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Someone once said, “It’s hard to win a fight if you don’t even know you’re in one.” Weight loss can often feel like a fight, but what are you fighting against? In this episode, I’m sharing the number one thing you need to hear if you want to lose weight. But in order to do that, I’ve got to introduce you to your biggest enemy. We all can struggle with a lack of willpower, a lack of support from our friends and family, or that little negative voice in our heads that haunts us and drives us nuts. All those things can certainly work against us in the weight loss process, but that’s not what I want to talk about.
The #1 Thing You Need to Hear to Lose Weight
The Biggest Enemy of Losing Weight
In my 20 years of working with clients, there is one thing I have seen over and over again. And I can promise you once you overcome this one thing, suddenly weight loss becomes so much easier and even fun! I know that sounds like an outlandish promise, but stick with me.
I once coached a lady named Julie who was doing fantastic and progressing along, when suddenly she started to feel frustrated and disappointed in herself. She told me she just didn’t think she could do it anymore and claimed she would never be a perfectly clean eater. She just couldn’t keep it up. I was shocked to hear her say these things as she had lost over 15 pounds and was feeling amazing. We weren’t doing anything crazy or extreme with her exercise, just taking small steps one after another.
Julie told me that the previous week didn’t perfectly do the things we had laid out for her. After just one or two little mess-ups, she was ready to throw in the towel. Julie felt like she needed to be perfect and anytime she wasn’t, she felt guilty. There’s a good chance you’ve been duped into the same kind of thinking when it comes to food and diet. The belief that there is “good” food and “bad” food and if you eat the “good” food you are right, and if you eat the “bad” food, you are wrong. If you aren’t moving forward and making progress, then you’re moving backward, undoing all you’ve done. This type of thinking will drive you nuts and convince you that you just don’t have what it takes.
Striving for Perfection Wears You Out
When your standard is perfection and you do mess up, it’s like confirmation of that little negative voice in the back of your head that tells you to give up now and the pressure is too much. This is your biggest enemy when it comes to losing weight and truly changing your body! Perfectionism, or as I like to call it, the all-or-nothing disease, is the very thing that will get in your way and cause you to quit.
Overcoming perfectionism is the key to long-term success and without it, you will be restarting your diet or doing the coolest new weight loss program over and over again for the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter where you are in your weight loss journey, if you don’t fully understand that you are going to fail at times, you will never succeed. I’ve seen it time and time again.
How do you know if perfectionism is an issue for you? Well, if you call yourself a perfectionist or you would say, yeah Corey, I am an all-or-nothing person, then, of course, it’s an issue for you. But there are other little ways perfectionism creeps in without us realizing it.
Maybe you feel like in order to lose weight you have to have the perfect breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the perfect snacks, and the perfect workout routine all at once to lose weight. Or you beat yourself up when you mess up or don’t eat the exact thing you are supposed to. Or you feel a lot of emotion or turmoil around losing weight. If you identify with any of these things, then you are falling victim to perfectionism, or the all-or-nothing disease. It’s time to take a big steak knife and drive it right through the heart of that attitude and mindset!
So how do we do it? The key is to constantly choose progression over perfection. Progression is what gets you to where you want to be. I’m going to give you three specific ways to help you step away from perfectionism and intentionally choose progression.
Step 1: Stop What You’re Doing and Wipe the Slate Clean
Just stop. If you’re currently doing some diet or trying to lose weight and you feel like you’re suffering from the all-or-nothing disease, just stop!
Perfection isn’t even possible. I am a nutrition expert, I’ve been a bodybuilder, I’ve had 3% body fat and all that good stuff, but even I don’t eat perfectly clean. And neither do my clients. Perfection is like being in a prison. You have no social life and you lose sight of the big picture: enjoying life!
You want a body that is healthy and full of energy so that you can gain life! It’s not mentally or emotionally healthy to unplug from life to lose weight. So wipe the slate clean. Any past screw-ups or failures are gone.
Step 2: Hear Your Head and Begin to Change How You Think
This may sound a little bit strange to you, but every thought that goes through your head is not always from you. Think about it, we’ve all had thoughts that we don’t like or we don’t want and we think where in the world did that come from?? I like to call it the bully in our brain because that is exactly what that little voice in our head is like. A mean bully who no one likes.
It’s our job to run him off the playground in our minds. Pay attention to the thoughts you hear in your head and take note of whether or not your brain goes into perfectionist mode. Tell yourself no! That’s not what works. Just because I messed up a little doesn’t mean that it’s all lost. You don’t have to be perfect to make it happen, you just have to believe in yourself.
Remember, we want progress over perfection.
Step 3: Pick One Simple Next Step as Your First Progression
Maybe it’s drinking more water, cutting out soda, or eating fewer snacks or sweets. Pick a step that is small, simple, specific, doable, and measurable. Your next step shouldn’t be to eat healthy all week or make better food choices. Those are too broad.
Be specific like, you’re going to drink two liters of water a day, or eat vegetables with every lunch this week. Maybe it’s to walk 30 minutes a day. Small. Simple. Specific. Doable. Measurable.
This is how you plan for progression and actually make it happen! Over time you will truly change your body and change your life. I promise. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to make progress. Small steps add up over time and with them, you can do amazing things with your body and your life.
3 Steps to Overcoming Perfectionism
- Stop and wipe the slate clean. Forgive yourself. Stop beating yourself up.
- Hear your head and speak against the bully in your brain, the all-or-nothing mindset.
- Pick one small, simple, specific, doable, measurable thing to focus on for the next week.
These small steps will lead you to more peace of mind, more consistency, and more results. Slow progression will become who you are and what you do.
Tune in to my podcast to learn unexpected (and fun) ways to trim down, like this counterintuitive weight loss solution. If you still struggle with stress eating and find yourself asking “what is emotional eating?” over and over, feel free to email me, and we can discuss what might be the best option for you.
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