seconds where we used to have to wait to go to Blockbuster to pick up the next episode. Miss you, Blockbuster!
We can get fast food delivered to our door in “20 minutes or you don’t pay a dime!” where we used to have to make the food ourselves.
We can instantly jump on the internet for quasi-social interactions and support where we used to have real conversations with real people.
So when we don’t see progress on the scale right away, we get discouraged and think there is something wrong with either us or our method.
This is why quick fixes and fad diets are so popular.
But these are not sustainable.
I don’t care if your friend Susan says the celery juice diet worked for her, it’s simply not sustainable.
I’m writing this blog, to tell you two things.
First, your progress will be slow if you are making lasting change.
Second, you need to enjoy the journey. Everything can’t be about dropping 20 pounds for summer vacation, your high school reunion or getting off medication because your doctor told you to.
Once you get to your destination, even if you accomplish your goal, you’ll be wildly disappointed and feel empty.
You need to simply BECOME the type of person who moves often, moves well, and eats darn good food. Let that become a central component of your identity and the results will take care of themselves.
As you get started on this journey, here are a few tips I learned from Sam’s journey.
Here are a few tips from Sam that she wishes she would have known from the start.
1. Improve By 1%
The blue line is her weight. It stayed consistent, and then even crept up. Yikes!
As you can see from the red line, “progress” was increasing for nearly a year before Sam saw the outcome of weight loss.
She had trouble seeing her progress. But I saw it.
She was progressing in her consistency with workouts at Village. She was progressing in the skill of habit building. She was progressing in her knowledge of her body and which foods kept her feeling full.
Eventually, her progress reached a critical tipping point, and she started to head in the right direction on the scale.
That’s the way it often works with real progress. It’s slow, tough to see in the moment, and absolutely necessary for lasting change.
2. Carb Conscious
For Sam, slowly reducing her daily carb intake drastically was a major kicker in her weight loss.
It’s all about nutrients.
You see, carby-foods like corn, wheat, rice, and flour are fairly low in nutrients.
Foods which are lower in carbs like veggies, eggs, nuts, and meat are packed with nutrients.
They keep us full and keep our metabolism running on high.
These foods communicate well with our body and help us to create an environment for health.
Then, weight loss happens as a natural byproduct.
At Village, we recommend keeping daily carb intake under 100 grams a day. This biases our diet towards healthy fats, protein, and veggies.
3. Outcomes < Actions < Identity
Focusing on a goal or the “outcome” is much less important than the actions you take.
The scale is simply a lagging indicator of your health habits.
Habits are a lagging indicator of our beliefs.
Do you believe you’re the type of person who exercises consistently? Are you the type of person who only keeps healthy food in the home?
If you are able to answer “YES” great! You are well on your way to building good habits and then getting the outcomes you want.
If the answer is “NO”, you need to set out to prove it to yourself that you are BECOMING the type of person you want to be. This sort of change will be slow, but that’s ok.
Each time you practice your new healthy habit, you are casting a vote for the person you are striving to become.
Tony Robbins says “progress over perfection”.
What’s much more important that the current status of your waistline or your blood pressure is the trend you are on.
Are you making healthy, positive changes and sticking with them? If so, you are trending in the right direction.
Even is the scale or your blood pressure is taking time to catch up, keep on the journey. In fact, ENJOY the journey.
When you get to a place where you enjoy the journey, you’ll not only be successful, but you’ll stay there long-term.