I am sometimes asked by younger folks interested in a career in medicine for advice on how they can make it through the long and grueling process needed to become a doctor. I have a few experiences from the process and made it through my self so I suppose I (or any other doctor) am a good person to ask. I think this sheds light on a very important principal in achieiving success in any field. Get guidance from people who are where you want to be. Do what they did. If you want to be a lawyer (although I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be a lawyer), do what successful lawyers did. If you want to be an accountant, do what accountants did. If you want to be the lead singer of America’s next most popular traveling polka troupe, you’d better find yourself a master accordion player and ask him what they did to achieve their party music-in-a-box success.
So it should be no different with weight loss. If you want to be successful at weight loss, find people who were successful and ask them how they did it.
I did some of the work for you and found some success stories and had them tell you how they did it. If you have a success story that you want to share, write it up and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with some pictures so we can share your story with the blogosphere. Here’s the first of hopefully many.
My entire life, I was always chubby. Family that chose to spoil me, my ability to procure treats at every opportunity, and a vicious sweet tooth truly produced the perfect storm for “fat kid” syndrome. As I got into my teenage and college years, I actually made this “work” for me as it helped develop my identity as a big, funny guy who loved food. Junior year of high school I weighed in at 220 lbs. On my wedding day, at 21 years of age, I swelled up to 240 lbs. and last year, at 27 years of age I had ballooned to 265 lbs.!
I did some quick math and realized that at this rate, when I’m 50, I will have already been dead for 10 years. Also, my casket would likely need to be a blimp. I decided it was time for a change. Lucky for me, it was around this time that I met Dr. Dan Grove and was introduced to his no-nonsense, truth-based, scientific approach to weight loss.
Everything changed. For the first time in my life I felt like I was not just an obese person trying to lose weight while making sure to be “normal” and allowing myself the “psychologically needed” treat here and there. I was a warrior. I was a soldier fighting for my life but for the first time, I finally had the weapons and tools in the form of knowledge and awareness to not just win some battles, but to achieve victory in the entire war.
I realized that I was severely addicted to processed food. The nice people at Nabisco and Pepperidge Farm are scientists charged with the task of lining their bosses’ pockets not with keeping me healthy. I felt violated and angry.
Cheats? Please! For 10 years I would lose 20-30 lbs. only to always gain it back because I “deserved a pat on the back” or “what’s one little (insert junk food item here)”. I imagined I was an actual soldier in a bunker. Are they going to weddings and business lunches? Can they raid the fridge at night? No. There are people in this world who have it a lot harder than the obese population of America. Our problem is that we have too much affordable, great tasting, and available food. Think about that. There’s no Biggest Loser Somalia.
I knew that changing my body would not be easy. I had to thoroughly wrap my mind around that concept. I created a tremendous amount of vulnerability by linking a weight loss journey with my entire identity as someone who either can or cannot accomplish goals. Failure was not an option. I remember thinking that I’ll give this science thing a shot. If I truly track everything that I eat, not just “eat healthy”, and commit to an exercise program, never skipping or missing a workout, let me see what I can do. My results really surprised me and everyone in my life.
I dived into Insanity with Shaun T and then got extreme with Tony Horton and P90X. Employing a holistic mindset regarding character I learned that the type of person that is okay with skipping one workout will skip many and the type of person that is comfortable with one little cheat treat will inevitably succumb to more and more. This was the mindset that I brought, day in, day out.
I am aware that this kind of approach and mentality may not work for many people. However, I wonder if perhaps there are millions out there for whom this path is exactly what they need. It’s easier for our own psyche to stay in the dark, in denial, and lie to ourselves. Just “trying” to eat healthy and walking everyday may work for weight maintenance but not serious change. Anything in life that is great doesn’t come easy, and if something comes easy, it isn’t truly great.
That’s just one of many success stories. Don’t forget to send me yours – email@example.com