In 2015 I had a serious health issue. I was 285 lbs and had no idea how to start losing weight. I tried diets and exercise and it never seemed to work. Then I realized, I had been thinking about it wrong the whole time. This wasn’t a diet, it was a complete change in lifestyle. You need to live like you’re already the weight you want to be, then achieve it. So, on that note, here are the eight mental tricks that helped me go from 285 lbs to 165 lbs.
- Don’t tell anyone you’re losing weight
The truth is no one around you needs to know you’re losing weight. You should be doing this because YOU are unhappy with yourself. If you start to look for approval from others you will base your progress on their reactions. Your progress should be all about how you feel. You want to be your harshest critic in this journey because when you start to shed pounds and people notice, you need to be the one who keeps pushing and losing weight.
- Blame yourself for being fat
This one is interesting. I only put this on the list because it took me five years to actually have a successful start to weight loss. I tried a ton of things that didn’t work and I blamed the diets, my parents, my genes, and even the school cafe. I didn’t commit to losing weight, or even make progress until I made it my responsibility, alone, to shed pounds. It can be scary to tell yourself that it’s all your fault, but the fact of the matter is no matter your situation you’re going to stay fat. It is on YOU to shed those pounds.
- Listen to the assholes, they might be the ones who love you
This was something I learned after I had already lost my 120 lbs. There were so many people that told me good job when they had noticed I lost a few pounds, and none of them helped. Hearing that made me get content at certain stages of my progress that would make me plateau at a certain weight. On the other hand, there were people in my life that told me the opposite. At every stage they told me I still didn’t look good, I would never lose the weight, and to push away from the table. I hated those people during my weight loss and all I wanted to do was prove them wrong, but that was the drive that got me to where I am. Those were the people that really cared and they only knew how to show it in honest ways. Appreciate the people who make you angry, they give you the will to be your best.
- Healthy caloric intake
This one is short and sweet. Know how many calories you are supposed to consume in a day and consume less than that. In college it’s pretty easy to know what is going to be available to you. Find out how many calories are in every food you eat, and base your day around that.
- Account for the boozin’
Most people don’t do this one. I was lucky and didn’t enjoy drinking in college, but I understand it’s what most people do, so we have to account for it. Let’s say you are eating a healthy intake of food every day, then at night you drink 4 beers. That is an extra 600 calories on top of your food. I am not saying not to drink. I’m saying that if you are trying to lose weight there are realities that we have to deal with, one of them is that alcohol is full of calories.
- Have your meals planned out
This is something that I was a master at in college. Monday through Thursday I would get a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and for lunch and dinner a grilled chicken salad. Friday and Saturday, I got the same breakfast and lunch, but then a burger for dinner. Last but not least, Sunday was my cheat day. Understanding what my school had to offer and knowing exactly what I was going to eat every day made it much easier. I didn’t have to go and decide every meal and go through that mental game of eating bad or not. In my case when I knew what I was going to get I would order it instead of cheating.
- Cheat, a lot
Okay so this might seem counter intuitive but I promise it makes sense. Pretty much when you start to lose weight all the eating is going to suck. You’re most likely eating food you don’t like and you’re looking forward to that one little treat that you get during the day. Don’t live like that, it’s an awful way to live. If you are constantly eating things you don’t like you are going to keep falling off the wagon. You need to create a lifestyle around you, there is no “cheating” or “eating good”. There is only you. Understand what you can put into your body to help you maintain weight loss, gain muscle, or a live a healthier lifestyle.
- Have a purpose
This one is the most important thing on the list. It doesn’t matter what that purpose is, mine was a breakup with a girlfriend. I really loved this girl and wanted to look good for her if we ever got back together. Another reason was to prove the people who I thought were assholes wrong. Finally, I wanted to look in the mirror and see someone I THOUGHT was attractive. Your purpose can be anything and should only matter to you. Find your purpose and use it to propel you forward.